Some of the most storied names in great Southern writing have graced the former Conference of Southern Literature (now the Celebration of Southern Literature) since its first incarnation in 1981. Eudora Welty, James Dickey, William Styron and Shelby Foote have all come to Chattanooga to talk about their work and meet their legions of admirers.
The biennial event was established to allow this interchange in a nonacademic setting, and became so popular with the writers that the corresponding meeting of the Fellowship of Southern Writers has taken place at the same time since 1989.
Though the next Celebration isn’t until 2015, you can help the Southern Lit Alliance (formerly Arts & Education Council) support this jewel in the city’s arts crown by attending the 11th annual Art.a.ma.jig on Thursday, July 25, at Tanner-Hill Gallery, 3069 South Broad Street, from 6 - 8:30 p.m.
Established in 2003 as a fundraiser for the Southern Lit Alliance, Art.a.ma.jig is “a celebration of culinary and fine arts featuring local chefs, artists and community members.” Each year’s Art.a.ma.jig features a silent art auction of original piece created around the event theme, which this year is “Passage.” (Past themes have been Bound, Focus, Reflect, Break, Chance, Fierce, Found, and last year’s theme, Reveal.)
You can bid on more than 50 different artists’ work, from paintings to photography to jewelry to furniture. Proceeds support the Southern Lit Alliance, which, in addition to the Celebration, also sponsors in-school literature programs.
Of course there will also be great food from SwissAm Fine Catering, and wines from Riverside Wine & Spirits. Link 41, Sequatchie Cove Farm and Niedlov’s Breadworks will provide local meats, cheeses and breads. Tickets are $75 per person. Dress is business casual. Tickets are limited, so call the Southern Lit Alliance at (423) 267-1218 to reserve yours.