ROGERSVILLE — Tata Andres has been painting and drawing since childhood. At the age of 10, her father gave her a Kodak Brownie™ camera. Her only variable with that camera was composition, so she tends to zero in on her subjects closely.

Living in Hawkins Co. since 1989, she has had wonderful views of Clinch Mountain around her all the time. The constantly changing fog and mesmerizing clouds have been photographed almost daily for years. As Artist of the Month for January, 2020, at the Local Artists Gallery, she has been given an opportunity to display some of those treasured photos of Clinch Mountain for all to enjoy.

Tata studied painting, drawing, art history, printmaking, voice, piano, and Opera Theater at the University of New Orleans from 1978-1982. She was 25 and had sold several paintings before she entered college. The director of Student Activities invited her to use $13,000 that was set aside to provide entertainment for the students.

She was studying music with incredibly talented singers, dancers and musicians so she created a variety show each month featuring her friends at school and the diverse population of performers around the city of New Orleans.

Ellen DeGeneres performed her first comedy routine on the UNO Variety Show stage at age 18. Salsa bands, modern dancers, opera singers and classical pianists were equally enjoyed by all.

Comics within the area began to show up and the mix was so much fun for everyone. She drew all the advertising posters and when the music department found out she was also an artist, she was invited to paint the sets for the upcoming opera.

Tata also initiated and coordinated the Madrigal Dinners at UNO for three years. The students learning food services and hotel management worked with the music department to learn what to cook for the recreation of ancient Madrigal Dinners. Tata performed as the Court Jester along with her dog Arrow. The public loved the event which featured music performance students and chorale as an entertaining king, queen, and court, all singing wonderful ancient songs of Christmas time while feasting at a 50 foot long table!

These days Tata grows 100+ dahlias on a farm in Eidson which she takes to Kingsport Farmers Market during the summer. She has continued to work as a Licensed Massage Therapist in Rogersville at Kyle House Reflexology and Massage Therapy and at The Main Attraction Salon in Morristown.

She is a 1985 graduate of Florida School of Massage in Gainesville, loves helping people and specializes in pain relief.

She lives on 100 acres in Eidson with partner, Bobby Merrithew, a stained glass artist and wood carver, along with horses, dogs, cats and birds. Together they teach stained glass classes several times a year, in Rogersville.

You can meet Tata at the Local Artist Gallery on January 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served at this free event which is open to the public.

Hope to see you there for a wonderful night, with an amazing artist!