Country Life

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Soccer, High Tops and The Reina Sofia: Eight Questions for Wendy White

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Asymptote, Wendy White (2013)
  • "Asymptote," Wendy White (2013)

New York-based artist Wendy White was in town for 24 hours last week, helping Susan Sherrick and Paul Gilbert inaugurate the new Sherrick and Paul Gallery. White has two canvases on view in the gallery's opening exhibit, which will be on view until Jan. 10. I sat down to speak with White about her work — keep an eye out for the interview in a post later this week, as well as a review of the show in print — and she answered the following questions, most of which I lifted from ArtInfo, via email the next day. Read on to find out what White thinks makes a good art scene, what shows are currently exciting her, and where she's been finding inspiration.

1. What do you think makes a good art scene?
Ideally a museum, an art school, galleries and alternative spaces — and a walkable neighborhood.

2. What's the last art show that you saw?
Sara Greenberger Rafferty at Rachel Uffner.

3. Are you planning to see any other exhibitions while you're in Nashville?
I'm only here for 24 hours, but hopefully next time!

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How Three Women Got Through the Holidays While Behind Bars

Posted By on Wed, Nov 19, 2014 at 7:30 AM


In this week's paper we have a great piece by Kay West, who interviewed three women who've had to get through several holiday seasons behind bars. They share some of their best Christmas memories ("I got the Grease album and a little record player with a microphone. I would sing and dance — I thought I was Olivia Newton-John"), along with some of their worst.

An excerpt:

When Ty Johnson remembers her best Christmas ever, 36 years vanish from her face and she is a young girl again: "I was 12 years old. My mother had just married and I got a bike and a television." Her eyes glow as she thinks back to that day, her smile is wide. As quickly, it vanishes. "We didn't have good Christmases after that," she says, her voice flattening as she relives subsequent holidays in a home gripped by active addiction. "I have younger brothers and sisters, and I remember two Christmases we woke up and we didn't have anything. Nothing, not even a pair of socks. How do you explain that to children who still believe in Santa Claus? Who see Christmas everywhere else? I still feel that to this day. Anything I can do to help someone have a good Christmas, I will. Even if I didn't do it the right way, I tried."

Johnson shoplifted gifts for the young children of her addicted sister. Shoplifting and prostitution were also the means to supply the drugs she needed, and her incarceration history included two stints in prison prior to her final one. "I was so worn out from the streets, I couldn't wait to lay down somewhere, even prison, and be still."

You can read the whole piece here. It's a heartbreaking situation for sure, but one woman from the story, Shelia McClain, now spends the holiday season doing what she can to make sure the this time of year is as bright as it can be — she's gathering scrapbooks, gift cards and more for imprisoned women and their children. If you'd like to donate to her efforts, email her at for more information.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Donate a Turkey (and Potatoes, Cranberry Sauce, Rolls and More) to Nashville Rescue Mission

Posted By on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

  • PHOTO: Nashville Rescue Mission
As mentioned in this week's Holiday Guide, there are plenty of local charities looking for extra help this holiday season (and every season, really). One way to ensure your fellow Nashvillians have a nice Thanksgiving is to pick up a few things for the Nashville Rescue Mission as you do your own holiday grocery shopping — they'll be serving over 5,500 meals to hungry and homeless folks, and they need your help setting the table.

Their shopping list includes all the traditional foods — turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, salad, pies and rolls — as well as serving items like styrofoam cups, plastic flatware, napkins and salt and pepper. The full list can be found here.

Donations can be dropped off at the Donation Center at 616 Seventh Ave. S. Mon-Sat 7 a.m.-7 p.m.

See even more great organizations here.

