Perambulating the Bounds

Friday, May 29, 2009

Nashville Visual Arts Events late May-June 2009

I’m sending this out a little early so I could get word around about the Fugitive 60 Second video festival and the TCASK fundraiser.

I learned this week that Libby and Ken Rowe are leaving town this summer—Libby’s starting a new gig at University of Texas San Antonio. It sounds like a good situation—big program, good facilities—but it’s sad to see them leave. Ken’s public art project for the Public Square is moving forward, and I hope Libby gets curated into shows here regularly. I’m glad she had the chance to do that Belmont show.

And then there’s Erika Johnson, who is leaving for Pittsburgh. Erika’s been important to Nashville as a member and organizer for Plowhaus and untitled, but her biggest contribution has been her own work, ambitious and compassionate. I’ve got all these notes on her installation at the Parthenon, but have never gotten around to giving that piece its proper due.

It is the time of year for these transitions.

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May 29

Matt Christy and Nick Stolle, Bad Apple Studio. A one-night show by two recent Watkins standouts in a studio in the 427 Chestnut building.

Frist Center, Museums in the 21st Century. Drawings, models, plans and photos of 26 museum projects in development since 2000. No, they were not all designed by Frank Gehry. But it looks like the monstrosity proposed for the Corcoran Museum makes an appearance.

May 30

Fugitive 60 Second Video Festival, Harmony Landing, Pegram Short videos contributed by over 70 artists from the United States, France, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Cyprus, Austria, Brazil, Ireland, Egypt, Vietnam, Korea, and the UK. The participants include Scanner, Melody Owen, and Edward Davee. Harmony Landing is in Pegram—if you take Highway 70 past Bellevue, keep going west until you cross into Cheatham County—turn left at the Town Hall, then take the first left after you cross the railroad tracks that run parallel to 70. Doors open at 4, the program will probably start at 8.

June 1

Tomato Tomato, Group Show 223 West Main Street in Murfreesboro

June 2

Rodney Crowell Fundraiser for TCASK, Belcourt. Crowell, his daughter, Ranger Doug, and Ranger Doug’s son are doing a concert to raise money for the Tennessee Coalition Against State Skilling, the primary organization advocating against the death penalty in this state. Go to the Belcourt website for tickets: www.belcourt.org.

June 4

Art After Hours. The Nashville Association of Art Dealers is starting a program in which members stay open from 5-7 on the first Thursday of the month. Several of the galleries will have special programs—Zeitgeist is hosting a discussion on art with food writer Kay West and restaurateur Arnold Myint, part of their Oblique Strategies series. Cumberland is going to have a talk by Johan Hagaman, and LeQuire will have Jammie Williams drawing a portrait from life.

Arts Immersion event at Icon in the Gulch. The Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville and the Bar Association are sponsoring this multi-media event with bands Rachel Pearl and Milktooth; dance from the Blue Moves Modern Dance Group; film reels from FilmNashville and Nashville Film Festival; and visual art from Sheila B., Cindy Wunsch and more. I don’t think this is officially part of the Art After Dark event, but it adds one more thing to Thursday evening. It’s not a free event--$25 in advance, $30 at the door.

June 5

Centennial Art Center, Patricia Green, Robert Winnett Harrison, and Tim Weber. Tim is a fine potter, a former staffer at the Tennessee Arts Commission who now dedicates himself full-time to the studio. Also on display are painters Green and Harrision. Reception runs from 5-7.

June 6

Blend Studio, Home. Blend is a new venue in the Arcade, run by artist Ben Vitualla. For his initial show, he’s showing the results of work he did with students at Millersville Elementary School this Spring. He and students in a 5th grade class collaborated on three visual projects relating to the students' diverse interpretations of home, family, location, and objects. The projects consist of photography, collage, and video.

Twist, Laina Seay and Erika Johnson. This is a farewell show for Erika, moving to Pittsburgh as I mentioned in the introduction. Her installation for this show is called accumulate/dematerialization, which she introduces with the question “What happens when objects are let go?” Sounds like it fits right in with someone closing up shop in one town and moving to another. Seay is a recent Western Kentucky grad who is trained as a ceramicist but has been working with raw clay and making videos as it dissolves, or working it into installations. She seems to be onto a new way of approaching this material.

