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Chris Barrett

Recent Work

  • Knoxville's I-40: Highway Star Published 06/17/2009 at 11:48 a.m.

    TDOT regional spokesperson Travis Brickey is driving on the new downtown stretch of Interstate 40 West a week before it will be opened to the public. It has that neutron bombed look to it. It’s finished and seemingly perfect but ...

  • Sequoyah Hills Residents Seek Lower Speed Limit Published 06/17/2009 at 11 a.m. 1 Comment

    As we’ve learned by coping with Interstate 40 downtown, much of Knoxville’s quaint traffic infrastructure is inadequate for modern vehicle volume. Knoxville’s population continues to grow, overwhelming a fairly fixed grid. And while a lot of noise is made about ...

  • UT Offers Immersion in Japanese Art Published 06/03/2009 at 11:16 a.m.

    From the other side of the planet, Japanese art can seem terrifically democratic. We know that there are extremely formal media, such as calligraphy and brush painting, that descend from centuries-old royal indulgences. One can imagine hallowed rituals of performance ...

  • Knoxville Arts, Culture Struggle with Funding Published 06/03/2009 at 10:58 a.m.

    According to Knoxville Museum of Art Executive Director David Butler, piloting an arts institution in Knoxville during a normal economy is tantamount to training for a recession. “All of us at lean, smaller organizations always looked longingly at these organizations ...

  • How We Roll Published 05/27/2009 at 10:31 a.m.

    Landscape architect and Ducati rider Sara Hedstrom is indulging a stranger, trying to articulate some possible differences between male and female motorcyclists. Hedstrom began riding in 2002. On exactly what, she cannot recall. “Oh what was it?” she asks herself. ...

  • Kelley Segars Stands Up for Bicycles Published 05/20/2009 at 4:19 p.m. 1 Comment

    Kelley Segars is the Knoxville Regional Transportation Planning Organization’s (TPO) Bicycle Program Coordinator. It’s a position she invented. So she’s typically introduced at official functions as “the bike lady.” If you ride a bicycle here or have witnessed the confusion ...

  • Bicycle Laws in Knoxville, TN Published 05/20/2009 at 4:10 p.m. 1 Comment

    Misconception No. 1: It’s a friggin’ toy and I can do whatever I want toodling around my own neighborhood.

  • Elvis Perkins in Dearland Celebrates the General Through the Specific Published 05/14/2009 at 10:27 a.m.

    Though their music is terrifically well-arranged and they are all expert musicians, the quartet Elvis Perkins in Dearland has a way of making any of their songs sound like it’s the first one they’ve played together. There is both freshness ...

  • Developing Momentum on Magnolia Avenue Published 05/14/2009 at 9:49 a.m.

    If you spend much time along Magnolia and Asheville Highway you know that merchants are an endangered species there, and that on some blocks vacant storefronts outnumber those doing business. Chris Barrett attends a meeting to drum up support for ...

  • Cuts at Maryville College Touch a Nerve Published 05/14/2009 at 9:24 a.m. 1 Comment

    While news and scrutiny of the University of Tennessee’s budget is fairly relentless, smaller institutions nearby facing the same economic hardships suffer somewhat unnoticed. Maryville College has lost nearly 30 percent of its endowment during the recession/depression, and the school ...

  • 'Most Important Explorer' Helen Thayer to Appear in Knoxville Published 05/06/2009 at 3:28 p.m.

    Helen Thayer has been named by the National Geographic Society as one of the most important explorers of the 20th century. In 1988, at the age of 50, she walked alone (aside from Charlie, her canine escort) to the magnetic ...

  • Best Place to Wait It Out: Lawson McGhee Library Published 04/30/2009 at 8:50 a.m.

    You’ve got the want ads in print and online. You’ve got inspiration if you need it; the memoirs of Harlan and Anna Hubbard, who lived for years drifting on a shantyboat with their dogs and piano. You’ve got Henry Miller’s ...

  • Best Bakery & Best Cupcakes: Magpies Cakes Published 04/30/2009 at 12:45 a.m.

