Monthly Archives: May 2011

Sweet Tomorrow

I forget his name, but I vaguely remember a great urban philosopher once reminding the people to “Wake UP! Wake UP!  It’s the 1st of the Month!”  I find such an unforgettable quote is very appropriate when celebrating the art openings going on around town this week and also when reminding us that hopefully the worst of the recent storms that swept through our city have passed.  I’m not saying that I’m searching for any double rainbows outside or anything to that effect, but I do feel like things are getting better and better by the day.

Starting on the 1st of June’s month, sweet tomorrow, the always wonderful, and owner of Twist Gallery and Twist Etc.Beth Gilmore is displaying an art show of her new works at the Downtown Presbyterian Church (154 5th Avenue North).  The art show, “Ghosts we live with … an art show,” is filled with photographs and printmaking created this year as part of Gilmore’s participation in the Vermont College MFA low-residency program.  As mentioned in the title of the exhibition, the main focus of the art is about ghosts; the way we are ghosts that haunt our own lives, how it’s difficult not to live in the past while living in the South, and examining all the things we need to leave behind in order to grow.  The historic Downtown Presbyterian Church is the perfect place to host such a ghostly and introspective exhibit, and although there is no specific opening reception, the show runs from June 1st-30th.

Then, for your daily fix, on Thursday, June 2nd, everyone is invited to the Hillsboro Village Art Walk from 5-8pm.  This month’s 1st Thursday Art Walk is filled yet again with a number of receptions, shows and events all hosted by the Hillsboro Village shops and restaurants.  There are always an ample amount of movies, music, artists, demonstrations, book signings and much more.  There is FREE parking after 6pm behind Cornerstone Financial and on 21st Avenue.

A very interesting note not overly publicized from this point beforehand is that this Thursday, June 2nd, marks the opening reception for a new exhibition for an artist that you may already love and didn’t know it before now.  Brad Vetter, printmaker extraordinaire that usually makes his marks on concert posters atHatch Show Print that I and you and countless others have purchased while at The Ryman for classic shows we couldn’t miss, is showing his latest, independent print works at The Belcourt Theatre.  From 5-8pm this Thursday, Brad’s exhibition titled “From This Point On” will totally blow your mind and will beup for the entire month of June at The Belcourt in case you can’t make it by for the opening night.

A good way to find something cool during this week ahead of forecasted record high temps is to look for other FREE events around town.  You won’t have to look for long if you find yourself around The Arcade say Friday, June 3rd.  Specifically, this Friday from 5:30-7:15pm, the next Collectors Art Night will take place at The Arts Company and The Rymer Gallery.  Presented by 5th Avenue of the Arts, Collectors Art Night is a FREE event that celebrates Nashville’s visual arts community with insightful art talks.  A very intimate atmosphere is created with Brother Mel and collectors speaking at 6pm at The Arts Company and Catherine Foster speaking about her new exhibition “Still Waters” at The Rymer Gallery at 6:45pm.  Cocktails are included, but RSVPS are required (RSVP by simply emailing

Skipping ahead to the heart of the weekend, aside from the usual, deserved hype surrounding the First Saturday Art Crawl, there are two exceptional exhibitions opening that I feel the need to get your undivided art attention.

First, Blend Studio is opening “Before/After” by Iwonka Waskowski.  A solo show of multi-media works by local Nashville artist, Iwonka Waskowski, Before/After is a collection of mixed media drawings, sculpture and installation pieces that represent conversations and connected moments (before) and the missing dialogue and lost moments between sisters (after).  Many of Waskowski’s pieces focus on ideas relating to human potential and loss, the psychology of behavioral patterns and childhood memories.  It is beautiful, deep stuff here and the opening reception is Saturday, June 4th, from 6-9pm (exhibition running thru June 25th).

