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Spotlight.............................................................................................. 11 JesĂşs Villarreal Visions of Villarreal........................................21 Jim and Janet Ayers Private Collection, Public Vision...... 27 Kathleen O'Brien Looks at the Year Ahead....................... 32 The Phillips Collection To See as Artists See............... 38 Victor Schmidt Direct Metal................................................... 43 Art and Money Don't Mix Part Two........................ 48 NPT Arts Worth Watching.................................................................. 5O John Wood & Paul Harrison Conquer the World...... 55 Steve Forbert Every Picture Tells a Story............................ 6O The Look of Love From the Lens to the Heart.................... 64 Lylah Nash Stroke of Genius?......................................................... 7O The Digital Signature Art in the Age of the QR Code......... 74 Film-Com Provides Catalyst for Collaborative Art Forms.............. 78 Culinary Canvas When in Rome................................................ 82 Beyond Words.............................. 86 Theatre...........................................88 Appraise It.....................................9O At the Auction................................91 On the Town.................................. 92 My Favorite Painting................... 94 on the cover : Adolph Gottlieb, The Seer, 1950, Oil on canvas, 59 3/4" x 71 5/8", The Phillips Collection

Published by the St. Claire Media Group Charles N. Martin, Jr. Chairman Paul Polycarpou, President Daniel Hightower, Executive Director Editorial Paul Polycarpou, Editor and CEO Meagan Nordmann, Production Manager Madge Franklin, Copy Editor Elise Lasko, Editorial Intern Ted Clayton, Social Editor Linda Dyer, Antique and Fine Art Specialist Jim Reyland, Theatre Correspondent Deborah Walden, Staff Writer Contributing Writers Rebecca Bauer, Beano, Wm Bucky Baxter, Lizza Connor Bowen, Marshall Chapman, Sophie Colette, Melissa Cross, Greta Gaines, Joe Glaser, Beth Hall, Beth Inglish, MiChelle Jones, Demetria Kalodimos, Beth Knott, Linda York Leaming, Karen Parr-Moody, Robbie Brooks Moore, Currie Powers, Ashleigh Prince, Bernadette Rymes, Sally Schloss, Molly Secours, Eric Stengel, Lindsey Victoria Thompson, Lisa Venegas, Nancy Vienneau, Freya West Design Lindsay Murray, Design Director

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9/16/09 1:55 PM

Photographers Jerry Atnip, Nick Bumgardner, Lawrence Boothby, Matt Coale, Sophia Forbes, Donnie Hedden, Peyton Hoge, Rob Lindsay, Jennifer Moran, Anthony Scarlati, Bob Schatz, Meghan Aileen Schirmer, Pierre Vreyen

publisher's note




Art Creates a City


wo fabulous exhibits kick off the busy February art scene.

The Phillips Collection from Washington, D.C., opens February 3 at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts with works by Rothko, Homer, Hopper, and Gottlieb, among others. Please check out our story on this historic collection starting on page 38. The Frist also plays host to British artists John Wood and Paul Harrison, who bring their sometimes-zany but always thought-provoking creations all the way from England. Read about this dynamic duo on page 55. Both shows again confirm that Nashville is capturing the attention of the international art world. It goes without saying that these are shows not to be missed. Kudos to the Frist.

Over 22,000 sq. ft. Showroom

Jim and Janet Ayers of FirstBank wanted to adorn their new offices in the Baker Donelson Building on Third Avenue with Tennessee art. Long appreciated for their support and patronage of the arts, the Ayerses called upon Anne Brown to curate an extensive collection of Tennessee artists. Anne put the call out to galleries all over the state, and the result is a staggering collection of art numbering over 150 canvases, and that number will no doubt continue to grow. Thank you, Jim and Janet, from all of us for this thoughtful and meaningful gesture. You can read how the collection came together on page 27. We welcome Deborah Walden to our team here at Nashville Arts Magazine. Deborah has been with us from day one as a freelance writer but now joins us full time as our staff writer and just about everything else that we can throw at her. We are delighted to have her talents on board. Paul Polycarpou Editor in Chief

If it happened last night, you can read about it today! Editorial & advertising Offices 644 West Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204 Tel. 615-383-0278 Business Office: Theresa Schlaff, Adrienne Thompson Distribution: Parker Cason, Austin Littrell, Matt Scibilia Subscription and Customer Service: 615-383-0278 Letters: We encourage readers to share their stories and reactions to Nashville Arts Magazine by sending emails to info@ or letters to the address above. We reserve the right to edit submissions for length and clarity. Advertising Department Sr. Account Executive: Randy Read Cindy Acuff, Rebecca Bauer, Melissa Cross, Beth Knott, Trasie Mason All sales calls: 615-383-0278 Business Office: 40 Burton Hills Boulevard Nashville, TN 37215 Nashville Arts Magazine is a monthly publication by St. Claire Media Group, LLC. This publication is free, one per reader. Removal of more than one magazine from any distribution point constitutes theft, and violators are subject to prosecution. Back issues are available at our office for free, or by mail for $4.50 a copy. Email: All email addresses consist of the employee’s first name followed by; to reach contributing writers, email Editorial Policy: Nashville Arts Magazine covers art, news, events, entertainment, and culture in Nashville and surrounding areas. The views and opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Subscriptions: Subscriptions are available at $45 per year for 12 issues. Please Note: Due to the nature of third-class mail and postal regulations, issues could be delayed by as much as two or three weeks. There will be no refunds issued. Please allow four to six weeks for processing new subscriptions and address changes. Call 615.383.0278 to order by phone with your Visa or Mastercard number.

615.221.4341 • 1690 M ALLORY L ANE • B RENTWOOD , TN 37027 65 South, Exit 69, Moores Lane (west), Mallory (turn right) Behind the Shell Gas Station

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Lipscomb Art Event On February 10, David Lipscomb Campus School will transform its gymnasium into a bustling art gallery. Over 1,000 works of art by 53 professional artists will be displayed as part of the school’s eighth annual Art Event. The fine art sale and exhibit is a weekend-long celebration of local art that is free and open to the public. A silent auction of art donated to the school will be up for bids. DLCS Director of Advancement Debbie Lambert says, “We are thrilled that the Nashville community has embraced this fine art sale benefiting our school’s academic programs. The opportunity to visit with the artists makes selecting artwork a very personal and unique experience.” Leatha Frost, the featured artist for this year’s festival, is a native West Tennessean. Frost’s imaginative, lush paintings Jeff Jamison, Moody Blue use vibrant colors to interpret her travels throughout Europe. A portion of the Art Event proceeds benefit school programs and facilities at David Lipscomb Campus School. Friday, February 10, through Sunday, February 12. For festival hours visit

David Nichols, The Art of Hollandaise |

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Danielle Duer

Art to Sleep On We introduced readers to Danielle Duer’s art creations in our January issue. Fans of her work can now adorn their homes with printed pillows that feature her artwork. Duer’s paintings are printed in saturated colors on linen cotton canvas with a medium-weight, cotton-blend fabric on the back. The artist’s whimsical, haunting images are complemented by fanciful, layered details. Seamstresses at Duer’s studio, Simple Syrup Design House, which is co-owned by Mandy McNeil, finished these lovely little gems. Duer says, “We are dedicated to creating lush and emotion-driven art in unique ways for artful people around the world.” The pillows are currently sold at Nest Interiors, Art & Invention Gallery, and Simple Syrup Design House.

Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia The Nashville Symphony welcomes Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia, Colombia to the Music City. This evening of dance and powerful melodies will transport audiences to South America. With bold movements and brilliant light displays, the dance troupe entertains and educates audiences with pure visual spectacle. Formed in 1991, Ballet Folklórico de Antioquia, Colombia has educated dance lovers around the world about the rich cultural heritage of their native country. Wednesday, February 15, at 7 p.m.

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Marvin FEBRUARY 2-4







concert presented without orchestra

JOHNNY MATHIS Valentine’s with










B olklórico F




concert presented without orchestra





Dine at the Schermerhorn’s restaurant Arpeggio before the concert! |

BUY TICKETS AT 615.687.6400 February 2O12 | 13


Felt Up! Nancy Lee Andrews, a Nashville photographer and former international model, has teamed up with friend Duitch Sloane to create a colorful new line of handbags. The pair creates oneof-a kind bags for every occasion, from special little evening items to casual purses for everyday use. Andrews calls her bags “adorable confections” and claims they are the perfect start for a friendly conversation. Andrews and Sloane work on these “artful bags” as a creative outlet when at home or on the go. Prices range from $100 to $250. For more information call 615-429-4400.

