For all of those that won’t physically be taking the road trip with Steve Gorman Sports up to The Kentucky Derby this weekend, I would like to offer my own sort of concoction that is sure to make you as equally-and better yet naturally-buzzed and smiling as a refreshing mint julep on a spring afternoon in May. Like the traditional beverage of THE DERBY, there are a number of ingredients that must come together just right for complete satisfaction. Lucky for you, the first part of this weekend’s local delicacy is that you simply have to show up at the various Nashville art galleries that are ready and set to entertain you longer than two minutes of horses running around a track on the word go.
I’m getting ahead of myself as usual. For full satisfaction of this Saturday’s art lineup, mix together the following components (notice how some of the names resemble those of the horses sure to make history this weekend as well):
–Minor Victory: A true 2-to-1 deal in the making, Minor Victory is an eclectic mix of Chicago and Nashville printmakers joining together for a group show at Twist Art Gallery. Mark Hosford and 12 others have creatively lampooned the ideas of traditional print alongside abstract images to push printmaking boundaries and definitions out of conventional thought. Come down to Twist this Saturday, May 1st, between 6-9pm for an opening reception with the talented artists and get to know the lovely ladies that run one of the best galleries of Downtown Nashville.
–Southern Organic: At a lucky number post of 3-to-1, southern artists Michael Brown, Jonathan Ferrara and Erin Anfinson are off to the races at The Rymer Gallery-starting this Saturday and finishing sometime around June 26th. Brown, a painting professor at Savannah College of Art and Design’s Atlanta campus, creates fantastical paintings of animals and flowers that exist in between Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland and a Southern Gothic picture book. Ferrara, a New Orleans artist and gallery owner, proclaims his work as political and textural with direct intention of replicating the very process of his subject rather than provoking translation. Anfinson, an Assistant Professor of Art at Middle Tennessee State University, rounds out the group with her new series Collapse-based on Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybee populations. Also as part of the Downtown Saturday Crawl, Southern Organic combines 3 distinct southern elements and helps reminds us all why we are and should be so proud of being from and/or living in the mondern day South.
–Tenn Show: Another 2-to-1 standout is The Arts Company’s presentation of Tennessee’s top graphic designers gathering for AIGA’s statewide competition this Friday and Saturday, from 6-9pm on both (Friday is the actual awards event with a small price of admission and Saturday is free for the public to enjoy all of the pieces and also the company of special guest, master design artist Jane Davis Doggett). A small dark horse in general, just outside the Downtown radart, you can best believe that The Arts Company, under the guidance of Tinnin Bouldin, is always on top of its game and value for your time.
–The Harding Art Show: Grandeur in its name and history, this magnificent annual event steps into the race confusing all odd-makers due to its longevity and purpose as a well-known favorite. 35 years in the running, the 2010 Harding Art Show will be held this weekend, Thursday, April 29th through Saturday, May 1st. With the Preview Party on Thursday night, from 6-9pm, providing a chance to meet all of the artists (from over 70 artists from the Southeastern United States- including one of my favorites during any season of the year, The Twisted Sisters), to the Fiesta Friday Party Friday evening following the show sale hours of 10am-9pm on Friday and then 10am-3pm on Saturday, the parking lots at Harding Academy are sure to be full of joy and free of the dirty Swine flu that disrupted events last year.
– Uproot: Last in the entry polls, but certainly not the least, local artist Erika Johnson continues to introduce her new work at Blend Studio in the Arcade this Saturday evening from 6-9pm and is definitely worth the trip in between the other events at Twist and Rymer. Uproot, sometimes meaning to draw strength and support from new sources, is an installation/collaborative project with Johnson as she continues to send her creative roots upward and outward while gaining attention from new sources such as YOU.
In the end, when the mint julep Derby cups run empty, all ticket stubs are returned to the payout counters, and you’ve recapped the weekend’s highlights alongside Brandon and Steve on Steve Gorman Sports’ latest podcast a number of times to see if there were any insider tips on life that you missed out on for future references, we’re all winners. No; I’m not being overly optimistic like the parents of kids these days that hand out trophies simply for putting on uniforms instead of giving forth extraordinary effort and actually excelling in the sport. I am, however, trying to let you know that it truly is how you run the race AND how you finish. So take my advice above and do whatever you want. All I can do is write … and hope somebody out there listens.
Is anyone listening? Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?
Above Image: The Epic by Michael Brown, therymergallery.com