Here are some of the artists we are proud to work with.
Charles Douglas Mundy
Doug grew up in Nashville. He got his engineering degree from UTK and moved to Chattanooga. He pursued his career and married a Red Bank schoolteacher. After 12 years of living the dream, his wife and mother both passed away suddenly from natural causes. Unfortunately, his subsequent traffic offenses landed him in jail. His pro-active textbook studies and pencil sketch artwork aid him in his recovery and his hope for a successful future.
Christopher Croy is a homeless father in Chattanooga. He has Cone Dystrophy which results in him being leagally blind. He also suffers from high-functioning Autism. He has been doing art as long as he can remember and used to watch his grandmother draw, crochet, and sew. By middle school the art teacher noticed his talents and tried to encourage his passion. However, once the Autism kicked in during high school, he lacked focus and the art was shelved. After moving to Chattanooga to be nearer his son, Christopher was introduced to H*Art and has found his passion for art again.
Christopher Tang is a Chattanooga native. He feels that photography is something for him to focus on and keep himself busy. Chris sees the photographic field of view as a canvas where he can put strokes. He finds inspiration in Van Gogh and Rembrandt. Chris is a regular at the H*Art Gallery’s outreach classes as well as our open gallery hours on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Chris shares that the H*Art Gallery provides a place for him to work on his social skills.
Christopher Brown is a self-taught artist, tattooist, and poet from Washington, DC. He has been drawing since the age of six. Through trials and tribulations of life, he put down his pencil and was pulled into the street life at the age of twelve. Always an artist at heart, he grew up making clothes, airbrushing jeans, and cutting hair. While living the street life and all that comes with it, Christopher made some bad decisions that led him to prison. While in prison with time on his hands, he picked back up his first love: his pencil. Upon re-entering society, he kept drawing in his spare time, as it is like meditation, or Zen to him. He moved to Memphis after the death of his mother because he felt her spirit here. Christopher has been homeless for a little over a year, since he moved back to Memphis. Christopher says that the Hart Gallery gave him the motivation to finally do more work and follow his heart.
Coy Quinn was born in Cook County, Illinois and grew up in Speedway, Indiana. He currently resides in Rossville, Georgia with his wife, son, and other family. He came to H*Art Gallery through Maclellan Shelter For Families after a bad car accident caused his family some serious financial struggle. He is a self-taught painter, who learned much of his skill set from watching Bob Ross instructional videos. He loves nature and being in the outdoors, which is reflected in what he paints. He particularly enjoys creating landscapes using a wet-on-wet painting technique. He feels that painting came naturally to him, and creating art helps him to cope with any struggles that he deals with. When he isn’t creating art or working, he enjoys spending time with his family.
Crystina Taylor moved to Chattanooga from Texas less than 1 year ago, leaving an abusive relationship behind. She wants to be part of the art community here, and feels strongly that art is an important cornerstone to a flourishing society. She is self-taught but has been creative since she was young. She loves writing her own music, in addition to creating jewelry, doing web design and dabbling in other mediums. Crystina has struggled with addiction issues for most of her life which relate to her mental health issues, including Bipolar Disorder and feelings of abuse and abandonment. She met her husband, Stephen, a Vietnam Veteran, at the Community Kitchen, and their whirlwind romance lead to an unexpectedly quick marriage. They feel that God has placed them together and are trying to grow together spiritually, while trying to establish a better life for themsleves, despite their mutual struggles. One day, Crystina would like to have have her own jewelry line, perhaps incorporporating her love of re-purposed and found objects. She likes the idea of her art having a positive impact on others and placing emphasis on self-respect.
Cynthia Ann Barber was born in Jacksonville, Florida but has lived in Fort Oglethorpe for the last twenty years. She is coping with schizophrenia, a developmental disability, and is a cancer survivor- having been in remission since 2012. Cynthia sometimes experiences moments of depression during hard times in her life. When she begins to feel depressed she turns to art to lift herself up. She has been drawing for forty years and art is a big part of her life. For as long as she can remember she has always wanted to be an artist.
Darrell Strickland "Dyesheekee"
Darrell was born in Tifton, Georgia. He became interested in art at a young age and realized he had a love of art from his first experiences in elementary art classes. He is a musician as well as a visual artists and a lot of his work reflects his love of music. He is currently living out of the homeless shelter and wants to create and sell art so he can support himself and give others hope that they can do the same.
Darron R. DeSantis
Darron R. DeSantis, a two year resident of Chattanooga, is originally from Keene , New Hampshire and spent four years in Kennebunk, Maine. He received a Bachelors degree in Art Education from Plymouth State University and studied at Savannah College of Art and Design. Darron taught in public preschools and elementary schools in New England for 14 years. In 2010, after being unlawfully terminated from employment, he had to sleep in his SUV in freezing temperatures (nearly suffering frostbite three times) due to lack of space in the homeless shelters. After his SUV and all of his possessions were towed and unable to be recovered, he was homeless and jobless for the first time in his life in Maine and for one year in Tennessee. Mr. DeSantis is now a member of AIM Center and receiving treatment for bipolar disorder. He finds great solace in painting with watercolor.