Monthly Archives: June 2011

I think someone just ARTed

And with that fabulously eloquent and educated opening statement, I shall leave the real comedy to those who do it well enough to get endless belly laughs within the art of local stand-up comedy.  Specifically typing, The Jones Brothers Experience is making another, much anticipated return to the stage at The Basement this Wednesday, June 29th at 9pm.  The event and laughs are FREE as the hilarious family comedy of brothers Rod and Drew Jones (and friends) is sure to keep the jokes and spirits around the room flowing for an hour straight until the live music that follows their act plugs in.  Trust me; it’s funny stuff.

Fast forward to the weekend and another first of the month round of art exhibition kick-off parties (or opening receptions as most refer to them).  Leading off the pack in the very random order I’m going to write about a few coming off the top of my head is the COOP Gallery announcing its July exhibition by Chicago artist Steven Frost.  Titled, “everyman a winner,” Frost uses various sculpture and fiber-based media to combine assumed cultural and economic value of materials with that of visual language from comic books, sports, popular culture and plain queer effect.  The result is an index of eclectic ideas and visually-captivating pieces of work.  The show opening is Saturday, July 2ndfrom 6-9pm at The Arcade, Space 75 and runs through Saturday July 30th.

Also running along The Arcade on Saturday, July 2nd, from 6-9pm Twist Art Gallery is shining a little light on singer/songwriter and visual artist Julie Lee’s latest creative endeavors.  A Nashville resident of 16 years, a musician that provides a beautiful collage of folk, blues, bluegrass and country, Julie Lee is a visual artists that takes bits and pieces from all over the place to make something of her own that is both old and new.  Her work will be up and around Twist for the entire month of July.

And just down the Arcade balcony of Twist you’ll find Blend Studio presenting “Combustion: A Group Show.”  Combustion, as appropriately titled, is a group show consisting of drawings, sculptures, painting and mixed media from Mandy Brown, Charles Clary, Amanda Dillingham, Jason Driskill, Derek Gibson, Hannah Maxwell Rowell, Sarah Shearer, and Ben Vitualla.  From July 2nd-29th, Combustion represents the premiere show for a new collective (which includes all of the names above) that was organized to meet for critical discussion and progress reports about each other’s work.  Within this specific group format, creative accountability is highly valued incorporated in these individuals’ new works and new ideas.  Such a solid structure among artists helps keep these college art instructors, curators and administrators consistent in their own disciplines while fostering growth beyond themselves for future works. 

Also kicking off the summer in style during the First Saturday Art Crawl on July 2nd from 6-9pm is The Arts Company presenting A Summer of Serendipity: Eclectic Adventures in Artwork, Décor, Books, Artifacts, Music & More.  Featuring “The Shapes and Colors of Brother Mel,” “The Intimate World of Leonard Piha,” “65th Anniversary of Ed Clark’s Grand Ole Opry Photographs: July 20, 1946,” “Thornton Dial Original Drawings,” and “Jim Hubbman Watercolors,” The Arts Company is pulling out all the fun guns to make July a month with a big creative bang.  Collectively, the selection of gallery artists (a few local and all legendary) mixed with artifacts and décor signal the unexpected adventures for all of us to anticipate and experience within this distinctive Summer of Serendipity which lies ahead.  To save me the words and you the time, if you’d like to read more about this extreme line-up, feel free to click

But before I leave you so I can go find and watch my own fair share of fireworks to light up the July sky, I want to remind you about a cool exhibition over at Vanderbilt University that has been around since June 16th and runs through August 13th in case you need to plan a visit in your busy schedule.  Titled “10 West Coast Artists,” this exhibition is a portfolio of lithographs published in 1967 by aforementioned and described 10 West Coast artists who were at that time beginning to receive international attention for their art practices of painting, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, and filmmaking.  The exhibition is on view for the first time since its acquisition in 2003 and includes the works of Keith Boyle, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Roy De Forest, Sidney Gordon, Frank Lobdell, James Melchert, Manuel Neri, Felix Ruvolo, and Peter Voulkos.  Presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Fit to Print: Contemporary Posters from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Collection,” “10 West Coast Artists” is the first in a five-part summer series examining portfolios and serial graphic arts projects.  Trust me; this is fun stuff.

much love,



Where happy feet meet happy art!

