published Thursday, February 20th, 2014

Hunter Underground - Feb. 22

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    “Torch,” a ceramic sculpture by Chattanooga artist Austin Neal Center, is among the works that can be claimed in this year’s Smash & Grab Gallery during Hunter Underground.

Think of Hunter Underground as a mix of highs and lows.

As in:

Bid high to win. A silent auction is stocked with artworks.

Go low to get in. This party is literally underground.

For this annual event, set for Saturday, Feb. 22, the basement of the Hunter Museum of American Art is converted into a nightclub, populated in part by members of Avant-Art, the museum's young-minded contemporary group.

Colorful lighting will help set the mood. The Creative Underground will provide music.

The atmosphere invites guests to mix, mingle and marvel at the art.

The silent auction will highlight works from regional artists and galleries, with a focus on pieces geared toward the new collector.

The Smash & Grab Gallery, one of the biggest draws of the 7-year-old event, will feature unique works hand-selected by Avant-Art's Art Selection Committee from galleries in Chattanooga and Asheville, N.C.

For a suggested $25 donation (or five chances for $100), attendees are entered into a drawing. Names are drawn throughout the night, and the winning ticketholder each time has 30 seconds to claim a work of art to take home.

"Smash & Grab is a fun way to add to or begin a personal art collection," says Jason Shelton, Avant-Art committee chairman. "The key is to buy multiple chances so you're more likely to take home one of the works by some very well-known artists."

Food and beverages are included in the ticket price. In addition to soft drinks, the drink menu includes beer, wine and signature cocktails, so you must be at least 21 to attend.

IF YOU GO

■ What: Hunter Underground.

■ When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.

■ Where: Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View.

■ Admission: $40 for Avant-Art members, $50 nonmembers in advance; $60 at the door.

■ Phone: 423-267-0968.

■ Website: www.huntermuseum.org.

AFTER-PARTY

Drop by Easy Bistro & Bar, 203 Broad St., for the Hunter Underground After-Party. Bar snacks and more than 50 craft cocktails will be available, along with musical entertainment, from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. One dollar from each item sold will be donated to the Hunter. For more information, call 423-266-1121.

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