AVA Facade

Address: 30 Frazier Avenue - Chattanooga, TN - 37405

Phone: (423) 265-4282

AVA Gallery Hours: Tuesday - Friday & first Saturday each month from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM

AVA, the Association for Visual Arts, is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that works to connect the visual arts and the community-at-large. We do this by providing resources for those who make art (whether professional artists, emerging artists, students or non-artists) and fostering connections among art-makers and audiences.

423-265-4282 Extension 101 - rmorris@avarts.org

423-265-4282 Extension 101 - rmorris@avarts.org

Ricardo C. Morris

Executive Director

Ricardo C. Morris is a native of Chattanooga and attended Clifton Hills, Calvin Donaldson, G. Russel Brown, and St. Elmo elementary schools, Alton Park Junior High School and is a 1980 graduate of Howard High School. Mr. Morris continued his tiger tradition by attending Tennessee State University where he received his B.S.  in Speech, Communication and Theater.  After graduation, he spent 8 years at Hixson High School teaching Theater, English, and Dance.  In 1994 Ric left teaching to attend Yale University where he earned a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Arts Administration. While at Yale, Ric founded the Dwight/Edgewood Project which mentored disadvantaged youth through playwriting. This program earned him the honor of being the first School of Drama student to become a Yale Presidential Fellow.

Ric has worked as Executive Director of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame in Birmingham, Alabama; founded the Green Street Arts Center in Middletown, Connecticut; and the Harris Arts Center in Calhoun, Georgia.

As an artist, Ric considers himself a dancer/actor/director and has appeared in several productions at the Chattanooga Theater Center including; The Wiz, Hello Dolly, A Chorus Line, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He has directed, A Streetcar Named Desire, Blues for an Alabama Sky, August Wilson’s Fences and others. 

423-265-4282 Extension 104 - ewallis@avarts.org

423-265-4282 Extension 104 - ewallis@avarts.org

Ellie Wallis

Assistant Director

Ellie Wallis is a home-grown Chattanoogan who lives in Hixson with her husband Tim and two adorably neurotic Welsh Corgis. After graduating from GPS, she jumped into the world of administration by helping to build and manage a small business with her husband. From there, Ellie has worked for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga at the Challenger STEM Learning Center, served as executive director for the North Chickamauga Creek Conservancy, and managed the southeast regional initiatives for the Tennessee Environmental Council. In February 2017, she joined the team at the Association for Visual Art as their Assistant Director. She manages the administrative functions of AVA and keeps things running smoothly. To Ellie, a job is more than a paycheck; it’s an opportunity to make a difference for the people within an organization and therefore allow that organization to make a difference for the people that it serves. When Ellie’s not bringing order to her world one file folder at a time, she enjoys reading mysteries, cross stitching, rock collecting, gardening, and coloring.


423-265-4282 Extension 105 - bholder@avarts.org

423-265-4282 Extension 105 - bholder@avarts.org

Brooke Holder

Creative Director

Brooke Holder made the move to Chattanooga in early 2016 from Atlanta, Georgia. Over the past year she has fallen in love with Tennessee and believes she has found the perfect life balance. In her free time, she likes to explore trails and rivers with her dog, Arlo, and play Appalachian music. From an early age, Brooke has been a competitive athlete and a leader with an adventurous spirit. She found her passion for the arts after being inspired by an extended backpacking trip overseas and returned to the states to study graphic design at the Art Institute of Atlanta. Brooke brings with her over 12 years of experience ranging from her role as a senior designer at the American Cancer Society to her involvement with several non-profits and art organizations in Atlanta. Brooke enjoys talking to strangers and can find commonality in all walks of life. She has a zest for connecting people through music and art and helping to build a stronger sense of community. She is a mover and shaker by nature and is excited to be a part of such a vibrant and progressive city.


423-265-4282 Extension 103 - krenrw@gmail.com

423-265-4282 Extension 103 - krenrw@gmail.com

Kreneshia Whiteside

Chief Curator

As an Anthropology and Art History graduate from East Tennessee State University, Kreneshia Whiteside has a bold passion for art and the respect of cultures. She has been surrounded by the arts since she began attending Center for Creative Arts in middle school. While there, her concentration was in vocal music and piano, but she developed an appreciation for the entire art world. Since then, she has decided that her career path would promote the importance of the arts to the community and encourage involvement. Kreneshia has been curating exhibitions since 2015 and has worked at The Hunter Museum of American Art, Frist Center for Visual Arts, and the Nelson Fine Art Center.





423-265-4282 Extension 102 - mkimbrell@avarts.org

423-265-4282 Extension 102 - mkimbrell@avarts.org

Michelle Kimbrell

Director of 4 Bridges Arts Festival™ 

Michelle Kimbrell earned a BA in Studio Art from Georgia State University in Atlanta and an Associates Degree in Business from Georgia Perimeter College. She is also a 2013 Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute graduate. Shortly after moving to Chattanooga in June of 2013 Michelle started an internship with AVA. Kimbrell has several years of volunteer experience with non-profits and is also a well known local artist. 










Association for Visual Arts 2016-2017 Board of Directors



Lisa Brock, Co-President

Mary Kilbride, Co-President

Jim Callihan, Secretary

Jonathan Frost, Treasurer


Board of Directors

Betsy Brown

Michael Costello

Alex Cruikshank

Isaac Duncan III

Donna Foster

Mary Kilbride

Claudia Moore

Mary O’Kelley

Inés Palacios

Lindsay Richardson

Bobby Stone

Larry Stone, Ex-Officio

Angela Stoudemire

Ricky Supan