Art at The Lipman Group The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty has moved to a new location in Green Hills. The company wishes to share its new home with the city of Nashville through a Visiting Artist Series. “The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty has a commitment to community, and this includes supporting the work of local artists,” says Lawrence Lipman, owner and president of the company. “Our new office space will benefit from having a rotating exhibit by some of the area’s artists, and the artists will have a space to showcase work. We’ll be donating a portion of proceeds from all sales to local charities, so we’re giving back to both the arts community and worthy organizations.” The Lipman Group Sotheby’s International Realty will change the artwork in the gallery three times annually and hopes that area artists will submit examples of their work for future shows. Interested artists should contact Stephanie Lloyd at 615-463-3333 for more information about applying.

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Salsa Dreams

with Billy the Kid and Cryin’ Out Valentine’s Weekend • February 10-12, 2012 TPAC’s Polk Theater

Presented by:

Additional funding provided by:

Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission

Tickets: (615) 782-4040 or Season tickets and group discounts: (615) 297-2966 x10. NB_NashvilleArts_SalsaDreams.indd 1

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12/14/11 11:54 AM |

Jim Fowler & Sons Period Gallery Offering the Finest Art & Antiques

Assemblages by Sandra Paynter Washburn Sandra Paynter Washburn treats Customs House Museum visitors to a visual delight with her colorful mixed media works and jewelry in Assemblages. Washburn trained in painting and fibers at UNC-Greensboro and has continued to expand her artistic talents in metalsmithing, collage, and artisan jewelry production. Her expressive, bright hues dance on canvas and in luminous gemstones. Washburn pairs unexpected patterns and colors to achieve texture and visual interest. A student and teacher of her craft, Washburn has led workshops for Arrowmont School and the Tennessee Watercolor Society and has garnered numerous accolades for her art. The show will be on view at the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, Tennessee, from January 10 to March 11.

Semon Rotnitski (1926 - 2007) • Painted in 1963 “THE SKIER” • 24” x 36” • Oil on Canvas Please Visit Our Booth #A06 at the 2012 Antiques & Garden Show

Jim Fowler • (615) 353-0065 •

For more information contact Terri Jordan at

Lend Me Your Nose

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The world of Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, and Chanel are familiar territories to Michael French, who has represented them all in his career. His real passion, however, is fragrance. He has a certain "bond" with them, you might say—a Bond No. 9, the New York-based fragrance line, to be precise. French is the uber-sophisticated perfumista who can assess a client's body chemistry and find a harmonious fragrance from an array of 43 perfume extracts. "You could be clean and fresh, floral, sweet, wood and spice, or exotic. The final part of getting dressed for the day is fragrance," asserts French. Admittedly a "fragrance junkie," French found his way to Nashville by way of Sao Paolo, Brazil, where he was born, and Northern California, where he grew up. Equipped with a true love of international couture and keen sensory perception, he was a natural partner for Bond No. 9's Music City Ambassador, Michael French and Alexis Ebert Alexis Ebert. Together, French and Ebert wax poetic about the community of perfumes that represent particular neighborhoods and boroughs in New York City created by French-born Laurice Rahmé, a recognized "nose." photo: jerry atnip

Rosemary Frank

So, why not step up to the counter at Nordstrom to let M. French spin his virtual fragrance wheel and come up with a daring signature perfume just for you? |

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Merging of the Arts Artworks include statues, masks & ceremonial regalia from all major ethnic groups of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Much of the collection is museum-grade By Appointment

615.790.3095 Gallery 427 Main Street Franklin, TN 37064

Mail P.O. Box 1523 Franklin, TN 37065

It’s a situation familiar to every artist: In a moment of frustration towards a painting, you wish to rip it to pieces. Florida artist Laura DiNello used such a moment to create a new style of art that has inspired her for years and taken her across continents. She once cut apart a painting in a moment of anger but quickly regretted it. DiNello reconstructed the image by collaging the bits and pieces of torn canvas, which gave birth to her vibrant mosaic style. The artist will share her work with Nashville at Merging of the Arts this month. DiNello creates canvas mosaics of abstracted portraits, animals, and still life scenes. An international success, she has exhibited her work throughout Europe and the United States. DiNello will open an art gallery in Charleston, South Carolina, this spring. DiNello’s works will be on view through February 29 at Merging of the Arts, located on 251 Second Avenue South, Suite 200, Franklin, Tennessee.

summer camp Drawing, Painting, Clay, Gardening & Much More!

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Ages 2 – 16

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Sanctuary, Acrylic on canvas, 30” x 40”

Artist's Reception • Saturday, February 4 • 1pm-3pm

YORK & Friends fine art 107 Harding Place • Tues-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-3 • 615.352.3316 • Follow us on

at Ron York Art |

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surroundings spring cleaning sale

time to make room for new things!

Makoto Fujimura

february 1 thru february 29 mon-fri 10-4 or by appointment

C3 Arts Festival On March 1, local and national artists will be featured at the C3 Arts Festival. The event is sponsored by the St. George’s Institute and will highlight visual art, Nashville music, food, and various authors along with special guest, artist Makoto Fujimura. Makoto’s work is featured in galleries around the world, from the Dillon Gallery in New York to the Sen Gallery in Tokyo. His paintings have appeared in corporate spaces such as the CNN/Time Warner building in TaiKoo Place, Hong Kong, and the DEMDACO headquarters in Kansas City. Makoto served as a Presidential Appointee to the National Council of the Arts from 2003 to 2009. The C3 Arts Festival includes an art salon, which will showcase works inspired by the intersection of faith and creativity. Live music, tapas, and wine will be available in Hampton Hall throughout the event. The C3 Arts Festival is March 1, 2012, at St. George’s Church, 4715 Harding Road. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. www.stgeorgesinstitute. org/C3/Arts_Festival.

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Call 615.252.BANK (615.252.2265) today. Cool Springs Carothers Parkway at International Drive • Cummins Station 209 Tenth Ave. South: Suite 250 West End 2930 West End Ave. • Green Hills 3823 Cleghorn Ave.


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The Marnie Sheridan Gallery presents

The Finest in American Period Furniture

We’re Moving!

The harpeTh hall School

2012 AlumnAe Art exhibit

to 5701 Old Harding Pike

Gale Buntin Haddock ’61, Waiting for a Friend

(Behind Global Motorsports, in the Heart of Belle Meade) Vadis Turner ’95, Red Corsage

Please Visit Us In Our New Location

(615) 353-1324

Katherine King Dettwiller ’65, Balancing Act

Janetta Fleming ’75, Girl

Judy Maddox Nebhut ’56, Solo

10:30 am - 5:00 pm Wednesday - Saturday Tuesday by chance or appointment

February 24 - April 5, 2012 Opening Reception: Friday, February 24, 6:00 - 8:30 p.m. The Marnie Sheridan Gallery And Patton Visual Arts Center Harpeth Hall School 3801 Hobbs Rd, Nashville, TN 37215 Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. For further information, call 615-297-9543



A beautiful art studio that hosts entertaining art instruction events

• We supply the paint, canvas and brushes • One of our talented and charismatic artists will take you through each and every brush stroke on your canvas • At the end of the night, take home a masterpiece created entirely by you!

Located in the Mallory Crossing shopping center 91 Seaboard Lane, Suite 108 • Brentwood, TN 37027 615.678.8784 •



artist profile

Visions of Villarreal Local Art Dealer Discovers the Genius of Jesús Villarreal by Katie Cardenas


f the creative fervor of youth, stylistic appreciation of antiquity, and existential propensity for introspection were to unite on canvas, the results would likely resemble the works of twenty-four-year-old artist Jesús Villarreal. Luckily for us, Villarreal recognizes

the fortuitous outcome when he assumes the dual roles of philosopher and painter on canvas. While his technical skill with the brush recreates the mastery and his playfulness with perspective proves advanced, Villarreal’s goal remains simple: to elevate the essence of his subjects to a realm of truth and timelessness, in a manner quietly mesmerizing, hauntingly simple, and intensely personal. Villarreal’s ability to capture the ethereal quality of the inner psyche in paint is not an artistic quest that has gone unnoticed. In fact, it has stopped many viewers dead in their tracks. One such individual is Gary Haynes, owner of Haynes Gallery and overall art connoisseur, enthusiast, and supporter. “Villarreal’s talent is beyond what you see on a day-to-day basis,” Hayes stated as we sat in his Nashville gallery, surrounded by various masterpieces of the artist. “When I first encountered his work at the American Portrait Society’s International Competition last year, I couldn’t help but be enthralled. The simplicity, the drama, and his commanding gaze made me have to meet him.” The same intimate, uninhibited, direct, and powerful stare of Villarreal’s Mirror proved to capture the attention of not only Haynes but also the judges at the American Portrait Society’s competition held last year in Atlanta. Chosen from 1,400 other entries, Villarreal’s work subsequently won the 2011 William F. Draper Grand Prize, and it is easy to understand why. Endowed with classical serenity and stillness, light and shadow provide the basis for a poetic expression of Villarreal’s contemplation and intense focus. The allure of the optical world and a reflective study of the self through mirrors serve to heighten the emotional impact experienced by the viewer.

