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Front Page - Friday, November 22, 2019

Art gallery Area 61 reopens in new City Center location

Chattanooga art gallery Area 61 is reopening in the Maclellan Building in downtown Chattanooga. - Photos by David Laprad | Hamilton County Herald

Chattanooga art gallery Area 61 is reopening Friday, Nov. 22, after a two-year hiatus. Its new home is located in the Maclellan Building in downtown Chattanooga.

Work represented by the gallery includes handcrafted furniture, fine art, artisan pottery, sculpture, woodwork, jewelry and more. Area 61 aims to provide a channel for art as a sustainable business for local artists.

Area 61 first opened in 2009. The gallery’s name comes from its original location at 61 E. Main Street.

At that time, the gallery primarily featured the woodwork and handcrafted furniture of its two founding craftsmen, David Crewe and Rudd Montgomery, with Crewe working as the gallery director.

Over time, the gallery’s focus expanded to include the work of other professional artists and craftsmen from Chattanooga and the surrounding area, eventually growing to showcase the work of over 20 professional artists representing a range of mediums.

After seeing a steady drop in daytime foot traffic, the owners began searching for a new home.

They settled on the remodeled Maclellan Building, which is located next door to the Tivoli Theatre and within walking distance of The Westin Chattanooga.

The relocation process took two years, which was longer than the owners anticipated, says Keeli Crewe, co-owner and gallery director.

“I never expected a 24-month gap, but have learned to trust the process,” Crewe says. “Our gallery artists are committed to this move as we know visitors love all things local, including art. We all believe our new location is where we need to be to have a sustainable local career in art.”

Area 61 will be open Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m., and Sunday and Monday by appointment. The gallery plans to resume its participation in Chattanooga’s monthly First Friday events and grow the local arts culture. Each First Friday, Area 61 will host an open house with their artists 5:30-8:30 p.m. and feature a new body of work from their gallery artist community.

Area 61 is also offering corporate events, giving business partners the opportunity to use the backdrop of local art to host two-hour client appreciation nights, professional conference welcome events and more.

Keeli Crewe has worked as a corporate trade show manager and hosted many client hospitality events in cities across the nation.

Grand reopening events

Grand reopening reception: Friday, 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Grand reopening festivities: Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Art for Brunch: Sunday, 12-6 p.m.

Source: Area 61