With the Wedgewood-Houston gallery scene now hitching its wagon to the Art Crawl, Nashville gallerygoers have more First Saturday options than ever. Is it too much? Will Nashville be best served by one big crawl or by two separate art fests every month? I can't tell the future, but I can tell you that this September event is packed with grand openings, spooky videos, gold skulls and one happy homecoming.
Belle Meade's Gallery One has made a move downtown, and the gallery opens its new digs at 213 Third Ave. N. on Saturday night. Owner Tammy Parmentier's first Art Crawl will feature the photo-encaustic images of Atlanta-based artist Maggie Hasbrouck, whose newest pieces are made up of separate sections of images that feature solid colors on their opposite sides. Individual sections can be flipped to create a combination of looks from one individual painting. It's a fun gimmick, though more Rubik's Cube than Kandinsky.
Process art involves creating a final product that is seen only as an artifact of the materials and techniques that brought about its realization — not as a special object resulting from unique intentions. This month, Tinney Contemporary presents two painters whose work is all about the journey. Stefany Hemming's exhibit in Tinney's main gallery explores painting as an obsessive, physical exercise that's continually informed by the caprices of chance and intention. Mary Addison Hackett is one of our most eloquent local painters, and her latest series of abstract canvases on display in Tinney's back gallery incorporates floral designs lifted from family heirlooms.
James Perrin's large paintings have offered figures in landscapes behind explosions of frenetic, colorful abstracting lines, capped by titles such as "Expulsion from the Garden of Eden" that directly reference the history of painting. His latest series at 40AU in the Arcade finds the artist pushing big canvases into total abstraction, while smaller pieces feature gooey gobs of color in compositions based on the artist's photographs of Walmart.
A few doors down, Coop debuts an exhibition of work by artists collaborating with death row inmates from Riverbend Maximum Security Institution. The works in Unit 2 (part 1) are varied and vivid. Some pieces were created by artist/inmate pairs trading work back and forth, collaborating until a final work emerged. Other artists struck out at the behest of an inmate to creatively capture idealized experiences beyond the prison's walls.
In the wake of Beth Gilmore's exodus from the Arcade, I worried about what might fill the gaps left behind by the artist/curator's pioneering Twist and Twist Etc. galleries. The best news yet is that Watkins has taken over the Twist Etc. suite at Arcade 77, and they'll be opening their very first exhibition at this month's Art Crawl. A Larger Hole features work by Watkins students Mika Agari, Alejandro Bardo, Robert Grand, Sharon Stewart, Hannah Taylor and Johnny Whitman.
Although filmmaker Brent Stewart has exhibited photography, sculpture and painting, the artist's expressions are most fully formed when combining moving images and sound. Given his film background, Stewart's video installation at Zeitgeist this month might provide a great jumping-off point for a discussion about the similarities and differences between video art and the movies. Here's a hint: Filmmakers do it better. The show will share the space with Will Berry's latest paintings, which borrow images from Mexican cultural iconography. I got a sneak peek at a skull-covered gold-leafed panel that has me excited to see the rest.
Former Nashvillian Adrienne Miller was a mover and a shaker in Nashville's storied printmaking scene before she abandoned us for some fancy MFA program at Northern Illinois University. But we're not bitter. Her new work at Threesquared presents landscapes and atmospheres — geographical, meteorological and psychological — in states of disruption. It's an understandable theme for someone who just left the best city in the world, an adoring printmaking community and all of her amazing friends behind. Really, we're not bitter.
Jen Uman is a prolific illustrator whose idiosyncratic style is eminently recognizable. Outside of the conventions of a story or the editorial constraints of a newspaper, Uman's large drawings and paintings take on diaristic urgency, combining personal experiences with fantastic infatuations. I predict Uman's show at Fort Houston will be the biggest scene of the night.
Former Nashvillian Jack "Dingo" Ryan will open a video installation at Seed Space on Saturday night. The centerpiece of Sounds for a Third Ear is Ryan's "Ayn Rand Lamp": A bank of bulbs synced to blink along with Ms. Rand's eye movements in an old television interview. Body language experts claim that eye movements can reveal if someone is hiding a secret. Stop by to see if Ryan brings any surprises of his own to the crawl.
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