Growth recognized during second downtown art walk

Published 5:20 pm Monday, March 12, 2018

Developing a love for the community and the arts continues to be a goal for Blue River Studio.

The business’ mission continued Saturday evening during the second Downtown Elizabethton Art Walk. Blue River Studio worked alongside several downtown businesses and the Elizabethton Arts and Cultural Alliance to offer a bulked-up second installment of the event with additional activities for participants of all ages.

Throughout the evening, participants were asked to visit different businesses downtown. Each business had its fair share of vendors, artists and freed-up sidewalk area to offer chalk-drawing chances for children and young adults.

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But action didn’t stop at the downtown strip of business. Participants were able to flock Bonnie Kate Theater to watch performances from the East Tennessee Ballet Academy and view different pieces of art during a gallery held for local artists Michala Morris and Katie Richardson.

For Morris, a student at Milligan College, the opportunity to showcase her work was hard to pass up after talking with the Bonnie Kate’s Marcia Ross, the facility’s event coordinator.

“Ms. Marcia Ross came to my art show at Milligan College and was really interested in my artwork,” she said. “She asked if I wanted to take part in the event and I couldn’t pass it up.”

While Morris’ pieces were a bit larger, Richardson was able to bring over some of her smaller pieces to give the public a variety of artwork to view.

“I think this is an amazing event,” Richardson said. “Michala and I have known each other for years. I think across the country, we’re lacking an appreciation for the arts. Supporting local artists is something I don’t think done enough so having this event is incredible.”

Morris seconded her friend’s sentiments, adding that it was a pleasure to set up shop inside a historic structure like the Bonnie Kate.

“I love the direction the Bonnie Kate is going,” Morris said. “You have the theater for plays, movies, the food opportunities and it also serves as a place where people can stop by and have art shows like this. It really is an asset for the community and the region.”

Offering opportunities for local artists to showcase their work has been a prime objective for Blue River Studio. Along with helping Elizabethton High School students with murals throughout downtown, the facility offers local artists a venue to showcase their work to the public.

Another new addition to the art walk was assistance provided by the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library. Renita Barksdale, library director, recently told the Elizabethton Star that it’s important to participate in events like the art walk to help broaden the appeal for residents and visitors alike.

To learn more about local, art-themed events, follow Blue River Studio on Facebook or call (423) 213-5060.