February 16, 2012

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Chattanooga’s arts community is an integral part of the city’s current foundation. With well-known, seasoned events such as the 4 Bridges Art Festival, our city is abundant with creative influence. It is only natural that sooner or later that energy would be transposed into print. The Association for Visual Arts has taken on the task with its new quarterly arts magazine, aptly named The Bridge.

“It’s a telling of the visual and applied arts in our community—in-depth stories of art people and organizations, why the arts matter, and how the visual arts are connected to our community at large,” said Anne Willson, executive director of AVA.

The free magazine, which launches on Feb. 15, is not solely for AVA members or events, however the magazine is primarily an online publication, with print editions provided for AVA’s higher donors.

The Bridge will initially focus on visual, fine and applied arts, Willson said, and grow to include a broad spectrum of mediums.

“While the [design-based] applied arts are rooted in the fine art foundation, a chasm has grown over the years between the two sectors. We’re saying that, today, the two are aligned and mutually inform one another,” Willson said.

In the fall, AVA will be asking for community input, looking for great art stories waiting to be shared, as well as asking for info to support the advocacy page.

The Bridge was made possible by a former board member, Mark Song, who donated his time to bring the publication to life. AVA also received advertising support from their 2011 sponsors. After the first few issues, the magazine will offer ad space for companies and organizations interested in marketing alignment.

The publication’s title was somewhat inspired by its signature 4 Bridges festival, as it connects the Chattanooga community with artists from our city, our state, and across the country. The bridge, as a symbol, is both reflected in AVA’s identity and serves as a “guiding metaphor” for other programs within the organization, Willson said.

“Chattanooga is the perfect town for this; we are really quite excited about the magazine becoming part of AVA’s ongoing work,” she said.


February 16, 2012

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