El Espejo (The Mirror), 2010-2011, Oil on linen, 68" x 42" Winner of the Grand Prize in the Portrait Society International Portrait Competition in 2011. |

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It is the nexus between his surroundings—his subjects, his viewers, and his environment—that drives Villarreal to refer to his work as “a philosophy of perception” rather than a product defined by strict stylistic boundaries. What Villarreal lacks in years he makes up for in a crafted approach to art that indicates maturity developed through years of training and wisdom refined by contemporary mentors and historical influences. Talking from his studio in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Villarreal elaborated on his education, family, and the first time he realized art was his calling. “My father is an artist and musician, so I have always been attracted to the freedom artists have to question life and the ability of art to support feeling and thought.” Surrounded by art his entire life, Villarreal cites a portrait of his mother he completed at sixteen as the turning point that defined his journey as an artist. “I thought, ‘Hey, I’m really good at this—let’s pursue it!’” A native of Venezuela, Villarreal moved to the U.S. in 1997 and regards the decision as one of the best his family ever made. When asked about his Hispanic roots, Villarreal said, “It’s a question I have asked myself more than you think, and I believe its influence lies in my subconscious mind and most accurately in my unconscious. My background as a Hispanic man surely influences my work.” After receiving formal training in Miami under Abon Romero and Sonia Hidalgo in 1999, the artist began developing his technical skills and personal technique at the Maryland Institute College of Art and overseas at the Florence Academy of Art in 2006. Challenged to find appropriate training in the language of realism, Villarreal considers himself fortunate to have found such

Standing Figure in the Studio, 2010-2011, Oil on linen, 68" x 48"

mentors as Mark Karnes, Ramiro Sanchez, and Stephen Bauman, among others, who encouraged, advised, and inspired him.

I always knew the kind of realism I wanted to use. Like many artists, my challenge was—and remains—finding that individual sense of expression that reveals the honest and raw core of the self and integrating it into my reflection of the world.

Arrangement in Gray, 2008, Oil on canvas, 15.75" x 19.685", Signed (l.l.) 22 | February 2O12

Utilizing what he learned from his contemporary influences, Villarreal creates works that are testament to an artist shaped by the traditions of the past. Historical themes and classical references abound in new contexts, endowing ancient ideals |

with fresh vigor. The eclectic synthesis of different eras adds a unique dimension and brings new meaning to his subjects and paintings. Pearly light, compositional balance, and the reflective surface of scattered vessels in a genre scene or still life attest to the Dutch masters. The presence of sculptural representation, tonal gradations, and figurative studies are reminiscent of Greek and Renaissance artists. Concern for recording the moment, acknowledgment of the viewer, and a fascination with framing evoke seventeenth-century Spanish portrait painters. It comes as no surprise that Villarreal lists Leonardo da Vinci, Vermeer, Velasquez, Rembrandt, and Michelangelo as inspirations along with such modern artists as Rodin, Bonnard, Corot, Uglow, and Karnes.

Cast Drawing Study, Charcoal on paper, 18" x 16.5"

Alicia, 2009, Oil on linen, 39.37" x 31.5"

I'm in constant interaction with my surroundings. I believe an artist must perceive his subjects through the five senses, slowly unraveling each layer to reveal the subject’s true nature.

Yet it remains his penchant for “mystery and the unspoken truth” that sets Villarreal apart. Mary Collins, who lives in Maine and recently purchased one of Villarreal’s paintings upon seeing his self-portrait, echoed similar sentiments: “It’s a magnificent and powerful painting that speaks to the intensity and mystery in life and the grandeur of the creative process. It always stirs me to look at it . . . it’s a transformative work.” For Villarreal, it is the emotional depth, intellectual acuity, and rawness of his subject’s inner spirit that drive him to “capture the truth and beauty of reality through the richness of realism.” Constantly curious, intuitively perceptive, and always humble, when asked about advice for burgeoning artists Villarreal stated, “I often think I am too young to give advice; therefore, the advice I give is that which I constantly repeat to myself: to work hard every day to paint what is in your heart and mind and not to let the aspects of painting, good or bad, interfere with the creative process of revealing the expressions of truth.” Jesús Villarreal is represented by Haynes Galleries.

Woman Reading (Memento Mori), 2008, Oil on linen, 47.25" x 37.8" |

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Andrew Saftel, My Universe, acrylic, mixed-media on panel

Janet and Jim Ayers proudly present The Art of Community collection honoring the spirit and character of Tennessee. The collection includes more than 150 pieces in different mediums representing more than 40 legendary and working Tennessee artists from Memphis to Mountain City and is displayed at FirstBank’s office on Commerce Street in downtown Nashville. A printed catalog and virtual tour of the complete collection will be available in the fall 2012.

FirstBank is Tennessee’s largest independently owned and operated bank, with 45 locations across the state. The bank, headquartered in Lexington, Tenn., serves every major metropolitan market in the state and, with more than $2 billion in total assets, has the resources to provide a comprehensive variety of financial services and products. As Tennessee’s premier community bank, FirstBank is committed to its role as a leader in the communities it serves.


Jim and Janet Ayers Private Collection | Public Vision A Curator’s Perspective by Anne Brown, The Arts Company


o work with Jim and Janet Ayers is to work with two forces of nature. They are each focused and

dedicated to every enterprise they take on. Collectively, when one of their enterprises takes on life as a visionary pursuit, they give their energy and commitment to it. As the build-out was beginning for their new Nashville office spaces for FirstBank—the only individually-owned bank in Tennessee—and they began to consider the finish and décor of offices, conference rooms, and public spaces, it occurred to them that a rare opportunity was opening up. Instead of hanging an array of decorative pieces on walls, they determined instead to create a collection of original art. From there, the ideas began to flow. When I was invited to join in partnership with them as curator, they quickly knew by instinct that they wanted to focus on Tennessee art. Nothing else would do. They simply wanted to do something special for Tennessee art and artists. That decision came from their lifelong business and personal commitments to family, place, and the sense of community to which all of their enterprises are connected. The concept was sealed: the collection would be a collection of Tennessee art by Tennessee artists.

“ photo: jerry atnip

Jim and I would both agree that we have broadened our awareness and appreciation of Tennessee artists with this collection. We have been able to bring together a large number of artists working in different mediums and still maintained a consistent theme throughout the collection. Janet Ayers

Joining forces with them on this project has been a twenty-first-century curatorial experience, requiring speed, technology, and high energy. Our new partnership between collector and curator was beginning on a fast track. We were off on a new adventure. They were off on a month’s trek out of the country, and my staff and I set out to contact galleries and artists around the state and to organize and present what we found. |

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Billy Renkle, Field (Second Version), 25" x 35"

and they became comfortable with a wide range of styles. Within a two-month period, the art began to take on a life of its own as a cohesive collection. Their final selections were a natural fit with their business vision. Ron Porter, In the Heartland, 38" x 45"

All of the communication between the two of them and myself and my colleagues was via the Internet, requiring them at great long distance to shuffle through small photo representations of the artwork we were identifying. They would respond yes, no, or maybe, and we would then place pieces on the walls we had photographed digitally in their space. Upon their return to Nashville, a mountain of artwork was waiting for them to see in person in new spaces. It is important to note that Janet and Jim Ayers had not been collectors of art prior to this venture, but here they were face to face with an impressive array of new artwork gathered from galleries statewide. Through a process of trial and error, the art was reviewed and placed throughout the building. The artists whose work they encountered took them to new, unexplored places,

Anna Jaap, The North Field, 36" x 36" 28 | February 2O12

The outcome clearly matched their early expectations. Original artwork by Tennessee artists of all kinds found its home inside this private business. Yet, it echoed a public vision this couple held dear. They applied the same rigor and passion to selecting artwork for their business that is typical of their disciplined and passionate approaches to other business and philanthropic enterprises. From my perspective as a curator, this has been an excellent partnership between collector and curator.

