By Tess Steele
For the average Sewanee student, seldom a week will pass without the occasional Stirling’s visit. Most students already notice the art exhibits Stirling’s proudly displays. With a change of season, there is a refreshing new exhibit, Tire Swing Junction, highlighting this area’s natural beauty, just in time for students to enjoy the outdoors themselves.
Tire Swing Junction’s photographer, Kim Stavey, is excited to share her work in her first public exhibit. Stavey, not being a photographer, was working at Blue Monarch, a recovery and rebuilding center for women and children suffering from domestic violence, addiction, and poverty. While her work at Blue Monarch was rewarding, the emotional stress of dealing with such intense trauma had left Stavey in need of therapy of her own. “I needed a reminder that the world was beautiful. I needed to remember to stay positive and focus my energy in a positive direction, finding balance,” shared Stavey. She started taking pictures leisurely with her iPhone 4, all within 20 miles of the Sewanee area. As her hobby grew, the supportive feedback from her friends, as well as words of encouragement from her daughter, led Stavey to consider doing a show. Once Stavey decided to show, she had to consider her work in a new light. What had been an emotional release for her was now artwork for others to see. “When I was asked “are you an artist?” I didn’t know the answer,” she exclaimed. Having never taken on the year-long project with the intent of making an exhibit out of it, the whole process was very strange for her. “I took forever to write an artist statement, and to be in a room surrounded by your own work is really bizarre.” Tire Swing Junction will be on display well into summer, with new photos cycling in, so the show will always have new pictures to offer. While Stavey may still be new to photography, her works are enchanting and radiate rural charm, making the exhibit a perfect fit for Sewanee.