A member of In-Town Gallery since 1984, this versatile artist has displayed her expertise in many mediums over these 28 years. Equally ‘at home’ with watercolors or oils, she has a special affinity for pastel portraits. In the ’90s, Yelliott was introduced to glazing on tiles, and immediately became fascinated with the process.
Her first endeavor in this media was her winning entry in Chattanooga’s Masonry in Public Places competition when she had to execute her designs on bricks instead of tile, fanciful scenes of cats peering at strange creatures inhabiting an aquarium. The bench was erected at Market and Second Streets where it stands today.
Yelliott has received several commercial commissions for large installations. She developed a Parade of Turtles for the pool at the bottom of the canyon for the Tennessee Aquarium, with each turtle sporting a different pattern on its shell, and as the water moves, it gives the illusion of turtles swimming. Her current exhibit displays miniature versions of those original designs, some mounted on wood panels.
Johnson & Wales University, best known for its Culinary Arts programs, in Norfolk, Va., commissioned Yelliott to use her “Cookapelli” motif for several new kitchens being built. These figures are based on the Southwest Indian kokopelli musician and god of fertility. When she gave them a chef’s cap and had them holding various foods instead of flutes these clever innovations became “Cookapellis.”
These unique figures will be available in her exhibit. When Johnson & Wales built its new campus in Charlotte, N.C., they sought out Yelliott to design seven tile wall murals depicting the evolution of food throughout history. They included a caveman roasting a haunch of beef over an open fire, a French bakery shop, and a trio of large blue chefs carrying baskets of live crabs and lobsters.
Since then, the artist has painted many different subjects on her tiles — from flowers, fish, fowl, cats, and dogs, to her newest creations — bold impressionistic nudes which are set into table tops.
The advantage of Yelliott’s tiles is their durability, versatility as decorative wall art and tabletops, and suitability for installation with other tiles, such as backsplashes and countertops. She has experience in many different applications, and incorporated her original designs into her own recently remodeled kitchen. She also created custom tiles for the bottom of a local swimming pool.
In-Town Gallery, founded in 1974, is one of the oldest cooperative galleries in the nation. It presents the original work of more than 30 regional studio artists. Located at 26A Frazier Ave., between the Market Street and Walnut Street bridges, the gallery is open every day year-round. For more information, call 423-267-9214, or visit www.intowngallery.com.