Monthly Archives: August 2011

Do you remember Earth, Wind and Fire in September!?


It’s not quite the heat of summer or the bitter cold of the winter.  September is not only the start of REAL football, for me it is when nature turns on itself and transforms green leaves into natural art outdoors.  Funny thing is, the Nashville art scene is turning over and transforming in its own right beginning from the very start of this September.

So with kind haste without wasting your time, we’ll jump right in.  One major thing happening this Thursday, September 1st, is all about Nashville Arts Magazine.  On Thursday, Nashville Arts Magazine will launch a brand new website that will provide comprehensive and instant daily news and reviews of the city’s vivacious art scene. will provide and publish much needed overnight reviews from everything art including symphony, opera, jazz, dance and theatre performances alongside reviews on all of the visual arts and film scenes.  Nashville Arts Magazine is not stopping what they are already doing with its monthly in depth look at the Nashville art world, they just wanted to expand on what they are already doing. Another epic thing happening this Thursday, September 1st is going down at Zeitgeist Gallery.  It is where two internationally known artists (who both studied art in college in various TN college and universities respectively) will have a joint opening reception from 5-8pm.  Me simply writing that both Kurt Wagner and Wayne White will be there as well should pretty much say it all, or at least it should give you all the reasons you need to get your butt over to Zeitgeist that opening night.  For everyone that a child of the 80’s, you might remember that Wayne White nearly single-handedly created the backdrop for great childhood memories we all look back on so fondly.  Specifically, White is the Chattanooga, MTSU grad, native that took his love for illustrating and puppeteering and created a world like no other.  White was the brainchild behind the oober-creative designs for the hit television show Pee-Wee’s Playhouse.  Yeah, I said it, but White did it!  White has gone on to also do legendary work in music videos (my favorite was Smashing Pumpkins “Tonight, Tonight”) and all other forms of media.  For the past few years, he has been most recognizable for his works with ‘word paintings’.  Last year, my wife and I felt honored by White’s presence and talk about his life-long journey through art while visiting Watkins here in Nashville.  It was there where we were able to talk with him in person, thank him for his work and for sharing his experiences, and have him sign a copy of his huge book that chronicles the path of his artistic career up to the present time period.  If you drop by Zeitgeist Gallery for the opening reception on Thursday, September 1st, from 5-8pm, you can do the same thing!  Need I say more?

I might not need to, but I shall.  Again, also on Thursday, the first of the month, just down the street from Zeitgeist Gallery is the Hillsboro Village Art Walk.  Also from 5-8pm, there are a plethora of receptions, shows, and events hosted by various locales located in Hillsboro Village.  The long list made short, here are a few spotlights in that neck of the woods I think I might just have to check out.  The Raffle giveaway will take place at the Belcourt Theater, Jeff Bertrand will have work at Clothing Xchange, Wendi Strauch Mahoney will be showing at SEE EYEWEAR, Brian Nash will showcase at Provence, Colleen Wandel will be at Fire Finch, Brad Keen is at Pangaea, Candice Sone is at Retropolitan, Casey Pierce and David Hellam will be showing at Fido through September 13th, Micah Smith and Ashley Owens are over at Hot & Cold beside some lovely snacks, and I’m definitely not going to forget about Sarah Shearer’s latest showing at Rodney Mitchell Salon.

It kinda sounds like Thursday is Saturday this coming week, but don’t be mistaken … it’s just a mega-fun Thursday.  The first Saturday of the month will again be like another first Saturday of the month.  Because it is a holiday weekend and I’m also celebrating my second wedding anniversary with my all-time favorite artist (efharper), SHOUT-OUT, I will save most of the descriptions of the newest exhibitions opening around town for next week.  But before I log and run off, I will give you a little teaser.  If you are around downtown this coming Saturday, September 3rd, I suggest that you mosey on over to The Arts Company to check out Charles Keiger’s “Inside Out: New Paintings” and also COOP’s September exhibition of work by Dawn Cerny over at The Arcade, Space 75.  If you meander to either place on Saturday night alongside the First Saturday Art Crawl from 6-9pm, then you are sure to see a lot of other amazing new art at such places as Twist, Blend, Estel, Rymer, Tinney, and everywhere else that I’ll type about the next time you read this.

