Knoxville speaks to Jenna Hancock.

Whether she's driving the kudzu-draped back roads of her native South Knoxville or trolling for retro fashions at a secondhand store, Hancock hears the unique accents and speech patterns of her East Tennessee family and neighbors. She collects the words and phrases like found objects to include in her distinctly colorful, pop-meets-folk art portraits that have been shown at Rala and Bliss Home in Market Square.

On canvas, Hancock casts Knoxville icons like Cas Walker, J. Bazzel and Lady Mull, as well as lesser-known, everyday folks, as celebrities of a sort -quotable, whimsical, and wholly their own individuals.

Her embrace of Knoxville's quirks includes a gentle tease, but her love is absolutely sincere. She finds a lot about her hometown to rejoice and laugh with, never at.

As an art student at the University of Tennessee, Hancock was asked where she would go after graduation. Would she seek her inspiration where so many other artists have in New York City, Chicago or other booming metropolis?

She says Knoxville holds as much fascination for her as any place on Earth and that she discovers something new worth hearing, worth painting, worth celebrating every day.

This is Jenna's Knoxville.

You can find out more about Jenna Hancock on her Facebook page

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