Chattanooga isn’t just for foodies and nature enthusiasts – the city is also an art lover’s haven. Art galleries displaying everything from traditional to more contemporary pieces can be found across the Scenic City. Some of these galleries boast an established presence, while others have cropped up in the last few decades, but they all share a commitment to the visual arts and the talented artists who serve our area. Below, we’re featuring some of our favorites to stroll, shop, and savor!
Anchoring the beautiful Bluff View Art District, River Gallery has been a Chattanooga staple for 30 years. The gallery is housed in a turn-of-a-century home that features open archways and winding exhibit rooms that showcase an extensive collection of fine art and craft. More than 100 regional and national artists contribute to the River Gallery’s collection, which includes mediums such as paintings, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, and glass. Steps away, the River Gallery Sculpture Garden is situated on two acres and provides a peaceful spot for relaxation.
In-Town Gallery has been artist-owned and managed since 1974 (and is one of the oldest artist cooperatives in the country). Located on Chattanooga’s Northshore, the gallery is home to fine American craft and contemporary art from established local artists. Here, visitors will find everything from paintings in acrylics, oils, and watercolor to photography, etchings, sculpture, jewelry, fiber art, woodwork, pottery, and glass. Artists staff the gallery and also coordinate monthly shows, which keep the collection fresh and current.
With the tagline “offering hope and opportunity through art,” Chattanooga’s Hart Gallery gives a creative home to those who need it most. Artists come from a variety of backgrounds – for example, disabled veterans, political refugees, and people experiencing homelessness. Paintings, drawings, and mixed media are on display at the gallery and available for purchase, with proceeds supporting the artist, the gallery, and a nonprofit of the artist’s choice. Hart Gallery also regularly hosts community events and offers opportunities for volunteers to pitch in.
Owned by Alan and Bonny Shuptrine, Shuptrine’s Gallery specializes in 19th-century through contemporary American and European art as well as handmade frames, golf leaf, and art restoration. Although its inventory is international in scope, the gallery represents a number of local and regional artists including Alan himself, primarily known for his realistic and detailed watercolor paintings. Workshops, art lessons, and other events take place at the gallery’s location on Broad Street.
Area 61 Gallery
Tucked inside the historic Maclellan building on Broad Street is Area 61 Gallery. Established in 2009 by master wood craftsmen David Crewe and Rudd Montgomery, the gallery has expanded over the last decade to include the works of more than 20 professional local artists and craftsmen. The vibrant gallery space is filled with fine art, woodwork, hand-crafted furniture, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, and more, allowing visitors plenty of options to pick up something local while in town. Once a month, Area 61 hosts a “First Friday” event for visitors to meet the artists and even commission and collaborate on their own unique piece.
Southside’s Gallery 1401 has a stunning collection contributed by nationally and internationally recognized artists. Watercolor, oils, and collage dot the walls inside, while sculpture and hand-blown glass are interspersed throughout the intimate space. The building’s high ceilings, polished concrete floors, and large windows further contribute to the curated aesthetic. Pop-ups and other events are always in the works, so be sure to check social media for updates from the gallery.
Brent Sanders Studio & Gallery
A kaleidoscope of color greets visitors of Brent Sanders Studio & Gallery, also located in Chattanooga’s artsy Southside neighborhood. A fifth-generation Chattanooga native, Brent Sanders is a self-taught painter who operates the working studio and gallery. Specializing in expressive acrylic painting, Sanders’ work focuses primarily on urban and rural landscapes. While his art has been collected by Chattanooga institutions including The Edwin Hotel, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, visitors can secure their own piece by stopping by the gallery – appointments are preferred but not required.
Another fixture in Chattanooga’s arts scene is locally owned and operated Reflections Gallery. The gallery, which features the work of local artists, moved locations from Lee Highway to a historic brick building on Rossville Avenue in 2019. Inside the renovated space, visitors can take advantage of the gallery’s custom framing studio and stained glass studio as well as its display of paintings, ceramics, and handmade jewelry; Loren Howard, Kathleen Greeson, Jeff Fulkerson, Jane Newman, and Lisa Bohnwagner are just a few of the locals who serve as artists for Reflections Gallery. For those who want to dive deeper into the world of art, seasonal art and jewelry classes are also available at the gallery.