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Artist Sarah Pollock Uses Color to ‘Turn Up the Volume’

Posted on October 20, 2020 in Peninsula

Oil painter is featured artist for 2020 Artsclamation! to benefit behavioral health services

sarah Pollock painting in field.
Sarah Pollock, Artsclamation!’s featured artist for 2020,
finds inspiration throughout East Tennessee.

Painter Sarah Pollock is constantly inspired by her surroundings. Sketch-pad often in hand, she is on the prowl for ideas everywhere she goes. Pollock has worked as a professional artist for the past 17 years and specializes in oil painting. She typically spends a few months of the year on the road, whether  it’s traveling for pleasure or attending art shows to display her work along the east
coast. Art shows are going virtual, presenting new challenges and opportunities, and artists like Pollock are embracing technology with this transition.

Pollock has been selected as the 2020 featured artist for Artsclamation!, Peninsula’s annual fundraiser and fine art sale, which will take place virtually this year. She has donated an original oil painting entitled “Autumn Blaze,” with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Peninsula’s behavioral health

autumn Blaze painting
Pollock’s “Autum Blaze” depicts a river scene
in the Great Smoky Mountains.

“I have always been interested in and motivated by color,” Pollock observes. “I find inspiration in everything from autumn leaves and tropical fish to your granite countertop.”  The peak fall foliage portrayed in “Autumn Blaze” is from the Middle Prong of the Little River in the Great Smoky Mountains. To the artist, this work of art celebrates our region. “I wanted to offer something that people would identify  with and connect with.”

More Volume

Originally from southern Wisconsin, Pollock spent time in Orlando working as a color stylist for Walt Disney Feature Animation. She contributed to the animated Disney films “Mulan” and “Tarzan.”

“I see the world with the volume turned up,” she explains. “I want to use color to highlight the beauty that’s around us, which can be easy to overlook when we are in our daily routines.”

She moved from Pennsylvania to Tennessee with her husband two years ago. “The opportunity presented itself, and through my work, I began trying to capture the natural beauty found all around East Tennessee with fresh eyes,” she says. Last fall, Pollock participated in Artsclamation! for the first time. She was pleased to discover yet another avenue that enables people to connect through art.

“I enjoy creating landscapes and cityscapes,” Pollock muses. “I like to see the contrast between urban and rural. Each subject expresses something different in its colors and in the story it tells. In Tennessee, we have the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and several other state parks. I am just beginning to learn this area, its people, and the stories to be told, especially the history of Knoxville.”

A Way to Give Back

The oil painter is thankful for the journey that has brought her to East Tennessee, and she describes her involvement with this year’s virtual art sale as a way to “give back” and support mental health services.

“In a time when we’re living more at home or closer to home, seeing the beauty in nature is a great reminder that we are bless- ed and privileged to have this scenery within a drive. If needed, we can take refuge from the world.”

She continues, “I think art helps us understand the world around us and empathize with others, which is relevant now more than ever. Having outlets like visual arts, books, and music — all of these are ways to help us sort through our feelings.”

Addressing Mental Health

Artsclamation! supports mental health services at Peninsula, the behavioral health division of Parkwest Medical Center. In past years, proceeds of the art sale have assisted with the construction of garden courtyards for adult patients, vans for transportation serving clients in outpatient programs, play areas for children and therapeutic modules for consultation.

Beginning Oct. 23, Artsclamation! patrons can view the wide selection of paintings, jewelry, glass- work, pottery and sculpture for this year’s virtual event and make a purchase by visiting

Art Sale Supports Mental Health

Your support of Peninsula is more important than ever. One in four people in East Tennessee suffers
from a mental illness or addiction. For our friends, family and neighbors living with mental
illness, the last few months have been the hardest of their lives. The treatment, counseling and
support provided by Peninsula’s inpatient hospital and outpatient clinics offer much-needed help
for people in our community.

Peninsula has helped thousands of people recover from disorders and dependencies to lead
healthy, productive lives. Peninsula provides inpatient and outpatient services for children,
adolescents and adults in Knox and nearby counties, including individual and group therapy, specialized programs and peer support groups.

How Does a Virtual Art Sale Work?

A secure e-commerce site has been created for online art sales, and you can participate from
anywhere with an internet connection. Peruse, shop and directly purchase artwork from more
than 40 professional artists. Clients at Peninsula also contribute their works of art
to the sale, and their items are located in a special category on the event website. Other
items for sale include calendars, posters and prints featuring participating artists’ work.
Visit between Oct. 23 and Nov. 22 to view and purchase this year’s wonderful items!