As Liza and I plan our StyleBlueprint calendar, we’ve become a bit more organized in progressing our conversation on literature and art. We’ve even added a fun new monthly post on local music — get excited as it will post next week. My hand always goes up when it comes to writing about local art: what’s happening at the local shows and galleries, who is new on the art scene and just the general buzz in the art community. Nashville’s abundance of emerging artists, as well as established artists, is one of the aspects which makes this city flourish. For a city the size of Nashville, the number and caliber of art galleries is pretty amazing. And, when other print magazines are suffering, Nashville Arts Magazine has taken off.
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On with the post…..
I’ve often wondered if the proliferation of great art, books and music is a Southern thing since this region is so rich and deeply rooted in beauty and passion. Let’s face it: if you look at the breath of literature, art and music from Southern artists, it’s impressive to say the least. Growing up in Midtown Memphis, I was surrounded (literally) by a cadre of incredible artists like Carroll Cloar, Mary Sims, Dolph Smith and many more. The artists I just named have all received national recognition and acclaim for their work.
So this is going to be a fun online tour of what’s going on in three art galleries in Nashville. I am embarrassed to say that one of the galleries, Twist Gallery, I have never set foot in. But the buzz about this gallery is so strong, so it is my loss to be sure. It is a resolution to get there. I have selected my one favorite artist from each gallery, but I could have added several others with ease. Nashville, consider yourself fortunate to have great choices when it comes to art.
If you’ve never been to on a Gallery tour, or to an art opening, it is a wonderful evening. You would be absolutely surprised what is going on in the world of art in neighborhoods all over the city. From 5th Avenue Downtown, 5 Points in East Nashville to Green Hills, our city alive with cultural events of all varieties.
Twist is in the Arcade, one of Nashville’s most historically significant buildings. Twist has captured the interest of Nashville after it was opened in 2008 by Caroline Carlisle, an art consultant and Beth Gilmore, an artist and Curator. The Twist Gallery touts innovative events encompassing music, dance and art. Twist has established itself as an art experience not simply an art gallery. The owners hope to create a new model for galleries, instead of the ‘one night’ art show. This new model includes having artists on display for longer periods of time, allowing for more sales. Twist offers an eclectic mix of local, regional and national artists. If you are a first time art buyer, this is a great gallery to check out as they offer boutique-style affordable art in the back room. Twist Gallery
My artist pick from Twist? It comes from my friend Leigh Hendry, of the Tennessee State Museum. She gave me this tip as the museum has just purchased a piece from Lauren Kussro, whose work is on display with Twist’s permanent collection. Lauren Kussro is from Jackson, Mississippi and received her MFA from University of Tennessee. She makes her own paper from recycled goods and creates fabulous designs mimicking the cellular and organic structures you see in nature. Her ability to capture the repetitiveness and patterns is ingenious. She has introduced light into her work giving another dimension all together.
Gallery One is located at the split between Highway 100 and 70 in the Belle Meade Galleria Shopping Center. You’ll never meet a more gracious (now that’s a Southern adjective) and delightful gallery owner than Shelley McBurney. She has a marvelous eye and truly wants visitors to enjoy her gallery. Her artists in residence are like her children; she knows their works intimately. Her mailings on artist openings make me drool. One of my favorite artists at Gallery One is Susan Hall. Although I do not own one of her painting, my friend Brooks does, so I can go visit it anytime I want. When I was in Gallery One the last time, I spied the work of Brian Tull. His heightened strong sense of graphics, realism and nostalgic feel sent chills down my back. Ooops, I picked two artists. Gallery One
My list is not complete without Carol Stein’s Cumberland Gallery. She has been introducing caliber artists to Nashville since 1980. She is a no-nonsense business woman located smack dab in the heart of Green Hills. I trust Carol’s eye for new, emerging artists more than anyone else in the city. Currently, Carol is featuring 3 artists in a show duly named the Young Turks. The Young Turks are Dane Carder, Jeff Green and Max Shuster. It’s a toss up as to who gets the “my favorite Turk” award because they are all incredible in the mediums in which they work. However, since I promised you my one favorite artist, I am particularity drawn to Dane Carder’s paintings. His work is beguiling with its eerie flashbacks of the Civil War and a South we never knew. Do yourself a favor and visit the other Turks as they are an impressive trio. Cumberland Gallery
Dang it, I just can’t just pick ONE…again! I HAVE to mention another artist at Cumberland Gallery: Marilyn Murphy, the goddess of capturing the mundane and adding surprising twists. Once I asked my neighbor, a well-respected art collector, “If you were to purchase from a local artist – as investment – whose work would you buy?” Without much thought, he said, “Marilyn Murphy.” She is a professor at Vanderbilt with over 270 exhibitions under her belt. She is well respected in EVERY art circle and is truly a nationally acclaimed artist. Here are some examples of her work. I’ll leave the interpretation up to you….and Marilyn.
In closing, visit one of our fine galleries and superior cadre of artists soon. It may be cold outside but the beauty and imagination of art within will warm you right up.