It all started when...

"It was all so exciting, with heart pounding and intense anticipation I entered the room.  The walls were adorned with beautiful impressionist paintings and I would finally get to see one of the master's, up close and personal.  I was going to breathe in the air around the painting, take in the brush strokes up close, and then stand back to take in the whole painting.  I would repeat that little ritual over and over again for hours.  I'd waited so many years for this moment and I wanted to grab everyone walking by just to point out the tiniest of strokes that was a flower, a bonnet, or even a bird.  The people moved around the room like a carousel and many looked but did not see.  Sitting in the middle of the space on a lonely bench, I watched as they got close to a painting but did not step back.  How could they possibly see the whole of it?  I was sad for them, for I was in my bliss but they did not seem to share it.  More than that, I was heartbroken for the children, held tightly by the hand and pulled along like  little red wagons, most of their heads under the frames of the paintings that they were supposed to look at, only seeing what their little crooked necks would let their eyes view.  

I wanted to shout, 'Lift them up! Point out the colors. Show them the tiny brushstrokes and ask them....oh please, ask them what they see. Ask them how it makes them feel.' 

But, I did not.  I just watched and contemplated, and thus was born the idea of the Painted Story Children's Gallery.

Watching a child truly engage in art is like watching them engage with nature; in their faces you will see curiosity, wonder, exploration, and then comes their own imagination and creativity." - Christina Thongnopnua



Museums and galleries have a mission of making art accessible to those who find it intriguing. Painted Story Children's Gallery's mission is similar; to inspire the creative potential in people of all ages, especially the younger generations! Too often, young people are not taken seriously, and Painted Story is here to change that. Our Gallery is a mobile masterpiece and can be brought to you, your students, and your children with creative curriculum written by our Team!

The Painted Story Children's Gallery includes abstract art, prints, drawings, and thought-provoking narrative paintings to engage anyone, of any walk of life, to think like a child.

In this instance, "to think like a child," means that creative thoughts are less inhibited and the imagination is kick-started. The Gallery visitors will interact with work that excites them, makes them feel an emotional response, or a need to create something of their own. The art is installed at the eye level of the children who will be visiting our host sites around the city, a key element in fulfilling our mission. This installation process is crucial so that the children can feel like a "grown-up" and know that this Gallery is curated specifically for them. The children can then understand what a true gallery experience is and how appreciating art can transform the way that we look at the world. The arts matter in the world, for so many different reasons and to so many different people. Chattanooga, TN is a city where this passion for the arts and arts education is strong and sustainable. Community Members like you will help to give children an authentic artistic appreciation by supporting Painted Story. Please reach out to us with your questions or ideas! We're always on the lookout for fabulous friends and hosts for the upcoming year! You can also follow us on Instagram at @paintedstoryart!