Now that the holidays have passed, and all that's left is a greasy ham stain on your uncle's reindeer necktie, Nashville's art scene is ready for the very first First Saturday Art Crawl of 2011. Since the titular first Saturday of January was New Year's Day, the art crawl was postponed one week, to Jan. 8. This Saturday's event features new faces, urgent messages and a host of ghosts to boot.
Twist Gallery will kick off the new year with a second opening for Alexia Abegg's fantastic contemporary quilt show. Many of her pieces read more like paintings than warmer-uppers, and even if you caught this show in December, pop in to see a number of new pieces added for this encore. Twist Etc. will be playing host to The Process of Product | 12 x 12. A group project by 90 students from Western Kentucky University, The Process includes grids of 1-square-foot artworks that each represent an individual creative idea or impulse. The result highlights the uniqueness of distinct inspirations while simultaneously creating communal connections, reminding viewers that no artist works in a vacuum.
The Rymer Gallery will continue their exhibit of Seth Conley's paintings, White as Snow, from December. Conley's frosty narratives are a good match for the moody winter season. If you missed Jamey Grimes' compelling ceiling installations last month, you'll get a second chance at this Crawl. Rymer will also feature Robert Hendrick's fine-art furniture, fashioned from bulky railroad materials. From the images we've seen, it's hard to tell if Hendrick is really able to transmute his awkward media into graceful, functional appointments, but we call dibs on the "Ballast Deck Desk"!
Tinney Contemporary is determined to bring a little color to this month's Crawl with a new show of multimedia encaustic paintings by Memphis artist Mary Long-Postal. Long-Postal's geometric abstracts match bold colors in stately compositions suspended behind waxy surfaces. Spending some quality time at Tinney this Saturday may prove to be an effective treatment for seasonal affective disorder.
Not exactly repeating their December programming, COOP Gallery will be showing new videos from last month's artist, Dave Hebb. Hebb's two-channel video work explores the long-term consequences of industrialization by documenting landscapes over long periods of time. Hebb's best work brings an immediacy to our impact on the world around us, and this exhibit will resonate with viewers who were mesmerized by the live footage of BP's disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Estel Gallery will show a new series of paintings by Mr. Hooper. Brave Ghosts finds Winston Churchill, Muddy Waters and Andy Kaufman all inhabiting Hooper's canvases with equal parts nostalgia and irony. A few blocks up on Broadway, the Tennessee Art League will open a slew of new shows, including a multimedia shutterbug exhibit by the Nashville Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers, a show of work by incarcerated artists, and an exhibition of Brandt Hardin's surreal pop-art paintings. The Downtown Presbyterian Church will be hosting The Disposables, a benefit for street newspaper The Contributor featuring photography by the paper's homeless and formerly homeless vendors (see Critics' Picks on p. 15).
The new year marks The Arts Company's 15th year in business, and we can't imagine Nashville's art scene without it. To celebrate, the gallery is kicking off the milestone year with Of Things to Come, an exhibit that will offer glimpses of work from upcoming gallery shows as well as a new series of paintings by Nashville's own Robin Venable. Venable's large, circular canvases are filled with fantastic narratives painted over decorative designs.
The Arts Company isn't the only venue with a reason to party this Saturday. Celebrating its second year, Olga Alexeeva's "O" Gallery at 42 Arcade will open before the Crawl at 4:30 p.m. to host a fete of its own. The Frist Center will also be offering free architecture tours of its historic building at the same time, so get downtown early and get crawling!
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