By Brandon Nunley
The area surrounding King University is rich in both art and theatre. Students have many opportunities to visit local galleries, museums, and theaters. From astonishing paintings to professional plays, we here at The Kayseean would like to spotlight a few local favorites.
Benjamin Walls Fine Art Gallery
Located on State Street, this gallery hosts the work of Benjamin Walls. Wall’s work is well renowned, boasting five Smithsonian appearances and seven international awards. Grammy winners, Hollywood directors, and politicians collect his work. Visitors can marvel at Wall’s work and even take home a piece for themselves. For more information on the gallery, visit their website here.
The Paramount resides on State Street, making it a popular destination for students and tourists. Concerts, plays, and other performances are held year-round. Local recording artists, actors, and playwrights use the Paramount to exhibit their work, giving the theater a sense of regional influence. Entertaining Bristol since the 1930s, the Paramount aims to continue entertaining families for years to come. For more information on Paramount Bristol, visit their website.
A Work of Art Gallery and Gifts
This gallery, located on State Street, hosts an array of works by local artists and photographers. Visitors can enjoy viewing various photos and paintings from the tri-cities and surrounding regions. The work on display is available for purchase to visitors, allowing them to take home a gift and support local artists. The available work ranges from postcards to small prints to full-size paintings. Visit the Explore Bristol page for the gallery here.
Located on Main Street in downtown Abington, the Barter Theatre is the area’s most recognized theatre. Boasting over 160,000 annual visitors, the theatre entertains many both in and outside the region. With a wide array of shows available, the Barter has something for everyone. Barter is home to many professional productions and actors. Plays, like It’s A Wonderful Life, are hosted during the holiday season. The Barter has two locations for plays, the main stage and a smaller stage detached from the main building. Both theatres provide a superb viewing experience for visitors. Visit the theatre’s website for the schedule of upcoming plays and more information.
Birthplace of Country Music Museum
Bristol has a long and rich history of country and bluegrass music. In 1998 The US Congress deemed the city the official “birthplace of country music.” The museum is a time capsule of the region’s vivid music history. Visitors can walk through the museum’s many exhibits. There are both permanent and temporary exhibits in the museum. As a Smithsonian affiliate, the temporary exhibitions are occasionally loaned out from various other museums across the country. Alongside the displays is a gift shop where visitors can take home a souvenir to commemorate their visit. Visit their website here for more information about the museum and its exhibits.
Overall, the region has a wide variety of galleries and theatres. These are an indication of just how rich the region’s culture is. A more in-depth list of places to visit can be found at Explore Bristol. King University’s location allows students to explore the area’s deep cultural traditions easily.