Wayne Brezinka, Slice of Summer, 36" x 24" |

Robert Durham, Rules of Engagement, 40" x 48"

For the art world, Janet and Jim Ayers’ initiative in collecting art as part of their business is a real teaching moment, a lesson in leadership in action. This is one of those rare moments when two people stepping out with vision can open up many new ways of bringing business and art together. It’s what they would call the Art of Community.

Mary Long-Postal, Endgame, 24" x 24"

Words of Thanks! My hat is off to the Directors of FirstBank for making a commitment to the artists and galleries of Tennessee by creating a major collection of works for their new space in Nashville. The collection represents some of the best artists in the region and highlights a forward corporate direction in supporting the visual arts! Carol Stein, Cumberland Gallery / Nashville

The fact that Janet and Jim Ayers stepped up to the plate and made a commitment to support the visual arts in the Nashville community speaks volumes. This strong commitment reflects their character as generous supporters throughout the state, and at the same time allows these artists to be able to reach a wider audience by being part of an historic cohesive collection. Stan Mabry, Stanford Gallery / Nashville

Jared Small, Golden, 48" x 36"

Barry Buxkamper, Office Park Scenic Overlook: Fire and Water, 36" x 47" |

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Ultimately, the cultural spirit of a community is determined by the commitment of its citizens to the arts. This commitment to building a permanent, ongoing collection of fine art ensures that Nashville's future is secured for the current and future generations. Jeff Rymer, The Rymer Gallery / Nashville

My business is way over there in the southwest corner of Tennessee. It’s closer to Little Rock, Arkansas, and Jackson, Mississippi, than to Nashville, not to mention Jonesborough or Chattanooga. For me that’s the real reason to be proud that a Tennessee organization is actively interested in building a collection of artworks that represents the whole state, its creativity and diversity. David Lusk, Lusk Gallery / Memphis

It is refreshing to work with a company whose core commitment is to invest in and support their local community. The decision to invest in their creative community by building a first-class art collection for FirstBank from the broad range of talented Tennessee artists has succeeded in showing critical and much appreciated support. It is an honor to have our artist's work in their collection. Susan Tinney, Tinney Contemporary / Nashville

It is impressive to see a growing, Tennessee-based institution such as FirstBank make such a substantial commitment to the visual arts and artists across this state who contribute so much to the cultural life and heritage of Tennessee. From Memphis to Nashville, Tennessee has long been known for its rich music heritage. With continued corporate leadership such as this, perhaps Tennessee will be equally appreciated for its significant and thriving visual arts as well.

Terri Roulett, Tiny Farmer, 48" x 36"

The arts run very deep in the State of Tennessee, and it is exciting that one can view the finest of it in the FirstBank collection.

FirstBank’s commitment to a Tennessee-focused collection makes a significant statement that  Tennessee businesses have access to some of the best fine art in the country. This collection is a wonderful showcase for the many Nashville-based artists who are making  Tennessee  a leading center for Creative Industry in our region and internationally.

Hal Pickel, Two Moon Gallery / Nashville

Janice Zeitlin, Zeitgeist Fine Art / Nashville

Shelley McBurney, Gallery One / Nashville

Twin (Jerry & Terry Lynn), The Couple, 28" x 66" 30 | February 2O12 |

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February 2O12 | 31

performing arts

Kathleen O’Brien Looks at the Year Ahead by Evans Donnell


ennessee Performing Arts Center President and CEO Kathleen O’Brien has steered the non-profit arts organization through changes to its business model that have included expansion of the board of directors, the move to independent ticketing, and independent presenting of Broadway tours. She’s also overseen record-breaking ticket

sales and fundraising, new initiatives in arts education programming, and growth in cash reserves. The summa cum laude Virginia Intermont College graduate, who joined TPAC in 1988 as its director of public affairs, recently spoke to Nashville Arts Magazine about how she came to be one of Music City’s arts leaders and reflected on TPAC’s past, present, and future. Nashville Arts Magazine: Many arts lovers cite

certain people or incidents in their lives that made them care about the arts. Who, or what, instilled that in you?

photo: jerry atnip

32 | February 2O12

Kathleen O’Brien: I really think it was the combination of a lot of layering. [My family and I] lived in Waterville, Maine, and that’s not really a stopping point for a lot of touring companies. During the summers my parents would take us to Lakewood [Playhouse] just outside of Skowhegan [Maine] where they had summer stock productions. As a kid I got to see Oliver! and My Fair Lady—those are the two that I remember. I was just in awe of the live performances, of the whole notion of going into a place and being transported away by a story with great music. . . . I think early-age exposure created my love for it, and I kept finding myself experiencing different things over the years that were tied to the performing arts. So it wasn’t just one person or event. |

NAM: What led you to join TPAC? In an age when people often spend their careers moving from place to place, you’ve been with the same organization since 1988. Why do you think it’s remained your professional home? KO: I was working for Virginia Intermont College and enjoying it . . .

but I decided I wanted to pursue work in a larger market and some new career goals. My grandmother, Corrinne Ramey, lived in Nashville at the time. I zeroed in on three cities: Hartford, Connecticut; Atlanta, Georgia, and Nashville. I came to love Nashville, and I wanted to live closer to my grandmother. I learned there was a [public affairs] position and interviewed for it. . . . As to what’s kept me here, as I learned more about [TPAC] I became more involved and was given more opportunities for greater responsibilities. Nobody else wanted me, and they couldn’t get me to leave [laughs]! My work here has married education with the arts, which are two things I love.

We want to break down any barriers that might exist so that we can entertain and engage.

NAM: Since you’ve been present for much of its thirty-one-year history, what are your general impressions about the journey TPAC has made between the 1980s and today? KO: [TPAC] like any company is an organic being. Change is inevitable,

Mary Poppins, March 20–25, 2012

photo: Cyllavon Tiedemann

and you have to make sure those you serve are still benefiting from and need what you have to offer. That’s true of the public performances and the educational programs we offer. You have to keep reinventing yourself . . . and build and maintain relationships between art and audience that are meaningful and relevant. You can’t be all things to all people, but you do need to provide a wide array and give them more than what’s predictable.

Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, 2011–2012 Tour, February 7–12, 2012 |

February 2O12 | 33

photo: joan marcus

NAM: TPAC has had great box office success in recent years with tours of such musicals as Wicked and Jersey Boys. At the same time, you’ve also been willing to schedule riskier fare like Spring Awakening as well as nonmusicals. How do you go about making those programming decisions as you try to balance presenting a wide range of offerings with the need to generate significant revenue? KO: That is the $64,000 question! Programming is risky business. There

are so many factors that go into choosing what you want, including how you’ll pay for it and whether you can develop an audience to support it if one isn’t already developed. The margin is so close that one event, like a winter storm, can kill your sales and hurt your year-end financial results. We look at what’s available . . . and decide if we think it’s right to bring to Nashville. Then we work to secure partnerships that help us promote it. NAM: You were proud to launch the national tour of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5

in 2010. How interested are you in being the starting point for other tours or world premieres? Even if you can’t give specifics now, are there any possibilities along those lines currently in the works? KO: We don’t have anything currently in the works but philosophically

Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, 2011–2012 Tour, February 7–12, 2012

yes. We were very proud of [9 to 5], and that [tour launch] was the first one this staff had ever done. . . . It was something I’d love to do again, and I think the team here would as well. If presenters like us are unwilling to take on the work of launching new tours, then there won’t be new tours.

Rain – A Tribute to the Beatles, May 1–6, 2012 34 | February 2O12 |

NAM: Earlier this year TPAC canceled the newly inaugurated Signature Series of music concerts. Do you have any plans to launch something similar in the near future? KO: We’re looking at trying to expand our program beyond the

[HCA/TriStar Broadway at TPAC] season. All the acts were great, but it was not the right timing. We are talking through some things right now. We don’t have anything to announce, but we don’t want to just leave it at the Broadway programming. NAM: As you’ve noted before, TPAC is committed to lifelong learning with programs that reach everyone from preschoolers to seniors. Is it fair to say there’s nothing more important than your educational outreach? If so, what makes it your top priority? KO: Educational outreach is extremely important. We do believe

in lifelong learning, not just in classrooms but offerings we have for adults [such as before- and after-show discussions and other similar performance add-ons]. To get people to explore new ideas, or look at things in a different way. . . . Take a look at [the recent tour presentation of] The Addams Family. That’s a very commercial product, but we have the opportunity from an educational standpoint to explore the question of what’s normal when Wednesday brings her ‘normal’ boyfriend to meet a family many might describe as abnormal. There are learning opportunities in more than just the obvious places.

