Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Julia Smith at Twist etc. December 2011 and January 2012

Julia Smith grew up in Houston, Texas and attended the University of Saint Thomas where she studied
history. Her drawings are an effort to respond to the generalizing, obscuring, and grouping impulses of
history by perpetuating the relevance of individuals through the act of reproduction and transformation
into artistic expression.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Angela Burks and Mandy Rogers Horton at Twist Art Gallery December 2011 and January 2012

Twist Art Gallery and Twist etc. December 2011 and January 2012

 I Need, I Want
Angela Burks and Mandy Rogers Horton

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Andrew Harding at Twist Art Gallery November 2011

Symmetry for the Devil

November 16, 2011
Sculptor Andrew Harding’s new show at Twist Gallery is a singular delight. One of our favorite local artists before a recent relocation to Chicago, Harding is back in town and his Symmetry Breaking Being is a big reminder of the artist’s exceptional craftsmanship as well as his capacity for creating a compelling dialog between concepts, materials and – in this instance – the gallery space itself.
Symmetry Breaking Being
Symmetry is first and foremost a show that turns the sculpture-making process inside out, putting drawing – which most sculptors engage as a preparatory practice – at the center of the exhibit. This adds Harding’s voice to a recent local trend of similarly-themed displays of 3D forms, 2D sketches and – in the case of Symmetry– combinations of both.
Harding’s show is more or less divided between large wall installations and a series of eight, small collages. However, it’s not quite so cut-and-dry. Just as all of the pieces are a mixture of materials, objects and drawing, the various works themselves also reflect and borrow from one another, bringing an uncommon cohesiveness to Harding’s overall exploration of the dynamism of the natural world and the resulting fragility of fleeting organic shapes and forms. In the artist’s own words: “Change and transformation are the essence of nature. I am interested in the confluence of such forms…continuously breaking into and out of being.”
Energy Knot
“Energy Knot” is the show’s most memorable image. A thick, twisted red line painted directly on the gallery wall curves back on itself. The form reminds me of both some kind of unfamiliar industrial design or, simultaneously, of a magnification of an unidentified microscopic flagellate. The form is adorned with a number of crystalline shapes drawn on and cut out of vellum. These too are adhered directly to the gallery wall. All of the large wall installations contain such elements and in every case they stand in for the rigidly ordered, underlying elemental combinations that give rise to dynamic living forms. Harding reiterates this theme by peppering a number of the large works with the small wood and metal sculptures he’s best known for. Harding’s own forms are certainly dynamic and the artist shows no respect for the normally formal confines of the gallery; his pieces sprawl across the walls and literally – in the case of the exhibit’s title installation – crawl up onto the ceiling.
Harding’s small collages also combine both organic and geometric shapes to explore the dynamic cycle of order and entropy that sees both the emergence of form and its dissolution in the multitudinous processes that make-up the natural world. Thin strips of metal and wood are cut into organic shapes and combined with colorful drawings to create compelling compositions that are simultaneously stately, graceful and ebullient. The pieces are eminently look-at-able as they call to mind organ systems, biological forms and even abstract human figures in their wriggling, tangled shapes.
Symmetry Breaking Being turns the sculptural process inside out, revealing the underlying practice that results in a finished form. But this ambitious exhibit also turns the shape-making processes of the natural world on its collective head, looking beyond structure to the principles of physical order that are the generators of organic form. It sounds complicated – and it is – but Harding makes it look easy. In fact, it seems to come naturally.
Symmetry Breaking Being is on view at Twist Gallery in downtown Nashville through Nov. 26.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

goose and gander baby clothes and accessories come to Twist

goose and gander baby clothes and accessories coming your way this gift giving season at Twist Art Gallery :)
our cozy onesies are 12 dollars each and a perfect gift for the new baby in your life. more items coming soon.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Twist Art Gallery artists in the Nashville scene's best of this year

Twist Art Gallery artists in the Nashville scene's best of this year

Curated by painter, printmaker and Watkins College Assistant Professor Brady Haston, Anxious Daysexplored themes that addressed 21st century anxieties about terrorism, pending pandemics and our tempestuous natural environment. One of the first exhibits of 2011, Anxious Days got Twist's programming off to a great start, and the show's consistently affecting works left us feeling more exhilarated than edgy. JOE NOLAN

