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best place to purchase a school bus and hang it on your wall (sofa awards 2012)

December 31, 2012

The ninth annual sofa awards… we’ve reached the end. Some, you’ve heard of before, others are a new experience for you. Either way, they’re sitting on the same sofa as you now, so scoot over and get comfortable. If you have questions/comments, I always – always – welcome them, even f they’re disagreeing with what I said. Please, feel free to share. – jrl

17The best finds are one-of-a-kind, pieces that no one else will have. And the best place to find such art is in tucked-away spots. Locals, a small boutique buried in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains, along the Cumberland Plateau, in a small college town called Sewanee, is such a place. Owned and operated by Melissa Campbell Goodson (who sets the tone for the space the minute you walk through the door – she remembered my name on my second visit, which was nine months after my first), Locals is known for offering gorgeous pieces of art (some functional, some fun) hand-made by people from the community. And apparently the community knows what they are doing.

To understand Sewanee is to understand that simplicity is key. They live the life of a Country Time Lemonade commercial there, with life moving a bit slower, but each and every minute being savored and tasted and enjoyed. It is with that spirit that creates art from wood, glass, copper, clay, bronze, you name it…Locals offers such unique pieces as gorgeous Box Elder salad bowls; a mirror made out of an abandoned tractor and a bright yellow school bus; enormous wall hangings of patina-enhanced copper; and so much more. Interior designers need to know about Locals. People with great taste need to know about Locals. People, in general, need to know about Locals.

The gallery/boutique is open seasonally, but does have a Facebook page that will allow you to find out more about the space. Artists in Residency include Jim Ann Howard, Tom Church, Jimmy Abegg, Susan Church, G. Sanford McGee, Jamey “Otis” Chernicky, Clay Binkley, Thomas Spake, W.C. “Raydarr” Craig and Jeanie Stephenson. A quick Google search will help you understand what they are producing.

I have included some images I snapped with my iPhone while there the last time. While I was doing so, a publisher from Manhattan was also in the building, snatching up several items as she does every year while down for the Sewanee Writer’s Conference. Apparently Locals is her hidden get-away where she finds gifts for all her family and friends. Maybe it’ll become yours too.

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other 2012 sofa awards:

best reason to have a cup of coffee

most creative way of throwing stuff together and turning it into usable art

best new voice [tv]

best reason to judge a book by its cover

best place to meet an up and coming somebody

most breath-taking film

best reason to pay for premium cable

michelle obama award for physical fitness

best thing to hit reality tv since nene leakes

best new voice [film]

best reason to watch the lowest-rated show in history

most decadent reason to book a flight to nashville

most under-appreciated show

best reason to partake in sex and drugs. and sushi.

best tribute album

best guilty pleasure

best use of $3

best new voice [music]

best-named dessert house

best show for Kleenex to support with ad purchases

most unintended-yet-infectious lyrics


Not yet following me on Twitter? Get on the sofa: @josephrileyland

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