Galleries & Districts
Sometimes you just want to surround yourself with beautiful things. After you've flooded your senses with the best our museums have to offer, splurge a little on yourself and take home something wonderful from one of our many galleries and art districts. Enjoy the downtown feel of Chattanooga's Bluff View Art District and Knoxville's Market Square or Emporium Center for Arts and Culture. Tour the art and historic districts of welcoming towns like Jackson, Bell Buckle and Bristol, or look for hidden treasure in out of the way galleries and shops throughout the state.
Indulge, excite, and uplift your senses in the art districts and galleries of Tennessee and take home a memory or memento of inspiration. Here is a sneak peek at a few must-see spots. Click for a complete list of galleries and art districts in the state.
Relax and rejuvenate in the Bluff View Art District in Chattanooga, a historic neighborhood filled with restaurants, a coffee house, an art gallery, an historic bed & breakfast, and plenty of gardens, plazas, and courtyards. The neighborhood stretches over 1.5 city blocks and sits high atop stone cliffs that plunge into the river below. You will have breathtaking views of the Tennessee River as well as downtown Chattanooga and the Walnut Street Bridge, a position which earned early residents of the area the nickname "cliff dwellers."
With Knoxville as home to 21 museums in total, the choice is a matter of your whim. For art, head to downtown's Emporium Center Gallery. The center showcases the diversity of art and culture created throughout the greater Knoxville area; the exhibitions present visual, performance, and installation art, music, and poetry. Stop in to see fine examples of African American Appalachian Arts in the same venue. Then travel up and down Gay Street for an artistic feast at various galleries along the way. Market Square, downtown Knoxville's jewel, has become the place to gather for events, shopping, and dining.
The stretch of Nashville's 5th Avenue around Nashville's pedestrian Arcade is the up-and-coming art district, featuring dozens of galleries, such as The Arts Company, that offer a wide range of art and viewing experiences, from glamorous and cosmopolitan to the minimal or contemporary. And, if you work up an appetite while exploring the art district, forage at one of the plenty of restaurants and cafes in the area.
Travel and muse through shops, galleries, and studios of local artists in a gorgeous 8-mile mountain loop in Gatlinburg's Great Smoky Arts and Crafts Community. Take a break and have lunch at the Wild Plum Tea Room in a charming, serene setting.
In upper East Tennessee, spend some time and Farmhouse Gallery and Gardens in Unicoi, where you can see the studio and gallery of wildlife artist Johnny Lynch, along with the perennial gardens, water features, blacksmith shop and more. Or stop by the Johnson City Area Arts Council & Gallery to tour the gallery and see what other arts events are on tap. A visit to the James-Ben Studio and Galleries promises to delight with a plethora of local art, handmade pottery and many other unique items which represent the beautiful culture and heritage of East Tennessee.
In Memphis, you'll find "art with an attitude" at Artitudes, where there's a variety of interesting art to savor. Find African American art and artifacts at the Willis Gallery on Beale Street, and be sure to stop by the quirky and entertaining Center for Southern Folklore, where you'll find food and drink, music and art, film and books.
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