Ryan Hogan had a busy year, presenting successive shows at Twist, Blackbird Tattoo and Gallery, and Seed Space. We're drawn to artists with multidisciplinary backgrounds, and it's no surprise that Hogan's education in philosophy plays a role in his ambitious sculpture installations. He presents his pieces as pure objects without discernible context or easily recognized representational equivalents. We're anxious to see what he does next. You should be too. JOE NOLAN

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Twist Art Gallery November 2011

Twist Art Gallery November 2011 space 73  Andy Harding

 Title: Symmetry Breaking Being "

Attempts to fix nature into one particular arrangement or mechanism rarely last. Change and transformation are the essence of nature. The structures and symmetries generated by the changes are secondary and fleeting. I am interested in the confluence of such forms...continuously breaking into and out of being."

 BIO: Andy Harding spent much of his childhood wandering the woods of the 100 acre farm where he grew up in west Tennessee. It wasn't until his senior year in college that he took a serious interest in art while enrolled in an elective 3D design course. Since that time, he has been thoroughly engaged in object making...from lamps and furniture to handmade artist books, collage, and wood and metal sculpture. His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at the Nashville Public Library, Zeitgeist Gallery, San Diego Art Institute, Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA, and as part of "Gnathonemus Petersii" at Gallery 400 of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Harding completed a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Belmont University in 1997 and recently relocated to Nashville after living in Chicago for the past six years. ......................................................

 Twist etc. November 2011 Kelly Kerrigan


 artist statement coming soon...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Oxford American : the southern magazine of good writing

Southern Girl A show of beauty arranged by Carol Ann Fitzgerald, the managing editor of The Oxford American. I Want to Die A-Shouting Published September 7, 2011 Johnathon Kelso didn't like shape-note singing at first (in fact, he says he hated it, because it sounded weird). Shape-note singing (also known as Sacred Harp singing) is sung loud and hearty and it's a participatory sort of experience: If you want to hear it, you sit with the singers and join in. (The sound is not supposed to be pretty, so even tone-deaf singers are welcome.) For Kelso, who's now hooked, it's as much about the friendships as the music. Usually held in Baptist churches (though it's nondenominational), a typical singing can last most of the day—it's a spiritual and social event. The music dates back to ye olde Colonial days—which may explain its calisthenic vigor—and sounds more like anthem than hymn. Fans include Bob Dylan and Robbie Robertson, among many other aficionados. I Want to Die A-Shouting, Kelso's warmly personal series of photographs documenting the culture, is on view at Twist Art Gallery in Nashville. His views are serene, even cleansing.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Nashville falls into the autumn gallery season with September's First Saturday festivities Crawl Space

