Pellissippi State student artist displays landscapes at Strawberry Plains Campus

The oil landscapes of artist and Pellissippi State Community College student Matthew Lawson are now on display in the Lobby of the College’s Strawberry Plains Campus. Lawson is the first artist to exhibit a collection at the newly opened campus, but Mike North, campus dean, says he hopes to see many more.

“At the start of the year, the staff and I talked about wanting to bring art on campus,” said North. “We talked about wanting it to come from the community here and, ideally, a student. That’s exactly what happened when we learned about Matt’s artwork, and we’re excited to feature him at the Strawberry Plains Campus.”

The community is invited to view Lawson’s paintings Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and Tuesday and Thursday, 8 a.m.-9 p.m. The campus is at 7201 Strawberry Plains Pike.

Lawson’s painting career began, ironically, when he couldn’t join other students in an art class at Carter High School. His classmates were working with clay, but because of allergies, Lawson sat in the hallway painting. His teacher took a photograph of him and asked him to paint a self-portrait. The painting was entered into an art contest sponsored by VSA, the international organization on arts and disability. Ultimately, it was displayed around the country, even spending time in the Smithsonian.

That success, coupled with the inspiration Lawson got by watching artist Bob Ross on television, spurred him to pursue oil painting. So far, the aspiring pharmacist has given all his paintings to family members.

For more information about the display, call (865) 694-6400 or email Catherine Adaska, cladaska@pstcc.edu.

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