 If you are one of those people that don’t go to art galleries because it doesn’t give you the chance to dance on the weekends, well then you have absolutely no excuse to miss out on attending two major art pARTies in Nashville this week.  No excuse whatsoever I say!

Let me jump right into this jam and remind you that this Thursday, June 23rd, marks one heck of a fiesta at The Mercy Lounge starting at 8pm.  For a mere $10 to get in the door (and 21 years of age for those who need to get babysitters for the fun evening to be had), you will have the opportunity to discover and re-discover some of the most eclectic artists, fashion designers, photographers, musicians, models, and other creative people that Nashville has to offer.  Put together by the organization RAW, there will be a special guest host, a house DJ, and a multi-faceted artistic circus of creativity.  I won’t name names here for the sake of letting you be surprised and surprise yourself with the talent on hand, but know that each RAW event features some sort of combination of a short film screening, musical performance, fashion show, art gallery, performance art and more featured hairstylists and makeup artists to shake a tail feather with that you can handle for the short time, one-night, they are all together in one spot.  You can either buy tickets at the door or purchase them online HERE while even choosing ahead of time which main artist you’d like to support before being blown away by the rest of the lot.

Then, once you’ve sat down on the couch for a bit and rested those footsies, you might as well keep those dancing shoes tied for a complete Frist Friday out of this world from start to finish.  To start, you can venture over to the Frist Center and calmly take in the opening of Vesna Pavlović: Projected Histories in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery.  Pavlović, a world-renowned photographer hailing from Serbia, has a knack for capturing images of architectural interiors, tourist sites and cultural events that examine ways photography shapes personal and cultural identities.  The photos included in Projected Histories (which as I mentioned opens Friday, June 24thand then runs through September 11, 2011) were taken by Pavlović while traveling through the United States and his native Serbia over the last 13 years.

After you take a seat in the lobby or café for a few seconds to rest your legs and yet simultaneously prepare yourself for the main evening event to attend later at 6-9pm, you can drop by the Frist’s Auditorium at noon for a FREE, first come, first seated “Curator’s Conversation: Warhol Live:  Music and Dance in Andy Warhol’s Work.” There you can join a lively conversation between the co-curators of Wahol Live: Music and Dance in Andy Warhol’s Work as they offer insights into the most visually exciting exhibition that I know at least my household has been waiting to see for over a year now.  The exhibition, Warhol Live also opens this Friday, June 24ththrough September 11, 2011, and is the first exhibition to deeply delve into the roles music and dance played in the artist’s life and work.  Honestly, do you need any other information to get your butt down to the Frist to see this particular exhibition for such an artist that created art that still resonates within our world today?!

Welp … if you do need more information and/or events other than simply saying Warhol is here at the Frist, then let me blow your mind by letting you in on the party the Frist Center has arranged to kick this thing off right.  This Frist Friday, June 24th, from 6-9pm, without further ado, will be your chance to dance to The Long Players performing The Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers.”  As homage to Andy Warhol’s love of, and often times obsession, for Mick Jagger, The Long Players will perform The Stones’ classic album to its entirety per usual.  The Long Players are a group of Nashville-based musicians who have taken classic albums and performed them live in their original sequence since 2004.  The list of participants inside The Long Players is also so tremendous that I’ll yet again let you be surprised by the big name musicians stepping in on this concert (*side note- one of the mentioned big name musicians that will be on stage actually recorded with The Rolling Stones on their hits “Brown Sugar” and “Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’”).  The Long Players decided upon playing “Sticky Fingers,” aside from the amazing songs that make it, because Warhol designed the original album package.  That very package will be on display with the rest of the pieces in the Warhol Live exhibition inside the overall party to be had by all at the Frist.