Nashville Scene Nashville falls into the autumn gallery season with September's First Saturday festivities Crawl Space by JOE NOLAN September 01, 2011 ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT » ART While the heat has yet to beat a final retreat and we have several weeks left before the official beginning of fall, the kids are back in school, there's football on TV and Nashville's autumn exhibition season kicks off at Saturday night's Art Crawl. It's our favorite time of the year for gallery gawking, and this month's highlights include Warhol Superstars, gift-wrapped canvases and a visitation from The King of Rock 'n' Roll. At Twist Gallery this month, Johnathon Kelso displays his quirky photos of the quotidian South. While his work can feel uncomfortably poised between posed and candid, Kelso's best snaps show an eye for composition and everyday abstractions. His I Want to Die a-Shouting series documents contemporary Sacred Harp singing groups, and Twist will host related music events later in the month. At Twist Etc., J. Todd Greene's First Class Animal prowls its cage for another month. A show of 12 small sculptures, Animal was greeted with both delight and disgust in August. Stop in and see for yourself. For the September crawl, COOP Gallery opens Improve Upon Perfection, an exhibition of mixed-media sculpture from Seattle-based artist Dawn Cerny. Cerny's show takes its title from a haiku by poet Grant Cross: "Improve butterflies / Improve upon perfection / If you're so godlike." The messy and the mysterious come together in Cerny's black-comedic work, which is by turns trashy, flashy, energized and elegiac. On Fifth Avenue, Claire Cotts' Lost in the Night Garden continues at Tinney Contemporary, held over from the August crawl. The artist's biomorphic paintings evoke the submarine undulations of plants and creatures in the sway of an abiding tide, while her figurative canvases relate personal narratives that ask questions about faith, relationships, memory and hope. And in Tinney's Rear Gallery, don't miss Andy, The Factory and Me. Tinney's back space is one of the Art Crawl's best-kept secrets, and this show of Raeanne Rubenstein's photographs is the perfect complement to the Frist Center's Warholpalooza. Crawlers who saw the ZieherSmith pop-up gallery show in August will recognize the work of Vadis Turner at Rymer Gallery this month. Turner's ribbon paintings aren't the flat, woven affairs we'd expected. Thick layers of the colorful stuff undulate across her surfaces while gorgeous loops spill over the edges, only to curl back in voluptuous arcs of luxurious physicality. Turner's Ribbon Paintings and Flower Figures hangs alongside painter Gabriel Mark's Thoroughbred, which examines social ideals by exploring the relationship between horse and rider. At The Arts Company this month, Inside Out: New Paintings by Charles Keiger presents narrative canvases that read more like myths than linear stories. A confident dalmatian holds the reigns in "Dog and Pony Dream," and "Tidal Audit" recalls the movie poster for Being There. It's tempting to describe these works as surreal, but it's more to the point to equate them with magical realism, the literary genre in which the supernatural is super natural. After this exercise in make-believe, stroll up the block for a cool show of kids' art at Downtown Presbyterian Church. Up on Broadway, The Tennessee Art League opens four new September shows. Cindy Billingsley is a popular Franklin-based painter and sculptor. Her show in the Premiere Gallery explores Alzheimer's and aging as well as the plight of endangered species. The Poston3 Gallery will display work by homeless artists who've been participating in the art program at Room in The Inn. Shows by the Studio A Group and Tennessee Art League members round out TAL's September offerings. Knoxville's own Gary Monroe is best known for his large charcoal drawings of frenzied snake handlers in the midst of their fang-fueled ecstasies. For his show at Estel Gallery this month, he forgoes the fervor of such festivities for illumination of a different kind. Monroe's new series serves up worship-worthy images of Elvis Presley. Despite choosing such a hackneyed subject, Monroe avoids cliches through his sure-handed craftsmanship, his straight-faced appropriation of religious iconography stylistics, his art-historical allusions to various Baroque masters — and what appear to be a few hints of William Blake. Speaking of Blake, it was the great poet, painter and printmaker who wrote in "To Autumn" that this was the time of year to celebrate the harvest and to "Sing now the lusty song of fruits and flowers." As Nashville's best art season begins blazing into full color, we can't think of a better spirit in which to celebrate. Email arts@nashvillescene.com.

Monday, August 29, 2011

test waters of buying original art at First Saturday Art Crawl

from the Tennessean
Written by

Stacy Downs | McClatchy Newspapers

11:45 AM, Aug. 26, 2011|

Original art, in addition to family
photographs and heirlooms, makes a home
personal and individual.

But making the leap into collecting art can
be intimidating, even to the bright and the
bold. Perhaps that fear factor forms early,
after you’ve visited art museums and
spotted security guards standing on alert.
Or maybe it comes from the notion that you
have to be an art insider to even step
inside a gallery. And, of course, there’s the
price tag issue.

“You don’t have to have a lot of money to
buy art,” says Cortney Novogratz, who
along with her decorator husband, Robert,
has an HGTV show, Home by Novogratz.
Original art is a major part of their design
projects, and they typically spotlight an
artist in each episode.

“Original art reflects who you are as a
person, as a family, much more than
buying something from a chain store,” she
Before you buy

For those who haven’t purchased art
before, Novogratz advises going to art fairs
to get an overview of what’s out there.

“You discover what your tastes are,” she
says. “You quickly learn there’s more out
there than paintings, which is what people
think of as art. There’s photography,
ceramics, charcoal and pencil drawings,
glass and furniture. Some designer chairs
we purchased have really held their value.”