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Monday, November 17, 2014

'Tis Better to Give: Put Your Time, Money and Goods to Use This Holiday Season

Posted By on Mon, Nov 17, 2014 at 10:23 AM

  • Illustration: Alicia Waters Binkley

Before you get too swept up in the holiday madness, help your fellow Nashvillians have a great holiday season, too. Whether you want to donate your time, money or goods, there are several organizations in the area looking for extra help this time of year. Here are a few places to start:

Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee works hard to fight hunger, and it doesn't take much to help their cause — a $1 donation will supply four meals. If you have more time than money, you can also organize your own food drive, collecting peanut butter, pasta, canned fruit and vegetables from co-workers, neighbors and friends. Visit for more information.

For more than 30 years, Safe Haven has been helping homeless families of Middle Tennessee find reliable housing. Safe Haven is always in need of a plethora of household items, including towels, kitchen supplies, linens and more. They have both Amazon and Target wish lists posted at

The venerable Room In The Inn, with its downtown Campus for Human Development offering a variety of emergency services and long-term solutions to homeless Nashvillians rebuilding their lives, is a worthwhile cause no matter the time of year. See how you can help at

It just takes two bucks and some change to help the Nashville Rescue Mission make a positive difference in someone's life. Visit to make a monetary donation and also find out how you can volunteer or donate your extra food and clothing.

Keep reading our 2014 holiday guide for more of our favorite local charitable organizations ...

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Happy Horror-Days: Our Weirdest, Saddest and Craziest Holiday Memories

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 2:50 PM

  • Illustration: Alicia Waters Binkley
Our annual Holiday Guide is out now (look at the gorgeous cover drawn by Alicia Waters Bikley!), and because we understand not everyone has a holiday season worthy of a Gap ad, we're sharing some of our weirdest, saddest and funniest holiday memories with you.

Jim Ridley tells us about the time he and his family broke into his neighbors' house, Elizabeth Jones writes a heartbreaking piece about losing her father and having to open and return his Christmas gifts, and Dana Kopp Franklin recalls the best Thanksgiving dinner she ever ate, which happened while camping in the middle of a freezing thunderstorm. Read all our stories here and just know, if your holiday season isn't off to a picture-perfect start, you're not alone.

And we want to hear your stories, too! Send me your craziest, weirdest, saddest holiday memories (or leave them in the comments) and we'll share some of our favorites on the blog over the next few weeks.

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Grand Opening of Wilder in Germantown

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 12:58 PM


With all of the development in Germantown, it's no surprise that the neighborhood is also welcoming a store that sells stuff to put in all these new houses. Wilder, a venture from Nashville-by-way-of-NYC duo Ivy and Josh Elrod, promises a varied selection of household items for those looking to create a "provocative" space.

What composes a provocative space, you ask? Well, considering that the Elrods are actors and performing artists (their credits include stints with The Rockettes and Blue Man Group) who have traveled the world, expect a mixed bag of high/low (that's prices, not quality) ceramics, furniture, lighting, textiles and more. Their online shop has a sampling of the eclectic items offered, so check that out here.

Better yet, go to the grand opening tomorrow, held from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the store at 1212 Fourth Ave. N.

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Happy Horror-Days: The Year Santa Got Divorced

Posted By on Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 8:53 AM

The author and her father
  • The author and her father

When I was a little girl, my dad dressed up like Santa for the local Sears portrait studio, and I have a few years' worth of photos of tiny me sitting on Santa's lap, growing more aware that his twinkle-eyed smile was familiar. As a grown-up, we kept a few of our old traditions, but new ones sprung up every couple years — watching the extended version of Lord of the Rings over and over, or driving around my small hometown trying to find the most disastrously tacky lights while listening to The Waitresses.

But like a lot of kids, the year that I remember most vividly was the worst. (That's got to be the downside of a happy childhood, right? That it seems like all the good times make the bad times more memorable.) My parents had just gotten divorced, and my dad forgot to put up a Christmas tree that year. Somehow that oversight spoke volumes to me in a language my 12-year-old mind wholly understood. The lack of cheer, the blank slate, the dumbstruck dad who was suddenly cast in an unfamiliar, uncomfortable role as Bachelor Father. That was the year my dad, my first Santa Claus, seemed real and human for the first time, and I can't say I ever got used to it.

