Ed. Note: Today yoga teacher, blogger and vlogger Leslie Ellingburg, first featured on this blog just about a year ago, returns with a look at a very cool studio just up Broadway. If you like what you read here, you can read more of what Leslie is up to on her blog Aum in the Arts, which covers, “the exploration of yoga through various forms of artistic mediums.”
North Knoxville has a virtually unparalleled sense of community. There seems to be less of a competitive atmosphere and more of a willingness to build one another up to make the community better than before. This area of Knoxville is also very proud of their community and loves to showcase their uniqueness in art, food, and historic homes. The more you immerse yourself in this community, the more you find cooperatives and collective ventures that are furthering this sense of community and “tourism” to this side of town. Besides The Central Collective, there is another creative facility that is hoping to bring people together.
If you have been to the recently opened Kbrew storefront on Broadway, you have seen Broadway Studios & Gallery (BSG) just across the street at 1127 North Broadway. You can grab your iced Americano or honey lavender latte from Kbrew and step over to BSG to see some of the most eclectic artwork Knoxville has to offer. There are sculptures made from recycled materials, traditional cornhusk dolls, Ukrainian eggs, oil paintings, and sculptures. They also have a monthly exhibit or showcase; there is something beautiful to discover each time you visit.
Jessica Gregory, the “visionary” of the concept, first saw the building last year and knew that it would make a great art venue or gallery. She approached the owners of the building, the Wright’s, with the concept of converting the space into a studio. Artists could come together, create art and bring it the community. The Wright’s agreed. Since 2015, BSG has organically grown through the variety of its shows, juried exhibits, art classes and the uniqueness of art that is found in each resident artist.
Jessica and the ten other artists, who work out of BSG, are passionate about bringing more artists into the spotlight, especially younger/newer artists. Cynthia Tipton sees BSG as a great place for up and coming artists to “get their feet wet” in an unpretentious atmosphere. That philosophy (regarding their open shows) is one way that BSG tries to unite the artistic community in not just North Knox, but into all of Knoxville. BSG builds up these young artists by providing juried shows; which gives feedback, both positive and negative, to these artists to help them grow. These juried shows also provide opportunities for established artists to get feedback as well, and for them to meet these new artists who they might mentor.
Gregory sees the events BSG hosts be it First Friday exhibits, featured guest artists – this month they are showcasing Beverly Duncan Gleason, or juried shows as a bridge in the artistic community because “it brings a new energy, a new conversation.” Recently BSG had their biggest show to date in June called, The Word. This showing focused on taking the spoken or written word and translating it into a piece of art. Their next show in September is themed “Landscapes.” They hope to see a bigger turnout than The Word. This theme is suitable for all artists to participate and those who appreciate art to bring them into the space.
Another way BSG is unifying North Knoxville and getting people to this area is the NoKnoAT-North Knoxville Art Trail. Cynthia Tipton, Jessica Gregory, and other BSG artists are playing with the concept of the Appalachian Quilt Trail and the Appalachian Trail. Currently they are making a map that showcases various artists, galleries, eateries, all within a one mile radius of BSG. They are hoping to launch the final map by the First Friday in September.
In the fall, BSG will continue to bring people to North Knoxville and bridge a social gap with their October retrospective exhibit on Jan Lynch. Jan Lynch, a local photographer heavily involved and active in the LGBTQ community in the 1990s, was known for highly moving pictures of those battling HIV/AIDS. Lynch also participated in the March on Washington. BSG has curated his pictures, articles, and is working on digitizing Lynch’s interviews that they can be played throughout the show.
Broadway Studios and Gallery is open to the public Thursday-Saturday 11:00 AM-7:00 pm. Other days of the week there are art classes offered or opportunities for appointments. You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and check out their website for upcoming events and artist information. If you want to submit work for “Landscapes” contact Jessica Gregory or Cynthia Tipton for requirements and fees.