published Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Noted Chattanooga artist Jane Yelliott dies at 87

Local artist Jane Yelliott, 87, passed away at her home on Sunday.

Yelliott was the oldest member of the In-Town Gallery, which she joined in 1984, and was a signature member of the Tennessee Watercolor Society. Yelliott was a noted contributor to Chattanooga's art history.

A plaque on the Walnut Street Bridge recognizes Yelliott for "enriching Chattanooga with her art." She is responsible for designing and creating the "Parade of Turtles" on the floor of the shallow pool at the Tennessee Aquarium, and she won the second Chattanooga Masonry competition with "Catfish Fancy," a ceramic scene of cats watching fish on a red brick bench on Market Street near the aquarium.

As an artist, Yelliott was "distinguished" in many forms of media, and produced works in watercolors, oils, pastels and ceramic tiles, said Harriet Chipley, a longtime local artist and friend of Yelliott.

"It seemed to me that she was unafraid to tackle any creative project," Chipley said.

The Smithsonian also commissioned Yelliott's work for its "Think Tank Exhibit" at the National Zoo, a life-size painting of a cow on plywood she created with her husband, Finch.

Yelliott, who was born Feb. 23, 1926, in Augusta, Ga., and moved to Chattanooga in 1950, is survived by her daughter, Susan Batten, her son, Grant Yelliott, and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

"She was a special friend, and Chattanooga will miss her talents," Chipley said.

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