Monthly Archives: December 2010

Merry merry and everything nice

It’s the night before the night before the big day for baby Jesus and everyone waiting to give and receive gifts galore and my past experience with such circumstances has always shown me that today is a very important day in order to fully enjoy the days that are to follow. Some people will get rest. Some others will get stuck in traffic because they just have to get that last special present at such and such place. But my advice is for you to plan accordingly for the holiday hurricane that is sure to hit your shores in due time. I have three separate ideas that, if done right, will make for many good times for all and to all a good night.

First and foremost, as predicted for the regular reader here, it is to no surprise that one of my favorite festive ideas is to visit yet another stellar party at Art & Invention Gallery. For the sixth Christmas Eve in a row, Art & Invention Gallery is throwing a pajama party and SALE! With so many artful gifts and pajamas combined, it’s fairly easy to see yourself jumping out of bed on Christmas Eve into the public eye to do some very last minute Christmas shopping before Santa reaches your home. So join all of the other local last minute shoppers and patrons of the arts to help Art & Invention Gallery (from 11am-4pm on Christmas Eve) alongside 6 other participating East Nashville businesses for holiday shopping made simple and FUN (others including Alegria, Back East & Wonders on Woodland, East Garden, Fanny’s House of Music, and Talula Gallery for more great Pajama Party savings).

Second on my list, and not too far away from where your heart is, is a chance to really make a positive difference in someone’s life. Local artist Kirk Seufert has recently shed a light on one of his favorite people who just happens to be homeless. Kirk’s friend Diane is intelligent, articulate, interesting and sweet as can be. Never one to ask a soul for a dime, any helpful change that you can give her this time of year will go further than those darn cookies for Santa. Kirk says that Diane can usually be found around the Crosswalk Bench on Demonbreun Street where she just sits and guards the parking lot. And if you can’t make it out to Diane’s bench this holiday season, please feel free to donate a dollar or two to those out on the streets trying to make a living while selling newspapers for The Contributor.

So if your holiday heart has enough room to helps others beyond your own personal circle of family and friends this time of year, I encourage you to do so in as many creative and altruistic ways as you can imagine. Oh, my last idea that I was originally talking about above is to kick off the New Year with a favorite book of mine. Literally a favorite book of mine, Adventures Inside A Bright-Eyed Sky is an original tale I wrote that the kid of any age will love, learn from, and learn to love over and over again once they see inside the wonderful cover artwork done by local artist Andee Rudloff. All of the proceeds from the first 3,000 sold are directly going towards helping cancer research and relief organizations. Why not help others to help others and pay it all forward while you can and are able?

With that in heart and mind, I hope you enjoy the journey and the best holiday season that you’ve ever had before. Today is a new day and a fresh start for you to make history. Be safe, kind, humble, and aware that we all can make a positive difference … this holiday season and beyond!

much love,



A few things that make mE jolly

I know that this cold weather with more ice than snow can really bum you out and leave you hanging on the porch with sled in hand and wishful holiday thinking in heart, but there are still a few things that the recent cold winds have brought to my mind that I am more than happy to share with you today. Some might be good last minute gifts for Christmas (or Hanukkah and Kwanzaa or whatever you decide to celebrate this time of year) and others below might just be the ticket you’ve been looking to get into instead of sitting inside and singing your favorite songs from White Christmas’ past. Any way you look at it, you’ve come this far so feel free to read on below.

First, I’d like to tell you about a very special happening at a very special place. I must warn you ahead of time, this very special happening is already happening and if you’d like to join it until it is over this year (this Saturday night to be exact), then you better call and reserve a spot for you and yours ASAP. What am I talking about? Well, ongoing every single night at The Family Wash from this past Tuesday, December 14th until the last show of this year’s annual holiday extravaganza on Saturday, December 18th, The Ornaments present “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (music by Vince Guaraldi) at 7pm and 9:30pm. The Ornaments consist of such familiar local favorites as James Haggerty, Jen Grunderman, Martin Lynds, Dave Jacques, and special guests including Pete Finney, Fats Kaplin, Randy Leago, Jimmy Bowland, Pat Buchanon, and others! Reservations are strongly encouraged at 615-226-6070. 

