In this week's Scene, Joe Nolan lets us in on what's happening in everybody's favorite monthly block party, the Downtown Art Crawl. Read up, pick a favorite piece, and wax knowingly about it with your date over free wine and magic-hour lighting. You really can't lose — if you can find parking.
The Arts Company is getting fashionable in May, displaying a show of photographer Norman Lerner's stylish snaps along with a selection of jewelry and accessories inspired by his photographs. Lerner was a fashion and commercial photographer in New York in the '50s, '60s and '70s, and his work has been shown at both the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. LollyDee creates couture clothing and jewelry that nods to midcentury fashions while remaining entirely contemporary. They've created an array of clothes and accessories using Lerner's photographs as a jumping-off point, and tonight's festivities will begin with a live fashion show spotlighting this special collection.
Girls! Girls! Girls!
When: Artists' reception 6-9 p.m. Friday, May 3
Where: Groundfloor Gallery & Studios, 427 Chestnut St.
As a general rule, I almost always ignore an artist's statement. They're notoriously pretentious and almost always detract from the work. But sometimes there's a statement that speaks so eloquently that all we critics are left to do is post it and let the accolades roll in. Such is the case with Girls! Girls! Girls!, the all-lady exhibition that's opening on Friday at Groundfloor. Curator Rachel Growden, a senior at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, took the exhibition statement from a Craigslist Missed Connections poem.
Here it is, in its entirety:
Coco Pebbles and wax
Tell me true
Dr Pepper and popcorn too.
Heard from you the other
Tell me wrong or right?
Paint and polish
craft and art
Roses that match
Bind our heart.
Growden follows up with a few details about the exhibit, which "highlights a variety of female artists reflecting on matters ranging from teenage heartthrobs and relationships to female role models, manicures and memory — all with a sense of wit."
Artists include Country Life favorite Emily Clayton, as well as Kellie Bornhoft, Rachel Growden, Sarah Growden and Hannah Taylor. We'll see you on Friday — B.Y.O. Coco Pebbles.
WORK & PLAY: An Artist's Talk With Chris Roberson
When: 9:10 p.m. Wednesday, May 1
Where: Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, Room 804
Former Country Life artist Chris Roberson will be giving an artist's talk at Watkins at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday, May 1. The talk is titled WORK & PLAY — a fitting combination for an artist who deals with playground and basketball court aesthetics, as you'll remember Roberson does — and it will focus on his work and personal practice. Bring your Air Jordans, your Mars Blackmon glasses and your best Rosie Perez dance moves: Roberson takes play seriously.
Those Darlins’ Jessi "Darlin" Zazu has added two new groups of drawings to her Hunting for Heroes series. She announced that the new series, titled HOODLUMS and CROOKS, would be available on her Etsy shop earlier this morning. And while the previous collections we told you about back in January may have included infamous anti-heroes like Butch Cassidy and Jesse James, the new ones have Scarface Al Capone, Big Jim AND Little Hymie. In other words, it's a mix of obscure criminals and some of the most notorious mugshots around. I can’t wait until she starts digging into the great female outlaws — take note Ma Barker and Bonnie Parker aficionados!
In this week's art story about Jennifer Uman and Valerio Vidali's book Jemmy Button, I compared the collaboration between the artists to oil and water, saying that their styles don't mix as much as they intertwine.
Uman's work follows in the tradition of outsider artists like Margaret Kilgallen and Bill Traylor, while Vidali's work leans toward great mid-century illustrators like Charley Harper, or even the expansive backgrounds of early Hanna-Barbera cartoons. Uman is unpolished and detailed, Vidali is lush and graceful.
To give you a visual jumping-off point, I've collected some works of the artists I mentioned in that description. See if my comparisons make sense to you in the mathematic equations of artistic influence I've assembled below.
Think of Pancakes & Booze as breakfast meets Untitled — with an edge. Like Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, P & B has become a multi-city affair with events happening in Minneapolis, Seattle, Denver and Los Angeles over the next few weeks. The exhibitions promote emerging creators and tend to feature the kind of underground art Juxtapoz Magazine celebrates — where tattoos, graffiti, cartoons, erotica and horror all tangle into a sexy/disturbing/hilarious king rat of an aesthetic, so don't expect anything Mickey Mouse at tonight's show at Boheme Collectif.
Nashville has hosted P & B events at sites like the now-defunct Open Lot, but the Boheme Collectif's unique blend of artsy decadence and East Nashville funk makes tonight's happening the perfect match of show and venue. This time around, Pancakes & Booze will feature over 50 Nashville artists, live body painting, audio grooves by Auto Defiance and DJ Super Grover, the Ulalume Belly Dance troupe, and — of course — an all-you-can-eat pancake bar. The “booze” part of this event is up to you. This B.Y.O.B. happening is 21 + only.
Starts at 8 P.M. Rages until 2 A.M. Boheme Collectif is located at 919 Gallatin Avenue, Space 8.
$5 cover charge.
I wouldn't have predicted it even a few years ago, but the art scene in the Chestnut Hill neighborhood may be evolving into Nashville's contemporary fine art headquarters. Zeitgeist has officially moved from their Hillsboro Village digs to the space they're renovating at 516 Hagan Street and the recent addition of Fort Houston has found Brick Factory relocating from Cummins Station to 500 Houston St. I could also argue that the burgers at Gabby's are works of art, but let's save that for some other post.
Another new addition joins go-to galleries Seed Space and Threesquared over at the Chestnut Square building. Ground Floor is the brainchild of Willard Tucker, visiting faculty at Watkins. One of Nashville's most thoughtful and eloquent curators, Tucker is one of the people at the forefront of making Nashville a city that matters when it comes to contemporary fine art. He is a member of the Coop collective and his curating of their group show at Space 204 was one of 2011's most memorable exhibits, and I'm really looking forward to seeing what he'll conjure in this new space.
Watching the rainbow of lights slowly come to life around you — its own quiet, glowing, morphing little world — is a little like riding around looking at Christmas lights … while stoned out of your mind.
Light is a collection of art installations made up of iridescent orbs and objects that will eventually number in the hundreds of thousands. Munro’s team will log more than 2,000 man-hours assembling it before the show opens May 24.
At the Tuesday night preview, Munro spoke to the press, art lovers and donors about how Light came to be.
“I was pretty stupid at most things,” said Munro. “I wasn’t very academic. I just really loved painting. [But] I was a bad painter … One day, I discovered light.”
For a combination of a heartbreaking backstory and a catalog of equally heartbreaking work, you can't do much better than Deborah Luster. She was the final artist to participate in this year's Visiting Artists Series at Watkins, and about halfway through her lecture last night she joked with the audience about the emotional tenor of her work, asking if we were depressed yet. Then she said her next project would be something lighthearted, like a documentation of the cats of Ireland. Somehow, I doubt it. She's just too good at making the macabre interesting.
Jodi Hays is the kind of artist who takes play very seriously. I visited her at her East Nashville studio last Thursday in the middle of a daylong downpour, and made quick friends with Lefty, her polydactyl cat with super-sized paws. Jodi's paintings are abstract but contained. No matter how large or seemingly plain the canvas seems on first appearance, there is always an underlying current of subtlety and restraint.
In an exhibit of her paintings at Threesquared Gallery last February, curator Sara Estes wrote this about Jodi’s work:
While the theme of place is certainly palpable in Jodi Hays’ work, notions of the non- place and exile push to the forefront with equal force. The spaces Hays depicts are not those of home and habitation, but rather that of temporality, upheaval, and exclusion...In these works, Hays employs physical space as a metaphor for the psychological spaces we navigate.
Photos of her studio after the jump.
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