Nashville Visual Arts Events mid-December update
In addition to these shows in galleries, my friend and band mate Peggy Snow is at work on a new painting of the Church of Christ at 46th and Charlotte. For those of you who don’t know, Peggy does paintings of endangered buildings, sometimes as the bulldozers are rolling in, sometimes when the forces of commerce are gathering around. It’s not just an act of nostalgia, but an imaginative form of painting activism. Peggy gives voice to what is wrong about so much development and real estate speculation, the damage it does to the character of the places we live, the history and cultural inheritance it blows away. The constant churn of development results in the destruction of an important shared form of wealth, the wealth of memory. Peggy’s pictures pinpoint where that has occurred, and Peggy’s act of painting itself, always en plein air, makes for a kind of protest and vigil. People see Peggy painting. They ask what she’s doing. Sometimes the media come along and broadcast something.
Peggy’s subject this time is a fairly large church at the corner of Charlotte when you drive to it from Murphy road or get off the interstate. There was a group of local artists and arts organizations looking at the space, but I haven’t heard much about that in a while, and otherwise it would be prime land for yet another CVS, Walmart or Eckerd. The oncoming global depression might give the property a reprieve, but a lot of times the developers just level a place and grade it so it’s “development-ready.” In the mean time, Peggy’s doing her thing to call attention to the building, and to what gets crushed when the wheels of commerce grind away.
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Frist Center, Brooks Johnson lecture on Civil War photography. Johnson is associated with the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk. The Civil War was incredibly important to the history of photography in America. The war came along at just the right time in the development of the medium to become a key testing ground for the new medium and its images established photographers like Matthew Brady and Timothy O’Sullivan. 6:30 P.M.
Renaissance Center (Dickson), Jennifer Stoneking-Stewart. An exhibit by a printmaker who has recently joined the faculty at Belmont.
untitled, Winter show (Abominable Art Show), Gallery East. This quarter’s show by the venerable, vibrant and open-minded group. Gallery East is at 1008-C Woodland Street, behind the Alley Cat in East Nashville. 6-10.
Crema, Benefit Art Sale. Crema is an awesome new coffee shop on Hermitage Ave. on the edge of downtown. They make lattes the right way and I’m increasingly looking for excuses to stop there. This month they’ve taken over some adjoining space and are offering art work on sale to benefit the Safe Haven Family shelter. The artists are Thomas Petillo, Janet K. Lee, Stacie Berry, Taunia Rice, Aaron Grayum. They’re holding a closing event on Friday from 6 to 10. 15 Hermitage Ave.
Ruby Green, The Best Private Collection in Nashville. From the artist listed, the title may not be hyperbole—Marina Abramovic, Raymond Pettibon, Picasso, Man Ray, Annie Liebowitz, and R. Crumb. This exhibit is drawn from pieces owned by an anonymous private collector in Nasvhille who agreed to lend the art to Ruby Green. In addition to big names nationally, the collection includes work by the best Nashville artists, like Chris Scarborough, Sam Dunson, and Bob Durham. This show only runs through Dec. 20.
magpie, etc., Mark Sloniker. A mixed media installation from an artist who creates elaborate scenes with cartoon-like characters.
Done Made, 226 3rd Ave. North (work by students in Kristi Hargrove’s drawing class). A one-night show by the students in Kristi Hargrove’s drawing class at Watkins. The last show I saw that Kristi organized of work from one of her classes had some really good work, some of it defining big steps for the artists involved. This show includes several people who already doing sophisticated work (Kelly Bonadies, Beth Gilmore, Erin Plew, and Nick Stolle for a few). The entire list of participants includes Adrienne Bailey, C.J. Fasshauer, Alexis Hicks, Camille Jackson, Robbie Johnson, Justin Patterson, Mandy Stoller, and Myrna Talbot.
Gallery F., Wish List artists’ talk. This is a show of work by students from TSU, some of it very good. Several of the artists have had a piece or two in shows I’ve seen like the show of student work at the Frist, but this exhibit gives you a better sense of what they are up to. Brandon Donahue, whose piece at the Frist caught my attention, holds up well here. Ash Lusk is someone with a mature voice, and the work here is at an additional level of complexity. In addition to these two, the artists in the show and scheduled to speak are Mandy Sauer, Marjorie Ward, Jared Freihoefer, Sara Estes, Holly Settle, and Vincent Black. 6-9
Plowhaus at TALS, Art and Artisans Holiday Show. This is the reception for the affordable art show that opened earlier in the month.