"Working along the Duck River has opened our eyes even more to the stunning beauty within our state," Andrea Jones of the Chestnut Group.
The Chestnut Group, an alliance of Middle Tennessee landscape artists, will hold an exhibit and sale of their paintings of the Duck River in downtown Columbia to support The Nature Conservancy’s conservation work on the river.
The show will be take place May 18-19, 2012, in the Parish Hall of the historic St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Columbia. The address is 311 West 7th Street, Columbia, TN 38401.
Friday, May 18 - 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 19 - 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no cost to view the exhibit. The paintings celebrate the scenic beauty of this Middle Tennessee treasure, which also happens to be North America’s richest river in varieties of freshwater animal life.
For the Duck River exhibit, plein air artists from the Chestnut Group have spent several months painting outdoors along the Duck River, drawing inspiration from nature. Plein air, a French term meaning “open air,” refers to artists who create their landscape paintings on location.
More than 200 paintings will be on display. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of paintings at the event will support The Nature Conservancy’s Duck River Program. Since the Chestnut Group’s founding in 2001, it has raised over $100,000 to support local environmental causes.
Winding 269 miles through Middle Tennessee, the Duck River is one of the state’s most scenic waterways. It is the sole water source for more than 250,000 Tennesseans, and its water quality is crucial not only for humans but also for the animals and the economy of the region.
Underneath its surface, the Duck River teems with an almost unsurpassed variety of animal life, including 151 species of fish, 55 freshwater mussel species, and many other forms of aquatic life. In fact, the Duck River contains more species of fish than all the rivers of Europe combined and has more species of fish per mile than any other river in North America. In February 2010, National Geographic spotlighted the Duck River as one of the richest areas in varieties of animal life in the world.
Since 1999, The Nature Conservancy’s Duck River Program, which is based in Columbia, has been working with local communities, businesses and government agencies on long-term protection of the river’s water quality and ecological integrity. Initiatives have included stabilization of eroding stream banks, creation of “smart growth” guidelines for developers, and relocation programs for endangered species of mussels.