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Wayne White with Luther Massingil Puppet - Wayne-O-Rama

Visit Wayne-O-Rama!

Location

1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408
Google Maps link

Hours

Wayne-O-Rama is open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 am to 6 pm.

Wayne-O-Rama will be open until September 2017.

Free admission (donations welcome)

Can’t make it to Wayne-O-Rama? Check out our PHOTO GALLERIES and visit our ONLINE STORE to have unique Wayne-O-Rama merchandise shipped to your door!

Wayne White with Magic Lookout Mountain

Our
Mission

The Emmy-winning artist and Chattanooga native Wayne White will astound and inspire with Wayne-O-Rama, a unique yearlong indoor Southside funhouse of Chattanooga history, presented by The Shaking Ray Levi Society at the Tenn Arts space.

Wayne-O-Rama playfully and vividly recreates scenes and pays tribute to notable figures from centuries of Chattanooga’s rich history with incredible interactive sculptures, giant puppets, immersive sound design and much more. Imagine Pee-wee’s Playhouse crossed with the Smithsonian – that’s the vision for Wayne-O-Rama, which serves as a hub of cultural and educational activity for art, music and history by hosting events, performances, workshops and more.

This project encompasses much more than an installation and involves a wide variety of art, storytelling and animation workshops led by Wayne White and local artists. Collaborative events at Wayne-O-Rama include giant puppet parades, music and dance performances, and art showcases, involving numerous local and regional organizations.

Wayne has saved his most personal, meaningful ideas for Wayne-O-Rama with several goals in mind. He wants to bring a sense of play to art, to pay tribute to his Southern roots and to inspire and stimulate the imagination of a new breed of Tennessee artists – from the youngest to the oldest – and encourage and foster creativity in everyone.

  • “Magic” Lookout Mountain
  • Bessie Smith
  • The Bob Brandy Show
  • Chief Dragging Canoe

About
Wayne White

Wayne White was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Originally White built his reputation as a world-class illustrator, animator, puppeteer, cartoonist and art director in New York and Los Angeles. He is most well-known as the Emmy-award-winning set and puppet designer of the seminal and influential 1980s children’s TV show “Pee-wee’s Playhouse.” In the last 16 years, White’s reputation in the art world has been firmly established with his masterfully created word paintings and for his rollicking, site-specific installations. The critically-acclaimed 2012 documentary “Beauty is Embarrassing” is a chronicle of his life and times.

• Winner of three Emmy awards for art direction on “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse” television show
• Winner of a fourth Emmy for his artwork for the Disney Channel short “The Time I…Got 322 Pairs of Shoes for My Birthday”
• Winner of the Billboard award for best art direction on Peter Gabriel’s “Big Time” music video
• MTV Music Video Award winner for set design on Smashing Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight”
• Production and set designer for “Shining Time Station,” “Riders in the Sky” and “Beakman’s World”
• Illustrator for the New York Times, The Village Voice, Raw Magazine and many other publications
• Subject of the 2009 382-page monograph, “Maybe Now I’ll Get the Respect I So Richly Deserve,” by noted designer Todd Oldham
• Subject of the 2012 acclaimed documentary film “Beauty is Embarrassing,” called “one of the most pleasurable moviegoing experiences I’ve had this year” by Leonard Maltin
• Creator of acclaimed word paintings, with 3-D text painted on vintage landscape reproductions, including ones made for the Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, the Nashville country band Lambchop’s album covers, and the online magazine The Bitter Southerner
• Called “one of the most exciting artists in America” by Esquire Magazine

All of these talents are reflected in his current project, Wayne-O-Rama, a self-described “history funhouse.” White’s passion for history is brought to bear in his oversized, colorful puppets and busts of Confederate and Union generals, and of representations of prominent figures from local history, ranging from Cherokee leader Sequoyah to New York Times founder Adolph Ochs to actor Samuel L. Jackson. Looming large in White’s imagination is his homage to Lookout Mountain, which dominates both the local landscape and history. From decisive Civil War battles to tourist attractions like Rock City and Ruby Falls, White’s dazzling model of this “magic mountain” includes an interactive Incline Railway, pre-history Native Americans, spelunkers, ghost soldiers, critters and motels. With a desire to both inspire and honor the city that helped to shape him into the artist he is today, he says, “Wayne-O-Rama is a wonderland, straight from my imagination to yours. It is a funhouse for all ages that tells the story of Chattanooga and the South. It’s the Smithsonian Museum meets Goony Golf. It’s a celebration of the culture that shaped me, and a gift to my hometown.”

