Wednesday, January 4th, 2012
Jean Vestal is an artist whose family connection to the Vestal community goes back to 1901 when her grandfather and his brothers built the Vestal Lumber & Mfg. Company at 529 Maryville Pike. When Trudy Monaco organized a group of local citizens to save and restore the historic Candoro Marble Company building, Jean was happy to serve as a charter member of the Board of Directors. How fitting that one of the founding families of the Vestal community is a painter with strong ties to Vestal.
After growing up and marrying in Knoxville, Jean Vestal took drawing classes with Jim Gray in the Homberg area and began producing decorative oil paintings on wood. Her husband’s career took the young family to art-inspiring destinations…New Orleans—Florence, Italy—then New York. In New Orleans, Jean had the opportunity to show her oil paintings in Jackson Square and to paint stage scenery for her children’s school. Another change in her husband’s work locale afforded her the chance to develop her painting skills in Florence, Italy, where she received instruction at Fortman Studio. Then, the family ultimately settled back in the United States in New York City where Jean studied at the Parsons School of Design and began a career as a design draftsperson with J.C. Penney.
The declining health of Jean’s parents brought her back to the Knoxville area, where she now permanently resides. Jean continues to paint as well as arrange flowers for her church. She was honored as the featured artist at the 2011 VESTIVAL. Jean is currently an Honorary Board Member of the Candoro Arts & Heritage Center which is a cornerstone of the Vestal community.