Read the rest of the Scene staff's weirdest, saddest and craziest holiday memories here.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Yet Another Blow for Cult Fiction Underground

Posted By on Tue, Nov 11, 2014 at 2:18 PM


It's been little but headaches for Cult Fiction Underground, ever since Robert Slendorn moved his grindhouse watering hole from the basement of Logue's Black Raven Emporium to a stand-alone location nearby at 1048 E. Trinity Lane. After a pre-Halloween blowout with Dr. Gangrene's Horror Hootenanny that was meant to be a formal unveiling, the 75-seat theater space and bar has been entangled in ongoing negotiations with the city's codes department over installing a sprinkler system.

A planned Halloween opening date came and went. Then, roughly a half-hour ago, this message appeared on the theater's Facebook page:

To all concerned...
as a lot of you know, we have been having issue's with the codes dept. in regards to putting in a sprinkler system.
Today we went before the appeals board and presented are case. We are sorry to inform you that all did not go well and it looks like our doors will likely be closed until the beginning of January.
The good news is, our fight is not over. Hopefully we can work with codes to resolve the issue's at hand and have the new Cult Fiction Underground up an running by the beginning of the new year.
We miss your faces and friendship. So hang in there with us and we promise the new Cult Fiction Underground will be one of the most original, unique and fun venues in Nashville.

Keeping our fingers crossed. A city can never have enough venues willing to show the likes of They Came from Within, Street Trash and the uncut Intruder.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Crowdfundin' Monday: Launch Pad, The Kind Cake and Reverse

Posted By on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 2:31 PM


It's time for another look at projects proposed by local innovators for your perusal and investment, should you find their cause worthy or their pitch convincing. We do it most weeks, and we call it Crowdfundin' Monday.

Before we get started, a little old business. Last week on our sister blog, Nashville Cream, I mentioned YEAH's ongoing campaign to boost their scholarship fund and cover additional operating expenses. Those programs rule, so I'll encourage you to donate what you can. From last week's Crowdfundin' column: there are only a few days left to get in on Gantry Rides Again, so if you want to contribute to a local legend's next record, now's the time.

First up this week is a local humanitarian cause that's only going to get more serious as winter approaches. Earlier this year, the Oasis Center announced that it would have to shutter its transitional housing facility for LGBT youth, because the federal funding that supports many youth homeless programs has been de-prioritized. LGBT youth between ages 18 and 24 have an especially tough time in shelters, leaving many with no viable options besides the street. The local chapter of LGBT advocacy group The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence started an initiative called Launch Pad, which includes a network of temporary shelters to meet the immediate need as well as partnering with federal, state and local agencies to address homelessness in the long-term. The math is pretty simple: a given shelter can house 10 youth at a cost of $300 per week. Their campaign ends Dec. 5, so please give what you can.


Continue reading »

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Crowdfundin' Monday: Intersection, Fitsme Fashion, The Junior Journal and Gantry Rides Again

Posted By on Mon, Nov 3, 2014 at 2:15 PM

It's time for another look at projects proposed by local creatives for your perusal and investment, should you find their cause worthy or their pitch convincing. We do it most weeks, and we call it Crowdfundin' Monday.

This week, we've got four great projects to take a look at, starting with one launched by Kelly Corcoran, ace conductor and Chorus Director for the Nashville Symphony. New art music has it tough: Art music of all kinds has a lot of competition for your entertainment dollar, and despite their best efforts, larger organizations like the Symphony can only program so much new music and still keep the lights on. Smaller, more flexible ensembles are needed to help newer composers and performers reach the public, and Corcoran has put together an outstanding plan to give them a platform with an ensemble called Intersection. But you don't have to take my word for it: watch the pitch video above, and check out the campaign.


Continue reading »

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