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Borderless Arts Tennessee is a statewide organization committed to inclusive and accessible arts programs for people with disabilities to enhance educational curriculum, enrich creative expression, empower career development, and encourage community engagement.

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Funding to design this site provided through a grant from the Tennessee Arts Commission.

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Featured News & Events

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

(Art will be revealed on Dec. 3)

Each year, Borderless Arts TN celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities with a small festival.  This year, we had to do things a bit differently. We decided to create a piece of art with some of our stateside and international partners.  Below is the story of that piece of art.  We are also highlighting a dance that was done between the Borderless Dance Community and MTSU dance.  There is also a song by our 2nd place 2020 Young Soloist winner, Maggie Perry.  All of the theme focus on Peace.

Let There Be Peace on Earthhttps://youtu.be/3XnWfOzjRcw

In 2015, 75 organizations (36 stateside and 39 overseas) joined together to honor Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and the 40th anniversary of the organization that she created, VSA (Very Special Arts). Ambassador Smith was a sister of President John F. Kennedy and formed VSA to support arts programs for people with disabilities.

Over a 40-day time period, 40 unique international arts and education experiences were digitally exchanged and shared through a website hosted by Borderless Arts Tennessee (BATN, formerly known VSA TN).  However, the most significant accomplishment of this project was the creation of a quilt comprised of squares made by participants from each of the organizations.  The quilt was assembled at Middle Tennessee State University as a BATN project under the artistic direction of Lauren Rudd. The quilt was later presented to Ambassador Smith at the U.S. Capitol and accepted into the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies Program.

2020 marks the 5th anniversary of this unique global celebration. Sadly, on June 17, 2020, Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith passed away at 92 years of age.    

Twelve of the remaining organizations that participated in the 2015 celebration decided to partner once again to pay tribute to Ambassador Smith. The art is being revealed on December 3rd in celebration of the United Nations’ International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

“A lot of thought went into the design for this piece, “says Borderless Arts TN Executive Director Lori Kissinger. “Every element and detail—including the incorporation of the teapot, as well as the overall message—all have special meaning.”

The art is designed in the shape of a postcard as it is being sent as a message to the world. The 28 images around the edges celebrate the 28th year of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. The message of peace is a tribute to Ambassador Smith’s peace negotiation work in Ireland in the 1990’s. In fact, each of the images is an artist’s representation of peace. The teapot holds an image from each of the 12 partner organizations, representing how their efforts mix together to pour out a unified message. The teapot image developed in 2015 from a term coined by Charlie Kellett of the US State Department. During his work in the Peace Corp., he witnessed the serving of tea as a way to bring people together. Whenever he saw people using their talents for a common good, he called it Teapot Diplomacy. He had dubbed the 2015 quilt as Teapot Diplomacy and later gave permission to Borderless Arts TN to name a program Teapot Diplomats. Samantha Kaviyakone, a recent Middle Tennessee State University graduate, designed the art which continues the connection with the university.

Partners in the project include: Alfan Alkas Association Egypt, Art for All Center United Arab Emirates, ArtMix Indiana, Arts Access North Carolina, ARTS ACCESS South Carolina, Arts For All Kentucky, arts4all Florida, Art Spark Texas, Borderless Arts Tennessee, Fann4All-Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, VSA Singapore.

Design Artist

 About the Artist: Samantha Kaviyakone

Samantha is a 22 year old artist who was born in Tennessee to immigrant parents.  Her cultural heritage is Laotian and Vietnamese.  She graduated from Smyrna High School in 2016.  After high school, she went on to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Video/Film Production and a minor in Animation & Media Management from Middle Tennessee State University.  She graduated from MTSU in May 2020.

Selected Artists (Art is in the Teapot)

Alfan Alkas Association Egypt / Artist: Kareem Ahmed Mostafa

Kareem is a 32 year old artist with Down syndrome and hearing loss. He is a member of Awladna Foundation where he is a painter, photographer, does art moor work and embroidery.  He is an employee of the National Library and Archives.  He expressed peace in the form of a dove and an olive branch through embroidery.

