A New Beginning Represents a New Destination for Downtown Kingsport Local Art Gallery
As a result of attending the seminar in Kingsport offered by nationally known retail specialist, Jon Schallert of The Schallert Group, Patti Lawrence, owner of The Gallery of Local Artists in downtown Kingsport, convinced the City of Kingsport’s Public Art Program to help her make her retail store a destination.
Although she can appreciate the diversity of works and the opportunity for the citizens of Kingsport to experience art from outside of the immediate area, Patti Lawrence, an artist herself, was disappointed that the first presentation of the downtown Kingsport Sculpture Walk did not include more representation from local artists. "I was surprised because I work with several very talented homespun artists that would have welcomed a chance to display their best work and potentially become part of a permanent collection in Kingsport,” Lawrence said. “After attending the destination retail seminar, I realized that I could draw customers into my store from other cities and towns, miles away, if I could piggyback on the existing successful art tour, since participants have to walk past my door anyway. The free seminar was an eye-opener. Next year, I am asking that my gallery be included on the printed map as a destination.”
“This demonstrates once again the need to attend the free educational events that are put together by the City, State and local economic development organizations to benefit small business owners and stimulate economic growth," said Aundrea Wilcox, Executive Director of the Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship. “When I initially talked to Patti about attending the workshop she said she didn’t have time or adequate coverage for her store in her absence, but finally she decided she would make the time and it was well worth it. I wish that more small business owners could see the value in attending these kinds of functions. Sometimes the opportunity to learn from an expert presenter or fellow business owner is once in a lifetime.”
For the first time, participants will assemble at The Gallery of Local Artists, 158 Broad St., for a 30-minute social time and narrated art display, before beginning the tour of 13 outdoor sculptures that are part of Kingsport's 2008-2009 Sculpture Walk led by gallery owner, Patti Lawrence, and tour leader, Bonnie Macdonald, Kingsport Cultural Arts Division Public Art Program Administrator. The tours are free to the public and last one hour. Anyone can pick up an illustrated brochure including a map of the walking tour at The Gallery of Local Artists or the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce, to facilitate their own self-paced excursion.
About The Gallery of Local Artists
Patti Lawrence is a professional artist and the owner of The Gallery of Local Artists, which was started in 2006 to provide local artists with an outlet for one-of-a-kind works of art including three-dimensional art and sculptures, paintings, drawings and photographs. The store is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday from 11 to 2 pm, and offers a range of art classes including Drawing, Painting, and Design for amateur and professional artists.
About the Sculpture Walk
The Sculpture Walk is a project of the Kingsport Public Art Committee administered by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Kingsport and sponsored through private donations from area businesses and individuals and by the Tennessee Arts Commission.
The Kingsport Office of Small Business Development & Entrepreneurship is a nonprofit economic development organization that represents a partnership between the City of Kingsport and the Kingsport Area Chamber of Commerce. The mission of KOSBE is to actively assist in the establishment of new small businesses and the growth and development of existing small businesses in Kingsport, Tenn.
Aundrea Wilcox Executive Director
Patti Lawrence, Owner
The Gallery of Local Artists
158 Broad Street
Kingsport, TN 37660
Phone (423) 367-9211