On the Prowl for Local Art

The Art Prowl will be returning to Cookeville for its 13th year on Nov. 8 and 9.

This event is free to all and will be held primarily throughout several businesses in Cookeville’s historic downtown, as well as other areas of Cookeville, including the Bryan Fine Arts Building on Tech’s campus.  The event will run from noon to 8 p.m. on Nov. 8 and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 9.

Local artists from Putnam County will be gathering to showcase their art skills with demonstrations and will present their own original works.  

“It’s like going to Disney World, it’s impossible to do it all in one day,” said Laura Clemons, a local artist taking part in the event.

According to the event’s website, the two-day festival allows art enthusiasts to integrate their passion for creating original pieces with the local artists participating in the Prowl.

Clemons said, “Art is meant to be seen and talked about.”

The Art Prowl is an interactive exhibit where artists and visitors alike are encouraged to discuss art and the story behind each and every piece. 

 Previously, the event has been dominated by two-dimensional art, but it has since expanded to include artwork and demonstrations such as wheel-throwing, digital illustrations, thrown and hand-built clay and clay sculpture.

Clemons also said that Cookeville is actually home to more arts than most consider. The city holds the Joan Derryberry Art Gallery, the Bryan Fine Arts Building on Tech’s campus, and even the Appalachian Center for Craft.

Clemons said that many tourists are drawn to Cookeville because of its immense collection of art centers and galleries.  

The event attracts approximately 3,000 visitors per year, most of which take part in the Prowl festivities both days.

According to the event’s website, there will be time set aside from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 9 to allow children to take part in the experience, as well.  Children’s activities include mono printing, chalk leaf drawings, stencil and finger knitting, and creating art from recycled materials.

While the Art Prowl reaches out to educate and entertain the community about art, it also looks to make an impact on the local economy.  

“All of the art is for sale,” said Clemons.

According to the website, the event generates tax dollars, which ultimately helps fluctuate the economy of Cookeville.  

“As a matter of fact, many people come to the prowl looking for Christmas gifts,” said Clemons.

One of this year’s main features will take place on Tech’s campus in the Bryan Fine Arts Building. Joe Biel will be creating a temporary, wall-sized mural as part of his contribution to the Art Prowl.

A wall in the BFA is already prepared for the Biel’s mural, which will take up the entirety of the two-day span.

Funding for the event comes primarily from artists participating in the Art Prowl. Some funding is donated by patrons of the arts.

Visit the official website of the Art Prowl at to get a list of participating artists, demonstrations, and to download a map and calendar of the events taking place.