Celebrating galleries (and more) with the annual AVA Gallery Hop.
In the past two decades, Chattanooga has gone from a “there’s nothing to do” town to a “which of the many events happening this weekend do we pick” city.
During the last 11 years, we here at The Pulse have had a front-row seat on the near-explosive growth in the arts community, which has been helped along by a number of organizations that have devoted their time and energy to promoting the city’s arts culture.
One of those organizations, the Association of Visual Artists (better known simply as AVA) has been at the forefront of expanding the appreciation of art in Chattanooga from collectors to the general public.
And one of the most successful—and enjoyable—ways they’ve done this is by organizing, sponsoring and promoting the annual Gallery Hop. For the past eight years, an ever-growing number of galleries, studios and art spaces in and around downtown Chattanooga have opened their doors on a September Saturday to welcome one and all.
This year’s Gallery Hop is set for this Saturday, begining at 2 p.m. and running until 6 p.m. During the Hop, you can meet local artists, watch demonstrations, and learn about the artists’ creative processes at their studios.
Plus, many of the galleries will have special exhibitions on display, and refreshments will be provided at nearly all the venues. It’s a perfect time to visit and explore.
The list of participating galleries and studios this year is, quite simply, amazing: Apothecary, Area 61, Art At The Incubator, Artifact, AVA, Brent Sanders Studio, Chambliss´ Art Connection, Charlie Newton Studio, Chattanooga Workspace, Fennel Blythe & Brent Weston Studio, Garuda Screen Printing, Northshore Gallery Of Contemporary Art (formerly known as Graffiti), H*Art Gallery, Ignis Glass Studio, In-Town Gallery, Island Avenue Studio, Miki Boni Studio, Plum Nelly, The Open Press, Reflections Gallery, The River Gallery, Shane Darwent & Raymond Padron, UTC Cress Gallery, and Winder Binder Gallery & Bookstore.
Most usefully, a map featuring the location of each gallery and studio will be available at all participating galleries. This specially designed guide will enable “hoppers” to create their own route during the event and can also be used throughout the year for visitors interested in touring the local arts scene. You can also download a map by visiting avarts.org/gallery-hop on the web.
Trying to focus on any one highlight is next to impossible. In fact, without a Harry Potter Time-Turner, it’s next to impossible to visit every gallery in one afternoon. Which is fine, as it’s not like the galleries and studios are only open one day a year. The Hop is a great way to find something new that’ll you want to visit again.
Chattanooga has a great gallery culture. Come out and discover this for yourself. You won’t be disappointed.