Beth Meadows

first friday

Self-Rising Opening this Friday

Beth MeadowsComment

This Friday is the opening of Self-Rising, an exhibition of paintings by Sarah McFalls inspired by vintage flour sacks, originally created for The International Biscuit Festival (IBF). The opening will be from 5-7pm at the With Bear Hands Gallery located at Magpies, 846 N Central St in Knoxville. The show will last through the end of April.

I've known Sarah for several years now and have admired her work even longer. She typically makes more conceptual work, but she humored the IBF Art Committee, which I serve on, when we asked her to create paintings with a biscuit theme for the festival.

Sarah is the Collections Manager at the University of Tennessee's Ewing Gallery, which also means she does a great deal to put on the shows at UT's Downtown Gallery on Gay Street. And when I say a "great deal," that's an understatement. That crew works like crazy to put those exhibitions on, mentally and physically. Please shake their hands and thank them frequently.

Sarah and I have been studiomates at 17th Street Studios as well as the Salvage Shop. We both share a deep affinity for cats. Most importantly, we are both from Memphis, which means she probably knows me better than most people in Knoxville by default, considering I've been displaced from there for so long. I do love Knoxville (I willingly chose to reside here after all), but Memphis is forever my home. It's got a soul and grit like no other city in Tennessee, and I miss it a lot if I think too much about it, which I try not to. I'm thankful to know that Sarah knows how I feel about this without having to explain it.

Just so you know, the With Bear Hands Gallery is a space that Peg, the owner of Magpies has generously given to me as a token of her support. I'm beginning to feature some of my favorite artists there every three months. My hope is to have one First Friday opening there with each artist and to eventually showcase multiple artists at a time. It would be a tiny step toward having a space dedicated to some artists that don't really have a gallery setting at the moment in Knoxville that fits them too well, myself included.

I always have artwork there, as well as a vast array of fine art prints of my work. Right now, I have the Cats and Tennessee Wooden Cut Outs and the Dusk Love screenprint series featured there. I am also using the space to showcase a lot of older work, to help clear out my studio in what I have been calling the WBH Studio Purge

I hope you'll come out this First Friday for free cupcakes, to meet Sarah and me, to buy some work OR you can visit the Gallery anytime Magpies is open. Their hours are:

Sunday    Closed
Monday    10AM–4PM
Tuesday    10AM–5:30PM

Wednesday    10AM–5:30PM
Thursday    10AM–5:30PM
Friday    10AM–5:30PM
Saturday    10AM–4PM

All artwork may be purchased at the Magpies sales counter and on First Friday, you can find me or the featured artist if you need assistance.

Please let me know if you ever have any questions about the work there. You can contact me through this site or at

See you Friday!

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


Sweet Treats: Opening Reception Nov 7

Beth MeadowsComment

At the moment, I'm busy making work for this show. It's a spin off of the cats cut out of wood I hung at Old City Java in July. A re-mix, if you will. 

Please stop by during the opening on First Friday. I'll be doing a stamp carving demo and will have mason jar and fine art prints available for sale.

If you can't make it November 7, stop by later in November during regular business hours. Sweet Treats will be up until December 1.