Monthly Archives: May 2010

So much stellar art, just enough time

If you are anything like me in the fact that I LOVE to spend most of my free time during the weekends attending and appreciating the thriving and growing local art scene, just let me warn you that this Saturday is quite the art smorgasbord for your creative appetite.  If you don’t make yourself aware of any or all of the following events I’m about to discuss below, you may just wake up Sunday morning kicking yourself instead of admiring your latest addition to your own collection.  Trust me; this is one holiday weekend you won’t want to miss out on.

 To be fair and easy, I’ll just map out just what your perfect personal art crawl should resemble if you don’t want a moment to delay once you leave your house until you head back home for sleep after the day.  For starters, roll out of bed and roll on down to the 3rd Annual Flatrock Music & Arts Festival.  This Saturday, May 29th, from 10am-4pm, you will not find a dull moment or person at Coleman Park.  Heck, it might even be walking distance from your backyard for what little I know about you!  A day filled with music by the likes of BlackHawk, Like Candy Red, Irene Kelley and others side by side with over 50 local Nashville Artisans (the most notable and noteworthy in my backyard being magpie etc.), there is enough children’s activities, food and multi-cultural fun to make you feel like you are a kid again and have earned and now actually look forward to a brief afternoon nap.

After you awake from your relaxed slumber with the day half did, preferably in a hammock and a slight front porch breeze, mosey over to The Green Wagon anytime from 1:30-4pm and grab a light snack with purpose at the Sweet Relief Bake Sale.  Your taste buds, stomach and heart will thank you for in turn of grabbing some of your favorite treats to give you fuel for the rest of your art crawl ahead of you into the afternoon and night, even your dentist will smile big knowing that all the money you give for the various local sweet foods are directly benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank.  

Now with a full-belly and hearty appetite for more art, you have a choice to either stay on the east side of town or head downtown or do a combination of both. 

If you stay on the east side beside The Green Wagon, you will have a plethora of options within this month’s edition of ArtEast (formally known as the East Nashville Art Stroll).  Several East Nashville Galleries and small businesses (such as Art & Invention, Billups Art, Fanny’s House of Music and Bongo Java East and others) are as excited as ever to support and feature more than a combined 80 local artists.  Typically the regular hours for all the mentioned and more are from 6-9pm, but you can just as easily stop by and see or check individual galleries for different and expanded hours.

If you cross the river back into town, I advise that you spend your time and money at The Arcade.  I’m not playing games with you.  Not only can you literally watch the space grow at the always fun Blend Studio from noon-3pm while either learning more about erika johnson’s uproot project or get your hands dirty making seedballs for your own garden or yard in preparations for next week’s opening of the re:seed project via the one-of-a-kind art of Alesandra Bellos, you can also find nightlights that you won’t find anywhere else in the world but by Matthew Shelton in his Lightboxes show at the MIR Gallery from 6-8pm.  Before the beautiful light boxes go out one last time in this exhibition’s gallery space, there will be a closing reception musical performance by the artist playing the guitar and mbira, accompanied by cellist Nora Barton.  It is a treat you shouldn’t miss to celebrate the end of such a fulfilling crawl/run and day all around town.

I believe it is very important to not waste any day or not appreciate the people we all build our own worlds around.  We are truly blessed to live in a city so talented and close-knit. Whatever you decide to do and however you spend your holiday weekend, be sure to make the most of it.  I know there are bigger problems and current things in the world to help (like the BP oil spill and world hunger among others), but I personally like to think about the global while focusing on helping out with the local.  I know I’m gonna start doing my part by helping the local artists and local art in general.  What are you gonna do?

Chuck Beard


We ART Nashville HEALS US all

Most if not all of the flood water levels have gone back to normal, yet everyone who lives in or near the Middle Tennessee area knows all too well firsthand that the majority of flood victims are still reeling from the disaster effects and are far from anything resembling normal living. Lucky for the Nashvillians everywhere, we are continually and constantly being reminded on a daily basis via Hands On Nashville and benefit events across the city, internet, telephones and airwaves just how lucky we are to live in and be an intrical parts of how a thriving community should be.