Until then, be well, be safe, and be kind to one another.  Art, like life, is what you make of it.  I find it easier and happier to appreciate it than being too much of a critic.  Talk amongst yourselves and enjoy your day.

much love,



Art with a BANG!


Another month = another cycle of Nashville art exhibitions waning down their run and building up for the next round of shows per usual.  This being the last week of the month of August, there are still a few shows going on that are well worth saving your time and money to see and possibly take home with you.

The first one that comes to my mind is what I like to personally call “Zeitgeist with a Bang!”  It is a show that is not called that at all by the people who made, curated, or have maintained the show for the month of August, but I’d like to hope that my made-up title is just as attention grabbing to get you to Zeitgeist Gallery but with a sense of a 60’s Batman sitcom dialogue fun as to the obvious inevitability of the exhibition’s real title of “Power War Death.”  Nashville-based photographer Shannon Clark, in the second of his “project space” exhibition that closes out the summer season, has made an idea based project that begins with the artist’s internet searches of images for the said topics of “power”, “war”, and “death.”  The resulting collection of images set beside puppies and backyard cookout scenes definitely allow you to experience something fresh and new and add to your own realities and nonsensical human issues of the times.  This Saturday, August 27th, is the last time you will have a chance to witness this collection at Zeitgeist Gallery.

Also this Saturday, August 27th, down the street at No Egrets Tattoo Studios in Clarksville, TN (1128 College Street), I want to let you in on another art show that is sure to be as fun, deep, and shocking as the one mentioned above with a BANG is the one night only show called “LET THEM ART!!” From 7-10pm, there will be an ample amount of music, food, silent art auctioning and body painting to go around for everyone who visits.  On top of all of that, there will be a HUGE exhibit of art by some of Nashville and Clarksville’s finest, self-proclaimed ‘low-brow under-ground highly talented artists’ which include: Jeff Bertrand, Brandt Hardin, Ash Sivils, Chad Spann, Trent Singer, Gin Edwards, Mike Coriatty and many more!  There will be jewelry on display made by April Havens Nicolaides and a photo booth by artist Anjeanette Illustrations.  Not only will you see amazing art by some amazing people, but when you purchase any work of art in the silent art auction, all money made from the sale will go towards a charity of the artist’s choosing.  Ergo, by attending and participating in this grand show, you will be amazing as well!  And there will also be music provided during the night by DJ Ugly Lovely and DJ Taco Garay (2 of Clarksville’s current great DJ’s).

But one event that brings this month of events to a full circle end before the end of the month weekend is going down a little closer to home at The Hermitage.  During the past month, The Hermitage has launched a special after-hours tour each Thursday evening in August at 6:30pm.  $30 each and about an hour long, you’ll need to buy tickets ahead of time for this Thursday treat because spots fill quickly due to the fact that only 15 guests are led on the twilight and candlelight tours.  Get your tickets for this Thursday, August 25thtour HERE.

And that is all I have before striking up the onslaught of art opportunities that will kick off the month of September all around town next week.  Whether you hit the road or stay at home, be well to yourself and to others.  Thanks for stopping by, spending a moment here, and helping to spread the word about Nashville’s heART.

much love,


How to play catch up after the Tomato runs dry

It was if all prayers were answered all at once (opinion-based per usual of course).  This past weekend was filled with friends, tour buses, birthday pool parties with more slip’n slides than pools, professional football back on the scene, and enough art around my neighborhood to put me into a smiling art coma of sorts.  AND all of that wasn’t even the coolest part of the weekend.  The ultimate prayer that was answered was the change in the air. 

