Ironwood Art Fair: A Cool Urban Party

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Last weekend I attended an art fair/party at Ironwood Studios on Jennings Avenue, which is just a block off Broadway and just off Central – sort of between uptown and Happy Holler. The idea was simple: Open a warehouse/iron and woodworking studio to artists who want to display, add food for purchase, bands and dancers and spread the word it is BYOB.

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

No, it’s not a glamorous party likely to make the society page of a local newspaper, but it’s real and it’s fun. Just inviting the artists, who paid a modest ten dollars for a booth, insures a crowd of bright, creative and interesting people. No one cares if drinks are spilled. The music is good and the atmosphere is loose. It’s the kind of urban party I much prefer to the dress-up, high society events, though I have nothing against those.

Evelyn and Michael Gill, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Evelyn and Michael Gill, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

T.P. Dunn, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

T.P. Dunn, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

The art on display ran the gamut from paintings and pottery to photography, hand-made jewelry to vintage accessories, furniture and everything in between. Bands played, and the Sandsation Dancers entertained. I’ve never seen a belly dance to pop music, but there it was.

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Bill Lee, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Bill Lee, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

I saw old friends and made new ones. I continued my random encounters with Sarah Brobst and her excellent work. I enjoyed the pottery of Bill Lee, the fantasy art of T.P. Dunn, the recycled art of Carrie Hamilton, all of which I’d seen before. I got to be more familiar with many other artists including Maggie Tankersley of Handmade Mags and her jewelry and recycled art.

Evelyn Gill and Carrie Hamilton, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Evelyn Gill and Carrie Hamilton, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

I finally got to meet Preston Farabow who runs the operation and is a fine metal-worker and artist. I first heard him speak at Pecha Kucha about his metal working and his NASCAR project which includes making art during a race from the metal parts which are thrown off by the cars. I also enjoyed talking with Michael Gill, Tamera Easterday, Marsall Stair, Virginia Adams and others. I got to see Evelyn Gill’s Vintage Threads up close and personal.

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Sandsation Dancers, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxvil

Sandsation Dancers, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxvil

Sandsation Dancers, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxvil

Sandsation Dancers, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxvil

Kay Newton, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

Kay Newton, Ironwood Art Fair, Ironwood Studios, Knoxville, March 2014

I can’t possibly remember everything happening in the space. I haven’t even mentioned Tarot Readings. It was great fun, but after I’d hung out there a while I hooked up with Urban Woman for a dinner at Bijou at the Bistro and a little late-night Beatles string music with Norwegian Wood. Alexia Pantanzopoulos, Tres Daugherty and friends laid down their typically perfect tunes. Eventually Michael and Evelyn Gill, Susan Spivey and Kay Newtown, all of who had been at the Ironwood Party, assumed the table next to ours and the fun continued until late.

Norwegian Wood, Bistro at the Bijou, Knoxville, March 2014

Norwegian Wood, Bistro at the Bijou, Knoxville, March 2014

Norwegian Wood, Bistro at the Bijou, Knoxville, March 2014

Norwegian Wood, Bistro at the Bijou, Knoxville, March 2014

Susan Spivey wearing Evelyn's Hat, Bistro at the Bijou, Knoxville, March 2014

Susan Spivey wearing Evelyn’s Hat, Bistro at the Bijou, Knoxville, March 2014

What else can you ask of life beyond art, good food and great people to share them with? And there really isn’t as likely a place to have an evening like this as in a city core. No offense to my suburban friends, but this isn’t like anything I ever experienced when I lived there. It’s the kind of evening for which we live in an urban environment.

Comments

  1. Bob Cargile says

    Was there a repeat of the Ironwood Art Fair this year? We really enjoyed the 2014 event.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      I am not positive. Somewhere in the echo chambers of my brain I remember a mention, but that’s all I’ve got. I enjoyed it, too.

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Actually, you haven’t missed it. It will happen Friday night, Nov. 13.

  2. Shannon Farabow says

    Thanks for the write-up on the Ironwood Art Fair. Sarah and I do intend to host another show:)

    • KnoxvilleUrbanGuy says

      Thank you for hosting it. It’s a good thing for a number of different reasons and I appreciate the effort.

  3. Helen Cargile says

    Thanks for covering this great event, Urban Guy. With plenty of free parking in the neighborhood and no admission fee, who could have say no to this interesting first time event? And the organizers tell me they intend to do it again. The north side of our wonderful city just keeps adding to the cool factor that is accumulating there.

  4. Totally agree, Urban Guy. Best kind of downtown night. Last night, we had out-of-town friends staying at the Hilton. We invited them over for cocktails and appetizers and then walked through Market Square to dinner at Knox Mason. There we saw friends at nearly every table. Our guests loved Knoxville! We have lived in Concord Hills and Sequoyah Hills, both great neighborhoods. But downtown is more of a true neighborhood than either of them.

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