An art exhibit highlighting the beauty and community of Livingston.
That’s what artist and Cookeville High School teacher Mitchell White’s “Our Town” exhibit at Bishop Studios is all about. White said that when he originally began work on the pieces five years ago, he sought inspiration from old black-and-white photos, but that the pandemic changed his perspective.
“And the light was beautiful, and the colors were beautiful things were starting to leaf out and bloom,” White said. “I could walk early in the morning, I could walk in the middle of the day, late in the evening. And I had a chance to see Livingston in a way that I really hadn’t in a very long time because I’ve been teaching for so long and I teach in Cookeville so I’m rarely home in the middle of the day.”
White said that the quietness of Livingston at the beginning of the pandemic helped him see the town in a way he hadn’t before. He said that it allowed him to experiment with light and colors he wasn’t able to achieve with his original black and white idea.
White said that a personal favorite of his exhibit is one he calls “’59 Chevy.”
“There are a lot of cars in that painting,” White said. “It’s from a photograph that was taken I’m going to guess in the early 1960s. So you’ve got the courthouse, you’ve got powerline across the town square which we no longer have anymore. And there’s this ’59 Chevy that’s parked right over in front of the courthouse with its fends that go off the side, and that was a time when cars were quite beautiful and there was a lot of design in the automobile at the time.
He said that painting to the most time, some six weeks, and that he likes that many people can relate to it.
“They have said ‘My grandfather had that car and maybe that’s his car. Because he would come to the courthouse and he would whittle.’ And there are other stories as well. And then I had a friend in high school whose family had that car when I was in high school, the same make of that car. It could be that car, who knows? It’s fun to think about. But people can connect to it, and part of the joy of being an artist is seeing someone have a connection to your work.”
White said his exhibit runs until October 23rd that visitors can view by making an appointment.