Monthly Archives: June 2010

No duds about it

Don’t you just hate when you spend money on fireworks that either don’t work at all or fizz out long before the price tag promises? I sure am glad I’ve decided to just make my own this year out on the farm (Burning Banjo shout out!). Well, speaking of things that won’t be a dud to your festive weekend, I have noticed a few things on my radart that are sure to brighten your blue skies for a few days to come.

First and foremost, my radart is forecasting that there will be a good amount of crazy rain surrounding the Nashville area this Friday, July 2nd. You can take cover (a $5 cover to be exact) at Avenue 9 (located at 312 9th Avenue South) as Raining Cats & Dogs: A Benefit for Nashville Flood Animals showers the area with loads of art all around to help raise funds and awareness to the many animals and pets that were displaced during the Nashville Flood. From 7pm-midnight, there will be live hip hop and house music combined with burlesque, cabaret, belly-dancing, body-painting, and a photo booth to accompany a silent auction featuring donations from local businesses and talented Nashville artists. How can you not get excited and make plans to attend such an event where all the proceeds benefit the Nashville Humane Association, New Leash on Life and SAAW? Need more to entice you? Try not to get psyched for the possibility of buying remarkable donated items from Manuel, Katy K’s Ranch Dressing, Michael Brown, McCormick Animal Clinic, Eryk Datura, Shannon Wages, Sephora, Ash Sivils, Blackbird Tattoo, Nashville Rollergirls, Be Simple, Anjeanette Illustration, Ken Walls, Pablo Scruggs, Jeff Bertrand, Dustin Dirt, Lalie Kavulich, Bodypainting by Alicia Schenk, and even a very special donation from Dolly Parton! Okay then; I’ll see you there!
And if you are not on a farm shooting fireworks from off your head, or on a lake somewhere spelling your name in the air with trusty sparklers (always a favorite), then you should spend Saturday, July 3rd, at Estel Gallery getting the chance to converse with Estel’s version of East meets West in an opening reception for Concept of Space: works by Moco Sasamoto & Dana Costello. Coinciding with the First Saturday Downtown Art Crawl, you and all your friends are officially invited to drop by all of the participating galleries to light the fuse for another successful weekend of local art.
Aside from the fabulous fun mentioned above, Art After Hours is also offering an artistic oasis of Nashville’s cool art to beat the summertime heat. Where the last mentioned shall be the first to happen, Art After Hours is hosting amazing art deals and spotlights on the local art scene as usual on the first Thursday of every month. Click this link to check out the specifics all over town this Thursday, July 1st, from 5-8pm.

That being written; whether you get out or not this weekend, be good and be safe. Light the fuse and run like the wind and hope that the wind doesn’t blow out your fun. Thanks for dropping by and please come again and tell a friend. As you were … busy but happy.

Shalom y’all!
Chuck Beard


Once upon a time in Nashville, TN

Located in Nashville, Animax Designs is a character creation company specializing in the design, fabrication, and animation of physical three-dimensional characters including: live hand puppets, mechanized puppets, articulated costume characters, and realistic animatronics.

Chuck Beard

Before the fireworks begin

One week before the fuses are lit city, nation and countrywide (love mE some homemade fireworks on the farm), the East Nashville art scene is ready and set to make everyone want to step out of the blazing heat and into the galleries for some cool creative reprieve. 

Jim Hsieh's work at Art & Invention Gallery

Please give your attention to Art & Invention as they continue to set a delightful stage of remembrance on a special show about a lost Nashville treasure. Jim Hsieh, a retrospective show celebrating the life and art of the aforementioned, will conclude on July 3rd, but the public reception for all to join and celebrate together is this Saturday, June 26th, 2010, from 6-9pm. Painter, illustrator and musician, Jim Hsieh was a man of great heart and compassion who embraced life fully until his sudden passing in early 2008 much like the great creative spirit that continues to embody East Nashville. The purpose of the exhibit is to showcase a few of Hsieh’s many talents which indirectly coincides with the altruistic vibes that Meg and Bret strive to exhibit and showcase for many of Nashville’s own creative talents on a daily basis. Located at the heart of the historic Five Points, Art & Invention serves as a wonderful gateway to the rest of East Nashville’s art galleries.

And typing of wonderful gateways to the rest of East Nashville’s art galleries, this weekend also marks yet another splendid line-up for ArtEast (formerly known as the East Nashville Art Stroll). With the sun constantly beating us all down with this dreadful heat, it is appropriately fitting that one of the main art shows this weekend at Billups Art will have a few choice people wearing considerably less than the summer poolside average while participating in a juried art competition called “In the Nude.” Collections of some of the finest artists in the area have submitted their best work of the nude human figure for the described competition also happening this Saturday, from 6-9pm. With food, wine and music by Adam Charney and Rudy Wooten for a mere $5 at the door, each patron will have the opportunity to vote on their favorite pieces so that the final results and prizes will be based on whatever appeals to the collective audience.

