The mission of AVA is to connect visual arts and community in personal and experiential ways because art makes people and communities better.

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.

Ricardo C. Morris

Executive Director

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423-265-4282 Extension 101 -

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 attended Tennessee State University where he received his B.S. degree in Speech Communication and Theater.  After graduation, Ricardo taught Theater, English, and Dance for 8 years at Hixson High.  In 1994 Ric left teaching to attend Yale University where he earned a Masters in Fine Arts (MFA) in Arts Administration. While attending 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. 

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423-265-4282 Extension 100 -

Coughlin Cooper
Assistant Director  

Coughlin Cooper earned a B.A. from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi and upon graduation, returned to Chattanooga to work with The Hunter Museum of American Art and the Creative Discovery Museum.  She also obtained her A.S. in the Culinary Arts from Johnson & Wales University in Vail, Colorado, and worked in catering, event planning and special event management. She has been an active volunteer in the Chattanooga and Signal Mountain communities for many years. Cooper joined AVA in the fall of 2012 as Business Administrator. Her duties include various internal and external administrative responsibilities as well as the 4 Bridges Patron’s Party and other special events.

Lauren Goforth

Education and Exhibitions Director

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423-265-4282 Extension 105 -

Lauren Goforth earned a B.A. in Art History with a minor in Education from Sewanee: The University of the South. During her undergraduate studies, Goforth completed internships at ArtsBuild Chattanooga, the Hunter Museum, and the Association for Visual Arts. She is also a graduate of the Holmberg Arts Leadership Institute. She previously worked as a Teaching Assistant at Sewanee Elementary School and has numerous years of experience as a volunteer in the non-profit and educational sectors. Goforth has been with AVA since 2008 and assumed a leadership role in September 2012. 

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423-265-4282 Extension 103 -

Michelle Kimbrell

Director of 4 Bridges Arts Festival™ and Membership

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. 

Zachary Cooper

Director of Media & Design and Capture Project Director 

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 423-265-4282  Extension 102 -

Zachary has over 18 years experience in a a wide range of media. A founding partner of the arts & entertainment newsweekly, The Pulse, he directed editorial and design throughout his 10-year leadership there. Additionally, Zach has extensive knowledge and experience in digital publishing and advertising, video distribution, television, radio and media relations.

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

Bijan Dhanani

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

Juanita Tumelaire, Ex-Officio