published Sunday, December 4th, 2011

Town Talk

"Nothing was ever so unfamiliar and startling to me as my own thoughts." -- Henry David Thoreau


THE OPENING reception of the Rittenhaus to Rittenhouse exhibit, a collection of work spanning the life of artist Robert E. Rittenhouse, will be Dec. 8 from 5-8 p.m. at Shuptrine's Gold Leaf Designs at 2646 Broad Street.

Rittenhouse wasn't formally trained, but avidly pursued independent study of art history from Old European Masters through American Contemporary and Modern Art, event spokeswoman Grace Reynolds said in a news release.

"In February 2002, he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The prognosis of ALS is two to five years, but Rob suffered and fought only a few months. He passed in July 2002," the information noted.

Reynolds said the reception will feature a gallery discussion with Rittenhouse's physician, Dr. Mukta Panda, at 6:15 p.m., who will talk about her work with the artist.

For more information, call Bonny Shuptrine at 266-4453.


THE CHATTANOOGA Public Library held a workshop featuring New York pop artist Michael Albert.

The workshop was for families with children ages 5 and older, said library spokeswoman Andria Davis. The workshop introduced youngsters to pop art.

Albert, who lives in New York City, visited Chattanooga after conducting school workshops in Dalton, Ga., Davis said. The artist had received a grant to work with students in the North Georgia community, Davis said.

"We hope to have him back in the spring for a tween/teen program," she said.

Albert donated signed copies of his poster art to the library. To see the artist's work, visit


AT 89 YEARS OLD, McCallie School handbell director Ken Cochrane handed over the bells and his title to Theresa Coker, a handbell performer and instructor for more than 30 years.

According to Jeff Romero, assistant director of communications at McCallie, Cochrane taught music there for 35 years.

"He established the handbell choir during his first year in 1968 while also directing the band and the glee club," Romero said. "He originally retired from McCallie in 1987 but returned to teach handbells in 1995 until this fall."

"Ken has played a large role in nurturing music on our campus," said McCallie headmaster Kirk Walker. "With our deepest gratitude, we salute his impressive contribution to his students and to this school."

Coker served as the school's interim director of handbells during the late 1990s, Romero said. "Her son, Cameron, is a 2003 graduate of McCallie."

"We are extremely fortunate to have an individual with Mrs. Coker's expertise and enthusiasm join our music faculty," Dr. Walker said.

about Karen Nazor Hill...

Feature writer Karen Nazor Hill covers fashion, design, home and gardening, pets, entertainment, human interest features and more. She also is an occasional news reporter and the Town Talk columnist. She previously worked for the Catholic newspaper Tennessee Register and was a reporter at the Chattanooga Free Press from 1985 to 1999, when the newspaper merged with the Chattanooga Times. She won a Society of Professional Journalists Golden Press third-place award in feature writing for ...

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