Art for All Center United Arab Emirates / Artist: Moza bin Abdullah bin Zyban

Moza bin Abdullah bin Zyban drew the piece of art with his foot due to brain paralysis. Painted in acrylic colors, a child spreads out her arms. In the background, the sky and clouds are dazzling in blue and white colors. Their colors have intertwined to impress as one entity.

ArtMix Indiana / Artist: Terrence

Terrance has been involved in ArtMix programs since 2001. He joined our program as a shy and soft spoken young man who spoke rarely but always thought deeply and had plenty to say – if people were willing to use some patience. Terrance excelled in music composition, lyric writing, ceramics, drawing and painting. After he graduated from high school, he joined our Urban Artisans program which seeks to use the arts as a way to teach vocational skills to young adults. Through this work, Terrance blossomed into a more confident, skilled young citizen of Indianapolis. His craftsmanship in our ceramics studio was top notch and he could always be relied upon to give his best effort. If he could answer what he was most proud of about his experiences at ArtMix, he would probably say working with our Teaching Artist, Doug Babb, in his music studio program where he learned to create beats, put lyrics with the beats and produce completed songs. That program was pure magic. Terrance has moved out of our area and is independently employed, but still keeps in touch. His contribution to ArtMix and Urban Artisans is still highly valued and incalculable.

Arts Access North Carolina / Artist: Wiley Johnson

Wiley Johnson is a 35-year-old self-taught artist from Raleigh, NC who has Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD.  Inspiration for his paintings have come from life around him, walks in many parks, and various museums. Painting has been a peaceful, happy experience and a therapeutic way for him to spend his time alone, particularly after his only sibling, a brother, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 2011.  Arts Access here in Raleigh, NC recently bought one of Wiley’s paintings, Find a Way. Wiley is honored that he will be listed as the featured artist for the Fall ASK campaign, 2020 and that the image of his painting will be used in the campaign. Thank you, Arts Access! Wiley is a member of Artspace, Imurj, and Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC. He is listed in the Artist Link project sponsored by Arts Access. This is a directory of NC artists who self-identify as having a disability. 

ARTS ACCESS South Carolina / Artist: Carter Boucher

Carter is a Master Teaching Artist for Arts Access South Carolina.  He is an author, visual artist and musician.  He has created art and illustrations for NASA, Panasonic, U.S. Army Corps. Of Engineers, War Veterans Home (Percent for the Arts), Anderson, S.C., C & S Bank, Dictaphone, Federal Landbank, NCR, Southern Bank Corp., Westinghouse, American Artist Magazine (Watercolor ’88) Marion County Museum and numerous Private Collections.  

Arts For All Kentucky / Artist:  Michael Dixon

Michael Dixon was born June 22, 1962 in Los Angeles, California. Dixon’s works are typically pencil portraits of significant African American historical figures, African American entertainers, and various family and friends that are important to him. Dixon uses pastels in some works to add more emotion or strength to a portrait. Dixon remembers Wes Hall, his Art teacher at Compton Senior High School, encouraging him to keep drawing, and Michael’s first portrait was of Kareem Abdul Jabar. Dixon draws prolifically, adding to his growing body of work. He can often be found at the library, searching for new subjects that speak to him. Michael was awarded the VSA Kentucky Ron Billings Emerging Artist Award for Artists with disabilities in 2015. In his own words, Dixon shares: “. . . I like to show happiness in the smiles of the people I draw. Worries and disappointment can also be expressed. One of my goals is to exhibit and sell my artwork. I would like to see my art hanging in schools, offices, and galleries.”

arts4all Florida / Artist: Jack Beverland

Jack Beverland, better known as Mr. B. Mr. B has been involved with us, and formerly VSA Florida for many, many years. He is a self-taught folk artist who has both sold and received awards for several pieces over the years. He also gives generously of his time as a collaborative artist in teaching students in schools and in community projects. Peace Park depicts his vision for a future where all can come together in celebrating life and the diversity we each bring.