This past weekend, I felt fortunate and positively moved after attending one of the finest organic, star-studded charity efforts I’ve witnessed in quite some time. No, I’m not talking about or taking anything away from the big rock concert at The Ryman on Sunday evening. I’m speaking of ART FLOOD, a group of future art stars and talented musicians showcased at Billups Art last Saturday night and organized by the major efforts of Jeff Bertrand and other local artists that you will come to learn as promising household names from many other places other than my aspiring write-ups. It was a beautiful blend of canvas, guitar, good intentions and great people coming together for an impeccable cause. Like I said, I left with a feeling that I did something special just by attending the show … and I wanted more.

I keep saying the word lucky (probably because our own house was not flood damaged in the storms), but lucky for all of you who missed out on ART FLOOD or did attend and also want more good karma like it, you are in luck. Take note that the First Art Saturday Downtown Initiative of Nashville is not holding anything back by creating something truly extraordinary-not on the First Saturday but-THIS FRIDAY, May 21st, in We ART Nashville: An Art Event to Benefit the Victims of the Catastrophic Nashville Flood with Donations Distributed Through The Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund. We are all in for a delightful treat and a gift that will keep on giving.

The various art galleries on 5th Avenue of the Arts and throughout downtown are combining their core values and offering an uplifting artistic evening to show their altruistic community support for everyone affected by the historic Nashville flood. On Friday, May 21st, 6-9pm, We ART Nashville is suggesting a $10 door donation that will go towards flood relief and in return the visitors shall receive the following: wristbands offering 10% off all of their purchases, free ticket vouchers to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts on the night of the 21st (shuttles will be provided free of charge by the Downtown Partnership), and other special gifts given at each individual venue. All of the donations from the evening will go directly to The Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.

It would be easy to think that the rest of the weekend will have a hard time following up on Friday’s festivities downtown, but only if you make it habit to underestimate East Nashville that is. That being said, this Saturday and Sunday, from 11am-7pm each day, East Nashville’s Five Points, the epicenter of the historic and hip neighborhood, is holding the first annual East Nashville Arts Fest. Known mostly for its unique shopping, down-to-Earth dining, eclectic community support for the arts and the annual Tomato Art Fest speaking of well known festivals, this FREE, two-day celebration of the arts will showcase visual artists from all across the country. All of the galleries and shops near the Eastside are happy and ready to kick-off this new spring tradition with the ever-growing sense of new beginnings all around us at this time.

So whether you are privy to visiting Blend, Twist, The Rymer, the Frist or any other downtown art gallery this Friday or hit up Art & Invention and the rest of the Five Points area in East Nashville this Saturday, just be sure to do your pART. It’s important, vital even, to at the very least spread the word about such happenings of hope and reprieve to anyone and everyone you know that would be interested in helping others in this time of recovery. It truly takes a village. Be a part of the love in your own way and help others that may be or are living in doubt to continually and constantly be amazed and reminded on a daily basis that if you are a part of Nashville … you are never alone. Thank you for your time.

Fireworks, face-painting, and balloon animals running amok

Oddly enough, the title above has nothing to do with this Saturday and any art event in Nashville that I am aware of as of yet for that matter. I know … I know. These are a few of my favorite things as well, and I’m sure we can find an after party with all that and mucho mas, but for my bang for the buck, you’ll be hard pressed to follow up a better schedule for your soul than starting your night on the Eastside, heading over the river for a little flood relief, and then having a nightcap back on the Eastside before dreaming of a better tomorrow. Welcome to my world.

Specifically, at 5:15pm (CST) on 5/15, the clouds will open, the numbers shall align, and the stars will shine directly down on one of my favorites, Studio East Nashville, for an exhibition of Myles Maillie’s recent work appropriately called 5:15. Two times in the past two years, I have witnessed such celebrations of Maillie’s colorful and ubiquitous work adorning the walls, shirts, ties, and everything else festive at Studio East in the midst of mariachi bands, bar-b-que, tacos, Pied Piper ice cream, popcorn, adult beverages, live DJ’s, and anything else that you could imagine at one location just shy of The Ringling Bros. I have received word that this Saturday will be equally as different and entertaining. From 5:15-9pm on Saturday, with an additional show on Sunday, May 16th, from 1-5pm at the same locale, come prepared to bring enough energy to get in beat and stay in tune with the ambiance that will be flooding into the streets from 1520 Woodland Street as Lionel Ritchie once sang, “All Night Long!”

