Photographer who "gave voice" to her son; potter who helped found Tennessee Craft, are January artists

Photographer who "gave voice" to her son; potter who helped found Tennessee Craft, are January artists

ABOVE: Blue Heron by photographer Jen Vogus. // SUBMITTED


Each month, The Friends of the Brentwood Library (FOBL) host the work of local artists at the John P. Holt Brentwood Library.

The exhibits remain up for the entire month, and the public is invited to view the artists’ work during library hours, free of charge. Exhibits are displayed in two areas:
hanging work is displayed on the Gallery Wall, while the Showcase Display is for more three-dimensional work.

The January Gallery will feature photography from the latest collection of Brentwood resident Jen Vogus, while the January Showcases will display the functional and decorative pottery of Lewis Snyder of Murfreesboro. Art is available for purchase.

January Gallery Artist:

Photographer Jen Vogus became passionate about photography several years ago when she began taking pictures of her son, Aidan.

He has a rare genetic condition that leaves him with intellectual and physical challenges and, because of this, is almost completely non-verbal. Vogus photographed the things he was doing and what he enjoyed so he could share this information with peers and teachers at school. It gave him a voice; sharing his interests and helping others realize all that he was capable of doing.

The power of these photographs made clear to her their value as a tool for communication, advocacy, and empowerment; photography has been a true passion for her ever since.

“It is increasingly evident to me that the art and craft of photography is incredibly impactful in the variety of ways that it can serve as a vehicle to ‘do good’ for individuals and the community,” Vogus says. “Ultimately, I strive to use my work to make a tangible contribution in this way.”

Vogus’ photography has won numerous awards, and she teaches and lectures on photography as a way to amplify the voices of people with disabilities.

The work on display on the library’s Gallery Wall is from Vogus’ latest collection, “Saturday Morning Run,” taken over the course of 2017 on her weekend runs. She describes this collection as the intersection of three of her passions — photography, running, and being outdoors — and says that it is “less of a documentation of each run but more of a reflection on things that I notice and appreciate.”

To learn more about Jen Vogus and see more of her work, visit her website:

brentwood library
An urn from Lewis Snyder of Studio S Pottery. // SUBMITTED
brentwood library
Pottery by Lewis Snyder. The pieces are available for purchase. // SUBMITTED

January Showcase Artist:

Potter Lewis Snyder was born in Jackson County, West Virginia and joined the Navy at 17, serving four years in the Air Division. After leaving the service in 1958, he majored in political science at Glenville State College in West Virginia. While there, he took an elective art class, and that’s when he realized what he wanted to do — so he took every art class the college offered.

Snyder subsequently earned an MFA from Ohio University in clay and sculpture.

An opportunity followed to start the three-dimensional program with the Department of Art at Middle Tennessee State College (MTSC), so he moved to Murfreesboro in 1962 with his family. After moving to Tennessee, Snyder was instrumental in founding the statewide Tennessee Association of Craft Artists, now Tennessee Craft, a statewide non-profit organization that supports Tennessee’s Craft Heritage through workshops, lectures, fairs and other events held across the state.
In the early 1970s he was instrumental in researching, proposing, and securing funding for the construction and establishment of the Appalachian Center for Craft, located in Smithville, Tenn. Snyder started the Tennessee State Crafts Fair that takes place annually in Nashville, and he also co-founded the Stone Rivers Crafts Association in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

His work is held in museum collections around the world, including the White House Collection, which holds pieces made for Presidents Carter, Nixon, Reagan, George HW Bush, and Clinton.

Says Snyder, “At one time or another I have worked with most every art and craft discipline. However, my major emphasis has been ‘clay’ of all kinds.” This includes high-fire and low-fire reduction, architectural terra cotta, pit/primitive fire, raku, and welded metal. The techniques used in his art consists of wheel-throwing, hand-building, modeling and molding, extrusion, construction, and the fabrication of terra cotta. “As a working artist I am influenced by the environment and my love for nature, particularly the landscape,” he says. “I find beauty and inspiration most everywhere, even at the city dump. Designs, colors, shapes, textures, and forms found in such places are factors which affect the way I use my materials and the solutions I achieve; whether it be functional clay, decorative forms, murals, sculpture, or welded metal.”

For more information on Lewis Snyder, visit his website:


If you are an artist interested in exhibiting at The John P. Holt Brentwood Library, contact the Friends of Brentwood Library Art Chair, Jeannine Owens, at The John P. Holt Brentwood Library is located at 8109 Concord Road.

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