Wednesday, January 31, 2018

New Year, New Home

Sarah Pollock Studio is moving to a new home later this year!

My husband accepted a new position as the Haslam Chair Chair of Business and Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. We'll move to Knoxville, Tennessee this summer after he completes his semester at Penn State.

It's a bittersweet decision for both of us because we've grown to truly love the landscape and history of Pennsylvania. Yet at the same time, we feel now is a good time to shake things up. We've always grown personally and professionally with each new home and we look forward to this next adventure. Eastern Tennessee offers the Smoky Mountains within close reach, so we know that we can find beautiful scenery there, too. And we're both ready to live in a larger community with more amenities.

Downtown Knoxville, Tennessee with the
restored Tennessee theater located along Gay Street

I visited Knoxville for the first time a few weeks ago. It strikes me as a "mini Pittsburgh," an old industrial town on the rebound from tough economic times. Everyone we spoke to was upbeat and described a renaissance within the city that has taken hold over the past 10-15 years, kicked off by -- of all things -- a central farmer's market in the downtown square that features over a 100 different vendors. Now, new businesses, residents, and visitors are returning to downtown and the "Scruffy City," derisively named by the Wall Street Journal after it hosted the 1982 World's Fair, is embracing an upbeat spin on its nickname.

The Old City district of Knoxville, Tennessee during a rainy evening.
I think I see a painting in here somewhere...

Knoxville is named for one of my favorite historical figures, Henry Knox. Henry Knox was a twenty-five-year-old bookseller from Boston when he met General George Washington just three days after Washington took command of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. It was Knox who marshalled untold manpower and eighty yoke of oxen to retrieve the artillery from Fort Ticonderoga in New York and move all of it to Boston in freezing, icy conditions during the winter of 1775-76.

Knoxville's historical legacy grew during the Civil War, when the city shifted between Union and Confederate control and reflected the larger split within Tennessee about where to cast its allegiance. Following the Civil War, the city became a manufacturing hub for textiles and iron works.

I'm looking forward to milder winters, more restaurants, and new landscapes for painting and bicycling. After I get resettled and set up my studio again, I'm also planning to continue exhibiting at various outdoor art shows along the East Coast. Stay tuned...