Perambulating the Bounds

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nashville Visual Arts Events August 1-15

OK, it’s the beginning of the month, but it looks like a slightly slow month. Makes sense, it’s August. Cumberland will have their summer long show up for a while, LeQuire’s running summer favorites. And then there’s the people who don’t seem to have me on their email list, or seem ambivalent about publicizing. (There’s a surprising amount of that going around.) Didn’t used to worry about it, now that I’m doing this it’s more of a problem.

As I will keep saying, if you have an email list of your own, feel free to forward this.

If someone wants to get added directly to my list for the email version of this listing, send me an email at dcmaddox@comcast.net. To get taken off the list, email to that effect at the same address.

August 3

SooPlex Julian Rogers open studio I got a chance to see Julian’s paintings a few weeks ago in process. They are big, energetic paintings that stack up a few disparate images from pop culture and contemporary life into symmetrical collage-like combinations. They have a slick photographic quality that reminded me of James Rosenquist. The size, colors, and angles made them jump off the wall. They have velocity. A little like Rosenquist again. Julian’s got a more high-minded explanation: “These paintings push the impact of sublime Americana images by presenting them as an altar or monument that may or may not have failed. By juxtaposing icons of the pleasurable, the terrible and the transcendent, the resultant painted collages become ironic, transgressive, humorous and sexy, while keeping at a critical distance their affinities. It is glorified eschatology.” OK, I always have to look up eschatology—concerning theology or doctrines of death, judgment, resurrection, immortality. Or maybe “ultimate concern” as Tillich would put it. The statement does make sense when you see the paintings. Again, the size and dimensions are like the big Baroque paintings that were once in a church altarpiece. 4:30-8:00 at 427 Chestnut.

August 4

Twist 1st Anniversary Mail Art Show When it opened a year ago, Twist immediately became an integral part of the lively Arcade/5th Avenue scene, thanks in no small part to the degree to which Caroline Carlisle and Beth Gilmore, the proprietors, came to it already highly plugged in to the art scene. For their anniversary, they asked anybody who cared to to send in a mail-sized art work, postcards and the like, and they would display everything they got. Caroline sent me a list of what they have so far, and there are pieces from something like 23 people, including Dwayne Butcher of the Art Butcher blog in Memphis, submissions from artists you’ll recognize if you go to galleries in Nashville, pieces from more far flung friends and associates with a few degrees of separation, and some anonymous things.


TAG The main show is called “Distillery Burning,” featuring work by the Image Distillery group of illustrators: Bryce McCloud (of Isle of Printing fame), Gina Binkley, Dan Brawner (a Watkins professor who has done wonderful things that incorporate his childhood drawings, and some nice charcoal drawings inspired by the NES tree cutting), Jim Sheradden and Bob and Val Tillery. In the smaller back gallery, they’ll show a new series from R. Ellis Orral, painting over the covers of books he picks up in thrift stores.

Arts Company, “White Pony Cadillac: Old Loves & New Blues,” Jonathon Kimbrell. Kimbrell is a young artist with an old soul, painting portraits of pioneer rock, blues and country musicians and the more contemporary people like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits who have an obvious affinity for those roots. You imagine that he thinks of himself having been born a few decades too late. This reception starts a little earlier than some of the others, 5-7.

SQFT “To Nashville, Love Brooklyn,” Caitlin Keegan and Julia Rothman. Both of these artists make their living as illustrators and designers, and that seems to translate into work with decorative patterning in its DNA. Rothman’s densely populated drawings and paintings are filled with people, Keegan seems to place figures in more isolated contexts.

Downtown Presbyterian Church In addition to the gallery openings, we’re (I’m a member here) doing our pot luck dinner with art on offer by the resident artists (Shane Doling, Beth Gilmore, Heidi Schwartz, Tom Wills, Richard Feaster). This month we’re going for a really church-y thing and serving banana splits at 8:00 until they run out. And Tom Wills is showing some films in the alley.

Estel Deb Garlick, “White Dresses” This show opened on July 25 and continues, but the gallery is going to do an artist’s reception on the 4th. This is a series of paintings of women and girls in white dresses by a Canadian painter who is interested in the things white dresses represent in our society in different contexts, whether it’s a wedding gown or a white summer dress.

August 10

Centennial Art Center, Gayle Levée, Lori Putnam & Brenda Stein This show includes two painters (Levée and Putnam) and a wood turner (Stein). The two painters position themselves both in traditionalist stylistic camps: Centennial’s PR describes Levée as a “Classical-Realist,” and Putnam uses the phrase “Contemporary Impressionist” for herself. Levée works in the traditional genres, still life, landscape, and portraiture; the portraits on her website succeed in making the subjects look they were posing in 1907. Brenda Stein is the one of the 3 that interests me the most. I’ve seen her work pretty regularly, including a big selection of pieces in Clarksville a while back. She works with all sorts of wood, and crafts pieces that are seamless and graceful. Many of them retain some of the rough edges of the wood, which maintains a link to the organic material sources and contrasting with the smooth surfaces. She also is willing to invoke higher ideas with her titles—one on her website is called “The Shaman,” which makes you associate it with a ceremonial vessel, and with ritual relationships between people and trees. Another artist might have just called this piece “black walnut bowl” and left it at that. I don’t always like art that relies on titles to spark your interest, but I think in this case, Brenda’s titles give you that little push to encourage your imagination to play with the form. The opening for this show is 5-7 on the Friday the 10th.

Ruby Green, Jean Flint and Judy Rushin I just got the notice on this, will fill in more details over the next few days. The artists are both from Hammond, Louisiana. Flint does sculptures/installations, Rushin is a painter. They look like they share an interest in as Rushin describes it, "detritus," and are attuned to the signs of decay. But that could be off base. I need to look at some more.

August 11

Plowhaus, “Bauhaus@Plowhaus” In addition to making an association between Weimar Germany’s great collective and Nashville’s Plowhaus coop, this exhibit features a couple of collaborations that could be good: Beth Seiters and Robert Bruce Scott, Carri Hofaker and Connie Knoch, and Franne Lee and Bil Breyer. This is going to be one of their large group shows, with solo contributions from Marlynda Augelli, John Barcus, Landry Butler, Lynne Carter, Motke Dapp, Mel Davenport, Christopher Cheney, Heather Day, Keith Herendon, John Holland, Jan kendy, Carrie Mills, Robbie Hunsinger, Janet Lee, Stephen McClure, Jammie Preston, Tracy Ratliff, and Belinda Yandell. Like usual it runs a little later than most openings, from 7-11, with live music.

August 12

CRAFT: A Creative Community A group of local artists/artisans holds a monthly sale/fair in the parking lot of Lipstick Lounge, the next one is 11-5 on Sunday, August 12.

Other announcements

I learned from an email announcing his yard sale that Tom Thayer is leaving MTSU and going to NY. I’m sure that a good move for him, but it sucks for Middle Tennessee. Tom has one of the widest ranges of artists in the area, and was forming a bridge between visual arts realms and the more advanced fringes of the music and performance scene.

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