Blend Studio’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ Invites Conversation: Tennessean

Blend Studio’s ‘Message in a Bottle’ Invites Conversation

Link to Tennessean article

March 14, 2010

When Samantha Callahan and Ben Vitualla opened Blend Studio last summer, they wanted to support artists whose work encouraged community involvement. The latest show, Tina Ahyoka’s Message in a Bottle, continues that focus.

“It’s the artist’s project, but it does become attached to the gallery,” Callahan says. Sometimes the gallery becomes a drop-off point for materials — bottles in this case — used in the show.

Using medicine, beverage and other bottles, local artist Ahyoka creates works ranging from “dragonflies” constructed of bottles, glass beads and copper wire; and Messagettes, a clever riff on word origins.

999 Bottles, a backlit wall made of stacked brown, green and clear beer bottles — still bearing labels and secured by dowels and adhesive — spans the back of the gallery. The jagged pattern formed by the bottles recalls both a heart monitor and Charlie Brown’s pullover.

Message in a Bottle remains on view at Blend Studio, located upstairs in the Arcade at #79, through March 27. (After that, Ahyoka will use some of the bottles in a public art project at Long Hunter State Park.) The gallery is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and till 3 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge. For information, call 554-1340 or go to



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