Off the Couch: Wayne White exhibition opens at the Hunter Museum

The Hunter Museum of American Art, 10 Bluff View, will offer patrons of Club Hunter exclusive benefits — chief among them air-conditioned comfort — during the final nights of the Riverbend Festival. From 6 to 11 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday, June 15-17, Club Hunter ticketholders can enjoy live screenings of acts on the Coca-Cola and Bud Light stages, a cash bar and terrace seating for the festival's fireworks finale. Single-night admission for Club Hunter is $15 at the door. Visit for more information.
photo Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, can you imagine how cool it would be to have your artwork exhibited at the Hunter Museum of American Art? I know our colleague Lin Parker has had the honor.

LISA DENTON: I'm not sure mine is even fridge-worthy. You're talking to someone who struggles with stick figures.

BARRY: I think I might have had one of my drawings displayed at the Hunter when I was a kid, but maintenance was able to paint over it. I think it also involved some community service, but I digress.

Anyway, Wayne White grew up here in Hixson and places like the Hunter and the advertising campaigns for Rock City and Ruby Falls greatly influenced him. You can see it in his work on "Pee-wee's Playhouse" and other projects. Beginning Friday, you can see it up close and personal at the Hunter.

The works will be on display there through September.

LISA: White has definitely added a cool factor to Chattanooga since he began his art projects here last September. A lot of what he and his collaborators have been working on lately can be seen at Wayne-O-Rama on Rossville Avenue. That also runs through September. The Hunter show will be a 30-year retrospective with "larger-than-life puppets, wildly vivid paintings and fantastical sculptures." It should be something to see.

BARRY: It is amazing to see. Fans of his work, as well as fellow artists, have been traveling here from all over the country to see it, and I imagine there will be still more coming to see this exhibit. As an added bonus, on Friday night, Wayne will pick up his banjo and join Frank Pahl, Bill Brovolv, Duet for Theramin and Lap Steel and the Wayne-O-Rama All-Stars for a show at Wayne-O-Rama.

That means you get to watch a concert surrounded by giant puppets depicting Luther Masingill, Bessie Smith, Chief Dragging Canoe and TV kids show host Bob Brandy. I was on Bob Brandy's show in the first grade and won some Little Debbies. I wanted nothing to do with getting on his horse, Rebel, however. Never have liked riding horses. Their eyes always spooked me. It's like they look into my soul.

LISA: Just imagine if they started talking to you, like Mr. Ed did.

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Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.