Tinney Contemporary, Donny Smutz. Smutz is a surrealist painter who works hot button images, whether it’s suggestive pictures of Catholic nuns or President Obama as the crucified Christ. The paintings look pretty engaging, packed with detail, but courting controversy may take precedence. Tinney’s press release wants you to know that there will be a private security guard protecting the exhibit.

Terrazzo, new artists presented by Zeitgeist. This is Zeitgeist’s last in their monthly showings at the Terrazzo building in the Gulch. This time they are showing work by art students and recent graduates locally and from around the country, including Janice Zeitlin’s kids Anna and Nate who are at Columbia College Chicago and Bard respectively. It also includes Kelly Bonadies from Watkins, Christine Peterson and Lani Asuncion from MTSU, and Patrick Schlafer from Lipscomb, as well as students from Wash U, Sewanee, Alfred, and Bard.

Rymer, SCAD-N. This group show brings together several artists with ties to the Savannah College of Art and Design. The show will includes paintings by Michael Brown, Adin Murray, and Whitney Wood, paintings and video by SCAD dean Brett Osborn, and a room-sized installation by Charles Clary.

Estel, Be a Doll. A group show by women artists addressing women in today’s society. Typically for Estel, it’s got a great list of participants, and seems to include a bunch of folks who haven’t shown here before, or haven’t shown much, as well as important voices like Adrienne Outlaw and Lori Field.

Studio 83. This is a relatively new gallery in the Arcade, in the old Dangenart/TAG space. They have a running group show including Mary Sue Kern, Steve Hood, Raven Toney, Emily Roley, Chad Wilkerson, Jessica Hill, Andrew Watson, Kristin Abraham, Wendy Williams, Cynthia Markert, C.D. Hawks, Donovan Self-Destruct, Jonathan Lisenby, L.B. Toth, Andrew Najberg, and Carla C. Contreras.

Sera Davis: Pamela Staker and Allison Renshaw. Two painters who cover surfaces with busy bright color and jumbles of abstract and representative forms.

The Arts Company, Brother Mel. The latest from this multi-threat artist, Marianist brother, and perennial Arts Company favorite.

Plowhaus at TALS, Nashville Pride. A show celebrating diversity in anticipation of the Pride Festival on June 20. Artists include Catherine Chaput, Jon Downs, John Holland, Franne Lee, Stephen McClure, Jamie McCormick, Carrie Mills, Barry Noland, Mandy Peitz, Candy Robins, Franco Scaramuzza, Robert Bruce Scott, Coral Smith, Susan Striepe, Tom Winnet, James Worsham.

Downtown Presbyterian Church, Art Luck and Concert. This month the Art Luck features the resident artists who have studios in the Church and the works the Church has purchased from the annual group show. Also, in the chapel the group Welcome to 1979 is going to put on a conert featuring The Fireman’s Daughter, Seth Wood, and Carl Pike. Welcome to 1979 is a bunch of audio fetishists with an all-analog studio who are going to record the show to take advantage of the Chapel’s pretty acoustics.

June 11

Frist Center, Artist's Forum with Joseph Whitt. Joseph, who has recently moved to Brooklyn to organize programming for Jules de Balincourt's Starr Space, comes back to town to do one of the Frist's artist's forums. I think of Joseph first off as a curator, who when given the right forum makes the role of putting together exhibits and performances a form of personal expression, collaboration, and performance by all involved. But even in more traditional exhibit organizing at the Vanderbilt Fine Arts gallery, he quickly developed a track record of putting together clever and revelatory shows.

June 13

Cumberland, Summer Showcase. For the summer, Cumberland introduces two artists—Patrick LoCicero and Valerie Stuart—and shows work by gallery artists like Billy Renkl, Kell Black, Bob Durham, Andrew Saftel, Carrie McGee, and James Lavadour.

June 26-28

Firefly Fine Arts Festival, Renaissance Center, Dickson. The Ren Center is putting together a nice big festival of art and music. The artists—a long list—include local people but many from the broader region and beyond. They’ve made an effort to reach out to some younger artists in Nashville like David Hellams and Tiffany Denton. They are running music on two stages during it. And admission is free.