It’s not just where the aquarium is…

 

When I was in elementary school back in the…well…just a while back… I remember taking a field trip to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, which was AWESOME!  First of all, it was an ALL-DAY field trip, which meant NO CLASS for a day.  Amazing.  THEN we got to see really cool fish and other aquatic creatures that we had only read about in textbooks up close and personal.

I have always associated Chattanooga with the sweet-awesome aquarium (P.S. – did you know it has an IMAX?  AND they do really cool cruises along the river?)…and not much else.  I always thought that it was smaller than Nashville, with not much going on.  Presently, however, Chattanooga is fast becoming a very interesting, diverse, and thriving art city.

(From the Association for Visual Arts website)

They have a fantastic artist relocation program (similar to the one that Paducah, KY launched a few years ago) called ArtsMove which works a little something like this:  ArtsMove offers a $2500 relocation incentive, available to full-time and part-time artists (click on the link to see artwork of the artists living there) moving to a home within 3.5 miles of downtown Chattanooga.  Whether full-time or part-time, practicing artists make a commitment to live within 3.5 miles of downtown Chattanooga for at least one year.  Want to make a leap into art and aren’t sure how?  Try this out!  I have heard great things about it.

(Painting my Miki Boni)

There is also a great museum there (which is also a good sign of an “art city”) called the Hunter Museum of American Art.  If you are close to Chattanooga (well, even if you’re not) and need a good getaway weekend to see some great art in a thriving community, you must visit.  I haven’t been there in years, and just writing this is making me want to go there.

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