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Using long-leaf pine needles, 12 to 18 inches in length, Sharron Eckert sews them using a coiling technique.

Sharron Eckert has been notified that her long-leaf pine needle piece "Black Six-Pointed Star Mirror" has been juried into the Regional Fine Arts Exhibition, a featured exhibit of the Dogwood Arts Festival, Knoxville. There were over 270 submissions from 96 artists in eight states. Of those entries, 62 pieces from 49 artists were juried into the exhibit. No other artist from Cumberland County was accepted into this exhibit.

Media publicity for the exhibition states that it was "developed to showcase and award the finest artists residing in our region, progressive emerging and professional. Artists exhibit their work in a variety of genres." This year’s exhibition is juried by Dr. Julie Levin Caro, a professor of art history at Warren Wilson College in Asheville, NC. According to festival leaders, "The exhibit promises to be very dynamic."

Eckert learned the pine needle coiling technique from the late Elisabeth McCutcheon and from fourth generation pine needle artist Judy Mofield Mallow. A six-minute video segment can be viewed on the Tennessee Crossroads website, www.tennesseecrossroads.org. At the left, click View Program Archives, Past Episodes, August 2009, search Eckert and scroll down to "Pine Needle Basket Maker."

Another way to see the segment is at www.youtube.com. Search vR8MfDW2PcE then find Tennessee Crossroads Pine Needle Basket Maker 2308-2. The effort is worth the search. Since the segment has been aired, the viewer count is over 27,000, which "is amazing." according to Ken Simington, executive producer of Tennessee Crossroads. Actually, Tennessee Crossroads has re-aired the segment at least three other years.

The exhibit location is at the Emporium Center for the Arts, 100 S. Gay St., Knoxville. The exhibit opens Friday, April 4, and runs through Saturday, April 26. Hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.