Second, Tinney Contemporary has yet again hit the nail right on the hammer (or vice versa if you talk like that) with “Sparked: New Abstract Paintings by Jeanie Gooden.”  Sparked, also with an opening reception on June 4th, from 6-9pm, is a unique blend of cultural, emotional, and creative influences that truly sparked moments of inspiration inside of Gooden.  Combined with deep introspection, Gooden brings a lot of interesting Southern characteristics into her work.  And by Southern characteristics, I mean deeper than the Deep South characteristics in a great way.  You see; Gooden lives in both the USA and Mexico, and while most of her paintings in recent years have been created in her studio in the colonial city of San Miguel of Allende, Mexico, her paintings use the rich colors, cultural history, classic architecture and textures of Mexico to make for quite the intimate conversation between the art and the viewer.  Again … I’m talking about beautiful, deep stuff here.  Sparked runs thru June 18th.


So whether you decide to get out and see all of the above and more, or if you choose to enjoy your spare time by doing nothing at all, make the most of your time.  Life is a beach (I miss the beaches of Charleston, SC from this past weekend already!).  Sometimes the tide is up.  Sometimes the sand bar is the place to be.  Sometimes you have to go all out playing games with your friends, and sometimes it’s best to just relax and do everything by doing nothing with your family.  Either way, enjoy your day and I hope to see you around sooner than later.

much love,




Monday miracle?

Well, it’s a fairly obvious concept to grasp if you’ve opened your eyes recently to have seen any billboards surrounding us all lately or heard about the sudden end of the world (or rapture by fire if you will) that was seemingly upgraded from the Mayan prediction later this December to this past Saturday, May 21st, I’m extremely happy to be here, alive and better than ever, writing to you about art and whatever that comes to mind.  I’ve never quite understood what each one of these predicting groups ever seeks to win from the situation if they were to actually correctly declare the final date of life as we know it on Earth.  It kinda seems like a waste of time spending most of your life worrying about the last days instead of simply living and enjoying life in my humble opinion.  But then again, I’ve never been one to live or be preached by fear.  That said, maybe it is always a miracle to be able to type about things that inspire me here for you … here.

Just because I am not as interested as many about future timelines or so-called prophesized dates that I cannot control, don’t let that fool you that I am not fully aware of the past and what that means to us.  Even more so than simply focusing on history, I think it is equally important to admire and learn from nature and everything it has to offer to our enlightenment.  So without me running out to hug the first tree I see or stray away from the point of why you clicked on this very story in the first place, let me guide your attention to both history and nature as it is poignant in this place and Nashville in specific.  I’m talking about the Parthenon and its most recent Symposium for “Missing Nature.”  This Thursday, May 26th, at 7pm, there will be a lecture by photographer Byron Jorjorian (whose work is currently on view at the Parthenon) about how photographers choose their subjects, decide on angles, eliminate unnecessary details and arrive at the perfect image, full of maximum impact.  If that doesn’t sound too Zen for you, Missing Nature is an exhibition meant to remind viewers both of the beautiful moments we often miss amidst the confusion and blur of our busy lives and also of natural areas that would inevitably be built on or damaged if not for the undying efforts and work of The Nature Conservancy.  There will be a FREE reception directly following the lecture but reservations are required (to obtain a reservation, call 615-862-8431).

If you’d like to add a solid soundtrack to the joy of life regarding your newfound (or old-found as it may be) appreciation for nature around us, beautiful moments that are now available because we all did not inevitably and hopelessly burn in a religious lake of fire this past weekend as many predicted, and celebrate where you are in your own life and the hope of a better tomorrow today, I highly suggest that you cancel all of your other plans and get over to The Rutledge to see the return of Jonathan Sexton and The Big Love Choir back to Music City.  After being in the recording studio and hitting the road for a few months, Sexton and friends are primed to give those who can attend the best Big Love show to date (and that’s saying a lot).  If you are a stranger to Jonathan Sexton and The Big Love Choir, I should warn you that they bring loads of smiles, hugs, positive lyrics, and wonderful melodies that will effortlessly move your feet and daily attitude to that of hope and the best person you can become.  Even if you go to The Parthenon earlier in the night, you have ample time to show up at The Rutledge this Thursday, May 26th, at 9pm when the show begins.