The next step is visiting galleries,
intimidating at first for the uninitiated art

“They have the power, not the gallery
owner,” says John O’Brien, owner of
Dolphin, a gallery and custom framer in the
West Bottoms area of Kansas City, Mo. “I
always tell people to take their time. Get a
feel for what you like and don’t like.”

Galleries are Novogratz’s preferred method for buying art.

“Yes, online is the world we live in, but I
like to see where my money’s going and to
meet the artist,” she says. “It makes art a
richer experience.”

Ask an artist

Novogratz asks artists questions beyond
what inspired their work. She’ll ask how
many prints were made of a photograph.
She also discusses decorative elements
with the artist, such as framing: Lucite box
or chipped wooden molding?

Artist Lonnie Powell of Lee’s Summit, Mo.,
enjoys meeting patrons and discussing his
work, much of which is portraiture of
African-American men and women in oil,
acrylic, charcoal, pencil, pastel and
watercolors. Like most artists, he prefers
people purchase what he has created from
his own mind’s eye and hands.

Getting started
The Downtown Nashville First Saturday Art Crawl is a great way to jump into the local art scene. The next one is Sept. 3. Downtown art galleries host receptions and art openings and serve free wine and snacks from 6 to 9 p.m. the first Saturday of every month, along Fifth Avenue North and around downtown. There is a free shuttle to take you from gallery to gallery. For more information, call 743-3090 or visit nashvilledowntown.com . For more on free local art events, check out Thursday’s Ms. Cheap column.
At art galleries? Know the hours. Some are closed Sundays and Mondays.
• Let gallery employees know your budget. They can show you pieces accordingly.
• Ask to see the gallery’s flat files/backroom/storeroom. There’s more than what’s on the walls, and less expensive pieces are often found there.
• Don’t be shy about financing. Most galleries have layaway and other options.
• Talk money. Negotiating is not for first-time buyers.
• Mix it up. “There are payoffs to waiting, watching, researching before purchasing, and there are payoffs to getting out there and being spontaneous,” Blue Gallery owner Kelly Kuhn says. “I love a collection that incorporates both. An entire collection that is well-researched can be a little dull and lifeless, and an entire collection that is spontaneous might seem unfocused. A collection that embodies both strategies has both depth and a degree of surprise and a little danger.”
Other places to buy art? Student art departments. “You can find inexpensive great pieces,” says designer Cortney Novogratz of HGTV’s Home by Novogratz .
• Flea markets and antique malls. “This is a great way to get your family involved in collecting,” says Novogratz, who has seven children. “At flea markets, one of my children collected portraits of women and clustered them on a wall. Folk art and oil paintings can be inexpensive at flea markets.”
• Photography studios. Besides doing portraits, some do art pieces.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Todd Greene

First Class Animal

Todd Green

August 6 - 27, 2011

In Twist Etc.

Artist's Statement:

12 Stages of Aggravation

It is easy to forfeit the peace of mind that gets beyond all understading as Zen master Bankei Yotaky suggests. Lust, fear, worry, anger, jealousy and the like cloud our minds and cloak our vision. We become convinced that we are confused and live in an illusion world or unclear thought. Remain in grace or become:

A First-Class Animal
A Hungry Ghost
A Horned Tiger
Mealy-Mouthed Swindler
A Transmigrator
A Blasphemer
A Lost Body
A Jealous Demon
An Accuser

Todd Greene

Unheard Silences

Todd Green

August 6 - 27, 2011

Twist Art Gallery

Artist's Statement:

We will often silence culture, ideas and people we find threatening or do not understand. Not only do we quell the voices of others, but we limit our understanding of an ever expanding reality.

If those voices don't fit, such as the one's originally inhabiting the North American continent, "...each with its own poetry and treasure of histories of myths, its own way of living in harmony with the spontaneities of the natural environment. All but a very few of those tongues have been silenced, their cultures forever lost, to those of us who stand ignorantly in their place" (Finite & Infinite Games, James P. Carse).