Photos / Press

Wanye White with Chief Dragging Canoe - Wayne-O-Rama

Our Sponsors

Wayne-O-Rama is sponsored by See Rock City, Inc. and presented by The Shaking Ray Levi Society at the Tenn Arts space, with generous support from the Benwood Foundation, the Footprint Foundation, the Lyndhurst Foundation and the McKenzie Foundation.

Wayne-O-Rama is administered by the Shaking Ray Levi Society, a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts education organization founded in 1986 to nurture and support non-traditional arts to help nourish the cultural growth of Chattanooga. The Shaking Ray Levi Society is a funded agency of ArtsBuild of Chattanooga.

Wayne White with Bob Brandy - Wayne-O-Rama

Our Partners

Is your organization interested in opportunities to partner with Wayne-O-Rama? Contact us!

Wayne-O-Rama on Glass St.

Events

NOV 19

GRAND OPENING!

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

The Shaking Ray Levi Society and Tenn Arts announce the grand opening of Wayne-O-Rama on Saturday, November 19th from 2:00 – 7:00 PM. This yearlong installation by 4-time Emmy Award-winning artist Wayne White will astound and amaze as guests experience a Chattanooga history funhouse. Sponsored by See Rock City, Inc. with support from the Benwood Foundation, the Footprint Foundation, Lyndhurst Foundation and the McKenzie Foundation, these larger-than-life puppets and installations depict Lookout Mountain, Chief Dragging Canoe, Bessie Smith, Chattanooga broadcasting legend Bob Brandy and a host of notable Chattanooga figures.

The Grand Opening celebration is free and open to the public. It will include a ribbon-cutting, the presentation of a joint City of Chattanooga and Hamilton County proclamation declaring the day “Wayne White Day of Art and Education,” and remarks by public officials, corporate sponsors and Wayne White.

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DEC 03

MAINX24 WAYNE-O-RAMA OPEN HOUSE

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Visit Wayne-O-Rama and the working studio in the Love Gallery for a fun open house event. Tour the studio and talk with team members about the yearlong installation.

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DEC 16

Jeff Crompton Trio, Robert Fleitz (Toy Piano Virtuoso)

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

December 16, 8:00 pm, $12 adults, $8 students

WAYNE-O-RAMA CONCERT SERIES PREMIERE EVENT!

This unique show features the dynamic sax/bass/drums jazz outfit Jeff Crompton Trio (Atlanta/Chattanooga) and the toy piano virtuoso Robert Fleitz (NYC).

No mere novelty, the toy piano is an instrument that has been used in compositions by noted 20th century composers John Cage and George Crumb, and Fleitz will demonstrate its versatility, playing selections by Pulitzer Prize-winner Julia Wolfe, Puerto Rican-born composer Angélica Negrón, Molly Joyce, Monica Pearce, Olivia Kieffer and Andrew Krahn, and he will perform the world premiere of Jeff Crompton's "Sonatina for Toy Piano."

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JAN 22

Provocative Percussion: Tim Feeney, Erik Gehrke with special guests David D. Dunn and Evan Lipson

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

January 22, 6:30 pm (doors 6 pm), $12 ($8 students) at door

The Wayne-O-Rama Concert Series continues its momentum of bringing absolutely unique and unusual music performances with its second concert, featuring a pair of adventurous percussionists, Tim Feeney and Erik Gehrke, with singular, visionary drum explorations that go beyond tradition in astounding ways.