And then Sunday you can rest.

Enjoy your week(end)!

much love,


The marriage behind art and music

This week, another hot week post CMA and BonnarooFestivals resounding all around us, is one that offers a couple of unique opportunities where visual art and music meet in the middle quite perfectly.  You could even say that these opportunities below are each a perfect match of sorts.

First, add a little bit of music.  Local rockers Eastern Blockwill be releasing a new 7” called “Wing Walker” at Grimey’s this Thursday, June 16th from 6-9pm.  With an in-store performance and brand new songs that you can take home with you afterwards, to say that Eastern Block is riding the wave of their most recent successes and landslide victory while winning Lightning 100’s Music City Mayhemcompetition is the understatement of the year to this point.  These guys deserve all of the accolades, in my humble opinion, and are primed to make the most of every positive opportunity coming their way. If you by chance miss out on their appearance at Grimey’s, by all means run over and catch them on Friday, June 17th at The Rutledge at 10pm.

And typing about running, leave it to Sarah Shearer– a local artist, Assistant Director to the Community Education at Watkins College of Art and Design, and wife of Eastern Block’s lead guitarist Jon Shearer– to also get recognized lately for her efforts.  Besides the fact that she rocks the canvas whenever she puts her paintings on view outside of her Downtown Presbyterian Church studio, Sarah was just bestowed East Nasty of the Week a week ago for her dynamic energy and trail-blazing attitude on and off the road.  I highly suggest you take a moment to appreciate the art the Shearer family is currently bringing toNashville’s table.

Second, add a little bit of music.  Leave it to the Frist Centerto, yet again, make a mark on this writer and art appreciators alike.  This week’s museum concert highlight, again in my humble opinion, is the Music in the Café: In the Round at the Frist.  While each week some of Nashville’s most accomplished and celebrated artists perform at the Frist on Thursday and Friday evenings, this coming Friday, June 17th provides a wonderful setting for the Frist’s version of music “In the Round,” led by Ronny Criss.  Criss, a valued Frist employee, is also a songwriter that is very excited to bring together other local songwriters Bryan Clark, Adam Burrows, Joel Shumake, and Joe Hajek for a night like no other.

But don’t think for one minute that Ronny Criss stops helping other local artists when he clocks out at the Frist Center.  He’s not only a talented artist and songwriter in his own right, Criss has dedicated his spare time to sharing the spotlight on others trying to make Nashville a creative hot spot.  Starting in April of this year, Ronnie started his own interview and video blog titled “Nashville Art Makers” that allows for the general public to and art lovers alike to really get a sense of not only the artwork of local artists that deserve to be seen and heard but also the people and their stories that inspire them to inspire others.  Starting with Beth Inglish in April, and then spotlighting Jeff Bertrand in March, Miss June J just so happens to be someone I know very well and love in Emily Harper Beard (efharper or Emily Frances Harper Beard depending on the press release).

And what kind of husband would I be if I didn’t transition from the Nashville Art Makers’ pick of the month and tell you that efharper will be one of several artists, fashion designers, film makers, musicians, models and photographers taking part in the next RAW show in a little over a week at Mercy Lounge on Thursday, June 23rd (I will remind and give you more details next week, but you can go ahead and buy your ticket online HERE).

So there you have it; a full circle review of family, music, art, and events to make your heart … your Nashville heART smile yet again.  Thanks for tuning in and sharing with your friends.  See you sooner than later.

much love,


A very special month indeed

In case you’ve spent the past week stuck inside a house freezing with the AC turned on HIGH, you don’t really need for me to inform you that this month is so very HOT!  But, I’m typing about HOT in the literal and figurative sense around these here parts.  Yep, summertime has fully and almost instantly fallen upon us just as quickly as DJ Jazzy Jeff left the spotlight after declaring it so.