Speaking of beginnings, leave it to the good people over at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection to also start something amazing to see from May 26th thru August 13th of this year.  The Fine Arts Gallery has amassed a collection of more than 300 contemporary posters by local, national, and international graphic artists and designers to be featured in the exhibition titled “Fit to Print.”  Organized by the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery and curated by Joseph S. Mella, the posters that make up Fit to Print come from all over the world: from a number produced by Nashville’s own Hatch Show Print (one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the United States actually), to diverse groups of posters by designers over in Spain.  This exhibition showcases the variety of styles, importance, and overall art that makes up the world of printmaking.  For more information about the exhibit, please visit

And before I let you go for the time being (being that we don’t experience Armageddon before I write to you again of course), let me let you know about a national juried exhibition that has recently come to my attention.  The Marnie Sheridan Gallery at Harpeth Hall School asked me to write to you and all local artists interested declaring you can submit your original artwork for jury for The Art of Collage and Assemblage.  All two and three dimensional art using mixed media is acceptable, with a maximum size of 4×4 feet.  The entry deadline is quickly approaching on June 12, 2011, and the national juried exhibition will take place August 16th-October 12, 2011.  There will be a $250 best of show award.  For more details and information, please call 615-301-9282 or email

 So if you don’t mind, I am going to hit the road and see what I can get into until we meet here again soon enough.  Be well to yourself and to others in the nice time.  Thanks for taking time to read the above and to share it with others who might be interested in learning about good people doing good things in our neck of the woods.

much love,


Connecting Cultures: “Momotaro: The Peach Boy”

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts has partnered with ten local and regional community organizations to present Connecting Cultures: Children’s Stories from Across the World, an exhibition inspired by children’s stories that is designed to reflect the unique cultural values of each participating community. Connecting Cultures will be on view in the Conte Community Arts Gallery April 15, 2011, through March 27, 2012. The exhibition kicks off a celebration of Nashville’s diverse ethnic communities that will include related monthly programs throughout the year. The Presenting Sponsor for Connecting Cultures is the Nissan Foundation.

This video features the Japanese Community Group in Nashville creating a mural on the children’s story, “Momotaro: the Peach Boy” which is on display at the Frist Center as part of the Connecting Cultures exhibition.

After the rain

I know that I’m not alone having heard the phrase, “Fool me once, shame on you … fool me twice, shame on mE.”  I feel the need to remind myself that I repeat things, yes, but I am not a broken record for the sake of stuttering when I repeat those said things.  The point being is that when I write something to you here, I think it is definitely worth knowing about.  But if I write something about the same thing, place, or person(s), then I really REALLY really think that you should see these written things for yourself in person instead of just taking my word for it online.  This coming week brings a few amazing people, places, and things that you have heard me rave about over and over before.

The first place, as mentioned as far back as last week, is the Music in the Lobby at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.  I personally drove through a monsoon last Thursday night in order to see Carolina Story for FREE and feel like I was witnessing at that moment in time the best show in town or anywhere around for that matter and it most certainly matters.  This week’s full line-up at the Frist is just as promising to amaze.  Thursday, May 19th, from 6-8pm, starts with The Smoking Flowers (yet another real-life married musical couple that lives, breathes, and plays the most wonderful sounds around all the day long).  Fresh off of touring up and down the west coast and launching their new website along the way, Kim and Scott Collins are just as ready as their fans for this homecoming.

Honestly, as if I ever lie, the music being played at the Frist is beginning to really get noticed beyond its prestigious walls.  Not only because of the natural acoustics that Bluegrass Underground would be envy of and a historical background worthy of the Ryman itself, but the talent that is showcasing their music at the Frist are more often times than not much better than those playing down the street at Bridgestone Arena and the honky tonks on the same nights … and it is FREE admission!  Again, I felt the need to repeat myself.

