Monday, November 22, 2010

Arts & Culture Alliance Presents "Con_struct" by Aaron Shugart-Brown

Arts & Culture Alliance Presents "Con_struct"
by Aaron Shugart-Brown

(11/19/2010/Knoxville) - The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present a new exhibition entitled "Con_struct: Revisiting the 100 Block Construction Project" by Aaron Shugart-Brown, opening Wednesday, December 8, at 5:30 PM in the Balcony of the Emporium Center. In December of 2007, Shugart-Brown opened Unarmed Merchants, an artisan gallery located on the 100 Block of Gay Street in downtown Knoxville. Just fourteen months later, in February of 2009, the City of Knoxville began an extensive, eighteen-month construction project on the 100 and 200 Blocks of Gay Street to rebuild the support structures, relocate and realign all utilities, and replace surface-level streetscape features. During those eighteen months, the construction affected every aspect of Shugart-Brown's life, including business, personal relationships with family and friends, and the art he created. "Con_struct" represents the body of work created by Shugart-Brown during that time as well as abstract photographs of the construction project itself. During the time he spent adjacent to the epicenter of the 100 Block construction project, a question emerged: was there an overarching aesthetic that could be derived from the process itself? Through all of the noise, dust, and debris, Shugart-Brown challenged himself to find the raw beauty of such an intrusive element. "I wanted to get right up in the face of my assailant and document a counterpoint to the frustration I experienced," says Shugart-Brown. "Using the tools of photography, mixed media paintings, and watercolor, I wanted a new visual language to emerge that would help describe this experience. With the final phase of the 100 Block Construction ending just two weeks before my exhibition opens, I feel that this show is a good, encompassing epilogue to a story many people are glad is finished." For more information on Shugart-Brown, visit

For more information on the 100 Block Construction Project, visit

"Con_struct" will be displayed in the Balcony at the Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay Street, from December 8-23, 2010. An opening reception will take place on Wednesday, December 8, from 5:30-8:30 PM. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM. For more information, please contact the Arts & Culture Alliance at (865) 523-7543 or visit

About the Arts & Culture Alliance

The Arts & Culture Alliance serves and supports a diverse community of artists, arts organizations, and cultural institutions. The Alliance receives financial support from the Tennessee Arts Commission ( ). Special thanks to
Bluegill Creative: Design and Marketing Communications ( ).

4th annual Tour de Lights bike ride

Please note the following unique event:

4th annual Tour de Lights bike ride
Thursday, Dec 16
Ride leaves at 7 p.m.
Krutch Park/Market St.

Join us for the 4th annual holiday bike tour of downtown Knoxville and historic neighborhoods. Riders are encouraged get creative with lights and costumes for the Decorating Contest. Hot cocoa and treats provided by Mast General Store after the ride. All ages welcome for this short, casual-paced ride. Sponsored by the City of Knoxville and the TPO Bicycle Program. More details, route and photos from past years at
We’ll be passing through the 100 Block twice. You can help win the Most Welcoming Neighborhood award by being outside when the group goes by (perhaps singing carols) or decorating your balcony/building. Riders should be coming through the 100 Block the first time between 7:10 and 7:20 p.m., and the second time between 8 and 8:20 p.m. (these are very much rough estimates!)

Last year there were more than 450 bicyclists, and we expect to have many more this year. For more info, call the Bicycle Program at 215-3815 or email

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Construction Update- November 18, 2010

As many of you know, we have now reopened both the 100 and 200 Blocks of S. Gay Street and the trees are installed.

The above picture is of the tree delivery.
Above is a picture of the first two trees in place at Jackson Avenue.

The picture below is of the completed street. I think it looks fantastic.

Early next week the Cradle of Country Music Park area will have some work with the sod being installed. Some of the new trees were installed in this area as well.
I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.
As always, thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Construction Update- November 10, 2010

Please note the following press release:


The 100 Block of Gay Street will be closed beginning Monday, November 15, so crews can install about two dozen large elm trees along the street. The 200 Block will also be closed later during the week for the landscaping effort.

The work – the final phase of the Gay Street Streetscapes Project - is expected to take five days, or through November 19, to complete. The trees are 20-25 feet high and contractors will be using heavy equipment to plant them in tree wells already installed in the sidewalks.

While the street will be closed, pedestrians will still have access along the 100 and 200 blocks during the project. The work will begin on the 100 Block and travel south, toward the heart of downtown, and into the 200 block as the week progresses.

Both blocks will not be closed at the same time.

Crews with Southern Constructors began the Gay Street Streetscapes project in the spring of 2009 and over the next 15 months replaced the street and replaced and widened the sidewalks on the 100 and 200 blocks.

Contractors also renovated the bridge-like supporting structure that has held the 100 Block of Gay Street suspended one story above the original street for nearly a century and upgraded the utility infrastructure along both blocks.

Most of the work was completed by August but contractors needed to wait until the more favorable fall conditions for tree planting.

In addition, the Contractor will begin sodding the area around the Cradle of Country Music Park and will begin replanting the planter boxes. This work will finish up our project except for a few loose ends the City will begin working on.

Please don't forget the Veterans Day Parade at 10:30 on Thursday November 11, 2010. The route will once again bring the Parade down the 100 and 200 Blocks of S. Gay Street ending on Depot Street.

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and encouragement throughout this project. It was truly a team effort by all.