The always successful Tomato Fest is on my records of having to always be one of the top 2 hottest days of the year for the Nashville area (the Hot Chicken Fest being the other in the mix for some unwritten tourism rule), but this year it was like baby bear soup … just right.  The lack of sweating through every costume and/or t-shirt (the ones with or without words on them-more on that story soon enough) you were wearing allowed you to actually meander around Five Points with ease and the ability to breathe and take in all of the sights and sounds.  Similar to an unforgettable scene from Happy Gilmore, there are only 363 more days left until the NEXT Tomato Art Fest (I know Meg is counting and enjoying her break already)!

But don’t worry about any end of art deals.  Two days post-Tomato, you only have 2 more days of waiting until the next airing of Nashville’s Heart on NECAT’s Music Arts Channel 9 this Wednesday night at 5:30pm.  Some of y’all might have seen it this past week since it shows every Wednesday night at 5:30pm and Sundays at 6:30pm, but be sure to tune in this Wednesday night at 5:30pm to hear more about Meg at Art & Invention, Nashville’s Smallest Art Gallery’s Daniel Box, and Beth Gilmore of Twist Art Gallery.  The latest episode is one that takes the casual art lover into the behind the art scenes of how Nashville is becoming a national spark of art while maintaining the down-to-Earth qualities evident in the people that are helping deal it to the locals.  Here is a tidbit of what you’ll see and hear from Twist’s Beth Gilmore.

Then, the day after the next viewing of Nashville’s Heart, Thursday, August 18th, is filled with two events that will rock your socks off (or flip flops if that’s how you roll). 

First, found in the heart of the Rotunda at City Hall in Murfreesboro, TN (111West Vine Street), is Nashville’s own artist Jeff Bertrand will be showcasing a brand new series of paintings featured on vintage books of all sizes from the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s portraying famous classic authors and poets.  The exhibit, entitled “Turn the Page,” will be the first solo show for Bertrand in Murfreesboro and is open to the public at no charge during City Hall’s regular business hours, Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm, except observed holidays.  The opening reception for “Turn the Page” is this Thursday, August 18th, from 4:30-6:30pm and the exhibition will run through September 9th of this year (closing two days before the end of Warhol Live! at the Frist Center actually if you are keeping tabs in your black book).

Second on the list for Thursday, August 18th, this week is the next RAW show in Nashville.  This time around, RAW is presenting a show called FUSION.  Exemplary of traditional RAW shows that are always a good time and anything but traditional or boring, this Thursday’s FUSION that starts at 8pm at The Mercy Lounge will bring some of the brightest and best local artists, musicians, models, fashionistas, film gurus, and photographers together in one spot for one night only.  The event is cocktail attire, for ages 21 and up, and ten dollars at the door or online before you get there.  Make it a point to get there.

Then, if you can still stand or walk by the weekend, I suggest that you hit up a few exhibitions downtown that you might have missed the past few weeks do the major event in East Nashville you heard me type about a few times recently regarding vegetables and good times.  Located very close to each other, and actually very close to Twist Art Gallery that was highlighted in the video link above, are the latest shows in Estel Gallery and Blend Studio.

In Estel Gallery you will discover the most recent work from local artist Daniel Lai and Rebecca Murtaugh in “Connecting the Dots.”  They had a successful opening reception during the last Downtown Art Crawl and are very worthy of you crawling their way again before their run ends.  And speaking of Arts at The Arcade, the other show you should get to know in your spare time this weekend is Blend Studio’s “Please Call Stella” by Kell Black and Barry Jones“Please Call Stella” (a show running through August 27th) is a multi-media work that transfixes your attention and senses along a wild journey of existing and original audio-visual information.  Using the techniques of digital sound and video editing, the combined work explores the history of cinema, the culture of the Internet, the richness of language, the pervasiveness of music and all the ways media intersect and interact to create new languages.  Needless to say, it is pretty fascinating stuff!

