Little Art Shop was Frazier Avenue Landmark

Sunday, May 08, 2011 - by Harmon Jolley
Little Art Shop, shown in 1963, was located at 201 Frazier Avenue.  Click to enlarge.
Little Art Shop, shown in 1963, was located at 201 Frazier Avenue. Click to enlarge.
- photo by Wes Schultz

The Little Art Shop was a long-time landmark of the business district of Frazier Avenue. There, customers could find supplies or take classes for their own artistic endeavors, as well as purchase original art work.

If the scenery in a painting looked familiar, there was good reason. The store’s proprietor, George Edward Little, often used the Chattanooga area as his subject.

George Edward Little was born in Ashland, Kentucky in 1908. He became interested in art as a child, and furthered his ambitions through correspondence courses.

This led to a number of stops along his journey – as a newspaper cartoonist, sign painter for J.C. Penney, lobby card artist for theaters, and owner of an art shop in Miami.

As empty-nesters in 1953, Mr. Little and his wife moved to Chattanooga, a place through which their travels had taken them several times. He worked for Faulkner Sign Company, and then opened the Little Art Shop in 1960 at 201 Frazier Avenue.

A September 4, 1966 Chattanooga News-Free Press article headlined George Little as being the “Painter of Chattanooga.” He was credited with capturing the beauty of the area on canvas, in the same way that Walter Cline had done through postcard photographs.

“From the first,” said Mr. Little, “I was struck not only by the beauty of this area, but by the variety of vistas that kept unfolding as we drove along.”

Mr. Little’s works could be found in homes, government offices, banks, insurors and merchants. Often, the images featured views of the city from surrounding mountains.

He also captured scenes of historical significance which later disappeared, such as the Union Station. His painting of the depot was displayed in the restaurant in the basement of the Tallan Building, and was framed with boards taken from the depot.

Other businesses on Frazier Avenue in the 1960's included:

* Agnew Hardware
* Fehn's Restaurant
* Haman Driving School
* Northside Lunch
* Smalley's Pharmacy
* Turner Electric

The June 12, 1983 Chattanooga News-Free Press reported that George Little and his wife were planning some time off, and that he was selling his art shop to his grandson and other investors. Looking ahead to new pursuits, Mr. Little said, “There’s so much to do around Chattanooga, I could never get it all painted. “ George Little passed away in 1989.

If you have memories of George Little or his Little Art Shop, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.

Also, if you know of public locations where Mr. Little’s paintings of Chattanooga are still displayed, please let me know.

Former art shop today.  Click to enlarge.
Former art shop today. Click to enlarge.
- Photo2 by Wes Schultz

Service Auto Parts Once Kept Chattanooga's Cars Running

When I think about working on cars, I think of the times that I helped my father (or vice versa, after I started driving).  Engines were simpler then, with enough space under the hood for a mother cat and kittens to ride as stowaways one day to my father's work.  "Where is that meowing coming from?" he thought.  Fortunately, the felines were fine, though their nine ... (click for more)

Reader Seeks Information on African-American Race Track from 1940's

A reader is searching for information on a segregated car racing track in Alton Park in the 1940's.  He came across an article in my previous series on River City racing (http://www.chattanoogan.com/2010/4/18/173711/River-City-Racing---Warner-Park-and.aspx).   The following is the reader's e-mail: "I saw the story linked below in which you wrote about, among ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Request For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (2)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)