Art Spark Texas / Features Body Shift led by Silva Laukkanen

Silva Laukkanen, Director of Integrated Dance, states: In 2009 I attended the first Body Shift intensive and fell in love with this community of dancers. My journey in the mixed ability dance world began while I was studying for my BFA and I had the opportunity to teach at a rehabilitation center in my native Finland. After that experience I decided to refocus my career in dance to work with people whose lives have taken different paths than mine, and whose bodies and minds live their everyday lives differently than I do. My deepest passion and dedication for the field is in high quality dance education that’s inclusive and which ignites a passion for a lifelong involvement in dance art.

Borderless Arts Tennessee / Artist: Morgan Vice

Artist – Songwriter – Event Planner Morgan Vice is a young woman on the autism spectrum. She was diagnosed at age three. When she was young, she had very little functional language. Over the years, she has developed a unique unfiltered way of stating what’s on her mind. She also enjoys painting and writing songs with her mom about her favorite things. She is always looking forward to the next big thing, and enjoys adding upcoming events to her calendar.

Fann4All Saudi Arabia / Artist: Child Participant

Fann4All is a voluntary non-profit organization that is hosted by and operates its activities from the Help Center in Jeddah.  The art selected for Pieces of Peace was created by a child participant in the program.

Kuwait / Artist: Anfal Bo Hamad

Anfal Bo Hamad is a 23 year old artist with Down syndrome who enjoys working in all types of art.  Her art has been shown in many competitions in Kuwait and other Arabian Countries.  She has won several award.  In addition, she is fluent in English and Arabic and can speak some Indian.

VSA Singapore / Artist: Isaac Tan Yifeng

Isaac has a peace-loving fun and positive personality. He is willing to learn and try new things . Besides art, he shows interest in activities such as computer games, basketball and he loves listening to music. The progress he makes might be slow and the strides he takes might be small but everyday he is clearing every hurdle along his way. This drawing represents peace because the butterfly does not disturb people. When I look at the butterfly and the flower, it is peaceful and a happy feeling.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Kringle Jingle!!!

December 5, 2020

8am-3pm Central Time

Location:  Here!

(Under Construction)

 

Placing an Order is as easy as 1, 2, 3

1) Select what you would like to buy

2) Email borderlessartstn@gmail.com and tell us what you want to purchase

3) Within 5 minutes, you will receive a response if the item is yours.  At which time, you can move on to payment and SOLD will appear by the item.

 

You have two options for Payment of your purchases

1) On the left hand side of the website, you will see where it says PayPal.  You can make your payment immediately.

Or

2) Mail a check made out to Borderless Arts Tennessee to Borderless Arts Tennessee, 1210 Lake Rise Place, Gallatin TN 37066

The fun part is getting your purchases!

1) If the item has “will ship” underneath it, BAT will mail the item to you.

2) If the item has “pick up” underneath it, you will be emailed options for picking up the item in Gallatin during the week of Dec. 7th.

 

SPECIAL ITEM: Water Warrior

Become a Water Warrior or give the gift of being a Water Warrior to a Friend.  By donating to this project, you are supporting a 3-year old event in which young adults with and without disabilities join together with environmental partners under the leadership of a professional artist to make floating art with a water conservation theme.  The participants are placed in 5 teams that compete for prizes in areas of conservation message, creativity and a race.  This project took place in 2019 at Memorial Park and in 2020 in a digital manner. We are prepared to do either in 2021 depending on COVID.

$100

All items below shipped to you

Receive a Water Warrior Certificate emailed to you immediately

Name on the back of the Water Warrior shirt

Receive a Water Warrior T-Shirt in April

Receive a photo of the winning team in April

A special gift from the winning team.