These myths are like magic tress in the garden of culture. They do not grow on, but out of the silent earth of nature. The more we strip these trees of their fruit or prune them back to our favored design, the more imposing and fecund they become.

twist Art Gallery presents John Kelso

Thursday, July 14, 2011

southern living august issue 2011

photo by robbie caponetto... this is one of the other shots from the southern living photo shoot

Monday, July 4, 2011

This month's Art Crawl lights the fuse on Fourth of July weekend

Nashville Scene

This month's Art Crawl lights the fuse on Fourth of July weekend
Crawl Space

First Saturday Art Crawl
6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 2, downtown

The art scene always slows in the summer, but the July Art Crawl offers a compelling lineup that has us hopeful about the coming months. Expect to see strong debuts, archaic techniques and a gallery full of fireworks to ignite your excitement for the Fourth.

Julie Lee is best known as a singer-songwriter and in-demand collaborator who's had a couple of songs recorded by Alison Krauss. But it's Lee's visual art that will be in the spotlight at both Twist Gallery and Twist Etc. this month. Her found-object assemblages are a fitting visual complement to her collage-like music, and the end result yields a similar blend of the personal and the traditional, the newly discovered and the nostalgic. This is the first installment of Twist's summer series, featuring big solo exhibits encompassing both spaces, 73 and 77 Arcade.

Coop Gallery has a reputation for shows that are full of surprises. Last month's installation by Justin Farris Braun was a completely different affair from what Coop's official propaganda had lead us to believe, and this month's artist seems like another wild card. Steven Frost's show is titled Every Man is a Winner, and it finds the artist recontextualizing heroic tropes within his own craft/design aesthetic. Some past Frost favorites made use of lucha libre (Mexican wrestling) imagery and costumes, but in Frost's hands these expressions of flamboyant machismo were reimagined through an examination of materials as well as the pop cultural language that surrounds contemporary notions of success.

Out on Fifth Avenue, The Arts Company opens Summer of Serendipity. A midyear catchall show, Serendipity showcases work from the gallery's archives, arranging art, decor, books and artifacts in tableaux of living and working spaces. The show offers something for any crawlers looking for some design inspiration.

At Tinney Contemporary, Silver: Points of Departure spotlights artwork created employing silverpoint, a centuries-old drawing medium — using a silver stylus to make marks on prepared surfaces. The technique was widespread before the ubiquitous adoption of graphite; the contemporary artists featured are reviving the practice and the ephemeral, shimmering images it creates. The exhibit brings together silverpoint practitioners from across the country, including Joe Biel, Anne Connell, Lori Field, Marietta Hoferer, Michael Kukla, Kate Kretz, Susan Schwalb, Fran Siegel and Carol Prusa, who guest-curated the show.

Down the block, Rymer Gallery opens Material Inversions. featuring works by James Worsham and gallery director Natalie Andrews. Worsham's mixed-media pieces explore the boundary where nature collides with extremes of civilized luxury. We've been peeking at Andrews' website since she joined Rymer and we're excited to see her work on display. Her sculptures feature repeating lines in harmonious forms and reveal a high level of craftsmanship. We suspect that Andrews' work may be the talk of the Crawl.

If you missed Estel Gallery's show at the June Crawl, you'll want to pop by this two-person exhibit. Using acrylics and charcoal, Dan Bynum has created black-and-white portraits of children that feature colorful symbolic images floating at the center of each piece, tallying a childhood inventory: lightning bugs in a jar, a playful squirrel, a school desk. Bynum's work exists somewhere between the universal and the banal, the resonant and the merely nostalgic. Jenny Keith's beeswax paintings burst with bold color and feature charming characters in fantastic narratives. Up on Broadway, the Tennessee Art League opens five new gallery exhibits, including a show of abstract mixed-media canvases by Judy Bobula.

Blend Studio hosts Combustion: A Group Show at 79 Arcade. Combustion is a collective of visual arts professionals that meets monthly for critical discussion and mutual, creative accountability. This show features drawing, sculpture, painting and mixed-media work by Mandy Brown, Charles Clary, Amanda Dillingham, Jason Driskill, Derek Gibson, Hannah Maxwell Rowell, Sarah Shearer and Blend's own Ben Vitualla.

