Perambulating the Bounds

Saturday, June 18, 2005

The Home Team at the Frist

This Thursday was the opening for the Frist Center’s big show of local artists, Fragile Species ( The website says it opens June 27, but it’s open to the public now). I’ll write about it in the Scene soon, and probably get into some side issues here, but for now I wanted to acknowledge what a lovely evening it was. Everyone seemed very happy, radiant even, the artists and their friends, family and students. It felt like a reunion, with so many people from the art community on hand, and in some more literal ways–Jen Cohen newly returned to the States after a year in Israel, and Jack Ryan bearing the news that he’s going to be back in the area next year thanks to an appointment at Sewanee. The installation looks great at first glance, and treats the work with deep respectful. It is nice to see Nashville affirm its own artists so warmly with this show.


  • It did feel like a reunion, a very happy party... I've always been impressed to see one or two people I know receive recognition on the more established-institution levels such as the Frist; to walk from room to room and see over a dozen artists featured together - for whom I harbor both personal and professional admirations, I was a little overwhelmed. The Frist has featured artists from Tennessee before, but this exhibit seems to acknowledge a more contemporary integrity in the greater Nashville art community. It challenges what many Nashvillians might consider or understand to be art, and anchors it to our very own backyards. These are not artists from New York, Chicago or L.A. but people we stand in line behind at the grocery store. The Frist has presented a "in" for those (such as my family) who have trouble grasping less conventional styles and media. I've been especially pleased with the effort Mark Scala has taken to recognize this gap between much contemporary art and the general public by comparing certain works upstairs to more traditional paintings in the downstairs gallery, and noting that we live in a new-media culture; he has provided as many bridges as possible through lectures and an i-pod broadcast on the Frist's website, and someone suggested that there might even be studio tours. This exhibit really is a treat!

    By Anonymous Jason Driskill, at 9:15 AM  

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