A Bledsoe County young lady is overcoming obstacles to create beautiful paintings. The journey in the art world for 18-year-old Karis Feezell of Pikeville started at a very young age. “I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. I didn’t start seriously painting until four years ago, when I began taking art orders from friends and family as a fundraiser for choir,” said Feezell. “For the longest time, painting was unfamiliar to me so I tried to avoid it as much as possible and kept to drawing. Now, I still draw some, but I have gained a great appreciation for painting and truly enjoy it,” added Feezell.
The obstacle that Feezell has overcome to achieve her art dreams is cerebral palsy. “I have had it all my life. My cognitive and thinking abilities are not at all effected by this, but my body is. I have tremors because of the cerebral palsy along with a birth defect in my hands and feet. I can walk, my feet just turn inwards. My hands are very difficult to use because of the tremors and birth defect,” said Feezell.
But she quickly gives credit for her ability to paint.
“God has shown up in my weakness and made it one of my greatest strengthens. I do not know how I am able to paint, but I can. Something that continues to inspires my desire to paint is the realization that if I stop I will let my weaknesses win. Being the strong-willed person I am, I do not want that to happen. I want to fight it and I do that through art,” said Feezell.
Feezell is originally from Chattanooga and moved to Pikeville four years ago to a farm with her family. “I miss the city from time to time but I enjoy the beauty, peace, and inspiration of living in the country.”
Feezell started a project called Art 2 Free Hearts while she was in high school. The project is to raise awareness for human trafficking and show people how they can rise up against it. Some of the money that Feezell gets from her paintings goes to Blazing Hope Ranch, an organization that provides housing, healing, protection, education and counseling to women who have survived human trafficking. “There is a huge need for more organizations like theirs, so I am trying to help them out as much as I can,” said Feezell. “The art show that just happened in Crossville at GrinderHouse Coffee was done to benefit Blazing Hope Ranch. So many people came and helped and it was very successful.”
To see the incredible art that Feezell has created or learn more about the Art 2 Free Hearts, you can visit her website by going to ashes2beautyartistry.weebly.com