So, if the show at Billups is still too hot for your planned artistic endeavors this weekend, feel free to mosey on over to Fanny’s House of Music to enjoy a cool show display by Dean Tomasek; artist and musician. This show will feature a series of paintings with bold colors on black backgrounds by Tomasek that create a lasting visual statement paying homage to several revolutionary singers and their artistic visions. Not to forget to mention, but if you get the feeling like you need more clothes after experiencing “In the Nude” down the street, there are ample amounts of beautiful vintage clothes on sale at Fanny’s collected and professionally arrangled by the fabulous local fashion queen bee Libby Callaway.

Basically, if it’s art you crave and weekend ideas you are seeking, you have no excuse not to visit the East Nashville art galleries this weekend and dive into the ArtEast experience either head or feet first (or both … why not?). On a side note for artists needing a good karma gig quickly approaching over the near horizon, Avenue 9 is still searching for volunteers, food/drink/good donations, and artwork for the “Raining Cats & Dogs: A Benefit for Nashville Flood Animals” this is taking place next week, Friday, July 2nd, 2010 to raise money to help local animal shelters take care of our animal friends. Please share this story, the Avenue 9 link and this special note if you know of others who would care to help or want to know and spread the good word.

Thank YOU for your time and I hope you continue to enjoy mE words! 

Stay tuned for more!
Chuck Beard

Glass Blowing Demonstration: Ryan Gothrup

Glass artist Ryan Gothrup demonstrates the ancient art of glassblowing in the Frist Center’s Courtyard.

Ryan Gothrup has been producing one of a kind glass objects for more than twelve years. Gothrup received his B.F.A. from Kent State University and recently received his M.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University. He exhibits and sells his glass across the country.

Sometimes little girls’ dreams actually do come true

Evening shoes by Roger Vivier for Dior. Embroidered silk and sequins, late 1950s. Given by Gloria Guinness, V&A: T.149-1974. © V&A Images /Victoria and Albert Museum

I never was a little kid who played with dolls or cared particularly what I was wearing unless it was uncomfortable and needed to be changed quickly thereafter, but even I have gotten extremely excited after hearing about the Frist Center for the Visual Arts’ latest exhibition, The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957.  Okay, okay … so what if my excitement might have been caused by a constant reminder (beginning months, if not a year ago) from my best friend and all my other friends who did play with dolls and care what they were wearing from the time they were little kids.  I guess in the end it doesn’t really matter how you get excited; the point may just be that you should be excited about it if you weren’t aware or excited before now.

From what I’ve learned before seeing all the wonder firsthand, The Golden Age of Couture is an extraordinary exhibition that celebrates an important decade in fashion history from the Christian Dior’s famous “New Look” launch in 1947 until it ended with his death in 1957.  Again, I reiterate, I am not one who knows much about fashion beyond what my wife tells me (What, is a comfy t-shirt, shorts and flip flops frowned upon on the catwalk?), but I hear on a daily basis that this exhibition will truly transport me and all other visitors back to the most glamorous fashion houses of Paris and London in the years after World War II.  Dior apparently pioneered a romantic postwar fashion movement that both scandalized and delighted the public light-years beyond what so-called ‘talents’ like Madonna and Lady GaGa try to do with shock value on a daily basis.  Organized by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, having already made record breaking attendance numbers at its launch in London before traveling to , Australia, Hong Kong, and Canada, this exhibition’s only venue in the United States is at the Frist Center from this Friday, June 18th, until September 12th.

This particular grand exhibit will allow both fashionistas and the rest of us novices the opportunity to learn the creation of couture design, catch a glimpse of the lost world of the historically exclusive design houses, and explore the inspiration behind some of the most famous styles of all time. Visitors young and old, girls and boys alike, will be dazzled by the works from such luminary Paris designers as Cristóbal Balenciaga, Hubert de Givenchy, and Pierre Balmain and celebrated London designers including Hardy Amies, Charles Creed, and Norman Hartnell A magpie that knows a bit more about fashion and design than the next bird on the street told me that what really sets this exhibit more so than any other fashion show is the known fact that the work within this show set a standard for impeccable workmanship and design that has rarely been surpassed to date.  Designers have made clothes artwork that we all can appreciate.