Change is inevitable, and you have to make sure those you serve are still benefiting from and need what you have to offer.

NAM: Your annual report indicates TPAC’s economic impact

and related audience spending exceeded $46 million for the most recent year statistics were available (the equivalent of 800 full-time jobs) and generated over $1 million in tax revenues for state and local governments. What should that say to those who question the tangible value of an arts center like TPAC in these financially austere times? KO: Because we have an artistic mission and we’re a nonprofit, I

think people often look at us differently. But I’d say look at us as an industry. Talk to the folks at the [Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau] and the [Nashville Area] Chamber [of Commerce] when they’re bringing businesses in—one of the first things those firms want to know about is cultural offerings. They care about that for their employees but also because it gives them a better understanding of the community. . . . We are a proven economic driver, and we’re part of making a better community. NAM: When you became President and CEO in 2005, did you have a set of goals you wanted to see TPAC achieve? If so, what were they, and which have been achieved? Over the past six years what TPAC accomplishments stand out to you and why?

Mary Poppins, March 20–25, 2012 KO: My short-term goals included building up cash reserves, because

at the time we didn’t have them and we needed them. We’ve done that, and we’re now in a much better financial situation than we once were. The next thing was to have more control over our destiny. That came when we had to consider renewing the agreements with Ticketmaster and a Broadway-series-presenting partner we’d had for years. At the time those relationships were created they were very much the right thing to do . . . but we decided to revisit those arrangements and say, is this the best business model for us now? And the answer was no, so we decided to program our series without a partner . . . and bring our ticketing in-house as part of a new system that integrates our fundraising, marketing, and ticketing. Now we’re revisiting our strategic plan companywide. . . . In the long term we want to develop programs that our community supports while extending the viability of the organization. NAM: As you look ahead, what are your hopes and aspirations for TPAC in the immediate—or not-so-immediate—future? And when your time at TPAC is over, what legacy do you hope to leave? KO: As I look ahead, I want TPAC to become more entangled with

the community so that we’re having more conversations about what our performing arts center can be. We want to break down any barriers that might exist so that we can entertain and engage. When my time at TPAC is over, my hope is that the programs and audiences mirror the tastes and faces of the community. |

February 2O12 | 35

Jean D. Dortch studio and plein air paintings

“Irish Waters”

Oil on Canvas


studio: (615) 292-5493 • email:

tune in to nashville’s burgeoning visual art scene

The Arts Company

Local Color Gallery

The Parthenon

Bennett Galleries

Midtown Gallery & Framers

The Rymer Gallery

Bryant Gallery

Richland Fine Art, Inc

Tinney Contemporary

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art

Sarratt Gallery at Vanderbilt

Two Moon Gallery

Cumberland Gallery

Tennessee Arts Commission Gallery

Frist Center for the Visual Arts Gallery One LeQuire Gallery Leu Art Gallery

Tennessee Arts League & Galleries Tennessee State Museum Tennessee State University: Hiram Van Gordon Gallery

Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery Williams 19th &20th Century American Art Galleries York and Friends Fine Art Zeitgeist






February 3—May 6, 2012 Anne & Joe Russell

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Arthur G. Dove. Morning Sun, 1935. Oil on canvas, 20 x 28 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.; Acquired in 1935. ©The Estate of Arthur G. Dove, courtesy Terry Dintenfass, Inc.

1/13/12 4:20 PM


To See as Artists See American Art from The Phillips Collection at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts by Daniel Tidwell


mong the great American museums, only a handful reflect the singular aesthetic vision of their founders: the Frick Collection in New York, the Barnes Collection in Merion, Pennsylvania, and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. The

See: American Art from The Phillips Collection, on view at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts from February 3 through May 6, 2012, brings together a striking selection of more than one hundred works by seventy-five artists, providing an overview of American painting from 1845–1965 as seen through the eyes of Duncan Phillips.

Phillips holds a unique position among such esteemed company because of the devotion of its founder, Duncan Phillips’s aesthetic vision Phillips, to modern American reflected his predilection for art and his patronage of a visual pleasure. Art critic group of artists that included Robert Hughes describes Arthur Dove, Stuart Davis, Phillips as “the compleat John Graham, Morris Graves, optical collector.  He craved Harold Weston, Rockwell Kent, color sensation, the delight Augustus Vincent Tack, and and radiance and sensory John Marin. Phillips founded intelligence . . . broadcast by his museum, America’s first an art based on color. Color museum for the exhibition of healed; it consoled; it gave new, modern American and him access to Eden.” Hughes European art, in 1921, a decade continues: “He came to see before the Museum of Modern Charles Sheeler, Skyscrapers, 1922, Oil on canvas, 20" x 13", Acquired 1926 the significance of modern art Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art opened in New largely as a narrative of color, of agreeable sense-impression York. Ironically, Phillips never set out to create a museum that laden with thought. He was not a ‘modernist’, but he immersed would define modernism, like MOMA. Rather, throughout his himself in modernity as the living form of a tradition that, as he life he stayed true to his own taste and a dogged insistence on saw it, had begun in cinquecento Venice, among the mysterious the continuity between past and present in art. To See as Artists reveries of Giorgione.” 38 | February 2O12 |

Augustus Vincent Tack, Aspiration, 1931, Oil on canvas, 74 1/4" x 134 1/2", Acquired 1932

Mark Rothko, Untitled, 1968, Acrylic on paper mounted on hardboard, 23 13/16" x 18 11/16", Gift of the Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1985

The experience of visiting the Phillips Collection is defined by its founder’s commitment to an ahistorical installation of artworks where, according to Phillips, “rivers of artistic purpose” could interact with each other informing viewers, and especially artists, about the connections across time and across artistic practice. Phillips believed in showing work based on artistic temperament, not chronology, to create a dialogue between works and allowing art to slowly reveal to the viewer the connections between disparate decades and aesthetic movements.

Duncan Phillips, confident in his own well-informed eye, amassed one of the leading collections of American Art at a time when many were still enamored with European Art. We are delighted to have these stunning examples of our own heritage in Nashville.

– Susan H. Edwards, Ph.D., Executive Director and CEO of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Phillips exhibited modern American painting alongside contemporary European art, lending equal status to the American painters—a radical move at a time when neither MOMA nor the Whitney was willing to take such bold curatorial steps. Central to Phillips’s aesthetic was a belief that he shared with well-known photographer John Sloan, Six O'Clock, Winter, 1912, Oil on canvas, 26 1/8" x 32", Acquired 1922

and impresario of early American Modernism Alfred Stieglitz. Both Phillips and Stieglitz felt that American art could express a unique emotional intensity, born out of an experience of nature.  Phillips eschewed the conceptual games and machine aesthetics of artists like Duchamp and Picabia and championed a romantic view of art as a sort of window to the artist’s soul.

Arthur G. Dove, Red Sun, 1935, Oil on canvas, 20 1/4" x 28", Acquired 1935

It is a fitting coincidence that works by many of the artists represented in the Phillips Collection and in the show at the Frist Center, including Dove, Marin, Hartley, and O’Keefe, can also be seen in Fisk University’s Stieglitz Collection. Through his association with Stieglitz, Phillips came to collect and champion this group of artists. |

February 2O12 | 39

Winslow Homer, To the Rescue, 1886, Oil on canvas, 24" x 30", Acquired 1926

of the Great Depression. The Sheeler work employs the vertical grid of the city’s skyscrapers to depict the sprawling modernity of Manhattan in the ’20s. The human figure is notably absent from the painting; however, one could imagine an office worker, perhaps on break, peering from behind one of the half-closed blinds of the painting’s central skyscraper. Richard Diebenkorn, Girl with Plant, 1960, Oil on canvas, 80" x 69 1/2", Acquired 1961

To See as Artists See provides one man’s virtual history of modern American painting with work ranging from the Ashcan School’s portrayals of gritty city life at the turn of the last century to the purely abstract visions of the New York School. Throughout works that vary significantly in content, style, and execution, a common theme emerges—all the works reflect Phillips’s unwavering belief that art can communicate a “transcendent, spiritualized experience of pure form and color” and provide the viewer with a “joy-giving, life-enhancing influence, assisting people to see beautifully as true artists see.”

In Adolph Gottlieb’s The Seer, the depth of the pictorial field has collapsed into the one-dimensionality of the grid. Archaic symbols derived from the art of native cultures populate the spaces in the grid, evoking mythical archetypes in an abstract manner while clinging to figurative elements still readable by the viewer.