And if that doesn’t get your heart pumping for the holidays, then have I got one heck of a fun Saturday for you and the entire family to enjoy together. To kick things off, this Saturday, December 18th, from 11am-4pm, you and all your friends are more than welcome to join Linda Hobdy of Lindatwist Jewelry and Twisted Sisters Art for the second annual Holiday Show and Sale with fellow artists, Annie Turbin (wearables) and Amy Potter (ceramics). Handmade and unique work that is simply fantastic, the show will be at 6761 Autumnwood Drive, Nashville, TN and will provide you with more than your fair share of holiday cheer, great food, and good conversation while you shop for beautiful and original gifts for yourself and/or others.

After you leave the Holiday Show and Sale, drop off the kids and swing by The Basement. No, not my basement (neither I nor the Alamo currently have a basement)! I’m talking about The Basement under Grimey’s New and Preloved Music Record Shop at 1604 8th Avenue South around 11:30pm (following The Beatles vs. The Rolling Stones-local crooners singing some rock classics for charity if you’d like to come earlier for the musical appetizer du jour). It is then and there where you’ll be able to throw the proverbial log on the fire, kick back, relax and take in the new holiday sounds provided by the best, and most authentic I might add and just did, duet in Nashville, The Smoking Flowers. Kim and Scott Collins are finally playing back in their hometown after months on the road enlightening others to enlighten us all with a FREE (yes, FREE) late show to celebrate such an occasion. Including some of their classics, they are excited to play some of their latest tunes as well (including the naughty “yet safe for kids” Christmas song called “A Bow and Nothing More.” You can hear and buy it on ITunes HERE, and/or come out to hear it live and fresh at The Basement for FREE late Saturday night. Your choice, but I’m telling you now that either way you are making a good choice.

And if it’s new holiday music that you are needing instead of listening to some of the same old same old tunes (I fall in that trap as well, and sometimes with more of a smile than others, but there is always new music to fall in love with such as The Smoking Flowers above for the season), my wife has found just the trick. Following in a similar size of local art shoes of Dorothy Dark of Mood Yogurt, I’m proud to own a copy of the CD cover artwork made by the young and talented Bella Higginbotham for “Merry Little Christmas” and possibly introduce you to the musical styling of Bella’s parent’s, Julie Glasgow Higginbotham and Rob Higginbotham, The Lovespies. The Lovespies are an indie dreampop duo from Nashville. They are whimsical, ethereal and in a very merry mood. If you buy a copy of The Lovespies’ “Merry Little Christmas” today, I guarantee you will have it at your home before Santa comes down the chimney. Again, it is well worth the musical trip if you are willing to help yourself and a little girl and her family trying to make some holiday magic at the same time.

Before I finish this week’s brief installment, I’d like to shine a little light on a place that always has the best gifts for every season to purchase and give to my other best friend, my dog, bearKat. I’m speaking about the love that you can always find at See Spot Eat: A Doggie Bakery. Kat and her crew make the best and most originally named homemade treats that are delicious for any small or big dog in your life. And don’t forget, they have plenty of fun toys that will fit under or beside any pet owners’ tree as well. Don’t just SIT there … come down to see Kat and her crew and FETCH you something good before the reindeers have all the festive fun to be had.

It is really nearly a week before Christmas already?

Be kind, be nice, and feel free to share all of the above and below with everyone you know.

Much love,


ps- If you are looking for something to do with some of your older family and friends this coming Monday, December 20th, don’t waste any more time and get down to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Not only do they still have such excellent exhibitions of Chihuly at the Frist and The Birth of Impressionism, but they have declared Monday, December 20th as Holiday Senior Monday. For guests who admit their senior status, gallery admission is half price, can take advantage of a 15% discount on purchases made from the huge selection of delightful gifts in the Gift Shop and on refreshments purchased in the Frist Center Café on this day. Also, complimentary refreshments will be provided during the group Snappy Pappy’s show in the lobby playing songs from the 40s, 50s, and 60s from 12:30-1:30pm followed by The Caroling Troubadours at 2pm in the auditorium having a grand holiday sing-along session for all those who attend-old and young.

pss- Don’t forget about Venus Hum’s Classic Christmas albumas well 😉

a few of my favorite things…

Here is a very sweet and special Christmas album by Nashville musicians: The Lovespies.

You may listen to/purchase their CD here:

Support your local artists and musicians!!

Let it snow, let is snow, let it snow with the best holiday treats I know


Because the snow and the prices of some excellent local gifts are starting to fall, I feel that it is my duty to let you know about a few places you should visit this week and the days leading up to Christmas day in the morning. You never know; you might just be able to knock out all of your shopping in a short time before the last mad dash Christmas Eve. I know I will.

