Chattanooga WorkSpace showcases unique mix of local talent
Chattanooga is full of talented people and many of those creative minds band together at Chattanooga WorkSpace.
Chattanooga WorkSpace, located at 302 West 6th Street across from the downtown YMCA, provides studios for nearly 40 artists in the community.
“I was living in an 800 square foot one room studio apartment and I had just gotten a job to paint a 32 foot long mural. I didn’t have room in my 800 square feet for gallons of paint, huge practice panels and supplies,” said artist Hollie Berry.
That’s when she began working in a studio at Chattanooga WorkSpace. She’s been there for five years.
Berry says she enjoys connecting with the community and collaborating with other artists.
Kevin Bate is one of them.
“My work van was my studio. It had all of my paint, my brushes and all of that. When I got the opportunity to move into Chattanooga WorkSpace I realized the one thing I was missing in my artistic practice was just being around other artists,” said Bate.
In addition to collaborating with other artists, Chattanooga WorkSpace is a place where artists can display their work.
“We’re a place that makes art available to the city and it is free. You can come in anytime, walk around the building, see the art or see the show and it makes that accessible but the flip side of that is what we’re doing for the artists here in the building and in town,” said Bate.
Chattanooga WorkSpace creates opportunity and exposure for local artists while enriching lives in the community.
The space makes art available to the public and is free to the city.
Once a month, except January and July, Chattanooga WorkSpace has open studio night where the public is invited to come meet the artists and see them in their environment.
There are also shows the public can attend for free.
“I am a strong advocate for local artists here in Chattanooga and I feel pretty strongly that they don’t get the representation that they deserve. This is a very talented town and a lot of people get overlooked,” said Bate.
That’s why he helped start the Locals Only Gallery Show which features local artists who don’t have studios in the building. This year, fifty-five applicants submitted work and 40 of them were able to showcase theirs during the show.
“Their work is exceptional. It’s outstanding. This is a great quality show that we’ve put together here and it’s exciting to see this,” said Bate.
The show runs through July 19. The public is invited to view the artwork at Chattanooga WorkSpace weekdays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.
One of the most popular shows each year happens in August when Chattanooga WorkSpace collaborates with the Chattanooga Zoo for a fundraiser.
“We will pick an animal. We’ll provide the zoo with a painting surface and some non-toxic tempera paint and the keepers at the zoo will help the animal make marks on the canvas and so in this piece you can see all of the hoofs that were made by the white tail deer resident at the Chattanooga Zoo,” said Berry.
All of the animal art is available for sale and the proceeds are split between the artists and the zoo.
During opening night of the show, the zoo brings animals who serve as ambassadors to Chattanooga WorkSpace. Berry says it is a family friendly event and is free and open to the public.
The third annual Artists in the Wild event will be August 2 from 5:30 to 8:30 pm at Chattanooga WorkSpace.