And going far back as 2 weeks ago, the Frist Center was graced with the creativity of local Renaissance man, Matt Urmy.  First wowing an audience in the Lobby solo style, Urmy is on his way back to the Frist with a band of friends to enlighten guests who wanna see something extra special while in the Frist CaféThis Friday, May 20th, from 6-8pm, pay nothing to enter and experience a music, poetry and painting extravaganza.  Urmy is bringing the likes of Kenny Vaughn, Mike Webb, Paul Griffith and other notables to join him in a night like no other before.  As it was written, there will be music from the band, poetry from the man (Urmy), and painting (actually, live painting by Daniel Hawks and guests).  I’m extremely excited about the event and am thinking about it as a one-night only art exhibition where I’ll be constantly telling others after the fact that don’t show up that ‘you just had to be there.’  That’s why I’m telling you now beforehand and before it’s too late-per usual.

One thing you won’t have to worry about being late for at the Frist that opens this Friday, May 20th, is The Andrews Shaker Collection (which will be running thru August 21st, 2011).  “Gather Up the Fragments” focuses on the collection of Faith and Edward Deming Andrews, who from the 1920’s-60’s formed an extensive and important collection of Shaker art and pioneered Shaker studies.  From furniture and baskets to original drawings and textiles, the exhibition provides valuable insight into a religious group that valued equality, community, pacifism, responsible land sustainability, simplicity, and an impeccable ethic and quality in work.

And speaking of quality work, you won’t find a lack of that at all if you join the rest of East Nashville in The fEASTival Experience this Saturday, May 21st.  fEASTival is yet another one-of-a-kind experience that is open and FREE for people of all ages and taking place at Five Points in East Nashville.  It will be an event with all the food, music, and art that you can handle in a single day.  There will be a Food Village of sorts where an assortment of East Nashville restaurants will be serving their signature items at a discounted price.  There will be an abundant of musical acts taking a stage throughout the day-starting at noon and playing until late into the night (such groups as The Grayces, Majestico,Knapsackheroes, Bodhicitta BellyDance, and much more-even including the ‘I think we’re alone now’ 80’s teen sensation Tiffany at 8pm).  There will be a Kidzone interactive area and Street Fair with non-stop performance art and local art installations as well.  It should be the beautiful beginning of another East Nashville tradition for years to come.

Last and certainly not least for an ice cream lover as myself; in the same building where you can find and try the delicious ice cream at Pied Piper Creamery (114 South 11th Street), starting this Saturday you will find open doors at the Simple Syrup Design HouseSimple Syrup is not the same type of icing on the Pied Piper birthday cake across the hall, it is more.  It’s more than a brand new version of a gallery where a superb artist meets art lover meets retail space.  Simple Syrup is a collaboration between artist, Danielle Duer and business consultant & developer/art lover, Mandy McNeil where great art won’t just be displayed for sale, but also where a circle of artisans will work together bringing to life various creative ideas.  From paintings and creative furniture to other unbelievable works of art, Simple Syrup is going to strive to bring something fresh, refreshing, and very cool to the already hip and thriving East Nashville scene … kinda like adding an extra scoop and brand new flavor to your favorite sundae (which is just A-okay to mE).

Enjoy your day and week ahead.  All of this typing is making me want ice cream (go figure).  Maybe I’ll see you this week at the Frist, the fEASTival, or the Pied Piper Creamery counter.  Cheers to whatever you get into after The Flaming Lips concert.

much love,



The Smoking Flowers at the Frist Center May 19, 2011


Quality over quantity

Sometimes, not all of the time obviously, I can be a man of few words.  Sometimes there are times where fewer words translate into more people listening.  Hopefully this week’s addition will be one of those times.