Alongside all of this dress that is sure to impress, another outstanding exhibition will be unveiled at the Frist Center as well.  Also open from June 18th-September 12, 2010, within the Frist Center’s Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery, Presence or Absence: The Photographs of Tokihiro Sato, an exhibition of 13 landscape photographs by one of the most acclaimed contemporary artists of Japan.  Originally trained as a sculptor, Sato now uses traditional technology of photography and light beside his sculptures in untraditional ways to fully express his creative ideas through a complete fusion of light and space.

Between The Golden Age of Couture and Presence or Absence, The Frist Center is primed for a Summer unmatched by any other museum you’ll visit this year (or any year for the matter which my best friend tells me).

For those who want to walk down the off-beaten trail for art this weekend and don’t care about fashion or what others think about fashion at all, you might enjoy Nashville’s UNTITLED Artist Group’s 2010 Summer show Sorry, I ArtedThis Friday, June 18, from 6-10pm, UNTITLED is proud to open the doors at Avenue 9 for free admission to come out and see the latest in a series of quarterly exhibitions that support artistic innovation and offer alternative visual art in non-traditional spaces.  UNTITLED is a unique blend of well-established, undiscovered and beginning local artists that gives everyone a chance to make a name for themselves while continuing to grow with the help and exposure beside other better known artists.  Basically, UNTITLED’s Sorry I Arted is another great night of uncensored art forms for unlimited audiences.

Chuck Beard

The weekend of Big Love

It may surprise you if you have been caught off guard by all the sudden goodness or out of the blue on this thought, but it appears crystal clear as if it was written in the stars meant to be and of absolutely no coincidence to me that the very same weekend that the one and only Jeremy O’Gomez is getting married that Jonathan Sexton and the Big Love Choir is catching the much deserved, biggest break of their career up to this point in their musical journey as well.  And similar to Jeremy and his lovely bride to be, Ms. Jones, I am happy to say that this weekend is just the beautiful beginning of something truly wonderful for all those involved.  Let me clarify how big love is in the air all around us.

Festivities have run amuck, and I’m sure that nobody reading this at this moment is any stranger to the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival just down the street from Nashville.  I’m sure that I’m not alone with having experienced the worst annual traffic jam on the way to a concert on a farm ever assembled, but yet we all keep coming back and trudging along because we know it is so worth it when we do arrive. By the way, this year’s extra special lineup with Jonathan Sexton arriving in every sense with events planned will not let you down at all either, but in fact they will pick you up … spirit and all.

Jonathan Sexton and the Big Love Choir

To kick things off, Jonathan and the gang are going to play two sets, first at 7pm on the Solar Stage on Thursday and 11pm at the Troo Music Lounge on Saturday.  Not to mention on top of being one of the few acts actually scheduled to play two sets (not to mention possible random, spontaneous jams with others that inevitably happen at such festivals with unplanned moments before they happen on stage), Jonathan is making the extra efforts to make the best of his first impression to the masses by throwing a charitable cause into the mix.  Jonathan, alongside the powers that be at Bonnaroo, have joined forces with the Guinness Book of World Records to attack and obtain the world record for the amount of hugs by one person to others in a 24 hour period.  After each hug, which is already planned to have stars in line for some love such as Conan O’Brien (no relation to O’Gomez of course), Kings of Leon, and many other headliners stopping by for hugs during monumental numbers (he needs over 8,000), Jonathan will be asking for and accepting donations.  For every dollar that is donated to him after each hug, Bonnaroo has agreed to match that amount.  In the end, the total amount donated will be given to United Way’s Nashville Flood Relief.

So in the end end: you get a hug, you help with the flood relief, you witness the first major break and big-time opportunity for a superb musical movement set to set sail and bring you onboard, and basically everyone is better for it.  Basically, everyone wins!  Why not be a part of all this magic?  Please feel free to tell friends that are going about this and tell others that haven’t gotten tickets yet to go out and get them.  If anything else, share this link and share the love … the Big Love!

Side note:  If you are going to be around the Nashville area this weekend instead of hitting the road North or South, don’t forget to take notice of another two for one set set to make an art/academic impression.  The Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of its summer exhibitions, two shows highlighting special concentrations in the permanent collection: Drawing and American Art.  The opening reception is Friday, June 11th from 5-7pm in the Fine Arts Gallery’s new home in Cohen Memorial Hall, 1220 21st Avenue South.

PS- The East Nashville Tomato Art Fest must have tomato art. So, now’s the time! If you can make great tomato art, please review our call for artists, and submit samples of your current artwork for consideration. With the festival just around the corner, Saturday, August 14th, it’s not too soon to be thinking about tomato art.