Welp, first and foremost, I cannot stress enough that you need to drop by Art & Invention Gallery every chance you can. This week is no exception. Aside from having unique and fun gifts on sale throughout this month during their holiday store hours, a little elf told me that you should join them this Thursday, December 9th, from 5:30-9pm for an exciting reception and book signing. This Thursday, Art & Invention is hosting an event for the new book, Return of the Dapper Men, written by Jim McCann and Illustrated by East Nashville’s own Janet Lee. The book containing original words and art work by two very talented artists in their own right, is already getting amazing reviews and has even made it to the New York Times holiday gift guide! Both McCann and Lee will be at Art & Invention during the reception this Thursday to sign books and answer questions about their collaboration.

Then, again not so shocking if you read this site from time to time, you would be right in guessing that my second must stop around town to find great deals and artistic gifts is to visit the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and its delightful gift shop. Right beside the Birth of Impressionism exhibit, the Frist Center Gift Shop will wrap the gifts you buy on site for FREE! Also, Frist Center Members receive a 10% discount on all gift shop purchases. Some of the hot items I’ve seen in person and around my house already are the Jellycats Stuffed Animals, museum holiday cards from MoMA and The Met, 3D cards, various Hanukkah Gifts, scarves and hats, beautiful ornaments, jewelry, museum jigsaw puzzles, Degas Dancers, Dale Chihuly DVDs and Umbrellas, and there’s always the reliable gift to reveal smiles by giving others the gift of becoming a Frist Center Member (membership includes free admission for a year, guest passes, invitations to member previews, discounts in the gift shop, and more!).

If you are craving a private holiday reception featuring a new exhibit with a festive theme, you need only drop by The Rymer Gallery this Friday, December 10th, from 6-8pm to see White As Snow: New paintings by Seth Conley. White As Snow, this Friday only, will include an exclusive “behind the art” talk given by Seth Conley himself. If you plan on and want to attend, please RSVP by Thursday, December 9, 2010 at Let it snow, let it snow, White As Snow will be up and showing until January 29th of 2011 in case you miss this extra special first snowfall.

And if it’s a fun family field trip of sorts you are trying to find for the holidays besides driving around neighborhoods who have had lights up all year round, then don’t be scared to visit the Hermitage mansion and their special Holiday Night Tours. Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays through December 19th, from 7-7:30 pm (tour run 1.5 hours), the Hermitage mansion is providing everyone with the opportunity to experience the renowned Hermitage mansion in the evening light as did President Andrew Jackson and his family did when they kept Christmas in the 1830’s and 40’s. Reservations are recommended for the candlelight tours because it has already become the rave for many to see the Hermitage mansion, Alfred’s Cabin, and the Jackson family cemetery this holiday season on top of learning just how Americans celebrated the holidays during the Jacksonian Era.

Speaking of holiday treats, it’s a privilege for me to let you know about the new sweets that John and Regan Ackerman are making just up the road of Nashville. Inside my home state of Kentucky, the Ackermans are now making gourmet confections made by hand using only the finest local bourbons, imported Scotch whiskeys and fine Irish whiskeys. Their company, A Dram’ll Do, is fully capable of getting any and all of your holiday party needs met with the help and delivery of their traditional semi-sweet chocolate “small batch” Bourbon Balls, seasonal inspired “Mint Julep” bon-bons, and other sweet choices to boot. Don’t let your holiday sweet tooth go empty handed this time of year.

Regardless if you decide to ever listen to what I’ve suggested above or any other time, just don’t get caught out in the cold on all of the above and other fun artistic finds that are all around us in Nashville. I need to run, quite literally, but I hope that I helped with some of your gift giving needs and don’t be scared to come back here again and again and share this with all of your friends.

Remember to be safe, be kind, and help out one another.

As you were … busy but happy.

Much Love,


ps- So I need to get this word out there to help out any interested artist around town. It has come to my attention that the people of Harpeth Hall is hosting an exhibition of “Green Art” in The GREEN Show. The theme of Green may be interpreted in many ways, including the use of the color, art made from recycled materials, art revealing environmental concerns, and other ideas that the word GREEN generates in the individual artists that submit their work. The Marnie Sheridan Gallery located at Harpeth Hall will host the juried exhibition. The work of the registered artists will be due in February of 2011 and the show will open in March. Of the sold art, 75% of the sold price will go towards the artist of the piece. If this interests you or someone you know around town that does art, feel free to register HERE. Thanks for your help.

