Located on East Main Street in Chattanooga, HART Gallery is a cheerful space with a mission. Much like any other art gallery, creative works line the walls all around. However, HART feels especially warm and welcoming. Even on the rainiest day, HART radiates with bright colors and craft from the inside-out.
The owners of HART felt the need to make this a place uniquely curated with the artwork of local homeless, special needs, and otherwise non-traditional artists. Featured works range from paintings and drawings to handmade fibers, like baby clothes and jewelry. HART’s function is unique because it serves as the artists’ personal studios — a safe place for rest and creativity. No matter the artist’s socio-economic standing, all are welcome to use the gallery communally as they work on their masterpieces.
Lest you think I’m painting this gallery as some sort of artsy Salvation Army, let me reassure you it is far from that. HART wants to put the existing talent to good use and simultaneously empower their artists. The gallery is used as an event space, and the artists selling their work get to choose which charity organization a percentage of their proceeds goes toward. By making this a necessary process of selling artwork at HART, it ensures that the artist no longer feels like they are only on the receiving end of charity.
The artwork exhibited at HART is really quite creative and endearing. The exhibitions never feel pretentious, like art galleries can sometimes feel. The art displayed here feels like a big, happy, loud, and boisterous family. I’ve always loved Main Street’s aesthetic, and finding special places like this makes me enjoy it even more. I encourage you to grab a cup of coffee from Neidlov’s and head next door to the HART Gallery to see what they’re all about.