Posted by: Rachelle Siegrist | October 19, 2014

Enjoying a Visit With My Parents!

A Fun Week With My Parents!”

By Rachelle Siegrist

fall homcoming at the museum of appalachia

Dad, me and Mom at the Museum of Appalachia

After almost 3 weeks of blue skies and sunshine, it started raining 2 days before my parents arrived from Florida last Sunday, and rained daily until what was supposed to be their last day here, when amazingly the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shone down, showcasing brilliant blue skies above! With squinted eyes, one couldn’t help admiring and looking at the great ball of fire in the sky! However, the juicy weather didn’t hinder us from having fun together. Last Monday morning, we headed to the Museum of Appalachia, where we spent much of the day. Firstly we enjoyed a delicious lunch at the restaurant located inside the museum, featuring yummy Southern style food. With a tantalizing list of things to choose from, one couldn’t go wrong! We enjoyed everything we ate, especially the sweet potato casserole and shared piece of carrot cake, which was scrumptious, and the best I’ve ever eaten at a restaurant! Moreover, we enjoyed the group of people gathered and seated in a circle inside an adjacent area, playing lap and hammer dulcimers, creating a truly memorable experience!

larry davis at museum of appalachiaDad makes a new friend

rachelle siegrist by Tom Cassies cabin

Mom and me by Tom Cassie’s one room cabin

With happy tummies, we started our journey back in time, when Appalachia was void of paved roads, cell towers, and many of the other modern conveniences, which tend to ruin and clutter the natural world, and many times, our personal lives! We visited the two large, indoor museums and were delighted to enjoy bluegrass music, played by a talented family of six, while exploring the largest museum, the Appalachian Hall of Fame. Leaving the indoor museum, we walked along a curved path while stopping to visit an assortment of historical cabins, barns and small outbuildings rescued from a 200-mile radius around the museum. Walking into the old cabins, filled with the scent of old wood, offered a glimpse back to a time and place, when much of a family’s life was spent just trying to survive. I must say a highlight of our visit to the museum for me, was of course petting the resident horse and mules, as well as watching the sheep and goats, especially the adorable babies!

rachelle siegrist huggin a horseI was delighted to get several hugs from my new furry friend!

larry davis in museum of appalachia jail cellDad “serves time” in a historic, moveable  jail cell at the museum

With a morning free of rain on Wednesday, we decided to take advantage of it, with a picnic at nearby Metcalf Bottoms, where we ate accompanied by the sounds of the adjacent, rushing river! We spent the afternoon driving the narrow, winding, Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. The narrow paved trail, snaking its way through dense woods, invites you to slow down and take time to enjoy the forest and historic cabins located along the drive. After visiting almost every cabin along the way, we were treated to a splendid finale along our journey, that being a “Wet weather waterfall” called the Place of a Thousand Drips! We then enjoyed a relaxing drive to Cosby, TN, where we went to Carver’s Orchard. As we walked into the large, old building, the deliciously intoxicating aroma of fresh apples filled the air! Several bags of apples and squash later, we headed back to Townsend, where we feasted on a yummy pizza at Pizza Hut!

ephraim bales cabin at roaring fork

Me, Dad and Mom beside Ephraim Bale’s historic cabin located inside Roaring Fork

tub mill inside roaring fork motor trail

Dad and me beside a tub mill

rachelle siegrist with cabin in roaring fork motor trail

Mom and me beside a house for little people

stream inside roaring fork motor trail

I decided that this large rock looked like a big turtle trying to swim upstream . . . and the turbulent water made it appear as if it were blowing bubbles out of its nose!

Thursday we visited the Cades Cove Museum located inside the Thompson-Brown House in nearby Maryville. The historical cabin is filled with interesting relics and stories from people who lived inside Cades Cove, before leaving their homes, so it could become a National Park. The volunteer was most informative, and we left with a greater appreciation of the history of the beautiful cove! Thankfully, the seemingly never-ending rains, stopped Thursday night, and we awoke to a gorgeous sunshine-filled day Friday morning! With a picnic lunch packed, we headed into Cades Cove, to spend the glorious fall day! After a picnic lunch, we walked up to Gregory’s cave, where we listened to several turkeys nearby clucking to each other. When they stopped I would make clucking noise, which they would immediately answer!

rachelle siegrist by gregory's caveDad and me at the mouth of Gregory’s Cave

The remainder of the afternoon was spent enjoying visiting a few of the cabins and walking through the open sun drenched fields to a couple of small cemeteries. Of course no trip to Cades Cove is complete, unless we stop to watch and pet the resident horses and mules! Upon returning home, my poor mom decided that what we thought was a sprained muscle, was most likely a broken foot, which happened when she twisted it on a rock buried under the leaves, while hiking to the cave earlier that day. So after a memorable trip to the ER, our worst fear was confirmed, and it was indeed a broken bone in her foot, ending in a soft cast being put onto her foot! Thankfully the ER staff was extremely friendly, helpful and most entertaining as well!

picnicing at metcalf bottomsEnjoying a picnic at Metcalf Bottoms inside the Smokies

Needless to say, they had to postpone their return trip home by a day. So while my mom took a much needed nap yesterday, my dad and I hiked to Spruce Flats Falls, to enjoy both the beautiful fall foliage and the raging falls, thanks to the recent rain! It was as splendid as always, water crashing down, completely surrounded by bright yellow and orange foliage! Dad and I stayed there awhile, completely mesmerized while watching the multi-colored leaves floating along and plummeting over the smaller cascades. Then all of a sudden a strong wind came, and within seconds, the air was full of swirling, descending, bright yellow leaves, creating a stunning 3-dimensional effect to the gorgeous setting! After several stops along the hike back, to admire the view and for me to pet the moss, we found ourselves back at the trailhead once more. While eating our supper last evening, we decided that we had indeed made many memories during their visit. Thankfully all but one, were wonderful ones!

