Halloween, the Day of the Dead and First Friday are turning this into a very special weekend. You might call it frightfully beautiful.
If you like ghost stories, head out to the Historic Ramsey House for “The Spirits Within” at 6 and 7 p.m. today and Friday. Special tours will reveal the spirits still roaming the rooms and grounds of the historic home, 2614 Thorngrove Pike. Plus, you can enjoy refreshments around a warm bonfire before and after your tour. Advance reservations are required at www.ramseyhouse.org. Kids 12 and under are free.
Tonight marks the final presentations of “Days of Dread: Knoxville’s Historic Epidemics” at Blount Mansion. Volunteer thespians will act out such gruesome glimpses of the past as William Blount’s fatal fever in 1800, the cholera outbreak of 1873, and the flu epidemic of 1919.
Laura Still, author of “A Haunted History of Knoxville,” researched and wrote the presentation. Tours are about one hour and begin every half hour from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Blount Mansion Visitors Center, 200 W. Hill Ave. More info at 865-525-1275 and here.
A little fright music
Spooky music is on tap tonight. Enjoy the always-unnerving stylings of the Melungeons at 6 p.m. at the Six O’Clock Swerve at Barley’s. The show is also broadcast live on WDVX.
At 8 p.m., the University of Tennessee School of Music will present “Are You Scared,” a recital of scary and fun music performed by faculty and guest artists. It’s free, and it’s at the Sandra G. Powell Recital Hall in the Natalie Haslam Music Center, 1741 Volunteer Blvd. Costumes are encouraged.
Also at 8 tonight, the Smoky Mountain Blues Society will have “A Blues Halloween Party” at the Open Chord, 8502 Kingston Pike. Ottawa-based Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin will headline the fun, and costumes are encouraged.
First Friday downtown
Don’t be scared of the new construction on the Jackson Avenue ramps. There’ll still be First Friday fun at the Dogwood Arts Gallery, 123 W. Jackson Ave. A new exhibition features works by Amanda Thompson, Lauren Karnitz, Lacey Sutton and Colleen Thornbrugh.
The media include painting, illustration, jewelry and ceramics. The opening reception is 5-8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, and the exhibit will run through Friday, Nov. 22, during the regular gallery hours, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.
As always, The Emporium Center, 100 S. Gay St., will be First Friday Central with new shows on exhibit 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
The East Tennessee Woodworkers Guild will present the 20th Master Woodworkers Show, a biennial juried show highlighting the works of more than 30 craftspeople and artists of East Tennessee and the surrounding region.
“Connections Through Craft” is a Tennessee Craft East members showcase by artists working in a variety of media who have come together to highlight the mission of the statewide Tennessee Craft organization: to connect emerging and experienced makers as well as the public with resources and opportunities to make their mark on Tennessee’s handmade legacy. The East chapter exhibition will feature both fine arts and crafts pieces as well as a public mural piece created during the recent Art in the Valley festival at Ijams Nature Center. The mural aims to demonstrate how the community may be connected through craft.
More crafty types will be showcased in the Appalachian Arts Craft Center Member Exhibition. Traditional Appalachian arts and crafts will include basket making, woodwork, quilting, weaving, pottery, mixed media and more. The Appalachian Arts Craft Center is one of the oldest craft centers in Tennessee with more than 70 local juried artists. Its mission is to support arts and crafts in Appalachia through education, sales and community involvement.
“New Works in Paper” spotlights Bruce Bunting and the wide range of papers he has made, from simple sheets to complex multi-step sheets, as well as examples of his art made with from these papers. Paper fibers include abaca, kozu, gampi, seisel, bamboo, cotton and wood cellulose, and he also uses various vegetable-related fibers from his garden. He uses dyes, inks and pigments for color as appropriate.
Bunting has attended papermaking classes and visited artist studios and paper mills, during which time he has met fine artists, makers of books and prints, those who sell finished paper sheets to others, and those who collaborate with others to help them realize their art in paper. In this exhibition, he hopes to generate interest and discussions leading to future opportunities and collaborations.
HoLa Hora Latina will mark the Day of the Dead with the First Friday exhibit “Dia de los muertos” 5 to 9 p.m. in its Emporium suite, 112.
Eyeballs on Bailey grant recipients
Following the Master Woodworkers Show in the gallery, the Arts & Culture Alliance will present Nov. 6-26 an exhibit of painting, photography, woodwork, forged metal, jewelry, sculpture and more by the 14 visual artists who are recipients of an FY20 Ann and Steve Bailey Opportunity Grant. There will be a special public reception 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20.
A part of the Arts & Heritage Fund, the Bailey Opportunity Grants provide financial and technical support to individual artists and small, professionally oriented arts and culture organizations. The grants are designed to spur continued artistic and administrative growth in innovative, entrepreneurial artists and organizations at any stage in their development.
Artists in the exhibition include: Eleanor Aldrich, Lynda Best, Jurgen Dopatka, Derrick Freeman, Shannon Johnson, Marty McConnaughey, John Phillips, Sarah Pollock, Shawn Poynter, Chris Rohwer, Nancy Rowland-Engle, Derek White, Bryan Wilkerson and Brandon Woods.
The Emporium’s November exhibitions will be on display 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday through Nov. 26. The Emporium will be closed Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 27-29.
Betsy Pickle is a veteran entertainment, features and news reporter best known as the longtime film critic for the Knoxville News Sentinel.