Art for KARM at Strata-G Jubilee

"Duncan Boat Dock" by Janis Wilkey

“Duncan Boat Dock” by Janis Wilkey

Anytime art and food are paired for an evening to benefit a worthy recipient, you can count us in!  And so it was that when Knoxville artist Mike Berry emailed an invitation to attend Strata-G Jubilee at the Emporium on June 20th benefiting the Knoxville Area Rescue Ministries (KARM), we didn’t hesitate to take him up on it.


It was an evening of live music, original art, live and silent auctions, assorted wines, and Southern hors d’oeuvres! Most of us frequented the buffet more than once.  And who wouldn’t?  Spicy chicken fingers, barbecue short ribs, candied bacon, country ham biscuits, assorted cheeses, and fruit — all from All-Occasion Catering. (Click here.)

Quite tasty!


Art on easels lined the tables on both sides of the open space at the Emporium for the silent auction, and bidders added their names to the lists.


One of my personal favorites in the silent auction was an oil on canvas entitled Home Grown by Marie Miller.


Artists who donated original creations included Joe Parrott, Kathie Odom, Connie Gaertner, and Mike C. Berry of Knoxville; Wayne Blankenship of Fountain City; and Victoria Pearmain and Janis Wilkey of Chattanooga.

Three artists donating work to the event:  Joe Parrott, Connie Gaertner, and Mike Berry

Three artists donating work to the event: Joe Parrott, Connie Gaertner, and Mike Berry

"Sunset at Seaside" by Joe Parrott

“Sunset at Seaside” by Joe Parrott

In addition, five artists painted live at the event: Joe Parrott, Connie Gaertner, Victoria Pearmain, Kathie Odom, and Mike Berry.  As each painting came up for auction, the artists told of the inspiration for the piece and where it had been created.  (How many times do you get to hear from the actual artists?)  Some of the paintings were quite wet since final strokes were added right before the auctioneer called for the goods!

Artist Kathie Odom painting live at Strata-G Jubilee

Artist Kathie Odom painting live at Strata-G Jubilee

Auctioneer Harold Reed kept the audience entertained with his quick wit and uncanny observations about art and what makes people bid!

Artist Mike Berry gives background information on his painting while auctioneer, Harold Reed, looks on.

Artist Mike Berry tells the audience about his painting while auctioneer Harold Reed looks on.

For the live auction, baskets of wine as well as paintings like this beautiful scene by Joe Parrott were on the block.


Bright centerpieces topped the stand-up-height tables where people gathered and talked.


Dan Hurst, President and Founder of Strata-G let me snap this picture next to Victoria Pearmain‘s painting Ginkgo Tree. (We think he’s smiling because this is the first event of its kind — and it’s a hit!)


But he was quick to note that the real work was handled by a lot of others.  Like these three guys: Trevor Zimmerman, David Forehand, and Elliott Barnett. 


Jenny Freeman, Vision Implementation Manager for Strata-G, and Betsy Childs, President of Geothermal Utilities, LLC, had fun visiting with the guests and celebrating the end of a classy benefit that was both fun and artsy!

Jenny Freeman and Betsy Childs celebrate a successful event!

Jenny Freeman and Betsy Childs celebrate a successful event!

Strata-G is an environmental group with this mission on its website: A veteran owned small business committed to a legacy of environmental and energy stewardship through the successful application of engineering, science, and technology.

This same weekend, the company entered two teams in the Dragon Boat Festival (Click here for info) also benefiting KARM! Good corporate citizens, for sure!

It was a fun night for art and KARM — and we hope we get another email from Mike Berry next year.  After all, what’s not to like about art, good Southern food, and a glass of fine wine with friends?!


2027 Castaic Lane

Knoxville, TN 37932



Knox Area Rescue Ministries

418 N. Broadway

Knoxville, TN 37917




All-Occasion Catering:


7 thoughts on “Art for KARM at Strata-G Jubilee

  1. buddy odom

    Rusha, Mike Berry showed us your blog post for june 22… the art auction and shindig for KARM by Strata-G. I was wondering if you would be willing to share with me the jpg of my wife (Kathie Odom) that was on the blog. Such a great picture! I have oh too few with her behind the easel !
    If not, PERFECTLY FINE ! Thanks for letting me ask! Buddy Odom

  2. cmmoxley

    Wow, what a fun event that I’ve never heard of! We’d love to go next year. After all, it’s within walking distance. And some of our favorite artists, too. Great report, Rusha!

    1. Rusha Sams

      As always, it’s a joy to watch artists at their best. This was a quality event, one that I hope will be repeated. I believe this was the inaugural event of its kind! Thanks for reading and commenting. Maybe we’ll both be there next year!

    1. Rusha Sams

      Thanks for your comment. You are right. I love the landscapes, but really love the picture from the farmers’ market. So colorful and impressionistic.

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