While Heather Lose was known for hosting Honky Tonk Jukebox on the late, great WRVU, this Saturday she blasts off on the visual art tip with her pyromaniacal From Canvas to Canvas: Selected Images from the Tennessee Fireworks Project. Hosted at the Picture This space at 44 Arcade, the fireworks-centric photos are printed on canvas, and the titular allusion also nods to the familiar roadside canvas tents where fireworks are often sold.

Have a great Crawl and a fun Fourth of July — try not to blow up any crucial body parts!

Email arts@nashvillescene.com.

Julie Lee at Twist Art Gallery July 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011



Sunday, May 15, 2011

Twist Art Gallery shares Lauren Krusso's pretty flowers

Twist Art Gallery shares Lauren Krusso's pretty flowers
12:35 PM, May. 12, 2011

An installation view of Lauren Kussro's A Joyous Outpouring, on view at Twist Art Gallery through May 28. SUBMITTED

Written by
MiChelle Jones | For The Tennessean
Entertainment Arts & Culture
If You Go

What: A Joyous Outpouring, new sculptural and cut-paper works by Lauren Kussro
Where: Twist Art Gallery, Arcade #73
When: Through May 28
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday.
Admission: Free
Contact: 1-888-535-5286 or www.twistartgallery.com

Friday afternoon in the Arcade, less than 36 hours before the First Saturday Art Crawl, the upstairs gallery spaces were abuzz with activity. Walls were being painted, work was being hung, labels affixed. At Twist Art Gallery, Lauren Kussro was painting a wall in preparation for A Joyous Outpouring, on view through May 28, her third exhibition at the gallery.

Her previous shows were called The Luminous Bower and Handful of Tranquility, similarly expressive titles reflecting Kussro’s exploration of beauty and the aesthetics of her singular combination of printmaking and sculpture.

Kussro also likes to counter what she sees as a trend in contemporary art of downplaying the relevance of beauty. Quoting a Thomas Moore essay, she talks of the necessity of nurturing the human soul.

“My work has always been about beauty,” Kussro explains. “I think it’s necessary for beauty to exist. … I feel like it’s my responsibility as an artist to use my gifts to benefit others.”

Beauty in bloom

An overwhelming sense of beauty emanates from a floating garden of 10 handmade flower sculptures suspended in one corner of the gallery. In combinations of cream and deep red, purple and teal, orange and red, blue and white, each flower sits on its own bed of leaves.

These lotus-like flowers (they are of an indeterminate species, from Kussro’s imagination) follow a process similar to the one Kussro uses to create the four lit wall pieces placed around the gallery’s walls.

She starts with a cotton rag paper, a change from the handmade paper she used in her previous work. First, she prints both sides of the paper in a solid color (a different one per side), then prints swirls and loosely based organic shapes on top of the base color. Next, she coats the paper with wax before cutting it into shapes.

Rather than create each piece from bespoke parts, Kussro mixes and matches as she goes along, pulling petals and leaves from her cache of components.

The wall pieces are built around armatures made of oval wood frames covered in paper like pith helmets. Layers of petals and leaves are attached and a compact fluorescent bulb used to light the piece from the underside.

Negative beauty

Kussro also explores the negative side of beauty in A Joyous Outpouring in that she was inspired by the negative spaces and pieces left from where she cut shapes for her sculptural work.

“I was throwing away all these beautiful scraps, so I started saving them all,” she says. She began repurposing them in small, colorful resin-covered collages, or cut out even smaller leaf shapes in various green hues and applied them to gauzy fabric stretched over plywood frames.

Several of these hang in the windows of Twist, onto which Kussro screen-printed still more leaves. Three long paper panels cover the ceiling like banners, forming a lush canopy of green and brown vegetation, also screen-printed.

Three long panels hang in front of a sunny yellow wall in Twist’s inner gallery. Kussro hand-cut the intricate design of swirls and leaves spreading across the paper, working without sketches except to map out a rough suggestion of pattern when she moved from the initial center panel to the outer two.

Again, inspiration came from remnants of her other work.

When she last showed the piece in Indiana, where she lives, she put it in front a white wall to play up the shadows cast by the cutouts. Then, the white paper blended in with the white backdrop; for Twist’s presentation, she wanted to use the contrast of a different wall color.