First comes the Frist … again.  It never fails that when I am looking for the most amazing local musical talent, the best live acoustics in town, and art surroundings that can humble the most critical art critic, I find peace and exactly what I’m looking for at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts of all places.  This Thursday, during one-half of this week’s Music in the Lobby, the Frist Center is happy to bring back Nashville’s latest up and newcomers, Carolina StoryCarolina Story is comprised of the husband/wife duo of Ben and Emily Roberts.  They bring a fresh face and sound to authentic duets around Broadway and are excited to share their songs and be your friends (on and off Facebook if you are a good person-and let’s face it, you wouldn’t be reading this if you were anything other than a good person).  They hit the stage of sorts in the Lobby at the Frist this Thursday, May 12th, from 6-8pm.  Grab a date, get some wine, don’t be late, and just show up why don’t ya?!

Then, just when the weekend rolls around, it appears as though this surprisingly sunny weather is springing forth another new art gallery sprouting up from the rich creative soil of East Nashville.  Nashville artist Bill Brimm is opening Bryant Gallery in the Five Points area of East Nashville.  The gallery will be inside Brimm’s contemporary building at the corner of 12th and Woodland Streets.  The gallery will have its grand opening this Saturday, May 14, from noon-9pm.  Do yourself a favor, get out of the heat, and see some of the coolest new works of art by Andee Rudloff, John Reed, Anderson Williams, Donna Rizzo, Lena Lucas, Beth Seiters, Jan Bell, Tommy Holt, and Hugh Bennett.  You’ll find paintings, clay sculptures, fused glass, specialized home-made jewelry, and much more.  Brimm, also an accomplished artist in his own right, will be showing his photography and hand-made furniture.  There will be an artists’ reception from 5-9pm this Saturday night.  You can enter Bryant Gallery at 1113 Woodland Street; just down the street from the always popular Art & Invention Gallery and directly across from Rumours Wine Bar East.  Normal hours for Bryant Gallery after this weekend shall be Saturdays and Sundays from noon-5pm or by appointment (Bill Brimm-615-650-0063).

And to top this weekend off just right, right beside Brett Dennen at the Cannery Ballroom, I feel it’s best if I repeat what I’ve already given you head’s up on nearly two weeks ago.  I repeat; I’m talking about Rhiannon Guillet and her fashion world of magpie apparel.  Busy for some time working her magic for several shows for Belmont Theatre and other locations near and far since closing the doors of the majestic little pink building of magpie etc, Guillet is back on the scene and ready more than ever to help make others look better with ease.  She is one of the featured fashion designers taking part in the fashion and music festival “Naked Without Us.” With several dates, places, and people also taking part of the wonderful collective event, I think it’s about time someone put a bright light on Guillet’s work that goes on behind the scenes.  Her latest fashion will hit the stage on Saturday, May 14th, at the Mercy Lounge at 9pm.  A mere $10 admission, you’ll get more than your money’s worth while witnessing Guillet’s new designs hitting the runway beside stellar live music and other local designers.

This weekend should be relaxing and with a lot to offer if you are up it.  I admit that I cannot foresee too far into the future, but I do have an inkling that we might be in for a few more fantastic festivals, galleries, and goodness to come our way quickly around the bend.  Check back in and continue to share with friends all of the good words and people we’ve put together for you to put to use right here at the heart of Nashville’s heART.  Good, GREAT, things are about to happen … I can feel it!

As you were, busy but happy,

much love,



Carolina Story @ the Frist Center for the Visual Arts May 12, 2011

magpie apparel @ Naked Without Us Fashion & Music Festival May 14, 2011


Welcome to the Renaissance

In a town pre-labeled Music City, with its deep, rich history rooted in country music, it can often be difficult for outsiders to see the real city beyond the bright lights over Broadway or the country music flooding from the honky-tonk bars and/or Music Row.  From the inside out, it can also be just as easy for young artists to get pigeon-holed into corners and pre-labeled before reaching their true potential.  What many people who live away from here right now can’t fully understand or put a finger on the pulse is that Nashville is quickly becoming something much more than bedazzled jeans, cowboy hats, and line dances.  There are loads of painters, poets, writers, singer-songwriters not country-based, and everyone else creative all over the place planting their artistic roots here, from the West to the Historic East Nashville.  Lucky for us, one artist in particular that seems to encompass all of the above is leading by example and just so happens to be a home-grown local.

