Chattanooga is chock-full of all kinds of talented local artists ready to share their art with the world. Being directly between Nashville and Atlanta, Chattanooga is conveniently situated to catch all overflow of creatives that travel between the two cities. As both the creative community and the city itself grows, so does the need and desire of opportunities for artists to showcase their skillset as well as others who simply want to experience it. I recently had the opportunity to experience this first hand at the Make Music Day event at the Sculpture Mansion. Local bands Sleezy Sleezy and Danimal Planet were just a small preview of what’s to come for the future of Chattanooga’s ever-growing musical presence.
Sculpture Mansion is becoming a foundation for all local artists artists in Chattanooga, specifically music. The Mansion is being built out by a group of individuals in Chattanooga affiliated with John Henry Visual and Performing Arts Center who have a desire to take part of movement and a passion to share all of the incredible talent from local artists and musicians that the city has to offer. One of the founding members of the initiative Adam Nikki discussed with us Chattanooga’s significant influence as one of the world’s birthplaces of blues, jazz and big band music in the late 1800s through the early 1900s. Unfortunately, as the city developed more over time, the music scene was pushed out of the forefront of the city’s culture, dulling its “flavor.” This new wave of creativity currently washing over Chattanooga is bringing this city back to life, which is the exact purpose of the initiative. Although the Make Music Day show was a public party, the initiative is currently focused on throwing more exclusive events and private parties. Moving forward this initiative is hinting at future Arts Center activation.
Walking into the party I was instantly hit with sensory overload. The only comparison that popped into my head was that similar to a mini-circus, but in the best way possible. Bright, colorful and flashing lights ricocheted off the walls. Loud melodies from several bands filled my eardrums. Live paintings from visual artists captured my attention. Hula-hoopers and fire jugglers danced through the open spaces as delicious delicacies catered by a pro chef were traveling around the room. Everyone there dressed on their most fashionable A-game came together to create an atmosphere that felt like a submergence into a sea of creativity. Local bands Sleezy Sleezy and Danimal Planet both contributed to the fun of the night by putting on energetic and lively performances with their own unique sounds that fed right into the energy of all the party-goers there. All of the different types of incredible artistry displayed there created a euphoric energy, only enhanced by the fact that we were all locals, truly making us feel the sense of appreciation that the community has had for years.
Article by Gabbie Lasater
Photos by Ana Leonard