“I really liked the negative shapes I was making … so I thought, why not just do a piece that was just cutting and that’s it?”

The elegantly simple result is far more complex than that.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

May's First Saturday exhibits offer shelter from the storms

May's First Saturday exhibits offer shelter from the storms
Crawl Space
Nashville Scene

Writing this to a chorus of tornado warning sirens, I'm struck by how the May Art Crawl contrasts the windy, wet weather we've seen during these turbulent birth pangs of summer. May's First Saturday events are concerned with calm and comfort, finding galleries filled with cozy craftings, soothing sounds, good causes and simple beauty.

At 79 Arcade, Blend Studio opens an installation by Tiffany Dyer. Fortress explores ideas of home and security with a gallery-spanning environment fashioned from abandoned afghans and other crocheted items. Dyer will have small soft-sculpture houses for sale with proceeds benefiting Safe Haven Family Shelter, but the star of the show will be the installation itself, which promises "an experience of childhood memories and adult fantasies."

Street Crossings is an exhibit of new multimedia works by Joshua Penrose that will be making a noise at COOP Gallery at 75 Arcade this month. Penrose has a background in piano, percussion, composition and electronic music, and his COOP installation can be thought of as a duet between the surging sounds of traffic at a changing streetlight and the playful, electronic tones and phrases that Penrose superimposes upon this too-familiar music of the city. By decorating everyday sounds, Penrose draws attention to the intricate textures and vibrant dynamics of the seemingly mundane.

Twist Gallery at 73 Arcade will be hosting a new exhibit by Lauren Kussro, whose show is simply about beauty and its capacity to move us to yearning and delight. A Joyous Outpouring finds the artist creating multimedia objects that incorporate printmaking, sewing, sculpture and paper crafts in her colorful, organic assemblages. Her strongest pieces are illuminated affairs that glow with an abiding presence. At 77 Arcade, Twist Etc. hosts New York-based Canadian artist Jason Paradis. Gallery-goers may recall Paradis' show at Seed Space in 2010: The artist's installations are preoccupied with time as well as space, and his work acknowledges that even our deepest existential understandings are wrapped in a vast mystery.

The Froelich Gallery at 83 Arcade will feature Berlin, a series of striking photographs by Hunter Armistead. Armistead spent a year living in the German capital, and this is the first time he's shown his work from that period.

On Fifth Avenue, Tinney Contemporary sticks with their April exhibit Stealing Stories: New Works by Patricia Bellan-Gillen. Stealing finds Bellan-Gillen bringing meticulous detailing to the zoological illustrations that populate her dreamscape panels. Rymer Gallery will also hold over What We Carry, a show of Luke Hillestad's figurative canvases featuring narratives of birth, kinship, ritual and healing.

Down the block at The Arts Company, The Intimate World of Leonard Piha is an expansive show that sprawls across much of the gallery's large upstairs space. It's easy to mistake Piha for an outsider artist when discovering his religious, personal work. He paints on wood and cardboard and also fashions sculptures from rough, ordinary materials. In fact, Piha took his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art, and we are waiting for Saturday to see if Piha's work plays the fool or plays for keeps. In addition, Slow Road to China — Drew Doggett's documentary photos of the Land of the Dragon — remains from last month.

Be sure to wander your way up Broadway to the Tennessee Art League for the 46th Annual Central South Art Exhibition. The CSAE is one of the oldest and most prestigious art competitions in the country, and it's the TAL's founding event. This year 419 works by artists from 26 states competed for 60 cash prizes. Saturday's opening will include an early awards presentation at 5 p.m., culminating with the Best in Show prize for Bill Bailey's lovely, light-filled watercolor painting "Humphrey's Mill."

Back at 44 Arcade, Mir Gallery founder/curator Miranda Herrick will be putting her own work on display in an eco-conscious show that resonates with the new frugality informing these money-lean times. Reduced, Reused, Recycled: Visual Art from the Recycling Bin features quilt-like tapestries, crocheted rugs, and crafted aluminum mandalas fashioned from grocery bags, candy wrappers, cereal boxes and beer cans. This will be the last show for Mir Gallery, and the May exhibit anticipates Herrick's rededication to her own creative projects. Since Mir debuted in 2008, highlights at the space have included a number of memorable print and pop-art inspired exhibits, and we hope it will be replaced by another art venue with an equally thoughtful curator. We already know of one new venue that will likely join the First Saturday fray in June, but that will have to wait until next month.

