Photo from Peggy Townsend / "Such Sweet Sorrow," a 16- by 20-inch oil on linen by Caleb Goggans.

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Townsend Atelier's Holiday Art Show & Sale

Peggy Townsend predicts Townsend Atelier will have a minimum of 300 works on view for this weekend's Holiday Art Show & Sale. And if you can't find something among the eight professional artists' works, perhaps you'd like to create your own at a workshop later?

The fun begins on what Townsend has dubbed First Dibs Friday, when art lovers can get a jump start on their holiday shopping with multiple works by eight Chattanooga-area artists. Featured are Meg Aiken, Timur Akhriev, Mia Bergeron, Elena Burykina, George Dawnay, Caleb Goggans, John McLeod and Stan Townsend.

Bergeron curated the show, selecting artists who have some sort of involvement with Townsend Atelier, whether through "teaching here or attending classes or coming to our open studio," says Peggy Townsend.

She expects each of the artists will have at least 20 to 30 works to choose from, including original paintings, drawings and prints, framed and unframed, with subject matters that encompass landscapes, animals, portraiture and figures.

"It's a great time to shop for gifts, or for yourself, if you want to build your own collection," Townsend says.

Prices will range from $20 to $4,000. "Literally something for every budget," she says.

If you go

* What: Holiday Art Show & Sale

* When: 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23

* Where: Townsend Atelier, The Arts Building, 301 E. 11th St.

* Admission: Free

* Phone: 423-266-2712

* Online:

The holiday sale has previously coincided with the MainX24 festival, a holdover from when the studio was located on Main Street, but there's a distance of several blocks that has hindered visits to the 11th Street location inside The Arts Building.

"When we moved over here, we just felt a little removed geographically from the event, so we decided to do it earlier this year," Townsend says. (MainX24 is Dec. 7 this year.)

The holiday open house is also a chance for visitors to learn more about art classes. The atelier doubles as a visual arts school and materials store with programming that includes year-round exhibitions, demonstrations, classes and workshops in painting, drawing, printmaking and sculpture, as well as a weekly figure-drawing studio.

Townsend says an upcoming class by Hollie Chastain is of particular interest because of its potential for creating a one-of-a-kind gift. Mixed Media House Portraits on Sunday, Dec. 8, allows participants to create a work of art based on a dwelling of their choosing, whether it's a current home or childhood home, theirs or someone else's.

Students begin with a vellum template made from a photograph of the house that is emailed to the instructor ahead of time. In class, participants use paint, paper and a variety of other materials "to capture the feel and soul of the house." Cost is $150.

The website,, lists dozens more upcoming classes, including a Wooden House Collages class by Chastain the same weekend.

"We're always adding new classes," Townsend says. "We're booked pretty solid through the spring, and we're working on summer and beyond."

Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.