One of the earliest works in the show, Winslow Homer’s To the Rescue from 1886, pictures a stormy, windswept beach with crashing waves that threaten to overcome three figures in the foreground. This dramatic but chromatically muted work is a stark contrast to Maurice Prendergast’s vibrant Impressionist fantasia Ponte della Paglia depicting a sunny waterside view of Venice, complete with well-heeled women with parasols taking what one could imagine to be a leisurely Sunday stroll. Starkly contrasting depictions of New York City can be seen in Childe Hassam’s sunny pastel impressions of Washington Square Park in the spring (Washington Arch, Spring, 1890) and John Sloan’s brooding cinematic portrayal of the Third Avenue El in Six O’Clock, Winter (1912). The former is a candy-coated portrayal of city life, the latter a chaotic picture worthy of Blade Runner. The increasing alienation of modern city life is juxtaposed by disparate formal conceits in Edward Hopper’s Sunday (1926) and Charles Sheeler’s Skyscraper (1922). In the Hopper work, a lone man sits on the curb of a deserted street, shuttered storefronts behind him—his downwardlooking gaze imparting a portent of the dire things to come on the cusp 40 | February 2O12

Maurice Prendergast, Ponte della Paglia, 1898–99, Oil on canvas, 27 7/8" x 23 1/8", Acquired 1922 |

Childe Hassam, Washington Arch, Spring, 1890, Oil on canvas, 26 1/8" x 21 5/8", Acquired 1921

American abstraction in the Phillips collection reaches its most pure, lyrical apex in the work of Mark Rothko. Rothko’s immersive fields of color and his belief that abstract painting could impart the innermost yearnings of the human soul embodied the ethos that had guided Phillips as he built his museum. The importance of Rothko to Phillips’s vision is reflected in the Collection’s Rothko Room, one of only three permanent public environments in the world for the exhibition of the artist’s work. Radiant, glowing clouds of yellow hover over a complementary field of ochre in Untitled (1968), radiating light from within. In Rothko, Phillips had found his perfect artistic partner, committed to a transcendental vision, creating spiritual, purely abstract works.

Milton Avery, Girl Writing, 1941, Oil on canvas, 48" x 31 3/4", Acquired 1943

All the works reflect Phillips’s unwavering belief that art can communicate a “transcendent, spiritualized experience of pure form and color” and provide the viewer with a “joygiving, life-enhancing influence, assisting people to see beautifully as true artists see.” To See as Artists See continues a dialogue between art and viewer that spans decades, styles, and artistic movements and typifies Phillips’s goal to share the “life-enhancing power of art” with the public. Susan Edwards, Director of the Frist Center, says, “Duncan Phillips was a collector without peer in his time and still has much to teach us about how to appreciate, enjoy, and collect art.” As Phillips wrote: “Pictures send us back to life and to other arts with the ability to see beauty all about us as we go on our accustomed ways. Such a quickening of perception is surely worth cultivating.” To See as Artists See: American Art from The Phillips Collection will be on exhibit February 3 through May 6, 2012.

Edward Hopper, Sunday, 1926, Oil on canvas, 29" x 34", Acquired 1926

Daniel Tidwell is an artist who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. His work can be seen at |

February 2O12 | 41



A new year is ushering in new styles and trends. Here are a few of keith’s favorites and new arrivals, which I am sure will end up in some of Nashville’s HoTTEST HomES! Antique Sa ntos Fig ure S p a ni s h c o l o ni a l $1,625

Anti que Ter r a cotta c hi m ney Pot Lou i s v i l l e, k Y $1,350

Anti que r ai l i ng console

Vinta g e Holopha n e Ligh ts circa 1930s $ 1 , 4 7 5 Ea c h

Fe a t u re s 1 9 t h ce nt u r y ra i l i n g $3,150



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N A S H V I L L E · 6 1 5 · 3 5 0 · 6 6 5 5 w w w . G A r d E N P A r k . c o m Symphony Ad 9 5 x 8.639:Layout 2


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the 2011-2012

Page 1

Performance Series

Wynn Varble



Thursday, March 15 at 7 p.m. • Tickets on sale NOW! ADULT TICKETS - $20 STUDENT TICKETS - $15 Call for ticket information at 931-540-2879

To learn more about the 2011-12 Performance Series at Columbia State go to:

Performances are held in the Cherry Theater, Waymon L. Hickman Building 1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia, TN 38401

42 | February 2O12 |

artist profile

The Art of Victor Schmidt by Marshall Fallwell, Jr.


ictor Schmidt’s studio is in the May Hosiery Mill—built in 1940, deco brick and stone on the outside, offices and shop space on the inside, well used but still solid after seven decades. Victor leads me down dark halls and up

stairs, past tiers of metal slots “for the workers’ timecards,” he says as we enter his space. Victor’s wife, Anise Doak, a fine designer herself, offers us tea from a hot plate, Debussy in the background. It is fitting that Victor makes his art in what was once a factory, because he has worked in factories, off and on, for much of his adult life. And his space is indeed a factory. Machines surround us: U.S. Electric pedestal grinder, oxyacetylene torch and paraphernalia. Hardinge metal lathe, milling machine, Dake hydraulic press, bandsaw, anvils. And Victor knows them all as if he’d invented them.

Art is supposed to last. Otherwise the artist fails himself and the world. |

photo : rob lindsay

Bars, plates, sheets, wire, and rods of bronze, steel, brass, and iron also surround us. Wood when it is called for. Various pigments, oil paints, waxes, patinas in translucent metallic blues, oranges, and greens. On the walls, neat rows of dozens of metaland wood-working tools mix with elegant framed India ink and pastel sketches of Schmidt’s sculptures, both completed and pending.

February 2O12 | 43

Spontaneity? Inspiration? Sure. “But,” he says, “the poetics come months before the forms actually become hard metal objects. I draw when I’m away from the studio and unable to work the actual pieces. Drawing then becomes my window to the work, my concept aerobics and spiritual trampoline. Good things happen during these periods, drawings that are both pleasing to my own eye and that I would consider presentable. “Every one of my pieces has spent considerable time on workbenches,” he says. “Making them requires giving myself completely to their creation. Every part, every section was forged, formed, fitted, and welded and, still later, ground, filed, brushed, given a protective finish, and so on. “The concepts,” Schmidt says, “evolve in a manner similar to what direct metal sculptors Julio Gonzalez and David Smith called ‘drawing in space’. Flat drawing has two dimensions, sculpture three. For me, and for Smith, Gonzalez and the others, this means working metal as it is. That’s why what we do is called ‘direct metal’ sculpture, I myself relying less on drawings than would, say, an architect. “Art is supposed to last. Otherwise the artist fails himself and the world. Art has an inside as well as an outside. And that is where the real work comes. Complication cubed! Steel, for example, is ubiquitous, familiar to the point of being taken for granted. But it has a mind of its own. So no matter how good you are with tools, working steel directly, without intermediary states, will surprise and delight you when something splendid happens.”

Mother and Child, Forged and machined steel, 14" x 10" x 4"

Victor Schmidt’s sculptures fall into two related but distinct representative modes. In one, his anamorphic, sinuous, submarine lava blooms dominate—abstract human figures, such as Mother and Child and Nymph, side by side with steel balloons, static Calder shapes in the round, kineticism awaiting a breeze, or a child’s imagination, to make them move.

Great art is essentially anachronistic. It is both today and yesterday.

Lyric Piece, Forged steel, 16" x 22" x 10" 44 | February 2O12

Fountain Piece, Bronze, brass, steel, H 9" |

Cronos, Forged steel, 14" x 18" x 62"

In the second mode, mechanistic dreams emerge—gears, cams, axles, and wheels frankly alluding to archetypal engines. Delicate crescents and willowy forms coalesce with rigid, rectilinear shapes suggesting the architectonic scale of cathedrals. No matter its dimensions, every piece evokes the massive. Unassembled sculptural elements litter the studio, the finished objects poised on finely balanced stands ranging from about sixteen inches high to about six feet, all of them as meticulously crafted as if our entire industrial heritage somehow depended on the skill of this one artist; as if, with less integrity, trains might stop running and flying machines fall from the sky. Schmidt’s art appears effortless although it is anything but. It is intricately designed, monumental, but with lapidary detail, as if Benvenuto Cellini were looking over his shoulder. Of course, Victor could have fabricated his images in papier-mâché or some other insubstantial medium, but how long would such trifles last? Neither the great David Smith nor his inspiration, Julio Gonzalez, both of whom led the vanguard of direct metal sculpture, would have approved, would they? But is, or was, all of this insistence on strict technique avant-garde? Forget it. “Great art is essentially anachronistic,” Victor says. “It is both today and yesterday. ‘Avant-garde’ is a military term inappropriate for describing trends in art, as it connotes the idiocy of belligerence and confines the making of art to a single forward (or backward) direction.” To be fully appreciated, Victor Schmidt’s sculptures should be seen face to face, mano a mano. As it happens, select works will be featured in If Not Now, When? in Knoxville at the Arts and Culture Alliance Emporium Center, February 3–24, 2012.