fall in cades coveDad, a barefooted me, and Kit enjoying a walk through a grassy fiend in Cades Cove

rachelle siegrist with mule in cades cove

Dad takes photos while I pet and talk to the mule

~ ————— ( ) ————— ~

~ The latest paintings off of the Siegrists’ Easels ~

Wes recently finished a miniature painting of a Mule Deer near our friends’ home in Colorado.  His other recently completed paintings from last week can be seen on the mammals page on our website

mule deer painting by Wes_SiegristLil’ Mulie ” by Wes

Follow us on Facebook!
Until next time . . .
~ Rachelle

Posted by: Rachelle Siegrist | October 8, 2014

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams! A Historic Ongoing Tour of Paintings

A History-making Tour of Miniature Paintings by Wes Siegrist

Artists dream of their work being seen outside of family and aspire to participate in public shows. Juried exhibitions and galleries are considered a step up that ladder to success. Inclusion into anything inside museums carries an added aura of success that might culminate into the dream of one day walking into a museum and seeing one’s own work filling an exhibition hall. Few artists achieve this while they’re living and even less do it while they are young in both years and career. It happened to us! We knew we had made history. To our knowledge, only a few living miniature painters had ever been featured in a solo museum exhibition and none to the scale achieved for us by our tour director. That momentous start, back in 2010, exploded into the most successful touring exhibition of miniature paintings by living artists in history and it’s still going and growing!

The Siegrists with Dr. David J. Wagner, EXQUISITE MINIATURES Tour Director

The Siegrists with Dr. David J. Wagner, EXQUISITE MINIATURES Tour Director

In the summer of 2008, we were asked by Dr. David J. Wagner to consider allowing him to exhibit our miniature paintings in museums. Knowing Dave’s reputation and success with other artists we enthusiastically said yes! We knew from the start, that it would likely be years before something was scheduled, if at all, so we set ourselves in for the long haul. We were surprised when Dave called mere weeks later. One of the nation’s top museums with collections of historic miniature paintings had requested our show! We were scheduled to premiere at the R. W. Norton Art Gallery in Shreveport, LA in July of 2010. It had been 25 years since the Norton staged their last exhibition pertaining to miniature painting, Portrait Miniatures in Early American History, 1750-1840. They felt it was time to do another one featuring modern American miniaturists who had been featured in a variety of group exhibitions at the Norton over the years . . . the Siegrists!

While we were still floating on cloud nine, Dave called with more news. The West Baton Rouge Museum was also interested in our work. Would we be able to stage a second concurrent exhibition of 50 more paintings? Borrowing back nearly 50 paintings from collectors to augment our available work to comprise the varied content of the exhibitions was a herculean task. It paled only slightly in comparison to the mountain of logistics associated with putting 100 paintings on exhibit! Floating in the stratosphere now with two solo museum exhibitions on the horizon, Dave pushed us into space with the news that the works in Baton Rouge, LA would be going on tour!

The Siegrists: Staging a museum exhibition involves a lot of paperwork!

Staging a museum exhibition involves a lot of paperwork!

Presentations, lectures and workshops at venues on the Siegrists' Exquisite Miniatures Tour

Presentations, lectures and workshops at venues on the Siegrists’ Exquisite Miniatures Tour

To date, EXQUISITE MINIATURES BY WES & RACHELLE SIEGRIST includes over 200 paintings*, will be displayed 5,588 days in 21 exhibitions at 19 venues and will travel thousands of miles across the country and back to 15 States! … And more venues are pending!

[*Paintings have varied by exhibition]

Exquisite Miniatures Tour Wes and Rachelle Siegrist

Click here to view the EXQUISITE MINIATURES Exhibition overview
(Links to these and more photos, installation images and painting inventories are at the bottom of the page)


May 4 – July 25, 2010
R.W. Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport, LA


May 16 – July 31, 2010
West Baton Rouge Museum, Port Allen, LA


September 4 – November 28, 2010
Rolling Hills Wildlife Adventure, Salina, KS

December 11, 2010 – March 13, 2011
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ

April 16 – May 15, 2011
Dunnegan Gallery of Art, Bolivar, MO

June 10 – August 28, 2011
Museum of the Southwest, Midland, TX

September 17 – October 16, 2011
Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, Yadkinville, NC

November 5 – December 31, 2011
Dennos Museum Center, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI

January 21 – March 21, 2012
San Diego Natural History Museum, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

May 15 – October 13, 2012
Nevada State Museum, Carson City, NV

November 15 – December 21, 2012
Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, Yadkinville, NC

January 10 – March 10, 2013
The ArtCenter Manatee, Bradenton, FL

April 7 – June 2, 2013
Museum of the Gulf Coast, Port Arthur, TX

August 10, 2013 – January 5, 2014
Kenosha Public Museum, Kenosha, WI

February 1, 2014 – April 6, 2014
The Wildlife Experience, Parker, CO

July 12, 2014 – November 7, 2014
Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History, Jamestown, NY

December 1, 2014 – April 15, 2015
Steamboat Art Museum, Steamboat Springs, CO

September 4 – October 30, 2015
Yadkin Cultural Arts Center, Yadkinville, NC

November 4 – December 4, 2016
Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum, Logan, KS

June 4 – September 3, 2017
Stauth Memorial Museum, Montezuma, KS

September 21 – December 21, 2017
Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center, Chadron, NE

EXQUISITE MINIATURES is available for display at art, cultural, and scientific institutions.
For tour and scheduling information, contact:

David J. Wagner, Ph.D.
Curator/Tour Director
David J. Wagner, L.L.C.
Phone: (414) 221-6878

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 69 other followers

%d bloggers like this: