published Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Arts celebration: 11-day series is designed to ignite the arts community

Living sculpture pieces share space with inanimate pieces in front of the Hunter Museum of American Art.
Living sculpture pieces share space with inanimate pieces in front of the Hunter Museum of American Art.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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    The art-car parade that was part of last year's event — called HATCH Chatt at the time — will return this year.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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    As park of Spark, Courtenay James, who painted a portrait of the late George Bernard Shaw, will paint from a live model on Thursday, April 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. at River Gallery.

GLASS MENAGERIE ON THE BLUFF

The museums, galleries and restaurants within Bluff View Arts District are collaborating for Spark by hosting special events on Thursday, April 18, from 4:30 to 8 p.m.

River Gallery: Assistant Director Angie Supan says the gallery is expanding its hours, remaining open until 8 p.m. instead of its usual 5 p.m. From 5 to 7 p.m., the gallery's featured artist, Courtenay James, will demonstrate figure painting using a live model. Supan says James will give a second demonstration with a live model on Saturday, April 20, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the gallery.

Houston Museum of Decorative Arts: Tour the museum housing the late Anna Safley Houston's collection of antique glassware and ceramics and view a special exhibit of glass animals.

Hunter Museum of American Art: "Beauty Beyond Nature: The Glass Art of Paul Stankard" is the Hunter's featured exhibit. Stay to hear the performance of "Music at the Hunter: The Spark of Intergenerational Voices" at 6 p.m.

Bluff View restaurants: Bluff View Bakery will remain open until 8 p.m. for visitors' sampling. Tony's Pasta Shop & Trattoria and Back Inn Cafe will offer chef specials. Rembrandt's Coffee House will debut a special Mint Julep Truffle.

CHATTY CRAFTY BAZAAR

Where can you find plush monster-themed hoodies for your kids and dogs? In Cutesy But Not Cutesy's booth at the fourth Chatty Crafty Bazaar, where it's all about quirky and not-quaint handwork.

"We have a lot of 'indie' crafters, and a new wave of craft that includes a lot of recycled materials," says Lynda Buckels, the show's organizer. "Our most popular vendor is Fuzzy Ink out of Washington, D.C. All his shirt designs include a mustache somewhere on them -- sometimes it's subtle, sometimes not."

The bazaar, which features 30 exhibitors and is free to attend, takes place Friday and Saturday, April 19-20, at Chattanooga Green at Ross's Landing. On Friday, it will run from 4 to 10 p.m., and on Saturday it cranks up at 10 a.m. and ends at 8 p.m.

SPARK FINALE

Spark goes out with a bang. Fireworks will close out the grand finale on Chattanooga Green at Ross's Landing on Saturday, April 20.

"It's family friendly for sure," says Carla Pritchard of Chattanooga Presents. "There will be food and beverages all day long, including adult beverages in a beer garden designed to allow you to taste something new. Local talent will be highlighted on the Spark Stage."

From 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., attendees can visit the Chatty Crafty Bazaar, buy concessions and sample brews at the beer garden (or biergarten, if you prefer), watch wandering entertainers and aerial performances by Chattanooga Aerials, play children's games and indulge in art activities such as painting a giant canvas from noon to 1 p.m.

Local musical acts begin at 5 p.m., leading up to the folk-pop duo Great Peacock at 6:30 p.m. followed by the headliner, the Americana-playing Greencards, at 8:15 p.m.

Admission is free.

CHATTANOOGA TWEED RIDE

In recent months, the advent of the Bike Chattanooga public transit system has seen a significant uptick in the number of bicycles on the streets. The Tweed Ride will offer cyclists a chance to look their dapper, tweed-y best on a two-wheel tour of downtown and the North Shore.

From 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, April 15, the ride will commence at Warehouse Row at 1110 Market St. and will parallel PPRWRK's Tour de Noog, a series of wheat-paste murals displayed on buildings between Main Street and Frazier Avenue. The ride is free and open to riders 16 and older.

Picking out what to wear is critical. Channel the look of turn-of-the-19th-century British cyclists, a la "Downton Abbey." Think knickerbockers, flat caps and Norfolk jackets for the fellows or shirtwaists, long skirts and broad-rimmed hats for the ladies. Classic, vintage bicycles and luxurious mustaches are encouraged but not required.

Prizes will be awarded for best-dressed rider and bicycle, most stylish mustache and headwear.

For more information, email ruth@outdoorchattanooga.com.

ART HALO

Explore downtown and Public Art Chattanooga's urban art collection via a virtual scavenger hunt that incorporates augmented-reality technology. On Thursday, from noon to 11 p.m., participants can use a smartphone or tablet -- go to www.arthalochattanooga.com to download the proper app -- to find and view "ArtHalos," 3-D works digitally placed near 12 works of public art.

A full list detailing the locations of the ArtHalo collection is also available at the ArtHalo website.

Photos of ArtHalos can be uploaded to Facebook or Instagram via ArtHalo's gallery (@ArtHaloChattanooga), and the best, most creatively framed shots will be selected as an ArtHalo Favorite to be featured on social media and ArtHalo's website.

For more information, go to www.arthalochattanooga.com or call 643-6059.

— Compiled by staff writers Susan Pierce and Casey Phillips

The name is different, but the goal's the same.

Spark, A Right Brain Celebration, is the multi-day showcase for the many creative and artistic outlets and activities that occur in the area. Called HATCH Chatt last year, this is the second year for the event, or series of events, set for Thursday through April 21.

On the schedule are live music programs featuring national and local performers, art showcases with a variety of media and collaborative events that include history, arts and technology.

More than 50 organizations and groups have signed on to be a part of Spark, according to Carla Pritchard, executive director with Chattanooga Presents, which is organizing Spark. The event is designed to "highlight the multitude of arts opportunities we have and the different number of organizations that are producing it and to tell the region about it."

"We tried to challenge some of these groups to think beyond what they normally might be doing and collaborate with other groups," she says.

The "McCallie Eleven" project, for example, will team several artists based in Southeast Tennessee as they work to transform unattractive buildings in numerous Chattanooga neighborhoods into works of art via murals.

Some of the events require tickets, but most are free.

Spark is bookended by The 4 Bridges Arts Festival, (see more on page E10), presented by the Association for Visual Arts, and the Celebration of Southern Literature, presented by the Southern Lit Alliance.

The former takes place April 13-14 at First Tennessee Pavilion, and the latter is scheduled for April 18-20 at the Tivoli Theatre. Both have admission charges.

Here is a small representation of the events on the schedule. For a complete schedule and more information, visit sparkartschattanooga.com.

Contact staff writer Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfree press.com or at 423-757-6354.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

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