First Friday in Knoxville (especially during Dogwood Arts Festival) brings on new openings and new opportunities to view art and reconnect with community. But picking one or two events becomes a challenge in and of itself.
The opening of the newly relocated Art and Salvage Shop of Knox Heritage hit home with us: we love art, old things, and the mission of Knox Heritage. So we found ourselves at the new location — 619 Broadway — at the Grand Opening. And so did a lot of other folks!
Open spaces with bare concrete floors and exposed brick seemed a fitting backdrop for the goods inside. Repurposed salvage like this chalkboard with corks and the coat rack from molding caught our eyes.
Along with bins of salvaged windows and doors . . .
And walls of objets d’art! We found this guest reading the THANKS poster — it lists hard-working volunteers and staff responsible for re-opening the old building (once home to a bicycle repair shop) as a salvage shop.
To celebrate the Grand Opening, staff, volunteers, and guests gathered for conversation and finger foods in the main room.
A cake from Magpies became the focus of conversation around the snack table. Yes, it’s a cake. And everything was edible right down to the trowels, seed labels, paint chips. Even the dirt.
Space for artists’ studios was available for viewing in the back of the shop and upstairs. Lovely space, we might add — some already painted and ready for real work and real sales. Like this one that photographer Michelle Jephcott painted and organized for her matted photos and cards. Her subject matter? Gay Street Bridge, night scenes, Knoxville fireworks, and springtime flowers.
Some shoppers stopped to admire the flowing tops created from old linens by Brenna Elrod of Evelyn & Elsie. The linens, Brenna told us, mostly belonged to my grandmother.
Other spaces had potential. And were quite inviting — from the size of the room to the paint colors to the urban scenery from the upstairs windows.
Of course, new digs don’t come cheaply in downtown Knoxville. A Kickstarter campaign offered guests the opportunity to fund renovations right there on the spot. Knox Heritage set up laptops so donors could get in on the collective action of putting their money to work immediately. We tried the site, and, with the help of John Craig, we got in easily. (Want to donate? See link below.)
We like this new place: open with a combination of untouched and finished goods, artists’ studios, and helpful folks everywhere. If you’re out looking at dogwoods (Trails open April 8th.), you may want to swing by. Who knows? You just may need an old door — and The Art and Salvage Shop has ’em. Along with lots of other great finds.
For more information:
The Salvage Shop, 619 Broadway, Knoxville, TN; http://knoxheritage.org/salvage/
Knox Heritage: http://knoxheritage.org/
Kickstarter campaign for Knox Heritage Art & Salvage Shop Project: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1158170043/knox-heritage-art-and-salvage-shop-makeover