Set 1: Erik Gehrke’s solo drum arrangement of his original composition “November 25, 1863,” commissioned for the
Sherman Reservation dedication, expressing “the carnage and pathos of warfare.”
Set 2: Tim Feeney solo percussion performance
Set 3: Tim Feeney, David D. Dunn (bass clarinet) and Evan Lipson (double bass) playing an improvised set

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FEB 24

Col. Bruce Hampton

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Friday, Feb. 24, 8:00 pm (doors at 7:30)
$17 at door, $15 advance
Order advance tickets here
NOTE: no paper tickets issued - your name will be on a list at the door
LIMITED SEATING, first come, first served (advance tickets do not guarantee seating)

The surrealist American musician Bruce Hampton began his career with an unprecedented six figure record deal in 1970. The Hampton Grease Band's first album, Music to Eat, is said to have been the second worst selling album in the history of Columbia Records (A yoga record was the worst selling album.) He made a brave decision and continued his musical career, devoting himself to creating pure art rather than attempt any commercial success.

The result has been an amazing, influential 50 year catalog of music and philosophy, including acclaimed bodies of work with The Late Bronze Age, Aquarium Rescue Unit, Fiji Mariners, The Codetalkers and The Quark Alliance. On Space Ghost Coast to Coast, Hampton was the voice of a potted shrubbery named Warren, and in the film Sling Blade, he played the role of the band manager Morris. In 2012, the documentary Basically Frightened: The Musical Madness of Col. Bruce Hampton, Ret. was released. Dubbed the father of the Jam Band music scene, he is a guru to many a celeb, with many ardent fans, including Billy Bob Thornton, Peter Buck, Derek Trucks and Phish.

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MAR 30

Permanent Record Drum Night

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Thursday, Mar. 30 | 6:30 pm | Free admission ($10 suggested donation)

With 25 years of percussion experience, Joshua C. Green has become one of Chattanooga's most celebrated and versatile drummers and can be heard with artists including Infradig, The Distribution, Josh Garrels and Summer Dregs. His latest project Permanent Record is his personal sonic evolution: utilizing many, many different drumsets, percussion items, and found objects, a new drum loop and accompanying fills will be released every day for one year. Each will be free for download for three days, then archived for sale at the Permanent Record website.

This "night of drumming chicanery" will feature:
* Short film about Permanent Record made by Kelly Lacy of Make Beautiful
* Monstrous drum jam featuring Green, Carl Cadwell (DJ) and Matt Skudlarek (drums) with visual projection
* Live sample pack recording session and explanation of process
* Improvisational drumming piece with dancers from dance company Weave with visual projection
* Q/A session

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APR 07

"Beauty Is Embarrassing" with Wayne White intro & Q/A (Chattanooga Film Festival)

Neural Alley
721 Broad St
Chattanooga, TN

Friday, Apr. 7 | 7:30 pm | This free screening is now SOLD OUT

Sponsored by Maclellan Apartments, join the Chattanooga Film Festival and River City Company for a special free screening of Beauty is Embarrassing: The Story of One of the Visual Masterminds Behind "Pee-Wee's Playhouse." This documentary explores the story of artist Wayne White's creative journey which has included work published in The New York Times, The Village Voice and set and puppet design for Pee-Wee’s Playhouse in which he has won three Emmy awards.

Wayne will be on hand to introduce the movie and have a special Q&A at the conclusion of the film.

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APR 08

"Sullivan's Travels" with Wayne White intro (Chattanooga Film Festival)

Carmike Majestic 12, Auditorium 4
311 Broad St
Chattanooga, TN 37402

Friday, Apr. 8 | 1:00 pm

Tired of churning out lightweight comedies, Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea) decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, Sullivan, disguised as a hobo, hits the road. En route to enlightenment, he encounters a lovely but no-nonsense young woman (Veronica Lake)—and more trouble than he ever dreamed of. This comic masterpiece by director Preston Sturges is among the finest Hollywood satires, and a high-water mark in the career of one of the industry’s most revered funnymen.