To kick things off this week, let us not forget those who made an impact on our community that have also left us long ago.  June is a very special month for the people at The Hermitage.  It was actually on the evening of Sunday, June 8th, 1845 (166 years ago if you’re counting), when formerPresident Andrew Jackson passed away.  In honor of the legend and his final resting place, The Hermitage has planned a special schedule of events to celebrate our nation’s seventh President.  Sunday LIVE! at The Hermitageis the compelling historical series with historian Myers Brown (Curator of Extension Services for the Tennessee State Museum) portraying characters and discussing events from the lifetime and influence of President Jackson.  Sundays LIVE! will take place on various Sunday afternoons from June thru October.  For more information on the schedule, please visit

If you don’t get inspired that much from Sunday afternoon historical shows about historical people with great titles such as “Swamps, Snakes and Seminoles,” (then we might not be friends … just kidding) then you might leave some room for inspiration over at Bennett Galleries and their latest exhibition.  The exhibition, titled “Room for Interpretation,”is a combination of four talented artists who work with abstracted and non-representational subject matter. Bennett Galleries, a family-owned business whose focus is to show works of contemporary paintings, sculptures, ceramics and works on paper by local, regional and international artists, is thrilled to open “Room for Interpretation” to the public this Friday, June 10th, from 6-9pm.  The four talented artists found within are the likes of Myles Bennett, John Hyche, David Kidd, and Brad Robertson.

And if you are itching for a wee road trip for your Friday afternoon, also on June 10th, at the Renaissance Center in Dickson, TN, you’ll be able to see something quite astonishing.  It is there, from 6-8pm, where you’ll see the public reception for Nashville Arts Magazine’s winners for their 2nd annual photo competition (since change of ownership).  While the judges were pleasantly stunned by the amount of competition and off the charts quality that were turned in, Nashville Arts is proud to display not only the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning photographs, but also the top 25 photographs as well.  The exhibition will be on view through July 12th and all events associated are FREE and open to the public.  Major props to Chad Spann and his First Place “Untitled” winning photo and all the other jurors and all those who entered and are being recognized for their talented pictures.

Then, on the next day, Saturday, June 11th, from 5-9pm, it won’t hurt you one bit to drop on by East Nashville and its most recent gallery to open called Bryant Gallery (1113 Woodland Street across from Art & Invention Gallery).  Owner and one heck of an artist himself, Bill Brimm is holding an Opening Reception at said time for “Canvas to Canvas: Selected images from The Tennessee Fireworks Project by Heather Lose.”  With this exhibition on view through July 19th, don’t expect Bill Brimm and his gallery to slow down their great momentum of a start any time soon.  Alongside Heather Lose’s images, there will also be art shown by Lena Arice Lucas, Donna Rizzo, Hugh Bennett, Nola Jones Smodic, Ruth Zelanski, and Tommy Holt.  A side solid reminder: Bryant Gallery is open Saturdays/Sundays from noon-5pm.  For an appointment at another time, please call Bill Brimm at 615-650-0063.

And not to leave all of the galleries from the Downtown area out of the mix this week with so much HOT all around town, another smart play on words (or wordplay if you will … and I just did) would be to have some sort of exit strategy.  That written, you need to know that for the entire HOT month of June 2011, theCOOP collective found in The Arcade, Space 75, is presenting “Exit Strategy: migration.”  A solo show of multi-media works by Justin Farris Braun, “Exit Strategy” consists of a twin-size mattress held high overhead by several pieces of electrical conduit.  In true COOP spirit, they declare that such an exhibit offers new humor and a dangerous spin on the old saying, “You’ve made your bed; now lie in it.”  I could easily post a picture for you to see it here, but I’d rather you see such a feat in person.  The exhibition ends June 25th.

And like that … poof, I am gone.

No worries … I’ll be back soon enough.

Enjoy your day in the nice time.

much love,