*This item does not require the “Placing An Order Step”.  You can simply go to Payment Options.  You will need to let Borderless Arts know the following:

1) Name that you want on the certificate and shirt

2) Size of T-shirt

3) Color preference for the shirt: Blue, Green, Purple, Red or Yellow

 

Booth 1: Adam Boyd

Adam is a young man with Down syndrome who has been active with Borderless Arts TN for many years.  He was a founding member of the Movement Connection Dance program which Borderless Arts has changed to the Borderless Dance Community.  He is also an original Teapot Diplomat in BAT’s visual arts program.  In 2015, we was part of the presentation of the BAT international Quilt to Jean Kennedy Smith.  Adam made the key chains in honor and memory of his cousin, Melissa Jean Baugh, who also had a disability and used to make key chains.

$5 each or 2 for $8

27 key chains available

Will ship directly to you

Booth 2:  Becky Braukhoff

Becky Braukhoff, from Evansville IN, is an aunt to BAT director Lori Kissinger.  She, and her husband, Richard Braukhoff were Lori’s godparents.  Richard passed away from Louie Bodies Dementia.  Becky has provided some of her collectibles for this event.

             

 

All items $10 each

Pick up arrangements required

 

Booth 3: Lana Braukhoff

Lana, from Evansville IN, is an aunt to BAT director Lori Kissinger.  Her husband, Hans Braukhoff, died at the age of 54 of cancer.  Mrs. Braukhoff has less than 40% of her lungs left along with chronic bronchitis and asthma. Never smoked a cigarette in her life. She makes numerous types of crafts which she sells.  If you wish to purchase other items from Mrs. Braukhoff, BAT can provide her contact information.

 

                                                                                                                             

$20 Wreath/ $20 each Snowman.  All other items above $10 each

Pick up is required for the wreaths and wooden items

 

Booth 4: Carlos Calderon

Carlos Calderon is a Teaching Artist in the BAT Teapot Diplomat Program.  His artistic career began at age 6 as a disciple of the renowned Puerto Rican artist, Luis Cajiga. Carlos has studied art at, Liga de Arte of Old San Juan, School of Plastic Arts of Puerto Rico, San Juan, Atelier of the Mosaic of Puerto Rico, Puerto Rican Athenaeum, Universite La Sorbonne, Paris, France, The Alliance Francaise of Puerto Rico, New York Institute of Art and Design, Philippines Diliman College of Fine Arts.  He is raising a niece with Autism who participates in our programs.  Carlos has made organic soaps.

$10 + shipping $5 (or can be picked up to avoid shipping cost)

Will Ship

 

Booth 5: Christen Downs

Christen was a student of Lori Kissinger’s 4 years ago.  When a request went out on Facebook for items for the Kringle Jingle, Christen was one of the first to respond.  Even though she was nearing the end of a semester and preparing for graduation, Christen said she wanted to be part of this project and support our programs.

$10 Each

Pick Up Required

Booth 6:  Bailey Earith

Bailey is a former Occupational Therapist. She has engaged in a variety of art forms all her life.  Her creativity bloomed when she discovered fibers.  Bailey enjoys creating fabric art that has visual and/or actual textural elements. She is an East TN artist that has been part of BAT’s school residencies since the inception of our organization 20 years ago. She is offering 5 Introductory “Stress Management through Mandala Drawing” sessions via Zoom.

$20 per session

5 available

Will email certificate for a class to you

 

Booth 7:  Ann Fife

Ann became a Facebook friend with Lori Kissinger due to a love of history and a connection of pioneer ancestors. Ann is an excellent cook and makes numerous handcrafted items. She has provided a Handwoven table runner towel with handmade hanger and handmade dish cloth

$15 for the table runner and $15 for the hanger with dish cloth

Will Ship

 

