Visual artists have a special gift that most of us don’t—they can use their skills to make memories manifest. They can capture those moments and render them impervious to the ravages of time and separation.
An artist’s work over the course of lifetime tells not only their stories, but also the stories of others.
Any student of human history can articulate the immeasurable value that viewing artwork from a particular period brings to our understanding of human history—in many cases the artwork is all that remains to tell the story of an entire group of people. Without art, we might know others have come before us, but we would be left without any sense of understanding of those others—their why’s and how’s.
The act of remembering is intimately interconnected with artwork, whether it is a song, a piece of writing, or an image we associate with a person, event, or experience. It is with this appreciation and understanding that family and friends celebrate the life and work of Brenda Dugger.
In the early 1960’s Brenda Dugger attended Hillcrest Elementary school.
There, her teachers began to notice a natural talent for visual art being expressed through this small child. Fortunately, Dugger’s parents were receptive to the encouragement of her teachers, and provided opportunities for Dugger to work with a variety of local artists to help develop her craft.
By age 13, Dugger was painting landscapes and ocean scenes. Dugger continued to study art all through her time at Morristown High School, then at Morristown-West, and at the University of Tennessee, she graduated with high honors with a degree in liberal arts, and a major in painting.
After college, Dugger added pencil drawing to her repertoire of media. During the 1980s, while living in Connecticut, Dugger became the sole pupil of Rudolph “Rhudy” Zallinger, a famous egg-tempera artist, who is perhaps best known for his painting, The Age of Reptiles, which is in the Peabody Museum. Zallinger was awarded a Pultizer Fellowship in Art in 1949 for his work. Dugger studied with Zallinger for several years, learning a variety of techniques, some dating back to the 1500’s before the invention of oil paint. Dugger fell in love with the medieval techniques, and used egg-tempera throughout the remainder of her life.
To celebrate the life and work of Brenda Dugger, the Dugger family has graciously agreed to allow Rose Center to exhibit a collection of her work.
The exhibit, titled “Brenda Dugger Remembered” opens on Friday, May 3 from 7 p.m. – 8 p.m.. Delicious refreshments will be provide by the Rose Service Guild. The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public. The exhibit runs through May and is available for viewing Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m..