Monthly Archives: February 2010

Happiness all around

Finally, a weekend this year where you won’t be swamped with snow or too cold to walk around the countless hot spot galleries of Nashville’s happening creative scene aside from the honky-tonk Broadway show. If you are not already too busy celebrating the birthdays of Johnston Boyd or Emily Frances Harper Beard all weekend long, you have a plethora of choices to choose from to get your art fill.

To kick things off at 11am this Saturday at Nashville’s LeQuire Gallery, sculptor Alan LeQuire is scheduled to unveil his next fabulous portrait head in his Cultural Heroes Series: “The Sensation of the SouthJosh White. With two guest speakers in Dr. Reavis Mitchell and John Lomax III, Chair at Fisk University History Department and the grandson of pioneer folklorist John Avery Lomax respectively, I can’t think of a more appropriate way to end this year’s Black History Month by seeing the next in line of LeQuire’s wonderful ongoing series. Known as the “The Sensation of the South” in the early part of the last century, White was one of the most beloved stars of music, theater, and film in his day. White will take his rightful place among the other original six Cultural Heroes that were cultural icons and groundbreaking 20th Century Civil Rights advocates in Marian Anderson, Woody Guthrie, Billie Holiday, Lead Belly, Paul Robeson, and Bessie Smith. And oddly enough, not only is this unveiling on Emily’s birthday, it is also on the day that marks the 113th birthday of Marian Anderson!

After you are finished partying down with LeQuire, you can find some more festivities on the east side of Nashville to keep this weekend one to remember. Not to forget that last month’s snowy weather didn’t allow us to celebrate any resemblance of an East Nashville Art Stroll, this month’s stroll this Saturday should be twice as good! From 6-9pm (be sure to check the individual galleries for different or expanded hours), Be sure to support your local favorites and local artists at Art & Invention Gallery, Bongo Java, Concepts in Concrete (proudly launching their ‘Re-Grand Opening’), Fanny’s House of Music, Humankind, Kustom Thrills Tattoo, Open Lot, Rumours East, and Studio 83 East.

So Happy Birthday, Johnston! Happy Birthday, Emily! And Happy Weekend to YOU all! 

Chuck Beard

Image: LeQuire’s Cultural Heroes’ sculptures of Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, and Woody Guthrie. Dean Dixon


another reason why she’s my wife…and i’m the lucky one

Fast becoming one of the premier events on the social circuit, Chair-ish the Kids is an annual art auction held in the Spring to benefit Kids on the Block.

Make plans to attend the Chair-ish The Kids Auction at the Loveless Barn the evening of Thursday, March 25th.

Invitational artists include Herb Williams, Jack Spencer, Stacey Irvin, Sherri Warner Hunter and Don Evans. Other artists participating in Chair-ity include Aaron and Michelle Grayum, Sarah Shearer, Emily Harper Beard (<-that’s my wife), Jodi Reeves, Andee Rudloff and many more!

If you are an art collector or just enjoy a great evening for a great cause, this will BE the event to attend.

More information:

Chuck Beard

Emily’s chairs
“let’s go fly a kite…tomorrow”
“coqui and mi”

Back to school and frontin the streets

Nearing the last of your chocolate valentines galore, and pending the ending of our national month of love, I bid you experience a change of heart of sorts and head on over to various parts of Vanderbilt University this week in order to learn a few of life’s true lessons that you may have missed along your journey up to this point. It’s one thing to drive down the interstate or walk into a fraternity party singing Bob Marley’s classic “Get Up, Stand Up!” at the top of your lungs, but it’s quite another to see and experience the shoes on the other feet of those who have actually had to go face to face with ignorant opposition so as to receive basic human rights we all deserve after birth and live those lyrics. It’s my honor to share with you not one, but two nights and various mediums for you to observe such inspiring tales secondhand.

First up on the week’s menu is Tuesday, February 23rd, in the Art Room on the ground floor of Vanderbilt Divinity School. Every one of you is more than welcome to come over to the reception from 4-6:30pm to witness the opening of the Art of Protest exhibit that will be on show thru March 26. Whether it be inside drawings, paintings, electronics and installations, there are a plethora of life-changing moments to be had represented in this show by the works of Herb Williams, Dooby Tompkins, Zane Campbell, Suzanne Merrill and many others.

And if it is nonfiction stories that you so crave to feed that hunger of hope and search for truth, you don’t need to look any further than Wednesday’s movie of Favela Rising showing in the Sarratt Cinema at 7pm. Presented by the Spanish & Portuguese Departments, Fevela Rising is a documentary about a small Brazilian squatter settlement that unites together behind the inspiration of local hip-hop music, rhythms of the street and Afro-Brazilian dance directed to give its youth a positive alternative to a lethal world of drug lords and corrupt police. From what I know of it already, it reminds me of the Notorious B.I.G.’s true life street story meeting Bob Marley’s music and irie legacy. Led by a former local drug-trafficker turned optimistic social revolutionary called Anderson Sà, you will be transfixed to the screen and story of Favela’s Afro Reggae movement that used music, art, and dance to heal a broken community and teach a better way to work and live.

With both of the above events free admission to attend, I can’t think of any excuse why you won’t be there. Honestly, can you? Don’t just listen to the music; allow yourself to understand the words they are singing and feel the love underneath. Let these artistic windows open your soul to the eye of hope amidst hate.

