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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Artistic Surprises in Chattanooga

During a meandering road trip down through the south, we stopped at a hotel in Chattanooga to lay our heads. We got there late from Kentucky's Mammoth Caves and planned on leaving first thing in the morning to head to Savannah.

We grabbed a quick hotel breakfast and planned to get on the road. It was rainy and it was gray, but I couldn't resist the urge to go and try to find something special in Chattanooga. We were there, and I couldn't leave without a little exploration. I find some of the best spots on rainy days.

After a quick online search, we headed to the Bluff View Art District. I wasn't sure what to expect. We found a spot to park, pulled up our hoods, and started walking. We saw some neat little cottages and a cafĂ©. We peeked through the window at a coffee roasting operation and gazed at the river through a decorative railing. We saw a tile fountain and walked up a narrow stairwell through the buildings.

As we walked along the river we saw a Icarus taking flight on the waterfront. The Precipice Star and Cosanti Bell Assembly sculptures led us to the River Gallery Sculpture Garden. It was a great find! We had it to ourselves this rainy Sunday. The metal works with the backdrop of the river was unforgettable. Thin and wispy angels, carefully balanced tops, and fish flowing into a pond jumped out at me as we strolled down the pathways. It was intriguing. I could imagine sitting in the hideaway in the springtime or fall. 

We left the garden and walked toward another area. It was the Hunter Museum of American Art. It was made up of three buildings, each with their own distinct styles: a modern building, a mansion, and a minimalist concrete building. The museum grounds had sculptures of dancers, baseball players, and a bronze horse made to look like it was constructed of drift wood. We didn't have time to visit the museum, but the quick tour of the outdoor sculptures was a nice find. 

We walked back to the car and got back on the road with a new experience to remember.

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