Staff Reports

It started 11 years ago when Clyde Rountree, a Wilson County Fair Board member who lives in Lebanon, asked a young artist who had won a ribbon on a painting at the fair, who her art teacher was.

She told him she didn’t take art lessons because her family couldn’t afford it. Rountree and his wife, Christine, talked about it and decided they would like to create a commemorative print, sell them during the fair and use the money to give scholarships to youth.

So they did, and their committee and the fair board have given out thousands of dollars in the last 10 years.

Every year just before the fair opens, the Wilson County Fair Fine Arts Committee chooses a piece of art from ones submitted by local artists and creates a collectable, commemorative print for the fair. Clyde Rountree is actually this year’s Wilson County Fair fine arts commemorative print winner.

This was the 10th anniversary of the fine arts print, which is chosen based on its consistency with the theme and agricultural emphasis, how well it meshes with the other pieces in the collection and whether it would be marketable to the masses. In all, six scholarships were awarded to date. Two will be given out to two youth artists during this year’s fair.

Clyde Rountree is an architect and amateur artist. He and his wife have five children, Hannah Grace, Weston, Slater, Dawson and Grant. Originally from Miami, Clyde Rountree has been interested in art all of his life.

After he graduated high school, he attended the University of South Florida for two years before he transferred to the University of Florida, where he graduated in 1988 with a degree in landscape architecture. After he worked in the industry for a while, he left Florida to work with a ministry in Lake Tahoe, California, where he and his wife met.

After they married, they moved to Fort Worth, Texas for seminary. While in Texas, they helped plant a church in the mid-cities area. In 2000, they moved to Tennessee, not knowing anyone, to accept a position at Fairview Church in Lebanon. Clyde Rountree was the minister of education for five years at Fairview. He and his family felt a calling and left to co-plant the Journey Church in Lebanon, where they stayed for four years before they left ministry to focus on their family in 2008. He is currently the owner of Rountree & Associates, an architecture firm that services clients across middle Tennessee. He also serves as a small group leader at Providence Methodist Church in Mt. Juliet and is active on the Wilson County Fair Board.

This year’s print, “Summer on the Farm,” was inspired by the theme, “mAGical memories” and the dairy focus at this year’s fair. As the 10th anniversary print, his piece contains elements of all the other fair prints to date.