Chuck Beard

Art of Protest exhibition

Words by Chuck

I have a new website for all of your many reading needs. In my not so spare, spare time…I am a freelance writer of short novels and sweet articles about Nashville’s finest up-and-coming artists.

Please check me out:

Chuck Beard

Coming soon…..

The Blind Tiger Dames – Du Val De Vire

Vaudeville was a theatrical genre of variety entertainment from the early 1880s until the early 1930s. Called “the heart of American show business,” each performance was made up of a series of separate, unrelated acts grouped together on a common bill. Types of acts included popular and classical musicians, dancers, comedians, magicians, acrobats, illustrated songs, jugglers, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, minstrels, and movies.

The dream child of talent initiated from the ideas and inspiration of Nashville favorites and superstars Sunny Becks Crumpton and Laura Matula, The Blind Tiger Dames debut production at the Belcourt Theatre was a powerhouse art conglomerate and perfect Valentine’s date.

The monkey (as seen in the video) stole the show… not to mention that Jack White sat 2 rows behind us…yeah, I just named-dropped but it was all rather cool.

Chuck Beard

What’s LOVE got to do with it … everything!

We are experiencing interesting times … interesting times indeed. Random January heat waves are instantly turning into snow storms, people are continuously losing jobs and making their own opportunities by the minute, Saints are finally winning on and off the television, and love is constantly all around us. Although most of the above is/was quite obvious to notice, even if you didn’t believe what your eyes were seeing as New Orleans was born again for the second time in the past few years, this thing called love is possibly the most tricky to put a finger on. Quite simply, some people hear about it some people feel it.

With the international holiday of Saint Valentine coming up this weekend, it is hard for many to wrap their emotions around facing the brightest of hopes to the lowest of fears about love and its infinitely diverse and personal definitions. I don’t want to go into the overall history of the forthcoming day and/or retell the various rollercoaster ride accounts I’ve been privy to or witness myself. Instead, I’d like to uncomplicate your Valentine weekend so that regardless of your current life o’ love or Facebook relationship status you will find something worthy of putting a smile on your heart.

First, for those that have a special someone of interest that you’d like to give an actual gift to this week and haven’t found the time or funds to find that baby bear soup something to make things just right, look no further than Art & Invention Gallery. I kind of feel like I repeat myself over and over again with Art & Invention, but they are truly an inspiration to the Nashville art community and East Nashville in general. On Friday, Feb. 12th (from noon-8pm), Saturday, Feb. 13th (from noon-6pm), and Sunday, Feb. 14th (from noon-5pm), Art & Invention will be open and help you to create your own personal Valentine masterpiece for the one(s) you love or want to love, lol. Whether you decorate a card or wooden heart or invent a one-of-a-kind sentiment from the gallery’s table of goodies, Meg has vowed that if you supply the time … Art & Invention will supply the materials.

An interesting side note: for those that are still searching for the love you so desire and have questions about fate and the likes thereabout, Art & Invention Gallery is once again proud to have local Psychic Carole Kennedy on hand at the gallery this weekend at various times to give intuitive psychic readings and be ready as ever to answer most of your questions if you so decide to come out and ask (lottery numbers out of the question I presume).

And typing in the general ballpark of psychic activities and other vaudeville acts, I have already booked my plans for this Friday night for the most interesting thing I’ve ever heard of happening in Nashville since … well, since as long as I’ve known Nashville. To skip an introduction that would inevitably be unworthy of such an event, I’d like to tell you about The Blind Tiger Dames’ inaugural production called “Du Val De Vire: un cirque de l’amour” at the Belcourt Theatre. What will finally culminate on stage at the Belcourt this Friday, Feb. 12th, 8:15 pm, is something truly extraordinary that Nashville has never witnessed before.

The dream child of talent initiated from the ideas and inspiration of local favorites and superstars (quite frankly) Sunny “Hoops” Becks Crumpton and Laura Matula, The Blind Tiger Dames is a powerhouse art conglomerate.  It is a vaudevillian music and performance troupe that brings forth some of the most talented Nashville musicians, artists, creators and acrobatic dancers into one elaborate, theatrical production promoting artistry and ingenuity. Although every single person involved within The Blind Tiger Dames is participating in order to express their distinctive creative self, everyone is more than words excited to showcase this combination of local goodness as a gift for Nashville-something so totally unique and fresh as a whole.

In its first production, “Du Val De Vire: un cirque de l’amour,” The Blind Tiger Dames are psyched to tell a continuous story of love: from friendship, to passion, to thrill, to death. After buying tickets for myself and my wife, Sunny mentioned, “Our goal is to create a show that you can not bear to blink or to budge from your seat for fear of missing even one ounce of it!” Packed with special surprises for all who attend, The Blind Tiger Dames are ready to give their own sort of Valentine’s gift to Nashville and are set to build upon this first story and night of love to make Nashville a better place to come for years ahead.

Another interesting side note: Portions of the Dames’ proceeds are used towards theater and art scholarships for local Nashville children-as they believe encouraging the arts at a young age helps a child develop into a more well-rounded and aware adult. If that ain’t love, then I don’t know what is!

Happy heart day to all, and to all good nights!Image: Sunny “Hoops” Becks Crumpton in one of a couple promos for The Blind Tiger Dames’ “Du Val De Vire”

Chuck Beard