• What: Poster Child: Selections from the 4 Bridges Arts Festival Poster Artists
• Where: AVA Gallery, 30 Frazier Ave.
• Opening reception: 5:30-8 p.m. Friday
• Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, Feb. 8-28
• Admission: Free
• Information: 423-265-4282
Just four years after making her debut in Chattanooga's most prestigious arts festival, Amanda Brazier is back as its featured poster artist.
Brazier was an Emerging Artist at the 4 Bridges Arts Festival 2010, an honor that recognizes rising stars in Chattanooga's arts community. It is given by the festival's sponsoring organization, Association for Visual Arts.
AVA's belief in her talent was affirmed when the group asked her to design this year's festival poster. Her abstract painting, "Nexus," will be featured on billboards and other signage for the event, and a limited edition of prints will be sold at the festival.
"I am super excited about it," says the 27-year-old artist. "I am putting a lot of hours in the studio to get a new body of work ready for 4 Bridges."
Visitors can get a sneak peek at her work when AVA launches a new exhibit Friday night, "Poster Child: Selections from the 4 Bridges Arts Festival Poster Artists." Brazier's original painting from which the poster has been made will be on display as well the work of five former poster artists: Brent Sanders, Lisa Norris, Daryl Thetford, Jake Kelley and Terry Cannon.
Amanda Goforth, AVA education and exhibitions director, says the six artists will each show two or three pieces of their current work in this first Poster Child show.
Thetford, poster artist 2010, and Norris, 2006, agree that the honor of being named 4 Bridges poster artist is validation of their work's quality.
"It really boosted my career in this area, even though I was born and raised in Chattanooga," says Norris.
"It brought me to more people's awareness and certainly gave me more name recognition in the area," Thetford says.
Brazier says her poster design incorporates themes from art forms and techniques that have long intrigued her: Gee's Bend quilts and architectural elements of log cabins. Gee's Bend quilts, made by black women in that rural South Alabama community, are nationally known for their inventive compositions of patterns and colors. Brazier says much of her work focuses on primitive shelters, particularly examples she has found in Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina.
In "Nexus," she has taken one element, a log cabin's half-dovetail notch, and stacked it in a repetitive pattern to create a series of small cabins, or booths such as one might see at the arts festival. The house pattern mimics a quilting design.
"The grid of booths came from experimenting with making a pattern from the half-dovetail," she says. "The joining of various geometric shapes references the patchwork culture of a quilt.
"The painting also references architectural elements of First Tennessee Pavilion where the festival is held. I superimposed an image of the pavilion and, if you look closely, you can see the outline of the pavilion within the painting."
Goforth says that Brazier will receive a free double booth in the event, get juried into the show for the next three years, and her original painting for the poster will be auctioned during the festival, with proceeds divided between AVA and the artist.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 23-757-6284.