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UTM student featured at Braylee's Cottage and Zoo's Young Artists Art Show

By Lyndsay Riggs
On November 20, 2012

Braylee's Cottage & Zoo will be presenting a student art show on Fri., Nov. 30; Sat., Dec. 1 and Sun, Dec. 2.

Braylee's will be celebrating a wide variety of talent among nine students from West Tennessee and Kentucky. The event is free and open to the public with light refreshments being served. People are strongly encouraged to come view and enjoy the great diversity of art, media and talent.

Braylee's Cottage & Zoo is a small shop in downtown Union City, Tenn., that sells a wide variety of stuffed animals and accessories. They also host children's birthday parties and art and craft classes. The shop owners strive to advocate for the arts and all that is art or literary-related-hence, their reason for hosting the regional student art show.

Each distinguished artist has demonstrated and portrayed exceptional talent in his or her own way.

The youngest artist being honored is 7-year-old Emily Brown of HomeLife Academy; she is in the second grade and shows talent in works of mixed media. Cassidy Fleenor also demonstrates talent in mixed media; she is 13 and attends Lamplight Heritage Lyceum, where she is in the seventh grade.

Fourteen-year-old Brady Craddock of HomeLife Academy is being celebrated for his works in mixed media as well; he is in the eighth grade. Halle Camilleri, a 15-year-old sophomore at Veritas Christian Co-op, exhibits skill with photography.

Similarly, Kait Scott, who is a 15-year-old sophomore at A Beka Academy, is talented with photography. Rayanna Fleenor, another 15-year old, demonstrates talent with mixed media; she is a sophomore at Lamplight Heritage Lyceum.

Kelsey Scarbrough, a junior from Scarbrough Christian Academy, also does work with mixed media; she is 16. Brandon Fleenor displays skill in photography; he is an 18-year-old student at the University of Notre Dame, where he is majoring in Executive Certification in Leadership and Management.

Lastly, Cody Speed, from Union City, Tenn., attends UTM where he is a senior majoring in graphic design; he will be portraying his skill with monochromatic inks, sculptures and canvases.

Since he is one of our own fellow students, Cody Speed was asked to describe how he felt about his artwork and about being an artist in general.

He expressed how he found his calling to be that of the cliché "loner artist." Speed also voiced his lack of verbal or physical emotion as a stimulus for his art expressions.

"Most of my inspiration definitely comes from personal experiences. I've never been the one to show much emotion, nor express them verbally, so I lean on art to do that for me. The situations can vary from issues with friends, the feeling of loss, rejection, love and heartache - mostly anything that I would have trouble expressing," Speed said.

Speed works a lot with ink and sharpie pens and has created a series of very original ink pieces, in which much emotion is abstractly conveyed. For him, though, there is even more to it than just the physical aspect.

"I invest a lot in my drawings. To me, they are much more than just ink on paper; they are a part of me... like little glimpses of my life. I sometimes have trouble showing them to other people, because it's a very personal process. I believe art is expression and, for me, a way to communicate," Speed said.

Friday, Nov. 30, is opening night from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The art show will also be available for viewing from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 1, and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 2.

Notecards, notepads and prints of the young artists' artwork, sizes 8x10 and 11x17, will be available for order at the event. The artists will be receiving all proceeds for sales of all products. Prices will vary and payment will be due at the time of order.

Braylee's Cottage & Zoo is located on 306 South 2nd Street in Union City, Tenn. For more information, contact Susie Fleenor at or visit the website at

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