Day of Rest, Forged steel, H 21"

photo : rob lindsay |

February 2O12 | 45

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Art and Money Don't Mix part two

Or, Let's Make A Deal by Somers Randolph


illary and I were sweating it out at an art fair in Arizona, few sales of jewelry and none of sculpture, when a well-dressed couple stopped and admired a red alabaster piece. The wife was clearly

captivated by the work, and after awhile they inquired about the price. We told them, and after a few more hmmms and hahs he leaned in to Hillary's ear and in an unctuous tone said, "So . . . what's the deal?" My wife stepped back, looked him straight in the eye, and replied, "The deal is you get to own it. You will be the only person in the world to have this piece of sculpture, and I'll throw in a piece of jewelry for your wife." As they walked away, new owners of my work, I knew I'd just been schooled in retail sales by a professional. I remember driving up a palm-encumbered Santa Barbara hill back in 1982. My dealer and I were winding around shady turns glimpsing the ocean with three sculptures in the trunk of his Lexus. He turned to me with feigned nonchalance and asked, "So what's the best price if they buy all three?" I was shocked. The pieces were being delivered! The deal was done, wasn't it? Well apparently not. He wanted me to take a thousand dollars off my end, twenty percent of my take. I argued and then agreed, with a distrustful bitter bile forming in my guts as we pulled up to the ocean-view gates. The installation was easy, put this one here and that one there or wait, over there. All done, heading back down to town, I commented, "Wow! My stuff looked like a million bucks in that house!� He replied, "I know. That's why I negotiated with you before we got there." Later that week I pulled all my work from his gallery. In my mind a dealer should be a partner, not an adversary. A dealer should have the best interest of the artist at heart at all times. A dealer should love and understand their artist’s work and attempt to convey that understanding to potential buyers.

48 | February 2O12

SOLD! $60,000 |

One of the most satisfying and special feelings when selling a sculpture is that the purchasers want to live with it. It's somehow beyond transaction when someone wants to take something into their lives and experience it. I've spent months perfecting a shape, cutting a form from rock, and another person is willing to pay to have that form in their daily life, to watch the sun rise or set on it, to see it wet with rain or piled with snow. It feels like such a personal compliment.

SOLD! $12,000 As a direct carver of stone sculpture, without as yet the luxury of an atelier of carvers like that of Rodin, I have not produced enough work to supply more than one or two galleries at a time. As an ethical, egoistic, and self-righteous personality, I have only recently been tempered enough by the above-mentioned wife, Hillary, to survive the normal misunderstandings of business and establish longer-term relationships with dealers of my work.

I have learned by experience that the best way for me to succeed is to stick to the job and try to make each sculpture better than the previous one. There are still some months which are tighter than others—fine art is not a regularly pay-checked profession—but with the goal being a better line or sexier curve or cleaner polish instead of a higher number in the bank balance, I remain much happier.

A well-known Los Angeles collector once tried to explain to me how my prices ought to fluctuate with the economy like real estate value did. He said in hard times my sculpture should cost less, and in good times it should cost more. Perhaps he was just trying to get a better price on the piece he was interested in, and perhaps he was used to buying from artists with established secondary markets for their work. As a living artist without an active secondary market, I am my own economy. I do something no banker can ever do: I make money. By that I mean I create money. I take a piece of stone and shape it into something which has real value. I reject that collector's fluid economic approach. I won't sell a sculpture today from my studio or a gallery for less than a similar piece has sold for earlier. My belief and practice throughout my career have been that if someone wants a piece badly enough, we figure out how they can have it. I have traded sculpture for vehicles, airline miles, years of payments, dental and legal work, and even dance lessons. I have traded my own work back when a piece didn't suit one person or another. I want my work where it is fully appreciated, even loved, by the folks who own it. The good things about being a mid-career artist include an established price structure, an ability to fill most price points, and a proven track record of sales. In the early days of my carving career, prices were determined by a guess and a prayer. Without many prior sales, I had to guess what a piece was worth both to me and to the potential customer. Inevitably the customer would either say how beautiful it was and they wished they could afford it, or they'd exclaim, "That's all!" and gleefully whip out their checkbook. In either case I was left feeling inexperienced and incomplete. Now I have a sure knowledge of the value of each piece. I have sculpture in most price ranges between $3,000 and $100,000 and jewelry from $200 up. I have sold pieces in all those price ranges, and I can confidently assure a client that they're paying a fair price and that I'll protect their investment to the best of my ability. |

SOLD! $32,000 February 2O12 | 49

Arts Worth Watching There are precious few places on television to watch great documentaries, and in February, Nashville Public Television has several offerings that truly exemplify the station’s dedication to the art of documentary filmmaking. Several of the finest films of the past two years, two of which received considerable acclaim at the Nashville Film Festival, hit the schedule this month. Racing Dreams, Marshall Curry's portrait of young, aspiring racecar drivers, picked up the juried award for best documentary at the Festival in 2010 and comes to NPT via POV on Thursday, February 23, at 8 p.m. The Interrupters, coming to NPT through Frontline on Tuesday, February 14, at 8 p.m., follows a group of older former gang leaders trying to “interrupt” shootings and protect their communities from the violence they once committed. The film, by acclaimed filmmaker Steve James (Hoop Dreams) was a sensation both at the Nashville Film Festival and during its Belcourt Theatre run and was on dozens of national critics’ best-of-2011 lists. Having also enjoyed a successful 2011 run at the Belcourt, The Black Power Mixtape makes it to television on Thursday, February 9, at 9 p.m. on Independent Lens. Combining startlingly fresh and candid 16mm footage that had lain undiscovered in the cellar of Swedish Television for the past thirty years, with contemporary audio interviews from leading AfricanAmerican artists, activists, musicians, and scholars, the film looks at the people, society, culture, and style that fueled an era of convulsive change, 1967–1975.

This month on NPT, the station not only offers award-winning documentaries, but an award-winning musical as well. Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best New Musical, Memphis turns the radio dial back to the 1950s to tell the story of a white DJ named Huey Calhoun whose love of music transcends race lines and airwaves. His romantic interest is Felicia Farrell, a young black singer whose career is on the rise but who can’t make the break out of segregated clubs on her own. When the two collaborate, her soulful music reaches radio audiences everywhere, and the golden era of early rock ‘n’ roll takes flight. With an original story by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change) and a score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan, the production is directed by Christopher Ashley (Xanadu) and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys). It airs on NPT via Great Performances on Friday, February 24, at 9 p.m.

Very likely the most anticipated documentary of the month is Slavery by Another Name, airing Monday, February 13, at 8 p.m., not long after its January 2012 Sundance Film Festival premiere. Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Wall Street Journal senior writer Douglas A. Blackmon and directed by Sam Pollard, the film explores the little-known

Cab Calloway was practically an entire musical all to himself and even starred in Porgy and Bess for a time as Sportin’ Life, forever putting his personal stamp on “It Ain’t Necessarily So.” He could do it all— sing, dance, and lead the band—and on Monday, February 27, at 9 p.m., American Masters has a lively biography of this exceptional figure in the history of jazz. Don’t miss Bluegrass Underground this month on Sunday nights at 10 p.m., with performances by Will Hoge (February 5), Mike Farris (February 12), and Cherryholmes (February 19).

story of the post-Emancipation era and the labor practices and laws that effectively created a new form of slavery in the South that persisted well into the twentieth century. Actor Laurence Fishburne narrates the examination of “neoslavery,” which sentenced African-Americans to forced labor for violating an array of laws that criminalized their everyday behavior.

