Mt. Juliet artist wins Wilson County Fair competition

Staff Reports • Updated Aug 25, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Longtime Mt. Juliet artist and businesswoman Jean Conaster won the collectable commemorative print competition. 

Each year, the first-place winners from the previous year’s fair can submit a piece to be used for the new fair print. 

Art has been part of Conatser’s life starting at 5 when her mother entered her drawing of birds into the Mt. Juliet school fair. Conatser, who was raised in Mt. Juliet, received second place because the judge thought she had written down that she was 6, not 5.  The judge said she would have received first place if he had known she was only 5.

She grew up painting, drawing and studying art and entering competitions. She won many awards in Wilson County, including competitions at the People’s Bank, Wilson Bank and Trust and the Wilson County Fair. 

In 1983, she started an art business and taught at her studio for 20 years. She had many students, both adults and children. In 1997, Conaster decided to use her camera to create art and became a professional portrait photographer. She said it was a joy to capture the life of babies, children and families. 

Entering completions when the opportunity arrived, Conaster and her students won several art awards. As a portrait photographer, she joined the Tennessee Professional Photographers, studying photography with them and winning several awards there, as well.  

Still using her camera to capture images to paint and draw from, Conaster decided to create fine art again with oils, pencil and charcoal.  

“I thank God for the ability to create fine art and to love and teach others,” she said. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” 

She is available to start teaching again and may be reached at [email protected].

Each year, the Wilson County Fair has a collectable commemorative print for sale.  

It started eight years ago when the Fine Arts Committee decided to raise money for local youth art scholarships for Wilson County young artists. So far, the committee has given out five youth scholarships to high school and college students studying in Wilson County.  

Prints are available during the fair in the fine arts area and in the General Store in Fiddler’s Grove. Prints are $15 unsigned and $25 signed. Only the first 100 are signed and numbered, and only limited quantities remain.

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