Sure, the critically acclaimed, published poet Matt Urmy may have originally been born in New York City before moving to Nashville shortly there after.  Sure, the praised singer-songwriter rising up the musical ranks Matt Urmy may have left Nashville for neighboring Knoxville after high school graduation in order to find his voice and a profound appreciation for the positive changes in his hometown before returning with a pen in one hand and a guitar in the other.  The point is that Matt Urmy is about as authentic of an Americana artist as you’ll ever come across and as shown by his latest recordings and public endeavors, he’s just getting started.

I met up with Urmy in the Café of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts recently; just down the hall from the Lobby where he’ll be performing this Friday, May 6th, from 6-8pm, and in the very room where he is scheduled to perform on Friday, May 20th, also from 6-8pm.  I’ll let Urmy mostly speak clearly for himself and his art as you can see for yourselves in the video attached to this story, but I must say that it really was quite an honor to sit with such a humble, multi-talented artist on the brink of widespread success taking time out of his busy life to promote two performances that were nearly a month away at the time of our meeting.

I quickly learned from reading about Urmy online and then listening when face to face that Urmy is different than a lot of people making music waves in Music City.  Urmy is not only his own promoter, the writer of all his music (and published poems for that matter), a one-man band and musical force winning the hearts of new fans by the minute and respect from stars he once grew up holding in the highest esteem (as I’ll get to soon enough), but he truthfully lives his art every day and night that he practices and preaches. 

Urmy’s latest two creations eloquently culminate everything he’s learned while on his personal journey up to this point and allow everyone else to discover themselves while jumping onboard his bandwagon.  Both projects have already captured the hearts and minds of a lot of locals since their recent conceptions.  The projects I’m speaking about are the Renaissance Rodeo Show and the album Sweet Lonesome.

Sweet Lonesome, the title of Urmy’s most recent CD, is a very special project indeed.  From the striking lyrics found in every single song that paint individual stories that both stand on their own and form a beautiful collection of sounds together, to guest appearances from personal heroes and legends Jonell Mosser, Mary Gauthier, and Ashley Cleveland, to its recording at the legendary Quonset Hut at Belmont University that was home to the recording of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” among other big recordings, Sweet Lonesome is a compilation of experiences and tales from a very special time period called now.

The second major project you should know about involving Matt Urmy is the Renaissance Rodeo Show that he conceptualized, organized, and co-hosted with another talented musician in Jonathan Sexton.  The first Renaissance Rodeo Show went down this past November with the help of such distinctive singer-songwriters and voices as the aforementioned Jonell Mosser, Scott Miller, and the legitimate legend Cowboy Jack Clement (who is also currently producing some of Urmy’s other recordings this year), and was an instant success.  It was a unique experience where homage was paid and honor was shared between some of the biggest stars around with the brightest young talent on the rise.  The concept of the show most likely was derived from one of Urmy’s most popular songs to date called “Renaissance Rodeo.”

Renaissance Rodeo was a song that Urmy recorded a few years ago and released on the internet by himself.  Originally driven to write the song because of an overwhelming feeling towards how our culture in this city and country was responding to a lot of big things going on around the world such as floods, economic turmoil and war, Urmy combined spoken word and song in a way that really touched a lot of people around the world.  Seriously, while creating Renaissance Rodeo from inspiration and cultural awareness into something very tangible for others to experience and to relate to, many people from all over wrote back to him letting him know it spoke to them and all of that really confirmed his initial beliefs that there is some sort of major cultural and world rebirth currently happening … the next big thing since the cultural revolutions of the late 50’s and early 60’s in fact.

Again, if you live close to Nashville and/or are in tune with the fact that something special is going on right now, right here with creative people moving here from all over, you can sometimes actually feel the dynamic energy about this place. 

