published Sunday, December 15th, 2013

The triple Whipple: December exhibition at River Gallery features a family trio of artists

“Vintage Floor Series,” oil on vintage parquet floor, by John Whipple.
“Vintage Floor Series,” oil on vintage parquet floor, by John Whipple.
  • photo
    “Assemblages of Curious Objects: White Body” by Marty Whipple.

IF YOU GO

What: "Triple Whipple," featuring works by John Whipple, Lynn Whipple and Marty Whipple.

When: Through Dec. 31.

Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; 1-5 p.m. Sunday.

Where: River Gallery, 400 E. Second St.

Admission: Free.

Information: 265-5033, ext. 5 or www.river-gallery.com.

THE ARTISTS

• John Whipple is a River Gallery member artist with a whimsical style on oil paintings and mixed media pieces.

• Lynn Whipple is a native Floridian whose mixed media works ranges from collages and found object sculptures to drawing and painting. She is married to John Whipple.

• Marty Whipple studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and specializes in creating "wearable sculptures" from silver, brass and found antique objects.

The artists may be related, but River Gallery's latest exhibit featuring works by John, Lynn and Marty Whipple shows that sharing a name doesn't equate to sharing artistic impulses.

"The work is well-executed, and because it's so well-executed, it leaves you feeling a lot of things," says gallery owner and director Mary Portera of "Triple Whipple," which continues through Dec. 31.

"You feel the seriousness and that there's a message, but you also feel the light and happiness of the pieces," she adds. "There are deeper messages, if one wants to find them, but if not, there's playful, lighthearted, intriguing pieces."

John and Lynn Whipple are married; Marty is John's mother. Each artist has about 10 works on display, running the gamut from John's whimsical oil paintings rendered on pieces of parquet floor and Marty's silver-and-brass antique jewelry to Lynn's mixed media assemblages.

If there's a unifying characteristic to the exhibition, it's that the Whipples find ways to breathe new life into cast off or forgotten objects, says Angie Supan, the gallery's assistant director in charge of sales.

"They all tend to recycle old and make new," Supan says. "They all have a purpose."

River Gallery has a membership of about 150 artists from all over the country, but only a handful are related. The Whipples, all of Florida, have been members of the gallery since 2004.

Although they work independently, the Whipples have always been displayed in family exhibitions at River Gallery. Usually, the gallery keeps their pieces separate, but this time Portera chose to mix the works together, which has been well-received by both visitors and artists, Supan says.

The last "Triple Whipple" exhibition was in 2010, she says. "Customers love it. This is definitely a happening for people to come and see. They've been very responsive to the new work."

Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, young adults, technology and people of interest. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German. He previously worked as the features editor for Sidelines at Middle Tennessee State University. Casey received the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists Award of Excellence for Reviewing/Criticism in ...

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