Beth Meadows

Artist How To


Beth MeadowsComment

Last year, I began to let go. I managed a small gallery at Magpies Bakery, I was participating in First Friday shows in Knoxville at least every other month, and I was the Director 17th Street Studios.

I let go of all of these things.

It's August, eight months since, and I've been thinking about all of the other things I'd like to stop.

  • Twitter
  • Etsy
  • Showing in Knoxville every month
  • Pinterest
  • Possibly- multiple Instagram accounts
  • Snapchat

Oh yeah, I let go of Facebook last year, too.

I don't miss any of the things of which I've let go. However, there are little voices telling me I need to manage content on all social media platforms, especially if I want to represent myself as an artist. But I don't love social media. And I don't even use most of the outlets I listed above, except for Instagram.

I've thought about getting off of Instagram many times. When things get really dark, which happens on a consistent basis. But I inevitably feel better and my interest in Instagram is renewed. I'm grateful for how it gives me the ability to share.

I want to let go of all the superfluous stuff so that I can focus on a few things and do them well. So this project of streamlining continues.

There's so much clutter in our world digitally.  There's so much clutter physically. I am constantly getting rid of things. 

By the end of 2018, I'd like to be done with this process. I'm trying to get to the point where I can tackle organizing my computer files and photos, and to finally create inventory lists of all my artwork. There's a website called ArtworkArchive I want to check out. 

I'm sorting through my childhood boxes, brought up from my parent's home. This is hard. This little box of erasers that I've spent my whole life looking at, that meant something to me when I was little- how do I let go of that? (I have a way- in case you're curious.)

If I'm overwhelmed, I am paralyzed. I multitask a lot, but there's too much piling up right now. Not only the digital and the physical, but ideas, and things I want to do. Goals. 

So I've created spreadsheets to organize my ideas. There are three: One for my personal life, one for art, and one for my Home Organizing business. I have tabs where I put everything I can wait for, so that I know I've written it down, but I don't have to think about it right now. 

There's a lot of organizing that I'm doing, to cope with the influx of stuff. I get motivated often these days, to sort through the clutter. I get rid of as much as I can. I try to let go of ideas, too. Life it too short for this constant organizing of stuff that's just in the way.

There is all the piles of emotional stuff I'm working through, too. The lifetime of journals, the notes on scraps of paper, the books, the podcasts, the things I want to process, the phone calls I need to make.

With art, I'm not certain what I'm supposed to focus on. I think that a lot of times, I make certain artwork that is a distraction from the work I'm really supposed to make. I make work that feels easy to me and worry that it's keeping me form making the work that could be damaging if it was not accepted. The work that has been sitting in my brain, waiting for me to sit down and make it. 

I have to get rid of all the piles- the physical, the digital, the emotional- so I can get to the ideas. So I can make the most of my time. I am 34, and I hope to paint for the next 50 years at least. And there are at least ten bodies of work I'd like to start making right now. What if I only have 20 years. What if I only have 5, or 1. 

It's vital to me to find space, order, focus, and discipline, so that I can make the work I was made to make, for however long I'm granted life on this wonderful and cluttery earth.

Tricks of the Trade: Art Hanging

Beth MeadowsComment

I've been hanging a lot of artwork lately, for my own shows and in people's homes and offices. I don't want to give away all of my trade secrets, but I'll tell you one thing that's been a game-changer for me: 


When you drop a nail,

or a screw,

follow it with your eyes. 


You're welcome, young grasshopper.


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