Beth Meadows

First Friday How To: Where to Show & Who to Contact

Beth MeadowsComment

There was a time not long ago when First Friday was just a small but wonderful spark of life in downtown Knoxville. Today, it is the night to be in downtown Knoxville. If you're an Artist, booking a First Friday show is the best way to share what you're making with Knoxville.

Since graduating from UT in 2007, it's been fun to witness its growth, and not only that, to be an active participant. If I had to guess, I'd say I've been a part of 50 First Friday shows in the past ten years, and I'd love to share some things I've learned along the way.

Showing artwork can be an intimidating venture if you've never done it before, but I want to convey just how valuable and simple it can be to schedule a First Friday show. I think it's safe to say that if you're an Artist in Knoxville, there is a venue for you.  

So what are the first steps to booking a show? Here are my suggestions:

1. Visit some venues and determine what places will be a good fit for your work. First Friday is a great time to do this, or any other time they are open will work.

2. Meet the owner or find out the First Friday contact for the venue. Some venues have volunteers who coordinate their shows, but most of the time, it's the owner. See below for as many venues I know about and their contacts. 

3. Visit their website to see if they have information on how to submit work for approval. If there isn't any information, contact the venue and start by asking them how to be considered.

I'll add and update the list below as often as I receive new information. It's a collaborative effort, so leave me a comment or email me at beth@bethmeadows,com with edits or additions.


1. The Emporium- Suzanne Cada:; Visit their website.

2. The Central Collective- Dale Mackey: 

3. The Tomato Head- Bethann DeGrow:; They choose artists for the next year at the end of the previous year.

4. Rala- Alaina Smith: 

5. The Knoxville Visitor Center-

6. Gallery 1010 - reserved for UT students

7. The Fluorescent Gallery- David Wolff:

8. Striped Light- Sarah Shebaro:

9. The Hive- Rebecca Ridner:

10. Central Flats and Taps- 

11. Old City Java- Meg Parrish: 

12. Good Golly Tamale- Beth Meadows:

13. Magpies Small Hall Gallery- Beth Meadows:

14. A1 LabArts- Visit their website.

15. Preservation Pub

16. Coffee and Chocolate- 

17. Awaken Coffee- Matt Robbins: Go in and talk to him.

18. Tori Mason