Local tours explore Chattanooga’s arts community

(photo contributed by New South Tour Company)

By Isabella Patta, Staff Writer —

New South Tour Company offers tours of art galleries and studios around Chattanooga to explore the local art scene.

Libby Santin, New South Tour Company’s art ambassador, started the company in September 2017.

The tours start at 1 p.m. and last about two to three hours. Tours take place every first and third Saturday every month. Up to 10 people can participate in each tour.

Besides touring art galleries, Santin takes visitors to see public art around Chattanooga and also local artist’s studios. In total, the tour makes about six to eight stops, always including different locations.

“Sometimes galleries have artists demonstrations or artists are working in their studios,” Santin said. “Usually we do two to three galleries, two to three artist’s studios and in between we fill it with public art.”

Galleries include the River Gallery in the Bluff View Art District, Cress Gallery at UTC and Gallery 1401.

Part of the tour is done walking, but for longer distances Santin arranges Uber rides for participants.
“I might add more walking tours for more concentrated [art] areas,” Santin said. “Or add tours to go to Nashville or Atlanta.”

She had the idea for New South Tour company while visiting New York City and participating in a walking art tour in the Chelsea neighborhood and wanted to transfer the concept to Chattanooga.

“Action trumps everything,” Santin said. “It brings you to the next thing, you just have to start.”

She started talking to people she knew about getting artists and art enthusiasts involved, and it snowballed from there.

Santin has an interest in start-up companies. Besides New South Tour Co., she also owns Dynamic Displays and Graphics, a company that does trade show displays, exhibit and promotional products. She is also an adjunct professor at UTC and taught New Venture Creation during the Fall 2017 semester.

New South Tour Co. ticket prices are $45. If you sign up by Wednesday night, prior to the tour, you receive $5 off. Anybody over the age of 14 can sign up for the tour on the website.
For more information, see newsouthtourco.com.

Grace Stafford

Grace Stafford

Features Editor

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