So with all that above, I think you have enough information and love to spread it all around town.  It takes a village to support the arts and pretty much anything positive in general.  Help me help others and do your part with Nashville’s heART.  And remember to TiVo channel 9 if you can’t view our show in its original time.

Be safe and be well.

much love,


Ripe and ready for more Nashville’s heART

By now it’s no secret that everyone in Nashville and miles beyond who are thinking about leaving the air-conditioner inside their homes this coming Saturday are no doubt heading to East Nashville for the celebration of the 8th annual Tomato Art Fest.  With the heart of the fun going down where it all began at Art & Invention Gallery (1106 Woodland Street), this is the only event that I can imagine will ever be hotter than the weather as of late.  Whether it’s live local music flooding the streets and making you move your feet, themed costumes that put the Fruit of the Loom characters to shame, art inspired by the mater from the floor to the ceiling and into the alley, contests with Bloody Mary mixes where everyone leaves smiling like a winner, parades to kick things off and later back to your car, nice people in general all around, or all of the above that you are currently seeking for entertainment in your life, the 2011 Tomato Art Fest will deliver everything you could hope for and more.

Like a movie preview you don’t want to miss before seeing the latest summer blockbuster, what better time is it than TOMORROW to broadcast the next official episode of our Nashville’s heART television show on NECAT’s Music City Arts Channel 9?  So get your popcorn ready and get your friends together to watch the next big treat that starts this Wednesday, August 10th, at 5:30pm on NECAT’s Music City Arts Channel 9 (Remember, after the first viewing this Wednesday night, you can either TiVo the show or watch it over and over on that same channel showing every Wednesday night at 5:30pm and every Sunday night at 6:30pm with new episodes being made every 3-4 months.  This next show has an emphasis on Nashville’s art galleries while talking to the various artists that run Art & Invention Gallery, Twist Art Gallery, and Nashville’s Smallest Art Gallery (including the Tomato Fest segment with Meg).  You can view a sneak peek at the latest show HERE.

To follow up our next show and preview the BIG Tomato, this Friday, August 12th, there is a small show going on across the street from the house that Meg and Bret built paying tribute to the artists and theme of the weekend.  From 5-9pm, the newest gallery in East Nashville, Bryant Gallery will be hosting Tomato Art at Bryant Gallery.  Located at 1113 Woodland Street, the tomato-themed group show is a perfect complement to the bounty of great tomato art at Art & Invention.

Then, when you rise like the sun Saturday morning, I highly recommend that you either participate with or congratulate the kids of all ages running in the annual East Nashville Tomato 5k Run.  With the Kids fun run at 7am and the rest of the fun running at 7:30am, there are tons of smiles all around the course through the heart of Historic East Nashville where 100% of the proceeds from the race benefit the Margaret Maddox Family YMCA’s Annual Giving Campaign.

After you catch your breath and rub your eyes, you’ll surely notice the big parade down Woodland to start the day’s event at 9am.  From there, the music and art shall commence pretty much everywhere you turn.  Music wise, there is a constant flux of local live talent playing on two nearby stages;  the Main Stage (the lot next to Bongo Java on 11th) and The Green Wagon Stage (1100 Forrest Avenue).  And due to the fact that I sadly cannot announce the epic return of my absolute favorite act of the 2010 Tomato Art Fest in the disbanded “The Mary Nails”, I will suggest two acts that are outside of the box and embody the eclectic music acts of East Nashville; Bodhicitta Bellydance hits the Main Stage at high noon to help everyone get on their feet after eating their lunchtime treats, and DJ Nekos adds his own creative touch to the final tunes of the night at The Green Wagon Stage at 9pm.

But before 9pm strikes, there are ample amounts of contests to watch and partake in as I briefly mentioned before.  Feel free to pick from any and all of the below:

Tomato Fairy/Elf Costume Contest (Fairy Tales Bookstore is hosting this behind Fanny’s House of Music on Saturday at 8:30am before the Tomato Art Fest parade) – there will be tons of people in glitter, wings, hats, and elf ears!  Quite a sight would be an understatement.

