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 William Baxter (Bill) Bledsoe  (1963 - )

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Lived/Active: Tennessee      Known for: painting, teaching, commercial art-commemorative, sports themes, aviation

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
Steam Dream
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Brunk Auctions:
A native of East Tennessee, Bledsoe received both his undergraduate degree and Master's degree in Studio Art and Graphic Design from East Tennessee State University. He is both a working artist and head of the secondary studio arts program at Providence Academy, a school in Johnson City.

While in the military, Bledsoe was an official artist for the United States Air Force, for which he received the Achievement Medal and the Award of Excellence for his artistic contributions upholding the moral of his fellow airman and commanding officers. Bledsoe has worked for the Walt Disney Company as an assistant to Emmy-award winning director of the television mini-series Roots, Charles Bennett.

He has created artwork of the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough for over 23 years. Bledsoe has illustrated numerous children's books for which he received the Good Housekeeping Award for Outstanding Children's Literature Illustration. He has painted several public and private murals, which includes work abroad, most specifically, murals created in Lakenheath, England, for which he was recognized by the Royal Family. Bledsoe was commissioned to paint the official portrait of Tennessee's Lieutenant Governor Ron Ramsey, which is hung permanently in the Tennessee State Capital building in Nashville.

Bledsoe has been directly involved with regional United Way Organizations to raise additional annual funds through the reproduction of his artwork for 15 years, as well as, the Washington County and Sullivan County CASA organizations. Most recently, Bledsoe created an original oil painting of East Tennessee State University in honor of the "Centennial Celebration." He was chosen by Bill Haslam, Governor of Tennessee, to create an official 2012 Christmas Ornament.

Combining his love of sports and talent for art, Bledsoe created and spear-headed the campaign to rename the then Tennessee Oilers NFL Football team to the Tennessee Copperheads. The campaign ran from late 1994 to 1998 when the team was officially renamed the Tennessee Titans. Though Copperheads was not chosen, it won every name contest that was officially posted by NFL Properties, ESPN, USA Today, and the Oiler franchise. The Copperhead Campaign and its mass appeal were cited as a major factor in convincing the NFL and the Oiler franchise to change the name of the team. The artwork and designs for Copperhead Football Club are now chronicled and posted pernanently in the NFL's official history archives of professional football uniform design and marketing concepts.

Bledsoe resides in Historic Jonesborough, TN with his wife Jennifer and their three children.
The couple has been married over 20 years.

Submitted by Aaron Edwards, Media Coordinator, Brunk Auctions

Source:
Adapted from East Tennessee State University,
http://etsu.edu/alumni/awards/12awardbledsoe.aspx


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