    Yes, Magpies’ cakes and cupcakes and wedding cakes are divine. They are rich and sweet and beautiful and full of wonderful surprises. The large new kitchen on Central Street is a modern marvel and a feast for the senses; bright ...

  • Best Pet Supply Store: Agri-Feed Pet Supply Published 04/30/2009 at 12:29 a.m.

    What this suggests is that pets vote. Agri-Feed is enormous, and at a glance its interior might be mistaken for that of a loss-leader box store near the interstate. Then you realize that they don’t stock “everything for your pet.” ...

  • Best Bike Shop: Greenlee’s Bike Shop Published 04/30/2009 at 12:27 a.m.

    Well, they’ve only had 108 years to work on it. Greenlee’s is pretty much a Norman Rockwell painting of a bike shop come to life. It’s extremely kid- and family-friendly. (On a recent afternoon, you could have taken advantage of ...

  • Best Tattoo Parlor: Saint Tattoo Published 04/30/2009 at 12:22 a.m.

    The perfect combination of good humor and good hygiene—exactly what you want when you’re commissioning micro-surgery with the intention of ornamental scarring. From old school to photo-copy to body art, The Saint’s artists are great at taking good ideas and ...

  • Best Dry Cleaner: Prestige Cleaners, Inc. Published 04/30/2009 at 12:19 a.m.

    How to judge a dry cleaner? There’s hanger recycling. There’s environmentally friendly chemicals and processes. There’s pricing and turnaround time. Prestige’s café in the lobby of the Gay Street location was genius. And the hand-signed Christmas cards are just really, ...

  • Best Outdoor Sports Store: River Sports Outfitters Published 04/30/2009 at 12:13 a.m. 1 Comment

    From cycling to climbing to paddling to camping, River Sports makes it easy. You can gear up for a summer above the treeline—or you can just dress like you might spend the summer above the treeline. They sell good stuff ...

  • Best Liquor Store: Toddy’s Package Store Published 04/30/2009 at 12:08 a.m.

    Toddy’s is clean, well-lit (often by real sunlight), well-stocked, and has a friendly and approachable staff that knows its stuff. It’s a great party stop, but also has plenty for the discriminating bourbonizer or pinot snob. What is without question ...

  • Lost and FOUND Published 04/29/2009 at 11:23 a.m.

    FOUND circulates as art for the most part. Most people find it irresistible. At the same time, one suspects that most people find it awkward to be seen reading it. It’s not necessarily an invasion of privacy or a personal ...

  • Smokin’ Published 04/24/2009 at 4:11 p.m.

    John Aylor lives in Rio Rancho, N.M. He’s headed to the Smokies for the 10th annual gathering of two-stroke fanatics that regularly descends on the Deals Gap Resort each spring. (This year, from May 4 through May 10.) He describes ...

  • Vacationist League Keeps it Simple and True Published 04/22/2009 at 4:13 p.m.

    Call it the Waylon Jennings effect. The man is never remembered without the mandatory asterisk disclaiming the outlaw myth; that he was in fact a family man and homebody. So it’s still surprising when John Tilson, someone you know to ...

  • Tennessee Scenic Vistas Act On Hold Again Published 04/22/2009 at 4:08 p.m.

    Down but not out, the Tennessee Scenic Vistas Protection Act—aimed at prohibiting mountaintop removal coal mining in Tennessee—is on ice for yet another year. As reported, the bill was due for a vote on March 31 in the House Environment ...

  • Knoxville Artist Receives Guggenheim Fellowship Published 04/08/2009 at 2:59 p.m.

    Jered Sprecher teaches painting and drawing at the University of Tennessee. Next year he’ll be teaching, primarily by example, the importance of perseverance, healthy self-esteem and individuality. He won’t be in the classroom or his faculty studio. This week, the ...

  • Knoxville Libraries Host Green Lunches Published 04/01/2009 at 2:58 p.m.