Bobbing For Tomatoes/Tomato Toss (Wags & Whiskers is hosting this between Red Door & 5 Spot, under the Hip Zipper, on Saturday from 10am-1:30pm) – there will be real tomatoes involved in the bobbing and fake ones for the tossing which might lead you to prizes and treats for people and animals alike.

Tomato Bicycle Art Contest  (Eastside Cycles is hosting this at their shop on Saturday from 10am-6pm) – stop by to marvel at the mixing of bicycles and tomato inspired artwork.  Side note, there will be helmet at, bike art, and even a category for kid’s bike art.

-Some of the others noteworthy, without writing a novel here, are the following: Faux Paw Fashion Show (10:30am-11:30pm), Giant Ice Cream Sundae Extravaganza (Pied Piper at high noon), Red Head Competition (2-3pm), Biggest/Littlest/Ugliest Tomato Contest (winners announced from 1-1:30pm), Beautiful Tomato Contest (1-2pm), Recipe Contest (2pm), Bloody Mary Competition (3pm), and the Wet Burrito Contest (5pm).

I’m leaving some of the location details out from some of the above because I figure if you really want to go to these things that you’ll gladly show up and look for yourself.  Half the beauty of this Fest is wandering around, meeting new friends, and seeing things you never thought you’d see with a tomato.  As far as the origin and main emphasis of this entire Tomato Art Fest in my humble opinion is the Tomato Art that you can see spread throughout Art & Invention Gallery.  For me, it is where the tomato begins and this story about the tomato ends.  There is art on every medium possible for the tomato to shine and Meg is ready to let you buy any and all of it to take a piece of the tomato pie home with you.

That is all.So with that read, get your costumes and plans for the contests ready for this coming Saturday and the Super Bowl of the unofficial fruit of East Nashville … the tomato.

much love,


Ahhh, there’s a gust of art in the air

Yes, I went there yet again. Some of you might be chuckling just a bit with my clever word play that I throw at your eyes every now and then. The rest of you who aren’t laughing are probably just mad at your dad or something. Regardless of laughter or no laughter, you should be super stoked of the fact that August has arrived and the next few weeks of events are about to happen.  At least I know I am.

To begin this month, let me remind you about a certain short movie made by local geniuses that I wrote briefly about last week. The movie is called “Mr. Wonderful” and click HEREto see it in its 7 plus minute entirety. If you want to see more about the movie and/or the people that helped Brandon Gnetz make it, you can see still shots and other tidbits at  Side note, if you are feeling like today is a good day to watch another classy short film from the same festival, by all means click HERE to see an instant classic called “Shrink Wrapped” made by Oscar Zezatti and friends and click HERE to see “Poppyseed Ave.” made by Allie Sultan and 15 young animation students who had never made a single film before.

To begin this week, let me tell you about a stellar performance that you shouldn’t miss if in the neighborhood …The Bluebird Café neighborhood that is. Tuesday, August 2, from 9pm-midnight, the local legend Fred Wilhelm will be sharing the stage with his friends Walker Hayes, Dave Turnbull, Tim James, and guests. Be Fred’s guest and show up to hear some of the best music thatMusicCity has to offer. And for that you can thank me later.