Download an application at the following link:

Life after rain (aka-get up out of your seat or take your seat with you and do something fun)

The theme for this story and my stellar weekend ahead in general. by David Hellams

Excuse mE, Mother Earth, but did Nashville as a whole do something directly to cause this terrible ongoing BP oil disaster or anything else out of the blue we are unaware of to deserve this past month’s onslaught of water from the skies above? It doesn’t seem like anybody is really happy about the level of storms we have been through recently except the weatherman’s agent. I personally felt like I was Bad Luck Schleprock from The Flintstones cartoon with a torrential rain cloud overhead escorting me back to Nashville yesterday on my blinding drive home. Weather that we cannot control, among other things I’ve learned, is simply something we can’t control … something we have to just … well, weather!
That being said, there are a few things left in our own worlds that we CAN control besides our attitude and attitudes towards collectively boycotting BP until the recent disaster has been fixed. Starting today and lasting throughout this weekend, I can think of at least four for your Thursday’s wonderful weekend forecast off the top of my head to give yourself and others relief from any more downfalls. Side forecasting note, I’m always looking for a good publishing agent if you know of any.

First, to keep the flood assistance fresh in mind and present in all our wallets, Art After Hours is presenting a citywide artistic opportunity that supports victims of the Nashville flood with “Art Saves Lives.” Today, June 3rd, from 5-8pm, Art After Hours and The Nashville Association of Art Dealers (NAAD), in cooperation with The Cumberland Gallery (Green Hills), Gallery One (Belle Meade Galleria), LeQuire Gallery (Charlotte Avenue/Green Hills), Local Color (on Broadway) and Zeitgeist (Hillsboro Village), will be donating 10% of all this evening’s art sales. Other galleries participating in Art After Hours include (but not limited to) The Arts Company, Midtown Gallery, Bennett Galleries, Richland Fine Art, Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery, among others. Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Parthenon at Centennial Park present exhibitions free to members and with a fee to non-members.

Second, for more focus on flood recovery in our hearts, feel free to join SNAP (The Society of Nashville Artistic Photographers) and many others for Focus on Recovery: a photography auction where all proceeds will be matched by corporate sponsors and will go to Rebuilding Together Nashville to purchase materials to rebuild homes devastated by the May floods in Nashville. With a preview party at 211 South 17th Street, East Nashville, tonight, June 3rd, from 7-9pm, and the actual auction at the same locale tomorrow, June 4th, from 6-10pm, this is a grand opportunity for you to obtain priceless images taken and donated by the likes of Nashville’s finest photographers such as Jack Spencer, John Guider, Stacey Irvin, members of Aerial Innovations Inc, other members of SNAP and much much more for a worthy cause.

Third, if you haven’t already planned a pretty picnic around your favorite Love Bird for Saturday, why not go to church a little bit early this weekend to remind yourself of all that is good in your life. While you are there, at the Downtown Presbyterian Church to be exact, you can more easily than not also take in the first solo exhibition by local representational artist, David Hellams. During the regular Downtown Art Crawl hours, from 6-9pm this Saturday, May 6th, Hellams has organized his new paintings in canvasses that add up to either a complex of many rooms within the church or a narrative with many separate threads. Sound confusing and yet very much appealing … welcome to the world of a priest. Lucky for you, Hellams will be present to answer any questions you have (about his art specifically-please hold religion questions for Sunday). This is one sermon you’ll be glad you witnessed.
Fourth, and finally, I just wanted to mention a quick note about two special artist receptions. One is A Refreshingly New Twist: featuring new works by both Twisted Sisters Art and Lindatwist Jewelry Creations at Euro Décor (531 4th Avenue South, Nashville, TN) this Saturday, June 5th, from 6-9 and Sunday afternoon, June 6th, from 1-4pm. And another is for Celestial: works by Anna Jaap, Steven Knudson, and Ian Kessler-Gowell at Estel Gallery also during the First Saturday Downtown Gallery Crawl this Saturday, June 5th, from 6-9. I’m sure I’ll write more about Ian’s spectacular glass blown creatures before the extended show ends next weekend, but this is just another great opportunity for you to see the art and talk to the artists behind the work that impresses you in person.

Whew, that felt like a lot to relay to you on short notice. I’ll be around here and there all week, but thanks for continuing to read along and spread the word about the ongoing, often times underground and expanding art community of Nashville. It may not have the bright lights of the honky tonks, but it definitely makes you feel better the morning after. Like a superb gift that keeps on giving, help do your part … help support Nashville’s local art!

Thank you!
Chuck Beard