    It’s like a bookmobile, but greener. Instead of taking loads of books from the shelves to where the people are, Knox County Public Library (KCPL) has launched a new program that more or less just transports the most important ideas ...

  • Mountaintop Removal Gains Momentum as a Faith Issue Published 03/25/2009 at 4:33 p.m.

    Tennessee’s House Environment subcommittee is scheduled to vote Tuesday, March 31, to determine whether SB1406/HB899 will move to the full House Conservation and Environment committee for a vote. If subcommittee and committee vote accordingly, the bill would then move to ...

  • Building St. John Neumann Catholic Church Published 03/25/2009 at 4:09 p.m. 7 Comments

    The Parish of St. John Neumann Catholic Church, in Farragut, has a new building. And paradoxically, that building is old in many ways. The closest thing to it in the United States is probably the magnificent St. Louis Basilica, which ...

  • Meet Your New Bishop, Knoxville Published 03/25/2009 at 4:06 p.m.

    Bishop Richard Stika was ordained on Thursday, March 19, with great fanfare and ceremony. Stika has spent most of his vocational life serving the St. Louis Archdiocese, both as priest of several parishes and in numerous official diocese appointments. Stika ...

  • Singing Trio Mixes Middle Ages, Modern Published 03/25/2009 at 3:36 p.m.

    Centuries-old traditional music from Norway, arranged for three female voices with percussion and Jew’s harp. Under which category would you expect to find such music, nominated for a 2008 Grammy? Perhaps not Best Chamber Music Performance.

  • The Collector Published 03/23/2009 at 4:07 p.m.

    What do you call a man’s home when he’s given over all available basement and garage space to the storage of obscure parts—original, aftermarket, salvaged, you name it—for esoteric British motorcycles that haven’t been manufactured in decades? Before you answer, ...

  • 2008 Aprilia 750 Shiver: Molto Buono Published 03/23/2009 at 3:52 p.m.

    If the Italian matinee idol Marcello Mastroianni was in his prime these days, and inclined toward two-wheeling, no doubt he’d have multiple motocicli. For photo shoots and red carpet events, he’d probably have something like a Ducati 900 SS from ...

  • Bruce Springsteen Comes of Age Published 03/17/2009 at 10:09 a.m.

    An artist friend who is not a fan recently summed up the essence of the Bruce Springsteen phenomenon. Let me paraphrase what she said without looking up from her knitting: He became famous by singing songs about his own life. ...

  • Polish Artist Brings Home Universality Published 03/17/2009 at 10:06 a.m.

    In a book called The Conversations, the acclaimed film editor and sound designer Walter Murch (Apocalypse Now, the revised Touch of Evil, The English Patient) told Michael Ondaatje that perhaps the most satisfying lifestyle a person could hope for was ...

  • Gimme Danger Published 03/12/2009 at 4:55 p.m.

    It’s a cold and crappy January day in West Knoxville; too cold and crappy to think much about motorcycles. Unless you happen to be in a particular heated shop, where two evil geniuses are examining the skeleton of what may ...

  • South Knoxville Connector Stirs Once Again Published 03/04/2009 at 2:16 p.m.

    John Hunter is TDOT Project Manager for the proposed South Knoxville Boulevard extension. On Feb. 17, Hunter and others shared information with some 90 citizens on the progress of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) currently underway for that project. (The ...

  • Knoxville Ready and Waiting for Stimulus Published 02/25/2009 at 1:05 p.m.

    Last week President Obama signed the $787 billion stimulus package into law. His administration chose Denver’s Museum of Nature and Science as a backdrop—following a photo-op tour of a solar panel design facility—in order to draw attention to the package’s ...

  • Honda Hoot Kaput for 2009 Published 02/19/2009 at 3:16 p.m.

    Even though it was one of the best-attended motorcycle events in North America, American Honda announced in December that this year’s Honda Hoot is on the ever-growing economic kibosh list. Citing the economic crunch and its likely significant impact on ...

  • True Adventures of The 555 Published 02/19/2009 at 3:11 p.m.