Crawl on, crawlers!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Artist statement: Lauren Kussro May 2011 space #73

Artist statement: Lauren Kussro May 2011 space #73

A Joyous Outpouring

The pursuit of beauty, and bringing it into the sphere of the viewer
is one of my most imperative roles as an artist. I believe that the
contemporary art world has lost a sense of the importance of beauty
and it’s enriching and nurturing influence on the human soul. Thomas
Moore in Care of the Soul, states it very well here: "If we are going to
care for the soul, and if we know that the soul is nurtured by beauty,
then we will have to understand beauty more deeply and give it a more
prominent place in life. “ Regrettably, beauty has become a somewhat
taboo subject in the art world in recent years. Discord, dark emotions,
desecration, and violence have become more prevalent in contemporary
art, all in the name of artistic expression. Beauty is often seen as trite,
sentimental, and saccharine.

In this show, I want to create an environment that places the viewer
in an arena where beauty is relevant and acceptable and is used as
a vehicle for evoking essential emotions such as joy, hope, delight,
excitement, happiness, and yearning. I continue to explore the use of
paper, printmaking, drawing, sewing, sculpting, light, texture, pattern…
utilizing all of these materials and techniques to create objects that are a
joyous outpouring, a leap towards truth.

“Wherever beauty lies in wait for us, the desire to pre-empt its appeal
can intervene, ensuring that its still small voice will not be heard behind
the scenes of desecration. For beauty makes a claim on us: it is a call to
renounce our narcissism and look with reverence on the world.” Roger
Scruton, The Flight From Beauty

May we allow beauty to claim us, and may we never stifle the still small voice.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

J. Todd Greene painting class

For those interested...
"Tapping into the Genius," Painting class taught by Todd Greene, 6 weeks, in 12 south area, next to Burger Up. $200 includes supplies. April 28-June 2 / 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lauren Kussro at Twist Art Gallery May 2011 in space 73

LAUREN KUSSRO My work references the inherent design and beauty found
within the natural world, even though the forms I create are rarely copies of an
actual physical object from nature. I find it more challenging and enjoyable to
design sculptural forms from my imagination, as if I am creating pieces that could
exist in a parallel universe. A successful juxtaposition of recognizable organic
forms such as flowers and leaves with more abstract forms is satisfying to create,
as well as being satisfying visually for the viewer. Through play and
experimentation, which are my favorite steps in the art-making process, I discover
which forms I like and wish to recreate in multiples.

When assembling a piece, I focus on craftsmanship and detail and am very
concerned with achieving a visual balance. I like the sensory richness that can
be achieved by combining various materials such as paper, wood, paint, ink,
thread, and wax. To give the work an added layer of texture and detail, I design
and draw ornate patterns and hand print them on paper using silkscreen, woodcut,
or linocut. Although building the sculptures takes a great deal of time, all the
processes of designing, drawing, printing, cutting, sewing, and building are
important, and the more work I put into the pieces, the more there is for the viewer
to explore.

As a printmaker – I enjoy using repetitive forms and designs to create continuity
and a layered visual history. As a sculptor – I enjoy designing and constructing
three-dimensional forms that can physically enter the space occupied by the
viewer. Both of these elements come together to form environments. The
idea that I can radically change a space by superimposing an environment of
my own creation is one that drives my work. I am fascinated by the fact that
merely altering the appearance of a space can change a person’s perceptions
or their mood, and I am interested in the ways that this can occur. I have been
experimenting with this in recent work by coming up with different ways of using
light. I am also interested in pursuing the use of sound or smell to change the
space, as well making work on a much larger scale.

Ultimately I seek to create echoes of nature in works of art that invite you to
slow down and enjoy the acts of observing and investigating. Anyone visiting the
artwork should encounter an environment where they can be met and beguiled by