Perambulating the Bounds

Thursday, March 20, 2008

This Saturday: Belcourt and Sri Ganesha

What to do this Saturday?

Morning: Belcourt Community Meeting, 10-11:30. Back in 1999, when the Save the Belcourt process started, we held a big community forum at the Methodist church in the Village. 9 years later, and the Belcourt is operating as a non-profit, things are going really well with the programming, staff, finances. So well in fact that we were able to actually buy the building this Fall. It was hard to imagine in 1999 how we would get to this spot, but here we are. Now that we own the building we’ve started strategic planning in earnest. And part of that is to do a community meeting again to hear from people about what we’re doing and should be doing. The meeting will be from 10-11:30 at the Theatre. Please come. If you come to the theater a lot, tell us about it. If you don’t come very much, tell us why not. Here’s the write-up on it from the organizers:

Hi there fine friend of the Belcourt.

We hope that you'll join us for the Belcourt Community Meeting
Saturday, March 22 10:00am-11:30am.

In 2003 the theatre was purchased by Belcourt YES! founding committee member Thomas Wills with the intention of reselling the theater to the organization for the original purchase price. Belcourt YES! purchased the theatre from Mr. Wills in November of 2007, for the exact amount paid for the property in 2003. At about the same time, the Board of Directors changed the organization's name to The Belcourt Theatre, Inc.

The Belcourt is now the last of the neighborhood theatres to remain operational, and is recognized as a unique cultural icon and as Nashville's choice for the best foreign, independent, and classic film, great musical performances, cutting-edge live theatre, and unique programming for kids and their families.

Join us Saturday for Step 1 of The Belcourt Theatre, Inc.'s Strategic Planning Process:

Programming: What are we doing well? Where might we improve? Is there anything you'd like to see us do that we're not doing?

Membership: Are you a member? If not, why not?

Communication: How are you hearing about Belcourt news and events? What suggestions to you have for improved communication?

Facilities: We KNOW! But tell us again anyway . . . and try to think beyond theatre seats, bathrooms, and accessibility . . . dream BIG!

This meeting is open to the entire Nashville and Middle Tennessee Community. We'll even have coffee and doughnuts. We need to hear from YOU! We hope to see you there.

OK, so that’s your morning. I don’t really have any suggestions for the afternoon. Consider that open time, like a conference.

Evening: TNS Krishna, Sri Ganesha Temple, 6:00.

Last Fall Sri Ganesha presented a concert by major Carnatic vocalist T.N. Seshagopalan. I missed this concert for some reason I can’t remember, but it was one of those cases where you looked at the write and said this is going to be very good, and reports from the concerts were that this was exactly what happened. So now Seshagopolan’s son is coming to town. I’d say it’s a consolation prize for those who missed the father’s concert, but I suspect it will be much more than that. Here’s Sankaran Mahadevan’s writeup on the concert:

T. N. S. Krishna is the son and disciple of the great genius Madurai T.N. Seshagopalan, the leading vocalist in the field of Carnatic music today. Many of us remember the brilliant and moving concert by the father at the temple last October. Now the son comes to sing for us, already one of the prominent young stars in the field, and having proved himself worthy of carrying forward his father's rich legacy. Krishna's performances are marked by the same brilliance as his father, rendered in a rich melodious voice. In 2004, he won the Yuva Kala Bharati award in Chennai, one of the most prestigious awards for accomplished young artists.

Jayshankar Balan learnt Carnatic violin in Bombay under well known musicians T. S. Krishnaswamy and N. S. Chandrasekaran, and has frequently accompanied many leading Carnatic musicians during the past twenty years, such as T. N. Seshagopalan, K. J. Yesudas, N. Ravi Kiran and others.

M. Lakshman is the student of Palghat T. R. Rajamani, son of the legendary Palghat Mani Iyer, and has regularly accompanied prominent Carnatic musicians during the past fifteen years, such as N. Ravi Kiran and R. Prasanna.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nashville VisArts Events March 14-27

Pretty busy for the middle of the month. Maybe the galleries not quite downtown are gravitating to the middle of the months to stay out of the first weekend rush. A couple of good group shows, particularly at Cumberland and Zeitgeist, which between the two of them feature a bunch of reliably interesting local folks.

As always, 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 To get taken off the list, email to that effect at the same address.