Speaking of floods; don’t forget to remember all of those still affected from the most recent natural disaster that threatened to destroy our way of life in Middle Tennessee but truly made us all come together closer than ever before in order to help each other and declare that “We Are Nashville!” In layman’s terms, if you are in the mood to support the local visual artists and the flood victims stand tall and be proud of the work they call their livelihood, take the trip and spare whatever change you can this weekend to help support a lot of impeccable hearts make a huge success out of the ART FLOOD, a benefit art show to provide support to the flood victims in Nashville and the surrounding areas at Billups Art from 6-10pm also this Saturday, May 15th. All of the money donated will go directly to flood victim relief and will rightly pay back the artists donating all of their love and work in good graces and much deserved positive reinforcement for their extraordinary efforts and talents.

If the above recommendations isn’t enough for you to fill your entire Saturday with goodness and share the love that is in the air this weekend, you might find it fun to tip your cap in high esteem for some local artists that are throwing off theirs. I’m speaking of the Watkins College of Art and Design’s graduation ceremony for Mandy Stoller and others at the Downtown Presbyterian Church from 2-3pm on Saturday. Join me in applause for a job well done and a promising future that has already begun to take shape.

I’m trying to look on the bright side of life, which if you live in Nashville and open your eyes around the art scene amidst our weather’s recent chaos, it doesn’t seem to be too hard to see that our future is very bright all around us. I’m sure if you need some shades, Myles just may have a few that are painted just right for your shade in mind.

Oh Nashville, where ART thou

In light of a weekend filled with a plethora of successful benefit concerts and telethons among Nashville’s brightest stars and everyday people who make this city’s heart beat, the recent sunshine in front of the better weather surrounding Tennessee’s renewed hope doesn’t need to fear losing any ground in the near future. It appears that music has set the stage, and art is in the making to once again pull everyone together for a grand show.

First, let me preface the collective situation at hand. Many people that are friends with artists or are artists themselves know that the past year or so has been remarkably tough in a declining/recessed economy to make any actual money while selling their art (tons of quality local art available at that). I have noticed firsthand many outsiders or casual visitors to the art scene take notice of the art and believe that the artists are simply just carrying out some sort of hobby; like kids that never grew up and are doing it all just for fun (okay, that last part maybe partially true).

Just when I’ve started to see more and more local artists get frustrated with the lack of sales to support-at the very least the cost of materials to continue working-their love and creative crafts doubt their importance and relevance to the city as a whole, the flood came out of nowhere into town to wipe out nearly everyone’s finances or situations that weren’t on higher ground already. Some would let this kind of tragedy really knock them down on the canvas never to get back up. To my expectations (no surprise about it), many local artists are using this time to donate more than they have been in the recent past anyways and truly go above and beyond for their fellow friends and neighbors.

Don’t be scared of the name; ART FLOOD, a benefit art show to provide support to the flood victims in Nashville and the surrounding areas, is an event scheduled to be held at Billups Art in East Nashville from 6-10pm, Saturday, May 15th. Comprised of donated artwork from some of the best, well-known, and should be-known names of contemporary Nashville art, combined with acoustic musical performances throughout the night by John Salaway from Acoustic Revolution and Mystery Trip, ART FLOOD is building momentum to be the hottest spot to be at by this week’s end to help people put their lives back together again.

I want the artists and the event to speak for itself this week, so please take the time to look up these names, share this link with others you know who would enjoy the art and the cause, and stop by this Saturday to help support those who would support you. ART FLOOD is giving all of the money from the sold art pieces directly to the people affected by last week’s flood via Hands On Nashville, and the event’s creators are also heading up a non-perishable food drive while encouraging patrons of the show to bring items for humans and pets alike. Other monetary donations aside from the $5 at the front door are also encouraged and will be gladly accepted.