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APR 08

Mind on Heaven (Dennis Palmer tribute)

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 9, 2017, 3:00 pm

Admission is free for students and "Pay what you can" for non-students

A hybrid performance – part documentary, part conjuring, part performance art – MIND ON HEAVEN explores the boundaries of memory and embodiment. Using live audio and video mixes, original animation, archival texts, storytelling, and dance, two performers tune in to the vibrations of the late Dennis Palmer, a self-taught, avant-garde musician (The Shaking Ray Levis), painter of the American South, and a co-founder of the non-profit organization The Shaking Ray Levi Society.

Sound designer Ben Williams and filmmaker Brian Cagle perform their own special ritual with MIND ON HEAVEN: a serious meditation on death, a humorous exploration of an artist’s identity, a nostalgic and bittersweet exploration of stereotypes and cultural tropes of the American South from 1950-1990, and an attempt to channel a very personal feeling associated with a close friend – a spirit of creation, generosity, and originality.

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APR 09

Mind on Heaven (Dennis Palmer tribute)

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Saturday, April 8, 2017, 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 9, 2017, 3:00 pm

Admission is free for students and "Pay what you can" for non-students

A hybrid performance – part documentary, part conjuring, part performance art – MIND ON HEAVEN explores the boundaries of memory and embodiment. Using live audio and video mixes, original animation, archival texts, storytelling, and dance, two performers tune in to the vibrations of the late Dennis Palmer, a self-taught, avant-garde musician (The Shaking Ray Levis), painter of the American South, and a co-founder of the non-profit organization The Shaking Ray Levi Society.

Sound designer Ben Williams and filmmaker Brian Cagle perform their own special ritual with MIND ON HEAVEN: a serious meditation on death, a humorous exploration of an artist’s identity, a nostalgic and bittersweet exploration of stereotypes and cultural tropes of the American South from 1950-1990, and an attempt to channel a very personal feeling associated with a close friend – a spirit of creation, generosity, and originality.

Visit the Event Page

APR 14

New Madrid

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Friday, April 14, 2017, 8:00 pm
$15 at door, $12 advance
Advance tickets can be purchased here: http://www.shakingray.com/news.shtml#newmadrid

The Athens, GA quartet NEW MADRID is rightfully considered one of the brightest groups emerging from Athens' storied scene, with compelling music that mixes elements of post-punk, psychedelic rock, pop and grunge, all with a Southern sensibility. Drawing heavy influence from alt-country and noise-rock alike, these four young performers create captivating soundscapes that are simultaneously dense and expansive. With reverb-drenched vocal harmonies that soar over a lush and textured musical patchwork, New Madrid evolved seamlessly from bedroom project to polished product, exploring the depths of psychedelia and noise.

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MAY 27

Cherries Jubilee featuring The Cherry Blossoms, Josephine Foster and Wu Fei

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Saturday, May 27, 2017, 8:00 pm
$20 advance/door
Advance tickets can be purchased here: http://www.shakingray.com/news.shtml#jubilee

CHERRIES JUBILEE is a one-of-a-kind event at the otherworldly venue Wayne-O-Rama, Chattanooga’s history funhouse, featuring three acclaimed, world-class headlining acts: The Cherry Blossoms, Josephine Foster and Wu Fei. This mini music festival will also celebrate the release of the new Cherry Blossoms album The Hank Tapes featuring early songs from 1996 recorded when the late Marc Trovillion (a Chattanoogan and an original member of Lambchop) was the band’s bassist.

