Art Smart

Big-name museum execs share their favorite small-scale arts destinations
Tire City Potters

IMG_3920Kevin Grogan
Director and Curator
Morris Museum of Art,  Augusta, Georgia

“Part of what makes Augusta galleries attractive is the genuine niceness of the people who run them. Take Tire City Potters. It’s owned by a man named Shishir Chokshi, who bought the building from a tire store and converted it into a gallery. He’s actually a potter himself, but he also sells the works of contemporary artists.”

Tire City Potters,

gailGail Andrews
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham

“Birmingham’s TrimTab Brewery is starting to show art. Local beers are so revered right now, and I think it’s an opportunity to bring art to a whole new space. There’s a deep appreciation for local food and local beer. I think it’s healthy to pair that with local artists because it introduces the public to other forms of art.”

TrimTab Brewing Co.,

photo1Sara Arnold
Senior Curator of Collections
Gibbes Museum of Art, Charleston

“I always enjoy visiting Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden outside Florence in Bishopville, South Carolina. Pearl has a series of gardens outside his home that I try to visit while he’s still around. He creates these fantastic sculptures out of foliage in his yard. The centerpiece is a soaring juniper known as the Fishbone.”

Pearl FryarTopiary Garden,

HS_SusanEdwards_Anthony ScarlatiSusan Edwards
Executive Director/CEO
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville

“East Nashville has an emerging art scene. They host the Tomato Art Festival every August, and it’s as playful as it sounds: Your designs must be tomato-inspired. Nashville is a community that has a good sense of humor, and I think you see that at the festival.”

Tomato Art Festival,

small nm_retNandini Makrandi
Chief Curator
Hunter Museum of American Art, Chattanooga

“I find two places at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga really compelling: the Cress Gallery of Art and the Apothecary. Because of their proximity to students, they tend to be more experimental than traditional galleries.”

Cress Gallery of Art,