The Union County Arts Council (UCAC) was originally birthed within the Chamber of Commerce, started by Julie Graham and Cindy Taylor with the first Art in the Park event held at Paulette Elementary School soon after its construction. Today’s board consists of President Carol Pratt, local artist Betty Bullen, Randy Turner, Eric and Gloria Holcomb, and Susan Boone. The council operates as a 501c3 organization and has successfully applied for and received grants for Arts, Culture, and Humanities.
I recently spoke to Preservation Union County board member Betty Bullen to learn more about the nonprofit organization and what it does for Union County.
Preservation Union County currently operates under the Knox Heritage umbrella, Knox Heritage having received a grant from National Historic Preservation to do outreach work with the 16 surrounding counties and creating the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance.
Robbie Corum and Betty Bullen will serve as ambassadors for Union County Business & Professional Association after being named Man and Woman of 2020. Both are outstanding representatives of the UCB&PA's motto of “Growth Through Giving.” Both also have a history of servant leadership and connecting various organizations to help Union County and surrounding counties of East Tennessee prosper.
Art makes our lives better. Art entertains us. Art heightens our self-awareness and our awareness of others. It helps us perceive complexity as pleasure and possibility not as irritating and uncertainty. Art records history and exemplifies past civilizations. Art has also been known to become a vice you can't let go of. I discovered this vice as a child and re-discovered it about 20-years ago doing decorative painting with acrylic paints and then falling in love with oil paints. Since then, I have been blessed to study with some of the finest artist in the United States.
When the bell rang at Oak Grove School Sept. 30, a hush fell over the assembled crowd, not students this time but a community of volunteers, sponsors and well-wishers celebrating the grand opening of the renovated building.
“We’re going to ring the bell and take up books,” said Preservation Union County board member Betty Bullen. “Who remembers hearing that in a school like this?”
The Union County Heritage Festival announces its 2017 collectible print "Coming Home". Keeping with this year's Festival theme, "Come Here Come Home", Artist Betty Bullen has delivered an emotional picture of a veteran returning home from service to Union County. Betty says she gathered inspiration for the painting from numerous sources, including an episode of Bill Landry's Heartland Series where Landry interviews a Sharps Chapel Farm boy who returned home to Union County from service in WW II.