Nashville Visual Arts Events, September 1-10
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Featured Event, September 4 and 6
Sarratt Gallery, Jose Torres Tama. Nashville doesn’t see a lot of performance art, although maybe we wouldn’t know it if we saw it. Is Dave Cloud performance art? Probably. One thing that performance art would seem to do is occupy the middle ground between dance and the visual arts, and that makes it a very natural place for Vanderbilt’s Sarratt/Great Performances programming to go under Bridgette Kohnhort’s direction. The Sarratt program is opening the school year with a performance piece by artist Jose Torres Tama, who has lived in New Orleans for 20 years. His performance starts at 7:00 on Thursday, September 6 (with a reception beforehand), accompanied by an exhibit by 4 New Orleanian photographers. Torres Tama’s piece is called The Cone of Uncertainty: New Orleans After Katrina. The title is a reference to prediction reliability in projects, but it also seems like a reference to those hurricane projection maps where the further you get from the current time and location of the hurricane, you see a widening area of the possible route. The performance is described as combining film projections, ritual elements, and personal storytelling. Torres Tama is also giving a lecture on performance art in Vandy’s Ingram Studio Art building on Tuesday, September 4 at 6:00.
OK, back to the chronology.
Twist Gallery and Downtown Presbyterian Church, Whole Milk and Mural Project. OK, I’m going to plug something at DPC again (I’m a member there). Twist Gallery is presenting an exhibit by four young artists from Minneapolis (Isaac Arvold, John Grider, Eric Inkala and Drew Peterson), but not only are they showing their paintings and drawings at the gallery, but they are collaborating on a big mural that will take up a blank wall of the Viridian building that faces Downtown Pres. The design for that project mixes up images of a lamb or goat, some glyphic animals, abstract patterns, and an odd kind of angel. You can find Christian imagery there if you look for it, but even as you do that you realize you’re probably stretching it. If I don’t say so myself, it’s not what you would imagine a church arranging to have painted on a wall, and it will be the most interesting bit of outdoor painting downtown (tell me if I’m forgetting something). The mural will be “unveiled” at DPC Art Luck event before the downtown gallery crawl, although my understanding is that it will still be in progress this weekend.
Dangenart, Connect 12. Curated by Ben Vitualla, an active participant in the local art scene whose work continues to grow on me—I’m thinking of stuff like his mixed media paintings that incorporate toy soldiers into compositions with strong graphic structures like target forms. He’s invited 12 other local artists (Eric Denton, Jimi Benedict, Erika Johnson, Daniel Lai, Samantha Callahan, Sean Jewett, Rick Bradley, Alesandra Bellos, Tiffany Denton, Chris Hill, Andee Rudloff, and Shana Kohnstamm) to display work of their own next to his.
TAG McCay Otto and Monica Cook. So of course you’ve been wondering how Nashville galleries can better serve the interests of water sports fetishists. TAG gallery is determined to see what they can do for their cause with the exhibit “Pee Girls” by Monica Cook. The exhibit title pretty much describes several of the paintings, but they are done in a heightened realistic style that sounds lovely in its way. That’s in the back gallery, in the front TAG has an exhibit by McKay Otto. Otto does ethereal paintings (that's one of his at the beginning of the post) inspired by the mystic spirituality of Eckhard Tolle that will contrast with the intense corporeality of Cook’s work.
SQFT, Ladies (and Gentleman) An exhibit by 8 artists from all over, Portland, Oregon to Halifax and Germany. Several of them are illustrators, so there’s a lot of economic and expressive drawing here. Amy Ruppel’s work sounds particularly interesting—“beeswax layered under and over digital prints on paper derived from her photography, completed with drawings etched into the wax,” and the surface is smoothed out with a propane torch.
The Arts Company, Wes Sherman. Sherman bases his paintings on Old Master artworks, but not in the form of derivative visual quotations. He boils down the massings and colors of those works into graceful abstractions that echo the massings and colors of the older works. I find Sherman’s results stand on their own very well, but they serve as a gloss on these other paintings, pointing out ways to look at their essential structures. One of his paintings in this year’s show is based on O’Keefe’s Radiator Building, a tribute to this big piece of Nashville’s artistic legacy and a sad reminder of the possibility that the painting will leave town after the lawyers get done.
LeQuire Gallery. LeQuire has opened an auxiliary space in the Arcade so they are getting in on first Saturday art crawl. I’m not sure what work they expect to have on display, but it’s good to see them establish a presence at the Arcade and get their artists in front of this crowd.
Renaissance Center, Dickson, Jaime Raybin, “Milk Shelf” Another milk-themed show, this one by local artist Jaime Raybin. The opening reception runs from 6-7:30 on Friday the 7th at the Renaissance Center, a straight shot out I40 in Dickson. Jaime has shown in a number of group shows, including with the Off the Wall group. It sounds like this show will include a number of the paintings that were in her senior show. It is the first in a series at the Renaissance Center that will feature recent graduates of area art programs. The Ren Center is also opening their annual regional art show, which usually includes several interesting artists you wouldn’t otherwise encounter.
Estel, Sean O’Meallie, “Object Circus” O’Meallie makes toy-like objects out of wood but finished with highly refined surfaces. There’s a lot of wit in the forms and titles. The show opens this week, but the gallery is having a reception for O’Meallie on the 8th.
Zeitgeist, John Folsom. Large scale photographs of landscapes like Reelfoot Lake in West Tennessee and Banff, Alberta. He starts with a group of small images, pulls them into a single image digitally, and then treats it with oil paint and wax to give the texture of painting.
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, September 9.
A couple of things from Watkins:
First, the school is holding auditions for people to appear in student films. The auditions will be from 6-9 on Thursday, September 6 and 6-9 on Friday the 7th, at the College in Metro Center. They encourage people to schedule an audition via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can walk in also. They ask folks to bring a headshot and resume, just like real actors and actresses. There’s more information at their website.
Watkins also has announced their community education classes for the Fall. You can find the schedule and class descriptions here.