Arts and Culture
Arts and Culture
From the earliest Neolithic charcoal sketchings on cave walls, art and culture have helped humans interpret and express the world around them. Art is so much more than simply oil on canvas hung on a stark museum wall, and culture more than tea in fancy cups. Art informs and shapes our view of the world, and culture encourages us to think deeply about our world and our place within it. We are so lucky in Chattanooga to have a diverse and thriving arts and culture scene, strongly supported by such committed organizations as Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga and the Arts & Education Council of Chattanooga. With all that Chattanooga has to offer, all we can offer here is a sampling, but we feel certain it will awaken your spirit of adventure and discovery! Come see what Chattanooga has to offer your artistic soul!
The Hunter Museum of American Art contains one of the best collections of American art in the country, housed within an historic mansion and adjoining contemporary structure. Its collections span from the colonial era to the present, and include many notable artists such as Fitzhugh Lane, Winslow Homer, Robert Henri, John Marin, Thomas Hart Benton, Helen Frankenthaler, Duane Hanson and Robert Rauschenberg. Regardless of whether your interests range from viewing inspiring works of art, to discovering your own creative potential in one of its many excellent workshops, the Hunter Museum is sure to find a place in your heart.
The Houston Museum of Decorative Arts contains the world’s largest collection of pitchers within its larger collection of antique glass and ceramics, as well as antique furniture, music boxes, coverlets and other rare pieces from the collection of the late Anna Safley Houston. You’ll find the Houston in a beautifully maintained Victorian mansion, close to the downtown arts district.
The Creative Discovery Museum is a terrific children’s resource, combining kids’ creative curiosity with a very hands-on environment. Draw, pain, sculpt, or create your own claymotion video – the Discovery Museum will become a cherished favorite of the entire family.
The River Gallery is located in Chattanooga’s famous Bluff View Art District, and is housed in a charming turn-of-the-century home overlooking the mighty Tennessee River. The Gallery welcomes visitors to view its holdings, created by artists ranging from the local to the international, in media ranging from glass to bronze.
Artists, collectors, and artistic enthusiasts of every description will not want to miss the 4 Bridges Festival, held at First Tennessee Pavilion every April. Showing the works of over 150 artists, the Festival offers works in every medium, representing a broad range of artistic styles, from the traditional to the contemporary.
Perhaps your interest lies more in the realm of the classic performing arts. In that case, we encourage you to attend the next performance of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera in the famous Tivoli Theater, first opened in 1921 and known widely as the “Jewel of the South”. The oldest professional symphony and opera company in the nation, the CSO offers performances in various formats, from chamber quintets, to pop, to full orchestra and opera. Theatre-lovers will want to check out the Chattanooga Theatre Centre, one of the largest and oldest community theatres in the country. The theatre produces plays to appeal to every age and taste, and invites public participation at every level.
Chattanooga's favourite music festival explodes into action when the Riverbend Festival brings over 100 bands to 6 stages on the waterfront over 9 nights every June. The Riverbend draws over 600,000 patrons annually, and is recognized as one of the premier events of its kind. Whether your taste runs to classic rock, country, urban or bluegrass, the Riverbend can satisfy your musical jones!