Celebrating Local Art in an Unlikely Location

Maybe you noticed some art displayed in one of the parking lots under Interstate 40 at Magnolia Avenue and Central Street during the first University of Tennessee home football game on Sept. 8. That was the new art show Second Saturday Under the Bridge, started by Michael Armin Pitz and a few friends.

Pitz says he was feeling pretty uninspired by the opportunities artists had in Knoxville when he decided to start an event that would give artists the chance to display and try to sell their work without paying the high fees galleries sometimes charge. After getting the event cleared by city planners—"They loved it," Pitz says—the event went on despite the threat of rain and a busy day in Knoxville. About 50 people checked out the art that day—"That proved people would come down," Pitz says.

The second Second Saturday Under the Bridge will be this Saturday, and Pitz says about 20 artists have signed up to display their work. Tootsies Food Truck will also be around, and musicians are more than welcome to drop by and pick up a guitar.

"I want the creativity aspect to keep flowing," Pitz says.

Pitz's goal is to expand into another parking lot under the bridge, and for the event to act as an inexpensive way for artists to sell their work. Booths at the event go for $50 or $25.

"Knoxville needs more outlets for artists," he says. "It's got to be more accessible."