published Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

Going behind the art scenes

IF YOU GO

What: Avant-art's Southside Studio Stroll.

When: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1.

Where: Front Gallery, 1800 Rossville Ave.

Admission: $5 for Avant-art members, $7 for nonmembers.

Phone: 267-0968.

Website: www.huntermuseum.org.

Art, said Lindsay Richardson, often does not match the environment in which it is housed.

"(Art museums are) always quiet. They might seem kind of sterile, but art is far from sterile," said Richardson. She leads Avant-art, a Hunter Museum group for the young and young-minded.

"One of our objectives is to get young professionals more involved in art and to make them more comfortable interacting with the Hunter Museum and with the art community in Chattanooga," Richardson said.

One way this goal is accomplished is through events such as gallery talks and exhibits. On Aug. 1, Avant-art is hosting a Southside gallery stroll that will include visits to Front Gallery, Chenoweth-Halligan Studio and Haskel-Sears Design Studio.

A dinner at El Mercado will cap off the evening.

During the gallery visits, the stroll attendees will have the opportunity to speak with artists and get a behind-the-scenes peek at the process that goes into their work.

"It's a way to build a bridge and get people more comfortable with art and to experience something they haven't before in terms of an artists studio or a gallery, making it feel more accessible," said Richardson.

She said she joined Avant-art to learn more about art. Through being a part of the group, she said, she's become more comfortable talking about art and going to museums outside of Chattanooga.

She asks her fellow Avant-art members which galleries she should visit. She now has a network of fellow art lovers.

"It's created an interest and helped to break down the barriers of formality that may come along with an art museum."

She said she particularly enjoyed a Gaugin exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum.

"They really want to make connections between Chattanooga's art scene and young professionals," said Katrina Craven, director of marketing for the Hunter Museum. "This is another way to make that tie."

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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