IF YOU GO
■ What: 4 Bridges Arts Festival.
■ When: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, April 12; 11 a.m.-5 pm. Sunday, April 13.
■ Where: First Tennessee Pavilion, 1829 Reggie White Blvd.
■ Admission: $7 one day, $10 for both days; free for children 17 and younger.
■ Website: www.4bridgesartsfestival.org.
With 12,000 folks visiting last year's 4 Bridges Arts Festival, is it any wonder that more than 430 artists from across the country applied for one of this year's coveted booths?
When the 2014 festival opens Saturday and Sunday, April 12-13, the work of 143 talented artists who made that cut will fill First Tennessee Pavilion with glass, acrylic and watercolor paintings, ceramics, furniture, jewelry, oil paintings, photography, sculpture, mixed media and turned-wood pieces that are rich in color and texture.
It's this ever-changing variety of work that Kathryn Dunn believes keeps patrons returning to the festival.
"We just have such a great array of work in so many disciplines," says Dunn, 4 Bridges Festival director for the Association for Visual Arts, which sponsors the festival.
"I like that expanse of disciplines; you're likely to find something that interests you because of it. We never have a consistent amount between disciplines from year to year. An artist you see one year may not be chosen by the jurors the next year, so there are new people always showing. I like that every year the makeup is always different."
Karen Rudolph is one of six Chattanooga artists debuting at 4 Bridges. The others are Alex Nelson, Patron Pin artist; Turry Lindstrom, Maria Willison, Michelle Kimbrell and Michael Smelcher, all Emerging Artists scholarship winners chosen by the jurors.
Rudolph, 36, is program officer for the Lyndhurst Foundation by day, metal artist at night and weekends in her Southside studio.
For two years she was a blacksmith at the John C. Campbell Folk School.
"Now I tinker in all sorts of metals," says the metalsmith, who was accepted to the show on her first application.
Rudolph will be displaying her wall hangings made of recycled tin at 4 Bridges.
"I take lids from canned foods that the Community Kitchen saves for me. I pick them up, clean them, tweak them and give them a patina in a chemical alteration process," she says. Rudolph makes a collage of the circular metal pieces using different sizes of lids to create patterns on a wooden base. Her prices start at $175.
"It's been a great boost of confidence as far as my artwork goes to be accepted to 4 Bridges. It's really exciting. Veteran show people have really helped me make sure my booth is good. I've gotten great feedback from people for whom this is their full-time life. I love that camaraderie among people willing to help each other out."
Festivalgoers will be entertained while browsing booths by local mudsical acts from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m Sunday. Pint-size painters will enjoy the Creative Kids Tent, where children can try their hands at free, original art projects organized by art educators.
Contact Susan Pierce at email@example.com or 423-757-6284.
Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...