Urmy stated, “Typically big questions are what drive major cultural events.  And more often than not, art provides the answers or at least gives inspiration to find the answers.  There’s a lot of affluence and money here [in Nashville] that gives people time to create.  There’s also a lot of poverty that gives attention to creativity.  The combination is something pretty amazing.”

There is a lot of attention to our city these days for a lot of good and potential reasons.  Matt Urmy is definitely one of those reasons and people that are helping others see this energy and how to make something real into something really special.  He combines music and art with his words to awaken your own feelings and beliefs from within during this time of major awakenings.

It’s only appropriate that I’m writing and you are reading this right now as Urmy is about to showcase his talents at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts this Friday and later on another Friday later this month.  If you would also like to get in touch with this dynamic energy that Nashville, the Frist Center, and Matt Urmy always exude, I suggest that you definitely take time to sit and listen … and bring a friend or two that you think would enjoy it or is possibly in need of a good old fashioned awakening as well.

Matt Urmy is not just a musician and poet, he is a Renaissance Man.  With more music around the bend and more shows (whether it be the next Renaissance Rodeo Show coming later this year or a house show to be announced soon enough near you) wherever the wind blows, these are very interesting times indeed. NOW sometimes feels like a different kind of awakening.  Many people are looking for answers to the big question like “What’s next?” I’m not too sure that I have a definitive answer for you at the moment, and I know that when/if I do figure it out that I’ll let you know for certain, but I have a feeling that Matt Urmy might just be one of the few people to help point us in the right direction.  The least I can do now is point you towards him.  Stop by the Frist Center this Friday and later this month and you can ask him whatever questions you’d like.

much love,

Chuck Beard

April showers bring May art that is going to rock your socks off!

Haven’t we all heard that common phrase above before or is it just me?  With the amount of storms, pollen, and all around destruction that presented itself to us this past month, I have full faith that we will have ample amounts of goodness and awesome times ahead; so much so that no double rainbow could ever compare.  I’ll get to the point right away.

I should probably start by showcasing an artist and upcoming event by highlighting another artist and event that was made possible by the aforementioned artist.  Make sense?  Well, on Saturday, this past April 16th, Nashville Mayor, Karl Dean, presented internationally known rocker, Jack White, with the first-ever Music City Ambassador Award on behalf of the Nashville Music Council.  Everyone I know knows that Jack White is amazing at everything he creates and Nashville is truly honored by his artistic influence on the city’s creative scene and for calling Nashville home, but I’d like to look a little closer on that monumental moment by letting you know that it was local artist Linda Hobdy of Lindatwist Jewelry and Twisted Sisters Art that made the one-of-a-kind Music City Ambassador Award.  It’s no surprise that Jack White, Mayor Dean and everyone else loved the perfect combination of creativity, energy, metals, and art that Hobdy put together for the occasion as seen in the photo on the side of this story of the finished product.  It should also not be any surprise to anyone that Hobdy is going to be a featured artist this weekend, May 6-8th, 2011 at the TACA Spring Craft Fair.  Located in Booth B33, Hobdy is super excited to show you her latest works of art alongside other painters and traditionally fine artists at one of the top shows in the country … right in our backyard.  The 40thannual Tennessee Craft Fair has FREE admission and parking and is at Centennial Park on Friday and Saturday, from 10am-6pm, and Sunday, from 10am-5pm.  And also note that if you miss the Fair, you can check out Twisted Sisters Art Exhibit at the Bridgestone Arena from May 12th-July 31stof this year in the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Information Center (among other upcoming shows you can find on her website).

And if you need an art appetizer for the TACA Spring Craft Fair or plans for Cinco de Mayo that are a little outside of the norm of chugging margaritas for no apparent patriotic reason, then Hillsboro Village has just the thing for you.  That’s right, it’s a real Cinco de Mayo party at the Hillsboro Village Art Walk this Thursday, May 5th, from 5-8pm.  All public is invited as these 1stThursdays Art Walk receptions, shows, and events are hosted in most Hillsboro Village shops and restaurants.  This event is ongoing year round and it always provides changing movies, music, art, demonstrations, book signings and much more besides FREE parking after 6pm behind Cornerstone Financial and on 21stAvenue .

