We don't know who burned Old Man Winter's toast, but the crusty ol' geezer has been even more curmudgeonly than usual this time around, punishing Music City with brutally cold temperatures, blustery winds and more snow in three weeks than we typically see in three years. We're not sure what we did to piss him off, but dude really needs to lighten up. Maybe he could use a couple weeks in the Caribbean. But then again, couldn't we all?
That's why we've chosen the darkest depths of the cruelest season for our Winter Arts Preview — at no time are the creative pursuits more essential to our mental and emotional well-being. When cabin fever is at maximum intensity, a day at a gallery, a concert or a trip to the theater can, as Joe Cocker might gargle, give us reason to live. And we can assure you, a night at the opera is far healthier and more entertaining than a day under the tanning lamp.
And speaking of tanning lamps, though they do present health risks, they aren't without merit. Take this week's cover image, Lesley Patterson-Marx's "Vine House": This beautiful collage was fashioned from materials Patterson-Marx created using the Solarplate printmaking process, wherein she rendered images on a light-sensitive photopolymer plate using — you guessed it — tanning lamps. Patterson-Marx uses a variety of source materials — for instance, old Farmers' Almanacs or photocopies of fallen leaves. As she explains it, "Through the magic of photo printmaking, I am able to render ephemeral things more permanent." (A former Watkins College faculty member, Patterson-Marx now teaches art at University School of Nashville.)
Furthermore, the weave pattern of "Vine House" is a lovely metaphor for Nashville's art world — a collection of elements woven together to create a vibrant scene that, considering its humble roots a decade or two ago, is nothing less than remarkable. So let's call this a house tour of Nashville's winter arts season: There's the gripping tale of a powerful leader whose philandering ways may lead to his downfall — no, not Bill Clinton, but Count Almaviva in Nashville Opera's The Marriage of Figaro; an exhibit of images by color photography pioneer William Eggleston at the Frist and a fascinating show by Spanish artist José Luis Raymond at Vandy's Fine Arts Gallery; some great mystery theater, in the form of Blackbird Theater's mounting of Tom Stoppard's masterpiece Arcadia and the Rep's take on Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps; appearances by literary heavyweights Mark Jarman, Bobbie Ann Mason and Joyce Carol Oates; a Nashville Symphony performance featuring a drum solo so raucous it could make Rush's Neil Peart envious; an Alias concert that bridges classical and hip-hop; and Sundance Film Festival USA at The Belcourt — one of only nine theaters in the country selected to screen 2011 festival selections within days of their Park City premieres.
Welcome to our house. Now walk this way ...
WOW, Donna, your massive gaggle of fans is eerily missing.
I STILL find it…
"I used to be terribly relevant. I won scads of awards for being smug and…
The show is coming back. End of story.
The old Nashville Banner column was "Why do the heathen rage" or something like that.
Google the George Strait 60 for 60 campaign. It worked.