Whatever picks you up from the couch

I know that if you were even half as stuffed as I was this past weekend due to our great nation’s holiday of giving thanks and taking in enough food to feed Africa three times over, that you also had quite the nap to let that family feast digest into a fresh new week. Possibly a wee bit dizzy and dazed by what just happened; you might need a little point in the right direction to help get you back on track at being productive and supportive for the local art scene. Today, I shall make that little point below.

For starters, I often find it better to go to actual education locations and partake in the age-old tested activity of learning a thing or two in person instead of simply putting on fake glasses to appear smarter or researching Wikipedia. That said; the trusty institution of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film is practically putting a learning feast on your table this Thursday, December 2nd, from 6-9pm. During that time, Miwon Kwon will have an artist’s reception at 6:15pm, followed by a lecture about her art at 7pm. Free and open to the public, Kwon will enlighten those who can attend with a speech about her engagement in several creative disciplines including contemporary art, architecture, public art, and urban studies. Walking back to your car you’ll feel as though you just graduated from an honors course without ever having any homework assignments to do upon returning home.

And if that live interaction of learning gets your mind going, you don’t have to stop there. Saturday, December 4th, from 10am-3pm, the Parthenon is pleased to announce a one-day opportunity for museum guests to encounter costumed historical characters who will transport visitors to various events across the long history of the unique building. This epic opportunity, Heroes of the Parthenon, will occur all day long and is free with admission to the Parthenon. It is a wonderful chance for you to see and listen to all of the stories behind the birth of innovative ideas for the arts, for culture and the exchange for ideas alongside ancient tales of heroic feats, challenges met and overcome. I’m picturing all that you love about Gladiator but in person and without having to fight to the death.

Then, after you’ve gotten your fix for history meets Saturday, you once again have an assortment of exciting activities to choose from for the rest of your evening. First, I’d point you towards the always stellar The Arts Company. They are celebrating their 14th Anniversary in December with its Annual Holiday Arts market that opened the gallery back in December of 1996. Together with the First Saturday Art Crawl, The Arts Company’s latest exhibit Nashville: A Work in Progress (A new series of paintings by Charlie Buckley), will have an opening reception for the artist on Saturday, December 4th, from 6-9pm. The exhibit and Holiday Arts Market will continue through December 24th. During this festive month, the Holiday Arts Market will offer a diversity of fresh artwork and gifts on top of the introduction of new artist Charlie Buckley.

If you are too busy to drive to The Arts Company on Saturday, you can easily stroll over to The Arcade for an old-fashioned 2 for 1 deal. I say 2 for 1 because there you will find two shows in one building that I’m guessing will tickle your fancy. First, head on over to Mir Gallery any time from 6-9pm to celebrate another free opening reception and see Ta-Da: New photos by Chad Spann. Ta-Da is a warm welcome back for one of Mir’s favorite photographers and his work that has Man, nature and machine displayed together in a tangled mesh of gloom and wonderment. Secondly, the 2 in the 2 for 1 deal so to type, Space 75 occupied by the COOP will be offering a presentation of video works by New York artist Dave Hebb. With an opening reception from 6-9pm and lasting throughout the month as well, Hebb’s videos directly question and reveal the long-term global impact that industrialization has on the environment. Both shows above are must sights to see in my humble opinion.

Finally, the crème de la crème for your second helping of holiday desserts will help you keep your holiday spirits flowing from one to the next. Leave it to Art & Invention Gallery to also kick off their Holiday Art Show this coming Saturday, December 4th, from 6-10pm. Lasting from December 4-24th, I can only assume that Meg and Bret have spent a majority of their time recently making their gallery and art list, checking it more than twice and having it ready to meet their impeccable standards and your worthy approval for the holiday gift buying season ahead. Simply put, get down to Art & Invention Gallery and you’ll be able to check off most if not all of your gift lists all at one stop … without the internet or Black Fridays AND you’ll actually get to meet some wonderful people and possibly become friends in person. So, per usual, whatever you get into … have fun, be safe, and be nice to others. Tis the season, but it’s a lesson worth repeating the whole year round. Feel free to pass this link to all your friends who you know would like to support the heART of Nashville. I’ll be back soon enough with more last minute, quality holiday shopping tips around the city before you can say supercalifraglakdaioghjaonaegiaontoshis three times back to back.

Much love,

ps- If you’re at The Arcade on Saturday, December 4th and looking for a 3rd place for the art hat trick, you are also more than welcome to drop by Twist Gallery from 6-9pm to see SEW: Repeat Alexia Abegg Art Opening. Twist is another favorite local gallery where I always find treasures I never knew I had to have until I walked into their doors. See Sew and let me know if the same happens to you!