david mcbeth on fri 1 dec 00
I am compelled to share with the list the following article from our local
paper. Though the project has started small I believe it has been a
success and i am proud of it.
from the November 21, 2000 Weakley County Press:
The name stirs romantic images of Bohemian Paris and the Lost Generation;
politics and absinthe at Cafe de la Rotonde, jazz music and cubist art,
James Joyce's stream of consciousness and Gertrude Stein's rivers of venom.
Whatever visions emerge, the "Left Bank" connotes unbound creative
expression and now shoppers in Martin are invited to explore the fruits of
a new local art movement.
Although the Left Bank Artist's Market is less glamourous and certainly not
as decadent as its namesake of the 1920s, Martin's version is just as
inspired. Located between the Weldon Library and the railroad tracks, this
aggregation of local artists are offering their wares for sale from 9 a.m.
until noon each Saturday, now through Dec. 16.
The budding project is the brainchild of Bill Ahlschwede, an English
instructor at UT Martin, who also crafts flowers made of wood. According to
David McBeth, an art professor at UTM, Ahlschwede first broached the idea
"Bill approached me on campus one day and said, 'I think we need to find a
way to promote our art...I've been thinking the Farmers' Market is about
(finished for the season), how about having an artists'
market down there?'" McBeth re-counts. "That was brilliant and I wish I
could take credit for the idea.
"I'm on the board of the Weakley County Arts and Humanities Council and I
brought the idea up to them, asking if they'd go on record as supporting
this and they said, 'Yes!'"
McBeth has since been networking the idea, talking with local artists he
knows and with students, trying to drum up interest among potential
"It's wide open to anyone in the community and region who does an art or a
craft who'd like to come out for a few hours on Saturday morning," he
added. "Just like the Farmers' Market, you can back your car or pickup
truck into your slot and lay your stuff out on the tailgate if you want.
It's nothing formal."
There is a small exhibitor fee of 10 percent of total sales, not exceeding
$5. Those proceeds are donated to the Weakley County Arts and Humanities
There's no other obligation on the part of the participating artists,
McBeth said. "No one is committed to working all four remaining Saturdays.
If (an artist) can only make it one Saturday, that's okay, come on down."
Saturday, the Left Bank Artists' Market opened to overcast skies and
spine-stiffening breezes. The blustery day did nothing to chill the warm
reception shoppers were greeted with that day. Several UTM
art students, members of the Visual Arts Society, along with McBeth
displayed paintings, pottery and weaving. It was a modest affair made up
for with lavish enthusiasm.
For the holiday shopper, the project represents an opportunity to purchase
boutique-quality gifts at bargain prices. It also gives one the
satisfaction of supporting local artists and awards young (and
young-at-heart) talents. It's hassle-free shopping with no long checkout
lines or cranky five-and-dimers to contend with.
All area artists and crafts people are encouraged to display their art,
McBeth emphasized. Whether needlepoint, crochet, macrame, pottery,
wood-working, jewelry, painting or weaving, everyone's
participation is welcome. For more information about the Left Bank Artists'
Market, call David McBeth at 587-5724 (residence), 587-7416 (office) or
e-mail him at email@example.com.