What do you know about art collecting? What is there to know about art collecting? What's so important about art collecting? If you've ever asked yourself these questions, or you're just now finding yourself intrigued about their answers, Thursday's panel at David Lusk Gallery is exactly what you're looking for.
Author/art collector Robert Hicks will join artist/Frist Center graphic designer Kristina Colucci, and the Nashville Scene's own Laura Hutson Hunter for a discourse on art, ownership, patronage and why a thriving art scene demands an active, engaged audience.
David Lusk's hosting of this event dovetails nicely with the space's Price is Right exhibit featuring a broad selection of works by gallery artists, all priced to sell at $999 or less. The show opened during last Saturday's Arts & Music at Wedgewood Houston events and proved to be full of surprises. No doubt so will this interchange about art and commerce.
6-8 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 7, at David Lusk Gallery, 516 Hagan St. Drinks served at 6 p.m.; discussion begins at 6:30 p.m.
While I was at the Arts & Music at Wedgewood/Houston events this past Saturday night, I struck up a conversation with Zack Rafuls about a show of work by Co. H — Rafuls is the art collective's current chair. Co. H is a student group at Watkins that's been active since 2011 — fulfilling the wishes of its founders that the collective would continue as student-leaders graduated and handed-over responsibilities to the next young artists in line. Not only is the group going strong, this spring they produced one of the best student shows I've seen in this city since I started writing about our visual art scene a decade ago.
Mystic Truths: A Group Show from Co. H and Friends is an ambitious multimedia affair that includes video, drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, installation work and sculpture, all responding to the message in Bruce Nauman's 1967 neon sign piece “The True Artist Helps The World By Revealing Mystic Truths.” Regardless of whether any of the exhibition's artists actually achieve such a transcendent goal, what's so striking about the show is how consistently inventive, energetic, smart and well-crafted the work is throughout.
Tonight the Gordon Jewish Community Center opens a new exhibition by three local artists that features everything from installation work to painting and sculpture.
Kit Kite has a snappy name, which I suppose is a good thing to have when you're a photographer. But, seriously, Object X is an A/V installation that takes the artist's The X Housewife Portraits as its jumping off point. Kite's planning on a street-art component for the series that's scheduled for this fall, so I suppose tonight's show is also a teaser for the next one.
When it comes to art, smiles can be tricky things: Miles Davis almost never smiled though he lived into his 60s and — in his own words — “changed music five or six times”; Marilyn Monroe smiled all the way to her suicide; the Mona Lisa's smirk is ambivalent to say the least.
This Saturday night at Seed Space, former Nashvillian Liz Clayton Scofield will present her performance “How to Smile in 34 Steps — LIVE!” The artist will present each of the 34 steps she attributes to the perfect smile on cue cards while her performance is mimicked on a video projection that the artist will perform in front of — if you can't smile at yourself, at whom can you smile? After presenting the rules of her game, Scofield plans to keep on smiling for the rest of the opening — I hope she knows that the We/Ho scene often becomes the de facto First Saturday after party. This could be a really long night for Scofield and her Cheshire cheeks.
Facebook can be a great resource for keeping up-to-date with everything from road closures to restaurant openings to new music releases — I don't see how anyone gets through a day without it. The site can even tip you off to artistic adventures that are in the process of happening at the moment they are posted. That's what occurred yesterday when Nashville art insider Andee Rudloff posted a pic of a mural being painted on the side of the Packing Plant building in Wedgewood-Houston. She "tagged" me so I "liked" the post and then "drove" to the "West Side" to see the "mural."
Vince Herrera of Trespass in Clarksville arranged for Australian artist Rone to paint the mural during his Middle Tennessee visit. The piece is a large portrait of the face of an Australian model photographed by the artist — he was painting the massive visage using a roller on the end of a long handle when I arrived, but he was making some impressive moves with the clumsy instrument and the mural was already looking sexy as hell late yesterday afternoon.
Gwil Owen is a polymath: an Academy Award nominated songwriter; the curator par excellence at Howlin' Books; and — evidently — a visual artist whose imaginative collages are now on display in the lobby of The Belcourt Theatre.
Owen counts song cuts among luminaries like Keith Richards, Levon Helm and Little Feat, but has recently found the time to also make mysterious images from the detritus he sifts through during his loving leafings as a book dealer.
Last Saturday night's Arts & Music at Wedgewood/Houston event was a particularly strong one for art-gazing and socializing, lingering in galleries and warehouses and waiting for breaks in the rain. I was in line for a drink at Lusk when a particularly violent downpour came blustering through.
I'm glad it was only loud harmless wind and rain, and I'm also glad that getting stuck in the space made me take a second look at the paintings of Kelly S. Williams. The images I'd seen of Williams' paintings of terrariums brimming with plants and rocks looked utterly boring and I considered my visit to the gallery to be something of a perfunctory one. But once I was stuck there with them I felt forced to look closer — the bottom-justified, low hanging arrangement on gallery's main wall also coaxed up-close examining. When you carefully peruse the little ecosystems in Williams' terrariums as you might the contents of an actual terrarium, the graceful gardens leap to life in vibrant curtains of color, painterly petals and stately stones. I guess the rain really does make your garden grow, even if your garden is a painting.
Last Friday night I went to the opening of The Secret Room at Threesquared. The exhibition included videos and paintings by David Hellams, Jaime Raybin and Jenna Maurice — all three of whom work for Watkins as admissions recruiters.
The trio all log lots of time on the road, evangelizing talented teens on the value of a higher education in the arts. I watched the Maysles Brothers groundbreaking debut Salesman again over the weekend. If you haven't seen it, give it a peep. This exhibition and the film made me think about selling Bibles and selling knowledge, and how either might make Willy Lomans of us all.
These recruiter-artists all experience long periods of isolation in cars, planes and hotel rooms. They also represent an institution to rooms full of people, and engage with teens at a point when they're making very big decisions about the first steps they want to take in the real world. It's enough to weird-out anybody, and that weirdness is this exhibit's jumping-off-point.
If having the very first chance to get your hands on the handcrafted goodies, clothes, accessories, art, sporting goods, and crafts of nearly 100 local makers is something you'd trade your favorite bowler hat for, then the Porter Flea Preview Market at Track One this Friday night is a perfect fit.
While these events have always provided a showcase for Nashville's artisan community, they're also known to be outrageously crowded affairs that find shoppers having to wait in line for what would ideally be a casual, enjoyable browse-about. Are the venues overbooked with vendors? Are the event spaces simply too small? Are Porter, its customers and its artisans all suffering because of the pop-up shop's immense popularity?
These are all important questions, but for Friday night here's my advice: If you're already planning to go to the market on Saturday, go ahead and spring the extra 15 bucks and go to the party on Friday night instead — the free Jackalope beer alone makes this a no-brainer.
Laura Hutson and I have been talking a lot lately about how Nashville's art scene has evolved over the last three decades. Thinking back on some of the highlights over the years, one of the first things that came to mind for me was artist J. Todd Greene's Paw Paw Sermons painting series.
In 1997, Greene hosted a pair of shows at J & J's Market and at The Arts Company. Both shows featured paintings inspired by the pictographic cards Greene's late preacher grandfather invented to assist him in delivering his Sunday sermons. The totemic canvases completely sold out at both shows and Greene instantly became the biggest name in the scene.
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