Mar. 14

TSU Hiram Van Gordon Gallery, Cutie Pie. This is a show Jodi Hays put together last year that as the name suggests explores the idea of cuteness, and that certainly is a common/important (you pick the adjective or replace with one of your choosing) trope in art today. The artists include Mark Hosford of Vanderbilt, and his little kids and dolls in cartoonish but gory settings give you an idea of what the show is working on.

Untitled, Active Ingredient This quarter the show is at the Limelight in East Nashville, and in a new twist Untitled is hooking up with the Dr. Sketchy’s group to do a life drawing session during the show, featuring some of Nashville’s burlesque queens as models.

Gallery One, Botanica. This show features Jean Hess (painting), Lendon Noe (painting/mixed media), Brant Kingman (sculpture). Noe makes attractive, colorful compositions that have been some of the more satisfying stuff I’ve seen at Gallery One. Kingman’s bronze sculpture weave together different objects to create some other overall form—based on descriptions he may do some interesting things with what elements he chooses as the basic elements he ties together.

Kronos Quartet, Sun Rings by Terry Riley. Vanderbilt has the Kronos Quartet in for a concert at Ingram Recital Hall, performing a new piece by Terry Riley. Riley is one of the pioneers of minimalism (his best known work is In C), and this looks like a major work, described as “evening length” with the Blair Choir and multimedia images.

Mar. 15

Estel, Daniel Lai. Daniel Lai shows up this month not as proprietor of Dangenart but as artist in his own right. The show will include both his portraits made by burning canvas, and sculptures. The title of the show is “Icon,” with portraits of Western cultural figures Daniel did not encounter growing up in Malaysia. Daniel seems like a total insider to Nashville art by now, but by virtue of birth and background, he has the capacity to look in on American culture as an outsider as well.

Cumberland Gallery, Billy Renkl, Ken Rowe, Ann Wells Three very solid artists. Billy Renkl does drawings with collage, the elements taken from maps and books. The incorporation of maps and books is something I distrust a little—the material is inherently interesting, which means an artist can skate by without much to say—you’re distracted looking at the map, or at least I am. But Renkl has sold me sold with a lot of his work—the pieces in the Frist’s Fragile Species show come to mind (here’s an old post on them). Ann Wells’s stoneware sculptures are refined objects that retain some of the form of vessels. And I don’t know if Cumberland has shown Ken Rowe’s sculptures before—they are extremely detailed depictions of strange scenes like a kid poking at the decayed corpse of a critter or people in bunny costumes.

Zeitgeist, Dialogues—the Painting show. This year Zeitgeist is structuring several months of their exhibit schedule around group shows focused by medium. They have ambitious aspirations for the series, and will be holding panel discussions in conjunction with each installment. The artists in the painting show are very good: Will Berry, Richard Feaster, Brady Haston, Farrar Hood, Rocky Horton, Sara La, Megan Lightell, Johnny Nelson, James Perrin, Kelly Popoff-Punches, Julian Rogers, Terry Rowlett, Lars Strandh, John Tallman, Gene Wilken, Lain York. Julian, who along with Mike Calway-Fagan ran the Sooplex space at Chestnut Street, does big striking pieces; Sara La’s work is always good to see—when she’s on, the work is first-rate. Terry Rowlett’s stuff is great, full of classical references, There will be a panel discussion with Rocky Horton, Terry Thacker, and Kelly Williams in April, and then the next installments in the series are photography, drawing and sculpture, and works on paper.

Lost Boys Foundation Art Gallery. The Lost Boys are a group of Sudanese boys who fled civil war in that country in 1987, walked a thousand miles to a refugee camp in Kenya and then were resettled around the globe. 150 of these refugees came to Nashville. The Lost Boys Foundation was formed by several Nashvillians including photographer Jack Spencer to help these young men by creating a community complex for them. Several of the Lost Boys have become artists, and the Foundation holds art auctions to support the Foundation and the community center. The Center and Gallery are at 4th Avenue South and Lea, the opening is at 6:00.

March 27

Metro Arts Commission Gallery, CarrieGlenn and Larry Megill, Michael Serkownek, Jorge Yances. I haven’t seen the gallery space yet at Metro Arts, but they’ve been promoting their exhibits there for a while. In this show you’ve got the Megills, who collaborate on welded sculptures drawn from natural scenes, a nature and landscape photographer (Serkownek), and a painter of landscapes, some with surrealistic elements (Yances). The gallery is in the Howard School building on 2nd Avenue South. Their opening reception will run from 2-4:30 on the 27th, which is a Thursday if you aren’t counting ahead that far.