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JUN 03

Claire Elizabeth Barratt, Evan Lipson, Davey Williams w/ Bob Stagner

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Saturday, June 3, 2017, 8:00 pm

Claire Elizabeth Barratt: http://www.cillavee.com/claire.html
Davey Williams: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Davey_Williams_(musician)

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JUN 22

Shane Parish (of Ahleuchatistas)

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Thursday, June 22, 2017, 7:30 pm
$10 door

American guitarist Shane Parish released his second instrumental solo acoustic album, Undertaker Please Drive Slow, late in 2016 on Tzadik Records. The music for this album was conceived in a single night of inspiration in February 2016 when Parish freely interpreted several Appalachian, folk, blues, gospel, and old English tunes into his tape recorder, allowing all of his background in classical guitar, country blues, jazz, and free improvisation to blend into a seamless and effortless flow. This demo caught the ears of the legendary NYC saxophonist and composer John Zorn, who immediately offered to produce the album. When guitar maestro Marc Ribot heard these recordings he said, “Shane Parish is one of the most interesting new guitar voices to come out of the country blues tradition of Mississippi John Hurt, Lightin Hopkins…” Having long established his creative voice as a radical electric guitarist in his long-running band Ahleuchatistas, Parish is now revealing a more elaborate and intimate inner world with his solo acoustic performances of whimsy, passion and virtuosity.

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JUN 24

What Cheer? Brigade

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Saturday, June 24, 2017, 8:00 pm

The WHAT CHEER? BRIGADE from Providence, RI is a 19-piece mobile party, like a marching band on an atomic fireball sugar rush that darts from New Orleans brass band tunes to Bollywood dance numbers to whirlwind Balkan folk to bombastic hip-hop, with a ton of surprises along the way. It has been four years since the SRLS brought their merry insanity to Chattanooga, and their return will guarantee to deliver an unforgettable dance 'splosion.

“Thrillingly competent, with undimmable energy…an explosion of good cheer.” - The New York Times

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JUN 30

Frank Pahl, Bill Brovold

Wayne-O-Rama
1800 Rossville Avenue, #108
Chattanooga, TN 37408

Friday, June 30, 2017, 8:00 pm

The utterly unique and overwhelmingly creative Frank Pahl wants to do it all, or so it seems. And so far, he's made a pretty good dent on that "all," being an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, composer, instrument inventor, toy/electronics tinker, and improviser who has created music for film, art installations, dance productions, musicals, cabarets, and other theatre performances. This is in addition to his acclaimed solo albums and material with the avant-folk outfit ONLY A MOTHER, not to mention his fascinating automated sound sculptures and other work as a visual artist...

A guitarist, composer, and producer as well as a visual artist, Bill Brovold become a fixture on the ‘Downtown’ NYC avant-garde scene in the early '80s. Brovold studied painting at the School of Visual Arts (graduating in 1982) while constructing sets for MTV musicians (including Cyndi Lauper) and making music for filmmakers and performance artists. Brovold met and began working with Rhys Chatham. He also played in the East Village Orchestra, Fast Forward, the Zen Vikings, and numerous other projects, and formed his own band with Ernie Brooks (Modern Lovers) and James Lo (Live Skull). Brovold founded Larval in Detroit in 1995 with guitarist Erik Gustafson (from Blue Dog), and as Brovold selected the best musicians passing through Detroit and neighboring Ann Arbor to help realize his musical visions, Larval became recognized as Detroit’s incubator for the rock avant-garde.

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Wayne-O-Rama on Glass St.
Howard High School students working with Wayne White on Magic Lookout Mountain

Art Exploration Days

Art Exploration Days are available this year at Wayne-O-Rama! Hamilton County teachers can sign up for this unique field trip experience for their students. Please contact us for scheduling information.

Some of the features of the field trip include:

  • 1.5 Hours
  • Studio Tour
  • Discussion of how the sculptures are created
  • Discussion of art & history connection through sculptures of Bessie Smith, Lookout Mountain, Bob Brandy, and Chief Dragging Canoe
  • LIVE Skype Chat with 4-time Emmy Award-winning artist Wayne White
  • Art Lessons/Activities

Shaking Ray Levi Society Events

During this yearlong installation project many of the events hosted by the Shaking Ray Levi Society will take place at Wayne-O-Rama. Visit the Shaking Ray Levi Society website for more info!

Contact Us