UICA fills 4,000 square feet of gallery space with innovative exhibitions by contemporary artists, screens films in a 198-seat movie theater, and organizes creative classes for youths and adults. The institute is going into its 35th year of sharing and inspiring innovative, challenging forms of visual arts, and it continues to engage the public with events such as a speaker series.
When the Douglas J Aveda Institute opened in Knoxville in 2011, it joined a family of institutes and salons that Douglas Weaver started in the 1960s. Here, Aveda students pursue certification in cosmetology and esthiology while practicing their craft on real clients under the supervision of licensed educators. And because students perform the services, the rates are lower than at traditional salons. The Knoxville treatment menu includes hair design—cuts, color, retexturizing—as well as Aveda’s Elemental Nature facials, pedicures, and manicures.
The Institute is inside the historic S&W Grand building, a handsome art-deco landmark that, like a compassionate fairy-tale prince, is equally handsome on the inside. The spa rooms have a rustic balance of exposed brick and wood paneling, and the salon’s geometric light fixtures gleam upon checkerboard tile floors and industrial shelving lined with Aveda’s signature products.
Studio owner Ryan Cunningham, a guitarist for more than 20 years, shares lessons and skills acquired while he procured a degree in classical guitar and audio production with a minor in modern air mandolin. With six years' experience as the owner and sole instructor at Mercury Guitar Studio, Cunningham devises curriculums that guide pupils of all ages in whatever direction their musical interests may lead. In addition to teaching guitar and bass-guitar lessons for beginning and intermediate musicians, Cunningham records music at his studio and has practiced crowd surfing during performances with local bands.
At the Funky Buddha Yoga Hothouse, yogis of all levels practice within a space maintained at a balmy 95 degrees, a temperature ideal for releasing toxins, warming leftover lasagna, and boosting flexibility. Seventy-five-minute cardio-heavy classes tone muscles and keep hearts steadily pumping blood through the body. Senior instructors lead Absolute Beginners classes, teaching the fundamental poses and terminology of Vinyasa sequences so pupils can eventually move on to more advanced Power Vinyasa courses.
At The Local Epicurean, bundles of small-batch dried pasta noodles cover the shelves and tables, each with a different flavor that creates a stoplight spectrum of red, yellow, and green hues. Owner Ryan Raredon, who has been profiled in the Grand Rapids Press, began pasta making as a hobby, before success at selling his noodles and seasonings in farmers’ markets inspired him to open his own store, where a panoply of handmade herb-infused sundries now resides. All of his organic pasta are infused with local Michigan produce to create orange-bell pepper or meyer lemon and dill varieties. Pesto and tomato sauces, forged from globe basil, sun-dried tomatoes, and arugula, coat noodles, and infused salt blends and organic butters make bread more delicious and easier to fit through narrow dollhouse doorways.
Strength equipment, cardio machines, and a fully loaded aerobic room occupy most of Westside Fitness's 20,000 square feet of space. That's where fitness classes such as outdoor bootcamp, CardioCombo, Pilates, and HIIT Kick work exercisers into a sweat. While members power through classes, children keep busy under the watchful eyes of the staff at Kids Stay-N-Play. And after a workout or personal training session, clients can treat themselves to a massage or tan.