Booth 8: Guy Gilchrist

Guy Gilchrist has been a friend to Borderless Arts TN for many years.  He was honored by the organization a few years ago for his contributions to Borderless Arts and to the arts in general. World-renowned illustrator, author, comic strip artist, and songwriter, Guy Gilchrist is best known as Jim Henson’s cartoonist.  He created the “Muppets” comic strip (printed worldwide in 660-plus newspapers daily from 1981 to 1986), and was instrumental in Henson’s “Fraggle Rock,” and the creation of “The Muppet Babies.” Some of his iconic Muppets artwork was enshrined in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. and his work was declared a National Treasure in 1984 by First Lady, Nancy Reagan. Throughout the years, Guy Gilchrist has set his hand to some of the most beloved, high-profile cartoons, such as “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” “Looney Tunes,” “Tom & Jerry,” “Tiny Toons,” “The Pink Panther,” “Minnie Mouse,” and others.

All Pieces are Signed

$20 per piece +  shipping $5 (or can be picked up to avoid shipping cost)

Will ship to you

Booth 9: Sylvia Goodman

Sylvia Goodman, from Evansville IN, is the mother of BAT Director Lori Kissinger.  Mrs. Goodman is a first generation American to a German immigrant father who was a note musician in Germany and that came to the United States shortly before WWII.  He served as a Toolmaker for the US Forces during WWII.  Mrs. Goodman is a widow of 22 years to John Goodman who died at the age of 60 to cancer.  At 81-years of age and having leukemia, Mrs. Goodman still works tirelessly on her farm in KY and spends much of her time devoted to her church, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod.  She is offering some of her collectibles for this sale.

                                                                                                   

$20 per doll

Pick up arrangements required

Cades Cove Series

Each comes with box and story

$30 each

Pickup required

 

Booth 10: Hatch Showprint

A Longtime partner of Borderless Arts TN. Hatch Show Print, a working letterpress print shop since 1879, uses its vast collection of vintage type and hand-carved imagery to create timeless designs that express and commemorate America’s evolving cultural identity.

Posters $10 Each + shipping $5 (or can be picked up to avoid shipping cost)

Will ship to you.

 

Booth 11: Hope McKee

As an artist with a disability, Hope strives to showcase we are all differently-abled, doing her part to change the world.  She works in a variety of media (painting, collage, mixed media, and drawing) with a special emphasis in comic book art.  She is currently working on a graphic novel trilogy.   Hope is involved in Borderless Arts Tennessee and has participated in multiple workshops ranging from glass art to ink brush, from collage to ceramics.  In April 2018, she traveled with part of the group to represent the United States at the Awladna International Forum for Arts of the Gifted in Cairo, Egypt.  She was one of the artists who created the costumes that were used in the performance.  Hope won an Honorable Mention in “Finding your Inner MozArt Contest” that was part of the Mozart and the Mind Event in San Diego. Most recently, Hope was part of the Adventure Exhibit at Chromatics Gallery as well as the Tomato Art Festival in Nashville, TN.

Necklaces $15 each or 2 for $25

Will ship to you

 

Booth 12: Erica McMurray and Torie Summers

Erica McMurray and Torie Summers are both part of the Teapot Diplomat program and the Borderless Dance Community program.  The two worked together taking photographs, a skill they learned in one of the Teapot Diplomat workshops, and have made note cards with envelopes.

10 sets of cards regular sized cards and 3 sets of long cards.  Each set has 5 unique cards.  Envelopes included

$10 per set

Will Ship to you

 

Booth 13 Erica McMurray

Erica McMurray is a Navy Veteran who served honorably until a traumatic brain injury which erased all of her memories prior to the injury.  Erica has become very involved in the Borderless Arts programs.  She participates in the Teapot Diplomats, loves theater and engages in any theater project offered and is a dancer in the Borderless Arts Community program.

Matted sketches $20 each + shipping $5 (or can be picked up to avoid shipping cost)

 

Booth 14: Eleanor Nold

Eleanor, of Evansville IN, is the great-aunt of BAT Director Lori Kissinger.  Mrs. Nold is a well-respected quilter who has won numerous awards as well as taught the skill.  Mrs. Nold has offered some of her handmade purses.

