By Camm Ashford
Community artists will take center stage for The Enterprise Center’s Storytelling Spaces event series which runs through May 7.
Featuring a wide range of mediums and interactive artwork, the series is focused on bringing access to the arts into neighborhoods and celebrating the many creatives who call Chattanooga home.
Eight local artists–who each received a $500 grant to complete their pitched projects–will
showcase their work May 6 from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Avondale Community Center, 1305 Dodson Ave.
The event series will conclude on May 7, from 1-3 p.m. at The Bethlehem Center, 200 W. 38th St., with chances to chat with each artist and participate in interactive exhibits.
Storytelling Spaces events are free and open to the public, featuring everything from projector-screen projects to photography and works on canvas exploring themes like homelessness and inclusivity, as well as jewelry workshops, a puppet performance, and more.
“It was really important to us to select locations that were meaningful to the artists and provide opportunities to access art (freely) in the communities they come from; to bring the work back to the places–and for the people–that inspired these projects,” said Storytelling Spaces grant and event coordinator Josiah Golson, also a local artist, published author and adjunct professor at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (UTC) Honors College’s Innovation Lab.
The artist grants for the project were made possible by Project for Public Spaces and facilitated by Golson and The Enterprise Center, with sponsorship support from River City Company.
A 2008 graduate of UTC with a bachelor’s degree in communication, Golson later earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He is the founder of the Chattanooga-based 800 Collective, a diverse group of artists using art as a means of civic engagement and public discourse.
Featured artists include: Isela Arredondo, a jewelry maker, author and health specialist; photographer Jequise Beverly; Meredith Garrett, known as the River City Street Poet, an on-the-spot-poet; Jazmine LaBlanc, artist, story sharer and the co-founder and executive director of the East Lake Language and Arts Library (ELLA); Playful Evolving Monsters, led by puppet artist TJ Hanretta; Jordan Scruggs, artist, communicator and activist; Joshua Williams, a visual artist and student at Covenant College and Elea Xylem, a multidisciplinary artist.
For more information, visit theenterprisectr.org.