Flashing forward to this weekend, I have yet another reminder that every good beginning comes from some other new beginning’s end.  May 7thmarks the closing reception for Tinney Contemporary’s successful “Stealing Stories: Mixed media drawings, prints, and paintings by Patricia Bellan-Gillen.”  The reception is at Tinney Contemporary from 6-9pm.  At that same time, in the Arcade nearby in MIR Gallery, Miranda Herrick spends no wasted time for her next exhibition worth attending and mentioning called “Reduced, Reused, Recycled: Visual Art from the Recycling Bin.”  By using grocery bags, candy wrappers, cereal boxes, beer cans and much more, Herrick’s loathing of waste and creativity spring forth the resourceful stereotype that one person’s trash is the everyman’s treasure.  And to throw another Arcade party in the mix at Space 75 right here, the COOP collective is presenting “Street Crossings”, a solo show of multi-media works by artist Joshua Penrose.  Similarly to Herrick’s exhibition, Penrose’s feels more like an urban show for the city that is pin point to the Downtown appeal.  “Street Crossings” is a sound installation- a duet if you will.  Penrose combines electronic bleeps and blips to punctuate the urban traffic drone filled in with a multi-channel soundtrack of superimposed sonic layer of sound.  The combination of all three exhibitions above truly gives you something special for several of your senses just waiting to be awake; a spring awakening if you will … and I will. And … not to forget about another opening reception just down the hall in the top cozy corner of the Arcade, you can bypass any drawbridges or moats and find yourself smack dab in the middle of a real-life “Fortress: an installation by Tiffany Dyer” at Blend Studio (79 Arcade).  From 6-9pm, as part of the First Saturday Gallery Crawl, “Fortress” has also thrown together pieces of re-purposed, salvaged, and scavenged materials to make a colorful collection of art via the art of crochet.  Why not stop by them all and say hello and hey to the artists that make the Arcade a fun place to visit?

And for next week’s grand finale, I would like to set this thing off with local fashion sure to pop like a handful of fireworks.  I began this short piece with a well-known artist that excels outside of the normal creative box, and I am fortunate to know about another artist that does her thing better than any other in the city as well when given the chance.  Without beating around the bush, I’m talking about Rhiannon Guillet and her fashion world of magpie apparel.  Busy for some time working her magic for several shows for Belmont Theatre and other locations near and far since closing the doors of the majestic little pink building of magpie etc, Guillet is back on the scene and ready more than ever to help make others look better with ease.  She is one of the featured fashion designers taking part in the fashion and music festival “Naked Without Us.”  With several dates, places, and people also taking part of the wonderful collective event, I think it’s about time someone put a bright light on Guillet’s work that goes on behind the scenes.  Her latest fashion will hit the stage on Saturday, May 14th, at the Mercy Lounge at 9pm.  A mere $10 admission, you’ll get more than your money’s worth while witnessing Guillet’s new designs hitting the runway beside stellar live music and other local designers.

With a little bit of everything you’d need to entertain you on a weekend above besides church, I bid you safe travels and everything nice over this coming week and weekend ahead.

much love,


PS- Like icing on a cake, here is a noteworthy, altruistic thing to check out in light of the recent storms and tornado destruction to the south of us.  You can go to the Salvation Army, American Red Cross, and Feeding America among other relief organizations in the area, but I figured I’d let you know about a direct line to Alabama as well.

Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund: The Fund, part of the Alabama Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, provides additional recovery assistance to Alabama residents who have exhausted all other coverage provided by relief organizations, government programs and insurance. To donate, visit the online donation page.


A conversation with the Twisted Sisters, Debbie Graham and Linda Hobdy.
Twisted Sisters art will be on display at Bridgestone Arena in the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau Information Center from May 12 through July 31, 2011.