All of these artists are more than deserving of your time and respect. Remember that nothing but good can come from good. I hope to see you this Saturday alongside the participating artists that include: Meg Winston Macfadyen, Dustin Dirt!, Deez Decks, Jessica Hill, Jeff Bertrand, Rachel Kirk, Brooke E., Garrett Foster, Athena Workman, Abigale Horne, Heather Walker Cecil, Jodi Reeves, Charles Clary, Michael Bielaczyc, Ash Sivils, Janet Lee, Ayjey Illustration, LA Photographie, Bradley Spitzer and many more talented artists.

The heart of Rock n’ Roll and good eatin’

Many of you already know that Nashville is much MUCH more than just country music and southern belles wearing cowgirl boots. In fact, the Nashville I have grown up with and continue to be amazed by on a daily basis is filled with creative art, amazing minds, and living life to the fullest–no achy breaky about these crazy hearted-people. Sure, the recent natural disaster and effects of the flood surrounding the city I and many others call home may resemble a tear in everyone’s Yazoo brew beer kind of atmosphere if you are only watching the local news reports instead of rolling up your sleeves (and britches) in order to help out on the front line of this recovery, but we must remember that regardless of where you are reading this from, we are all in this thang together!

I know that that strong thought of togetherness by itself in many cases is pulling a bunch of people and spirits up from the current wreckage wherever volunteers are running slim. I don’t want to waste your time and energy here in this piece by attempting to get you excited about a spectacular art opening and/or happening in the area with so many people literally swimming around for the basics to survive. Instead, I’d like to share with you an event this Friday that really struck a chord with me because it is located at my home away from home … The Family Wash.

Hidden away from the bright lights and loud honky tonk blues of all sorts on well-known Broadway, The Family Wash is one of the best gems of Nashville where they used to literally clean clothes and nowadays is one order away from the best shepherd’s pie you’ll ever try (that’s a fact) and the most down-to-Earth people and music you’ll be graced with to wash your soul just short of the Ryman experience on a good night. Speaking of good nights, this Friday, May 7th, at 9:30pm, The Family Wash is proud to help the community as it does on a daily basis with a spotlight on The Jack Silverman Ordeal and a Flood Relief Benefit Show. Jack, who during ordinary business hours runs the Nashville Scene (literally) behind a persona some may see as Clark Kent from a distance in passing, probably won’t change into a suit as loud as let’s say Super T while performing, but he will definitely get the beat going for a super fun night that will help all those still searching for things they need to recover. 100 percent of donations will go to the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund. We’ve all seen the devastation. Come on out, refresh your spirits and help raise some money to get Nashville back on its feet.

While the fresh water reserve decreases by the still going to the car wash idiots’ minute and when all the dirty water you shouldn’t stand a block away from boils down to it, nothing but helping each other during this grave time of need should matter. It really doesn’t matter who the President is, who you voted for last election, what your job is (if you’re lucky to have one at the moment), what religion you pray to, how old or young you are, where you’re from, where you live, or even what race you are; cheese as it sounds, we in Nashville have collectively put all that aside. Oddly enough, just one week after the Music City Marathon that many weathered in face of an impending storm, it seems as though there is an overall feeling that we are all going to finish this HUMAN race together despite a few natural roadblocks currently blocking our way.

Yes, in this time of disaster, many who live within and around the city limits have seen firsthand the love that makes Nashville so unique. It’s beyond country music and more than each of us as individuals. If you can’t make it out to The Family Wash this Friday, please help spread the word about other ways that you and others you know can help everyone in need in Nashville.

You can help recovery more directly than reading and re-sending this story to others by simply checking out and sharing the following links as well:

-Hands On Nashville
– Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee’s Metro Nashville Disaster Response Fund
-You can TEXT “REDCROSS” at 90999 to help donate a mere $10.

**Also, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is FREE through Sunday, May 9th (both Mother’s Day and the opening of Chihuly at the Frist) in case you are around the downtown area and can use a little reprieve.

**Also, also, be on the lookout in the next week to hear about a major Art show flood relief on the 15th put together by some of the most well-known artists and art galleries to do their pART in this whole recovery.