    The 555. You may have heard about them. Although, if you’re not plugged in to one of Knoxville’s myriad motorcycle networks, it’s probably just as likely that you actually heard The 555. Seven small, old Honda motorcycles in various states ...

  • KTM Super Duke 990: Flip, Flop, and Fly Published 02/19/2009 at 2:53 p.m.

    When I was stationed in Hawaii 25 years ago, I had a car to bop around in. But motorcycles were my primary mode of weekend transportation. A bunch of my friends were divers or surfers who owned only motorcycles. So ...

  • Don Byron Makes it New Published 02/18/2009 at 2:39 p.m.

    It sometimes seems that jazz is not terribly different from other professions, creative or otherwise. Those players with whom we are most familiar have worked hard to become very good at something, in many cases one very specific thing, similar ...

  • Sights and Sounds Published 02/18/2009 at 2:35 p.m.

    Back in 2006, we were looking for ways to promote the library’s music and video collections. I had some money for concerts from the Friends of the Library and the infamous CD settlement case. I asked Donald [Brown] to do ...

  • Jazz legend Gerald Wilson just can’t turn it off Published 02/11/2009 at 1:25 p.m.

    The distinctly American music that we call jazz is uncontainable as a genre. By accepted definition, if you approach it with anything significant to add, you are obligated to change it, to take it further. Jazz, then, may be less ...

  • Knoxville Attorneys Fight Bush Doctrine Published 02/11/2009 at 1:04 p.m. 3 Comments

    The terrorist attacks on New York City in 2001 set in motion a chain of events that has played less as a logical progression than an avalanche of questionable acts. The United States has invaded two distant countries under pretenses ...

  • BIG EARS 09: Shaking Ray Levis Published 02/04/2009 at 4:34 p.m.

    The Chattanooga-based Shaking Ray Levi Society and the performing duo The Shaking Ray Levis (drummer Bob Stagner and keyboardist/vocal artist Dennis Palmer) have been making a joyful noise just over the hill and occasionally here in Knoxville for going on ...

  • BIG EARS 09: Jon Hassell Published 02/04/2009 at 4:28 p.m.

    Gather up all of your favorite and familiar trumpet sounds: marches, Satchmo, Haydn, ska maybe, Dixieland, Dizzy, the many moods of Miles Davis, what have you. Now put those away, someplace safe, while you consider the music of trumpeter Jon ...

  • Help for Knoxville Non-Profits Published 02/03/2009 at 3:54 p.m.

    As local job losses, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and bad-news headlines of all flavors continue to mount, households, families, companies and individuals have no choice but to focus on self-preservation. People and groups who just a year ago might have been obsessed ...

  • Plein air painter sees things in a different light Published 01/28/2009 at 11:32 a.m.

    The work of Nashville painter Roger Dale Brown reminds viewers nicely that the painter, in fact, traffics in light. Paint is applied in ways to reveal the sources of light—the manner in which it reacts with objects, the spaces it ...

  • The Best Knoxville Band Ever #10: Teenage Love Published 01/27/2009 at 4:40 p.m. 1 Comment

    It’s impossible to tell from the voting whether respondents are most fond of Teenage Love’s first incarnation—which enjoyed a clamorous seven-year run beginning in 1984—or its revival, which came together in 2004 at Metro Fest and resulted in Rus Harper’s ...

  • Vassilis Tsabropoulos, Anja Lechner, and U.T. Ghandi keep it fresh Published 01/21/2009 at 10:03 a.m.

    Melos demonstrates great strides forward for a creative combination of talents and sounds that was already nearly perfect. If Tsabropoulos and Lechner’s 2004 Chants, Hymns and Dances marked the discovery of a musical place, Melos chronicles the first steps of ...

  • Glowing Bowl may get license to chill Published 01/21/2009 at 9:28 a.m.

    The Glowing Bowl, a healthy foods café tucked into the warm, usually sunlit spaces of the yoga studio complex called The Glowing Body (which is in turn tucked behind Magpies and the retired Corner Lounge, on Central Avenue) is jumping ...