Hundreds Attended Wayne-O-Rama Grand Opening

  • Friday, November 25, 2016
  • Jennifer Crutchfield

Hundreds of people from Chattanooga and beyond joined the Emmy-winning artist Wayne White at the grand opening of Wayne-O-Rama, called "A funhouse of Chattanooga history for all ages." This fascinating installation opened to a joint proclamation from the offices of the Mayor of Chattanooga and the Mayor of Hamilton County, declaring Nov. 19 the official “Wayne White Celebration of Art and Education Day.” Presented by County Commissioner Sabrena Turner Smedley and Mayor Andy Berke, the proclamation celebrated the power of art to change lives and honored the impact teachers have on their students' futures.

Located at the Tenn Arts studio at 1800 Rossville Ave., #108, Wayne-O-Rama is Chattanooga’s newest attraction that takes guests on a trip through the Scenic City’s history via the work of Wayne White, called "one of the most exciting artists in America" by Esquire Magazine.

The Chickamauga warrior Chief Dragging Canoe loomed over the main room, his fierce visage a testament to the rich drama of the region’s history. As guests walked around the Magic Lookout Mountain, they were mesmerized as they discovered numerous details within the gigantic sculpture. From the seven states seen from Rock City to Ruby Falls and Point Park and down to the most intricate animals, moving parts and figures, this massive interactive installation is the centerpiece of this historic funhouse.

Bob Brandy, who hosted a beloved children's TV show, is center stage in a gallery also featuring giant Civil War generals and intricate puppet heads celebrating daring figures from throughout Chattanooga's history. Meet Mary Edwards Walker, the only woman to ever earn the Medal of Honor; fearless Cherokee leader Nancy Ward; legendary publisher Adolph Ochs and more on a journey through history that captivates and educates.

Admission to this history funhouse is free, with any voluntary donations going to sustain Wayne-O-Rama and its educational outreach programs. It is open Wednesday-Sunday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. except for major holidays, and its gift shop offers Wayne White's book "Maybe Now I'll Get The Respect I So Richly Deserve," signed posters, caps, patches, postcards, bumper stickers, T-shirts and coonskin caps.

Wayne-O-Rama is available for private events, and the Shaking Ray Levi Society, the nonprofit arts education organization that is presenting the yearlong installation, will host concerts, workshops, classes and more through September, 2017. Students from the region will enjoy field trips and art exploration days, learning history, language arts, science and art through this unique interactive installation. 

Wayne-O-Rama is sponsored by See Rock City, Inc. with support from the Benwood Foundation, the Footprint Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the McKenzie Foundation. 

For information and reservation requests, contact project manager Bob Stagner at wayneoramacha@gmail.com902-8021 or visit wayneorama.com

The Shaking Ray Levi Society (shakingray.com) is a funded agency of ArtsBuild of Chattanooga.

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