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Kathryn Rutherford helps preserve the history and ancestory of the Headrick Chapel, Wears Valley, Tennessee through her original fine art Spirit Paintings.

In 2004, Kathryn Rutherford, owner of the Heirloom Art Studio, heard about the preservation needs of The Headrick Chapel, a local historic church in her community of Wears Valley, Tennessee just outside of Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. She immediately approached The Friends of The Headrick Chapel, those in charge of the Chapel's restoration, and proposed a charitable project which would contribute to the restoration fund as well as offer something unique and memorable to the descendants of the Headrick Family and to the history and community of Wears Valley.

The Headrick Chapel, built in 1901 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, required structural work if it was to survive another century. The Friends of Headrick Chapel set a goal to raise $125,000 to complete an immediate repair of the Chapel's roof and bell tower with refinishing of the interior woodwork and pews and additional work to be scheduled at a later date.

Kathryn offered to create a series of four original oil paintings depicting the Headrick Chapel Cemetary grounds as well as the Chapel's interior and exterior. When completed, the original oil paintings would be reproduced as Artist Proofs and Limited Edition Giclee Prints and from the sale of each print, a portion of the funds would be donated to the restoration project. As the Headrick Chapel was located only six miles from the Heirloom Art Studio, this was Kathryn's way of contributing to the preservation of the past and honoring the history and people of the Sevier County community in which she lived.

Daniel & Elizabeth Headrick
The first task in the project was to solicit and record as many ancestral photographs of the Headrick Family, the Elders, Pastors and participants of the Chapel from the last century as could be located. Using these historic photographs, Kathryn created the first two original works of art, "The Gathering at Headrick Chapel" and "Guardians of Headrick Chapel" and included as many of the ancestors into these paintings as could be recreated. The goal for these works was not only to make these first two paintings important as decorative works of art, but, to provide an ancestral portrait of the people who first settled Wears Valley and the individual members of the Headrick Family who were so prominant in the area's history.

"The Gathering at Headrick Chapel"

January 2005, the painting "Guardians of Headrick Chapel" was submitted to the 12th Sevier County Biennial Juried Fine Art Exhibition. The exhibition is a juried, mixed media art show for residents of Sevier County, Tennessee and the purpose of the exhibition is to recognize the skill and talent of the artists and craftspeople living in Sevier County. The event is hosted by the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

"Guardians of Headrick Chapel" was presented the "Best of Show" Award.

Tomi Melson, Executive Director Piedmont Craftsmen, Winston-Salem, N.C. was the single juror for the show. In her Juror's Statement she said "I was so captivated by Kathryn Rutherford's painting entitled "Guardians of Headrick Chapel, Wears Valley Tennessee", by her ability to create a provocative narrative with her technical skill, that I have awarded her an "Award of Distinction".

The sentimentality of the Chapel's old and tattered Bible, which sits on a worn velvet pedestal at the alter, was of particular interest. Just as the artist turned to focus on the back of the Chapel, the bright day's sunlight began to stream through the open back door.

Alone in the quiet, cool darkness of the Chapel, the emergence of light brought a sense of holiness and solemnity to the artist's heart and instantly brought to mind the only phrase possible for the work's title......"I Am The Resurrection And The Light"





The Headrick Chapel and Cemetary honors William, the first inhabitant of the Headrick Chapel Cemetary, who is recorded in the Chapel History to have "left behind a name and a love for music that time has never erased".

The flowers and flag were incorporated into the painting in tribute to William and will now, forever, remain on his gravesite in a lasting work of art.

All four original paintings in the Headrick Chapel series were created in oil. As 2004 was the 102nd year of the Chapel, each painting was reproduced with two Artist Proofs and 100 signed and numbered Limited Edition Giclee prints. Each of the Artists Proofs are signed and have an additional watercolour remarque painting on them hand painted by the artist, Kathryn Rutherford.

For those who are unfamiliar with the term "remarque", it is a small original, hand painted drawing or illustration the artist paints on a print which gives additional value and originality to the one of a kind Artist Proof. There is a different remarque subject matter on each of the four painting's reproductions.

Many Heirloom Art Studio clients expressed great interest in wanting to own all four of the Headrick Chapel prints, but, lamented that they did not have enough room to hang all four prints in their original size. Wishing to meet the needs of our customers, an 11" x 14" open edition, "Collectible Print" of each painting was created and is offered individually or as a set.

As a special bonus, we have prepared the HERITAGE GUIDES which will accompany the purchase of the first two prints in the Chapel Series. The guides give names, dates and/or information about the persons appearing in "The Gathering at Headrick Chapel" and "The Guardians of Headrick Chapel".

This information was gathered while completing the research for the paintings and we wanted to share it with our clients in an attempt to put a name to special people and long remember those who appear in the artwork. The information was either given verbally, appeared in the Chapel History or was written on the original photographs which were supplied by Headrick Family descendants and used in the final paintings.

It is a pleasure to share it with those who purchase the prints and wish to remember either their own ancestors or the historic people who founded and settled Wears Valley, Tennessee.

Prints continue to be shipped throughout the United States as Headrick Family descendents and fine art collectors express interest in owning these magnificent depictions of the past and portraits of ancestral heritage.

Please contact Kathryn Rutherford-Heirloom Art Studio today to make a print purchase that will assist with the ongoing preservation of the Headrick Chapel.


ARTIST PROOF (2)-18"X22" $150.00 with remarque ONE LEFT
COLLECTIBLE PRINT (Unlimited)-11"x14" $25.00



ORIGINAL OIL-20"X24" $1,500.00 Framed
ARTIST PROOF (2)-18"X22" $150.00 with remarque SOLD OUT
COLLECTIBLE PRINT (Unlimited)-11"x14" $25.00


ORIGINAL OIL-20"X24" $1,200.00 Framed
ARTIST PROOF (2)-18"X22" $150.00 with remarque SOLD OUT
COLLECTIBLE PRINT (Unlimited)-11"x14" $25.00



ORIGINAL OIL-20"X24" $1,500.00 Framed
ARTIST PROOF (2)-18"X22" $150.00 with remarque ONE LEFT
COLLECTIBLE PRINT (Unlimited)-11"x14" $25.00


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