Speaking of later in the week, I’d like to help spread the news about the children who are our future. Specifically, I’d like to mention that this Thursday, August 4th, from 5-8pm, Hillsboro Village will the hottest spot in town for all the art you can handle (darn near too hot to handle to type you the truth actually). In accordance to the Hillsboro Village Art Walk and its Hawaiian Luau, students from Watkins College of Art, Design & Film that recently participated in a 3-week intensive summer program for highly-motivated high school students will be showing their art at Clothing Xchange. Ugly Lovely will DJ the event and there will be a limbo contest starting at 5:30pm where the winner walks away with a $50 gift certificate. Not only will there be music and mula, “Craftville” will be at Clothing Xchange and A Village of Flowers making Hawaiian leis for the guests (Leis at Clothing Xchange will be made from recycled fabric and the ones at A Village of Flowers will be made from real flowers). On top of said fun above, Eakin Elementary will have a table in front of the action to collect school supplies and donations for students who are enrolled in the Free and Reduced Lunch Program. Also on the Hillsboro Art Walkradar, you can check out some of the following treats:Terilynn Bartlett’s “Hella TL” vintage swimsuits and Mia McMahan’s “The Rabbit in the Moon” jewelry at Fire Finch, Casey Pierce and David Hellams’ eclectic and surreal artwork at FIDO, and the creative soul of Jodi Reeves’ latest art found at Pangaea that is always sure to uplift your spirits.

And then came Friday night. With the start of the first weekend of the month downtown, every gallery will be hopping, every spectator will be spectating, and every art vulture will be drinking their fair share of free wine and eating any snack that’s on the table (another full-length piece in itself for later). But on a bright note about Friday, August 5th, it is the next Collectors Art Night. From 5:30-8pm, The Arts Company and The Rymer Gallery will be presenting intimate and insightful art talks by photographer John Nikolai(at The Arts Company at 6pm) who will speaking about his personal collection of rare Andy Warhol artwork (have I mentioned that you need to go to the Frist Center to see their Warhol exhibition yet?) and the artist Charles Clary (atThe Rymer Gallery at 6:45pm). If you wish to attend, pleaseRSVP to Over atTinney Contemporary, the wine and hors d’oeuvres begin at7 pm and the Artist Talks begin at 7:15 pm (as usual, you’ll need to RSVP to The featured artists are painter Claire b Cotts and celebrity photographer Raeanne Rubenstein.

Saturday night, August 6th, will have all of the galleries and stores within The Arcade popping like no other. I will tell you right now that the party of all pARTies will be at Twist Art Gallery. They will not only have Todd Greene’s exhibition opening, but they are also celebrating their 5th birthday that night with cake. This is a well deserved celebratory mark for a very sweet place to show and view some of the most creative art around.

And just down the balcony from Twist, just before you reach Blend Studio (which will also be open at that time but I’ll give more of a shout in a couple of write-ups soon enough), you will be able to witness the newest art showing at the COOP gallery. Consisting of sculpture and installation, Alabama artist Erin Cunningham’s show titled “Elemental Topographies” is a stellar show that questions social perceptions of all sorts. I suggest you drop or pass by even for a moment to take a refreshing view at your own world.

Then, on Sunday, August 7th, you thought you were going to rest … but you can’t. You can’t rest quite yet because this Sunday marks the grand opening of Dustin Dirt Waltke’sexhibition titled “Mashed Potatoes and Manic Depression! An artshow by Dustin Dirt!” To be found and discovered by one and all at Octane! Art Gallery (1000 Main Street, East Nashville), Dustin has put aside his clean lines and nice monster images for the moment and run straight forward into inspirational, raw and messy compositions that capture the immediacy of pure emotion. Sound heavy? That’s because it is some of the heaviest, in the best of ways, craziest, in the best of ways, mysterious, in the most mysterious of ways, and more mind-bending than an Olympic gymnast who has 3 doctorates in Psychology art show that you will find opening anywhere around town on Sunday, August 7th, from 8-11pm at Octane! Art Gallery.

And with that I bid you good rest for next week’s atomic bomb of an art festival write-up to describe one of the best days of the year going down outside of Art & Invention Gallery in East Nashville. YEAH! I said it! The 2011 Tomato Art Fest is next week and just writing that much out here makes me want to take a nap to rest up and cool off so I can experience all that fruity fruit has to offer this year.

Anyways, be well to yourself and to others. Enjoy the day and make your own way.

much love,