* What: Tour d'Art exhibition
* Where: In-Town Gallery, 26A Frazier Ave, through Nov. 30
* Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1-5 p.m. Sunday
* Admission: Free
* Phone: 267-9214
* Website: www.intowngallery.com
To get the full effect of the Parisian theme to Tour d'Art, In-Town Gallery's all-member fall exhibition, Helen Burton recommends starting with a stroll across the river.
If they squint a little and don't scrutinize the Chattanooga skyline, visitors can convince themselves they're crossing the Seine instead of the Tennessee. If that doesn't help, she says, there are plenty of Gallic decorations throughout the North Shore gallery to help sell the theme.
Upon entering the gallery, visitors are directed by signs to proceed to either "Rive Droite" (Right Bank) or "Rive Gauche" (Left Bank).
"There are directional signs on the wall that say 'This way to the Musée d'Orsay' or 'This way to the Louvre,'" says Burton, one of the gallery's member artists and a representative of its marketing committee.
For five years, Gay Arthur, another member artist, has overseen the arrangement of the gallery during its bi-annual spring and fall exhibitions. This year, she says, the pieces on display arrived in a rush of vivid hues befitting the season's natural splendor.
"We had a lot of color this year and a lot of animals," Arthur says. "There are some muted paintings and watercolors this year, but overall, it was quite bold, color-wise. I think the artists are becoming stronger and that's reflected in their work."
The exhibition contains hundreds of works that cover the interior walls of the 2,000-square-foot gallery, as well as a handful of free-standing, movable walls. All the works on display are for sale, ranging in price from inexpensive jewelry to massive canvas paintings exceeding $1,000.
Although artists weren't beholden to the Parisian theme when preparing the works on exhibit, many selections naturally fell in line with the motif, Burton says.
The oil paintings by Chuck Frye, for instance, portray city and country scenes that "could be views of Paris streets and southern France," according to a gallery news release. The release also likens the dancer figures in the work of Ellen Franklin to those of French impressionist Edgar Degas and Julie Clark's steel sculptures to the Art Nouveau ironwork of Paris Metropolitan subway entrances.
"We gave the exhibition that name because we feel that our artists' work is comparable to the fine arts that you see in Paris," Burton says.
Contact Casey Phillips at email@example.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.