Industry leader Joy to the World (JTTW), founded by Knoxville resident, Lisa Kelechava, is releasing six new European handcrafted glass ornaments to commemorate the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the 1982 World’s Fair being coordinated by Visit Knoxville, the City of Knoxville, Knox County, and several community partners that make up the 40th Anniversary Committee. The celebration kicks off Saturday, May 21 with additional events and exhibits happening through October 2022.
Kelechava explains her inspiration to collaborate on the event.
“The partnership with Visit Knoxville seemed like a natural,” said Kelechava. “Knoxvillians love the Sunsphere and although I did not grow up here, those who did tend to have their beloved 1982 World's Fair stories. It was a huge deal for Knoxville to host the event 40 years ago, and its legacy lives on today, so, creating special ornaments to celebrate the 40th anniversary seemed like a worthy idea and one that we hope is well received.”
JTTW uses the top artisans in Poland to create the pieces including sculptors, glass blowers and painters. It takes an average of seven production days to make each piece.
The ornaments featured in the new collection are handcrafted by master artisans from the beginning stages of clay mold to the finishing touches of glitter:
Special Limited-Edition Santa Ornament – JTTW is creating limited runs of this hand-painted Santa ornament with different backpack logos including the University of Tennessee logo, Tennessee state flag, and original World's Fair logo. This piece is priced at $50. Available May 21.
World's Fair 80mm Ball Ornament – This piece features the original look of the World's Fair and the logo celebrating 40 years of development and expansion for the Knoxville community and is priced at $30. Available May 1.
Knoxville Sunsphere Clip Ornament – This delicate, glass blown ornament is dusted with hand-cut glitter, just as the real Sunsphere shines with its gold-dusted windows. The ornament sits approximately 3 inches tall, including the clip. It makes a beautiful addition to anyone's Christmas tree and is also a versatile gift. The clip ornament is priced at $19.82. Now available.
Knoxville Sunsphere Ornament (green base) –This glittery glass Knoxville Sunsphere Ornament stands 6.5 inches tall and is handcrafted by artisans in Europe using meticulous old-world glassblowing techniques, hand-painting and finishing processes. The ornament shimmers just like its real-life counterpart with a green base to match the current look. This piece is priced at $65. Now available.
Knoxville Sunsphere Ornament (blue base) – During the1982 World's Fair, the base of the Sunsphere tower was blue to match the color of the sky. This commemorative, limited-edition, hand-painted piece is hand numbered. The piece is priced at $82. Available May 21.
All proceeds benefit the Sunsphere Fund, created in 2019 by Visit Knoxville with support from Knox County and the City of Knoxville to preserve and maintain this historic structure. Monies from the fund are utilized for enhancements to the experience on the 4th floor Observation Deck. The goal is to protect and preserve the structure for the enjoyment of groups and individuals for generations to come. The fund is operated and overseen by Visit Knoxville. The Sunsphere is owned by the City of Knoxville and promoted like other attractions by Visit Knoxville.
In addition to these ornaments, JTTW has partnered with Visit Knoxville to create a Gay Street Sign ornament. Since the 1790s, Gay Street has played a primary role in Knoxville’s historical and cultural development. Gay Street is home to art galleries, the historic Tennessee and Bijou Theatres, the East Tennessee History Center and more. The popular stretch plays host to annual St. Patrick’s Day, Pride, Veterans and Christmas parades. This piece is priced at $20. Available June 1.
“Visit Knoxville is thrilled to partner exclusively with Lisa and her team,” said Kim Bumpas, President of Visit Knoxville. “Joy to the World is simply the name to know and trust in stunning, collectible ornaments. We appreciate Lisa’s enthusiasm for Knoxville, the Sunsphere and its preservation, and the upcoming anniversary celebration.”
Activities for the May 21 Kick Off Celebration at World’s Fair Park are still being added, but to-date include cultural exhibits and performances, technology and maker demonstrations and vendors, food and beer, a Ferris wheel, a brief fireworks display programmed to ‘80s music and more. Admission is free. For information on these activities and more taking place through October 2022, please visit worldsfairknoxville.com.
Joy to the World Collectibles was founded in 1998 by Knoxville resident, Lisa Kelechava. JTTW’s specialty is creating exclusive, collectible ornaments and is the industry leader in designing custom ornaments for clients including Tommy Bahama, The Plaza Hotel NYC, Ritz Carlton, Hilton Hotels, Kiawah Island Resort, Seaside Style, Biltmore Estate, Peabody Memphis and Graceland. All raw materials used are sourced in Europe, and all production is done in Poland where JTTW has worked with Polish artisans for 24 years. JTTW offers the world's largest pet ornament collection featuring more than 750 designs and an extensive holiday collection with more than 300 styles.
Visit Knoxville (Knoxville Convention and Visitors Bureau) is the official CVB for the City of Knoxville and Knox County. Visit Knoxville is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, private company that works together with the community, business leaders and local and state government to further develop Knoxville as a premier leisure, meetings and travel destination. Tourism is the second highest grossing industry in the state of Tennessee. Knoxville/Knox County annually produces over $1 billion in travel spending. For more information, visit www.visitknoxville.com