About

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Tenesha Abernethy “Tweety”  

Owner/Artist/Instructor

M.Ed., Special Education

RYT, 200

Visual Artist

Dancer

Zumba Instructor


I have been drawing since I was 5 years old. I can remember being in my bedroom as a little girl and drawing people, families, homes, and neighborhoods for hours on end and simply loving every minute of it. I remember losing track of time and completely throwing myself into creating.

In grade school, my favorite classes were my art classes and the only clubs I really ever wanted to be involved in were always art related. After high school, I studied at Sampson Community College and took art classes there. My instructor encouraged me to pursue a career as an artist, but I chose special education as my career path.  I went on to attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, to study to become a special education teacher. There I decided to concentrate in the Visual Arts. Unfortunately, I did not have as many good experiences and can remember one professor telling me, in front of other art students, that my art was not good at all. I was crushed to say the least. After graduating with a B.A. degree in Special Education, I focused on my teaching career and stopped painting. 

My art was dormant for 15 years. 

Then, I met my husband. There was a new joy and love that made me feel I was good at anything I set my mind to. My husband (then boyfriend) encouraged me to draw again and to paint again. One day I picked up a sharpie and drew a face on the walls of his “man cave”. I kept drawing all over the walls and painting murals.  Finally...“Freedom!”  Freedom to be that 5 year old girl again!

Suddenly, an “Awakening” happened. I saw her, an image on an album cover that moved me. I felt motivated to attempt to paint her. This would be my first portrait ever to be completed without the help of my art teachers. I felt as if my soul had awakened after a long sleep. I was surprised and over the moon with joy when the piece was completed. I was then hooked and wanted to paint more portraits.

So, I asked my cousins, Idalis and Daniel, if I could paint them in their native regalias. 

As I painted them and listened to music, I felt my soul sing, my body move to the music, and God guiding my brush strokes in a way I have never felt before. 

This is what inspired me to create Tabernethy Dance and Design. 

I enjoy sharing this experience with others and want my students to feel free to move and create!

Our Tribe Project

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Our Tribe Project evolved from the birth of my son and the fact that it does take a tribe to raise a child. Then I thought, we should be one tribe with one concept and that is to love our children and to love the women that raise them. 

This project, I believe, is a God-led project. Meaning I know without a doubt that God has blessed me with this gift to paint and create art and to use it as a tool to reach others and to touch lives in a positive way. The goal of Our Tribe Project is to create original works of art, to express art in different ways, and to donate 10% of the proceeds from art purchases and class participation, to organizations that help women and children that are facing poverty around the world. I want to be a part of what makes this world better by helping mothers feed, clothe, and shelter their children.  My long range goal is to one day be in a position to offer financial assistance for women and children to pursue their hopes and dreams of obtaining a college education.

My Native American Heritage

I am fortunate to have been raised by two tribes, Coharie and Waccamaw Siouan, both of North Carolina. Growing up, I attended Pow Wows and I still attend when I can. As a youth, I created Native inspired jewelry and sold them at several Pow Wows. My heritage continues to inspire a lot of my art. I enjoy drawing inspiration from my beautiful culture.