Mike Summers

I have lived and worked professionally in the design and illustration field for the past 20 years here in middle Tennessee. Working for Gaylord Entertainment for almost 10 years, my responsibilities included graphic design, architectural design concepts and renderings, concept sketches and illustrations. Other responsibilities included, establishing project budgets, art direction of specific projects, and supervision of contract work with outside artists and vendors.

Some of the more notable projects that I have had the privilege to participate in and be responsible for during my tenure there were the rehabilitation of the Ryman Auditorium, which culminated with a piece of my art being used for a federal postage stamp. The combining of the Minnie Pearl and Roy Acuff Museums with the addition of an instrument collection was a particularly interesting project also.

Several years ago I had the unique opportunity to design and supervise the construction of a play area based on the PBS series “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood”.

Working in conjunction with Fred Rogers and his company, Family Communications, the play area was installed near his hometown of Pittsburg, Penn.

For the last 12 years, I have had the challenge and opportunity to work as an Environmental Graphic Designer for Gresham Smith, an architectural & engineering firm located in Nashville.

In my fine art pursuits, landscape painting was a passion for many years. It wasn’t until an interest in woodcraft prompted enrollment in a workshop at the Appalachian Center for Crafts that a new passion was born. Furniture making combined the discipline of woodcraft with art and sculpture, and became a new creative outlet.

Artist Statement

As illustrator, painter, and graphic designer I have pursued art in a two dimensional realm for many years, yet there still seemed to be something more I wanted to accomplish with my art. Something that combined art with function. Woodworking and furniture making have become a new artistic direction for me. An interest in architecture and building led to woodcraft and the artist in me has endeavored to develop this interest into an artistic pursuit of furniture design and construction. As a creative outlet furniture making, for me, combines my interest in architecture, design, art, and sculpture into a collective pursuit.

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