1 large is 8” x 6 ½”    2 medium 6 ½” x 5” and  2 small 5 ½” x 4 ½”

Will ship to you

$12 large; $10 Medium, $8 small

 

Booth 15: Maggie Perry

Maggie Perry is involved in all of the Borderless Arts activities including Teapot Diplomats, acting, the Borderless Dance Community and the Young Soloist Music program.  However, it is music and acting in which Maggie specializes.

Maggie has sung and played the piano at venues throughout Middle Tennessee and beyond, including restaurants, churches, theatrical productions, shopping centers, parks, fairs, and several Borderless Arts events. She also sang in the Nashville Children’s Choir for seven years, and she has sung with her church choir for six years. She has had the opportunity to perform in an entertainment showcase in Los Angeles as well as in an international choral festival in Costa Rica. Maggie has also appeared in several music videos, including four she produced with Ann and Randy Dorman. For each of these videos, she created the story, designed the set, and appeared as the star singer. In addition, Maggie released her first CD of Christian songs this year, and she was interviewed by media producer, Pepper Jay. The interview, her bio, and other materials appeared as a feature article in the Sidebeat Music online magazine. She won 2nd place in this year’s Borderless Arts Young Soloist competition

$20 per piece with the exception of the Nativity Scene

$35 for the Nativity Scene

Pick up arrangements required

 

Booth 16: Jon Pfeiffer

Jon is new to the Teapot Diplomat program.  He has been a very active member since joining.  He is a young adult with Autism.

Macrame wall hangings $20 each

Pick Up arrangements required

$5 per plate + shipping $5 (or can be picked up to avoid shipping cost)

Booth 17: Rainbow Mosho

We know her a Thomais, but she has her own little business where she is known as Rainbow Mosho.  Rainbow Mosho is a 12 year old artist with autism.

A variety of experiences and realities inspired Rainbow to immerse herself in her art – a clear attempt to reaffirm her role in life. She becomes an elephant, she dreams of unicorns, she is enjoying Dolly and Elvis… and they all had to be drawn.  She is now in the process of publishing a book. Find her on FB and IG = @RainbowMosho

3 sets of 3 cards 6×6 prints of the card set with the bees  $15 a set

1 set of 3 cards 8.5 x 8.5 of the card set with the angel  $15 a set

1 Large T-shirt   $20

1 mermaid poster $15

Will Ship

 

Booth 18: Torie Summers

Torie is a founding member of the Teapot Diplomat Visual Arts program of Borderless Arts TN.  She is also known as the peacemaker, hospitality person and teacher. She is always welcoming of all new members to the group and it is very important to her that each person feels valued and included.  Torie’s bracelets are made of beads and hand rolled paper.

$10 Each

Will ship to you

Booth 19: Morgan Vice

Artist – Songwriter – Event Planner Morgan Vice is a young woman on the autism spectrum. She was diagnosed at age three. When she was young, she had very little functional language. Over the years, she has developed a unique unfiltered way of stating what’s on her mind. She also enjoys painting and writing songs with her mom about her favorite things. She is always looking forward to the next big thing, and enjoys adding upcoming events to her calendar. Morgan’s piece of art was selected to represent TN in the Pieces of Peace project.

There are 2 packets of 8 cards with envelopes showcases Morgan’s Art Messy Flag. $20 each/ will ship

Book written with her mother/$15 will ship

Booth 20: Pam Walrond

Custom Designs by Pam 615-631-2218 www.customdesignbypam.com. Sewing, alterations, embroidery and light upholstery is provided. Pick-up and delivery to Sumner county available. Pam is a mother of a Teapot Diplomat.

$15 for a set
Will ship

 

 

 

 

 

Latest News

Hear the Fashion Chokers

Hear the Fashion Chokers

Another great Teapot Diplomat workshop for Borderless Arts in the Hear the Fashion workshop. Today we made Native American chokers with Carlos Calderon. This project teaches participants how to make fashion that represents cultures from all over the world. The...

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