Weekend Schedule Saturday

5:00 am Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood 5:30 Bob the Builder 6:00 Curious George 6:30 The Cat in the Hat 7:00 Super Why! 7:30 Dinosaur Train 8:00 Thomas & Friends 8:30 Angelina Ballerina 9:00 Sewing with Nancy 9:30 Sew It All 10:00 Victory Garden 10:30 This American Land 11:00 Hubert Keller: Secrets of a Chef 11:30 Cook’s Country 12:00 noon America’s Test Kitchen 12:30 Pati’s Mexican Table 1:00 Simply Ming 1:30 P. Allen Smith’s Garden Home 2:00 Fon’s & Porter’s Love of Quilting 2:30 Best of Joy of Painting 3:00 Rough Cut - Woodworking 3:30 The Woodwright’s Shop 4:00 For Your Home 4:30 This Old House 5:00 Ask This Old House 5:30 Hometime 6:00 Natural Heroes 6:30 pm Tennessee’s Wild Side


February 2012

Nashville Public Television

Women and the War: Tennessee Civil War 150 During the Civil War, the home front became the frontline for many Tennesseans. As their men departed, women had to shoulder the full burden of daily life. This NPT documentary explores how hardship and hunger forced changes in long held cultural and societal beliefs, breaking boundaries confining most Southern women, while breaking chains for others.


5:00 am Sesame Street 6:00 Curious George 6:30 The Cat in the Hat 7:00 Super Why! 7:30 Dinosaur Train 8:00 Sid the Science Kid 8:30 Martha Speaks 9:00 Tennessee’s Wild Side 9:30 Volunteer Gardener 10:00 Tennessee Crossroads 10:30 A Word on Words 11:00 Nature 12:00 noon To the Contrary 12:30 The McLaughlin Group 1:00 Moyers & Company 2:00 The Desert Speaks 2:30 Grannies on Safari 3:00 California’s Gold 3:30 Roadtrip Nation 4:00 13 Wonders of Spain 4:30 Rick Steves’ Europe 5:00 Antiques Roadshow 6:00 pm Globe Trekker

Thursday February 23 7:30 PM

Daytime Schedule

5:00 am Classical Stretch 5:30 Body Electric 6:00 Arthur/ A Place of Our Own (Fridays) 6:30 Martha Speaks 7:00 Curious George 7:30 The Cat in the Hat 8:00 Super Why! 8:30 Dinosaur Train 9:00 Sesame Street 10:00 Sid the Science Kid 10:30 WordWorld 11:00 Super Why! 11:30 Wild Kratts 12:00 noon Caillou 12:30 Sid the Science Kid 1:00 Dinosaur Train 1:30 The Cat in the Hat 2:00 Curious George 2:30 Martha Speaks 3:00 Clifford the Big Red Dog 3:30 Arthur 4:00 WordGirl 4:30 Wild Kratts 5:00 Electric Company 5:30 Fetch! 6:00 pm PBS NewsHour

Nashville Public Television

Slavery by Another Name

8:00 PM, Monday, Feb 20 and 7:00 PM, Tuesday, Feb 21

Based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, this film examines post-Emancipation labor practices and laws that effectively created a new form of slavery in the South that persisted well into the 20th century.

Monday, February 13 8:00 PM

52 | February 2O12 |




7:00 Freedom Riders: American Experience From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. 9:00 Frontline 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Freedom Riders: The Nashville Connection

Nature Ocean Giants Wednesday, February 22 7:00 pm



15 7:00 Nature The Himalayas. 8:00 NOVA Extreme Cave Diving. NOVA follows the charismatic Dr. Kenny Broad as he dives into blue holes — underwater caves that formed during the last ice age. 9:00 Cave people of the Himalayas 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Austin City Limits Coldplay.


7:00 Nature Raccoon Nation. Raccoons in a big city. 8:00 NOVA Separating Twins. Witness the extraordinary surgery that will allow twin girls, born joined at the head, to live separate lives. 9:00 Inside Nature’s Giants Big Cats. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Austin City Limits Wilco.

7:00 Nature Wolverine: Chasing the Phantom. The wolverine is one of the most efficient and resourceful carnivores on Earth. 8:00 NOVA Ice Age Death Trap. 9:00 Inside Nature’s Giants Great White Shark. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Austin City Limits Florence +The Machine/ Lykke Li.


16 7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:30 Volunteer Gardener 8:00 pBS Arts from the Blue Ridge mountains: Give me the Banjo Join narrator Steve Martin to explore the roots of American music — the minstrel show, ragtime and early jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass and country. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 U.S. Health Care: The Good News



17 7:00 Washington Week 7:30 Need to Know 8:00 moyers & Company 9:00 michael Feinstein’s American Songbook Saloon Singers. This episode examines the allure of musical nightlife, from Mississippi juke joints to Las Vegas clubs. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 moyers & Company


7:00 Washington Week 7:30 Need to Know 8:00 moyers & Company 9:00 michael Feinstein’s American Songbook Time Machines. Learn how technology has preserved – and altered – the way we think about the great songs and singers of the past. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 moyers & Company


7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:00 Washington Week 7:30 Volunteer Gardener 7:30 Need to Know 8:00 Doc martin 8:00 moyers & Company Haemophobia. Gossip 9:00 michael Feinstein’s about Martin’s past. American Songbook 9:00 Independent Lens Lost and Found. FeinThe Black Power Mixstein discovers an untape 1967-1975. A cinedocumented, unknown matic and musical song by one of the giants journey into the black of American popular communities of America, music and sets out to 1967-1975. verify its authenticity. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 BBC World News 11:00 moyers & Company 11:30 Visions of the American West


7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:30 Volunteer Gardener 8:00 Doc martin Of All the Harbors in All the Towns. 9:00 Independent Lens Daisy Bates: First Lady of Little Rock. A portrait of the civil rights leader and mentor to the Little Rock Nine. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 World of Julia peterkin: Cheating the Stillness


Television worth wa tchin g.

7:00 Antiques Roadshow 7:00 Tupperware! Pittsburgh (Hour One). American Experience 8:00 Slavery 8:00 Frontline by Another Name The Interrupters. Front9:30 Not in Our Town: line follows a group of Class Actions older former gang leadThree compelling stories ers trying to “interrupt” of students and their shootings and protect communities standing their communities from together to stop hate and the violence the gangs bullying. once committed. 10:00 BBC World News 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Black in Latin America 11:00 Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange Cuba. Mrs. Goundo’s Daughter.


7:00 Jean-michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures Call of the Killer Whales, Part 1. 8:00 masterpiece Classic Downton Abbey, Season 2: Episode Six. The Spanish flu strikes Downton. 10:00 Bluegrass Underground Mike Farris & The McCrary Sisters. 10:30 Closer to Truth 11:00 Tavis Smiley 11:30 Inside Washington


7:00 Antiques Roadshow Eugene (Hour Three). 8:00 Antiques Roadshow Houston (Hour Three). 9:00 Underground Railroad: The William Still Story William Still was one of the most important yet unheralded individuals of the Underground Railroad. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Black in Latin America Haiti & The Dominican Republic.



7:00 Jean-michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures Sea Ghosts. 8:00 masterpiece Classic Downton Abbey, Season 2: Episode Five. 9:00 Independent Lens Have You Heard from Johannesburg? - The Bottom Line. 10:00 Bluegrass Underground Will Hoge. 10:30 Closer to Truth 11:00 Tavis Smiley 11:30 Inside Washington


Primetime Evening Schedule

February 2012


18 7:00 Lawrence Welk Show 8:00 Keeping Appearances 8:30 Vicar of Dibley 9:00 masterpiece mystery! Zen: Ratking. When a wealthy industrialist and political party funder is kidnapped, Zen is asked to get the hostage back alive at any cost. 10:30 Wild photo Adventures Waterfowl, Part 2. 11:00 Globe Trekker Micronesia.

11 7:00 Lawrence Welk Show 8:00 Keeping Appearances 8:30 Vicar of Dibley 9:00 masterpiece mystery! Zen: Cabal. A disgraced aristocrat jumps off a bridge. Or was he pushed? As usual, Zen gets mixed signals from his scheming bosses. 10:30 Wild photo Adventures Waterfowl, Part 1. 11:00 Globe Trekker Central China.

7:00 Lawrence Welk Show 8:00 Keeping Appearances 8:30 Vicar of Dibley 9:00 masterpiece mystery! Zen: Vendetta. A killer is on a vendetta-fuelled rampage against those who wrongly imprisoned him, including a cop who had almost nothing to do with it: Aurelio Zen. 10:30 Wild photo Adventures Florida Everglades, Pt 2. 11:00 Globe Trekker Tunisia & Libya.


Nashville public Television |

February 2O12 | 53



7:00 The moody Blues Live from the Greek Theatre 8:30 Joe Bonamassa: Beacon Theatre – Live from New York City Renowned guitarist Joe Bonamassa is joined onstage by Paul Rodgers from Bad Company and Nashville’s own John Hiatt. 10:00 Road to perfect Health with Brenda Watson


7:00 Dr. Wayne Dyer – Wishes Fulfilled In his newest special, Dyer offers viewers a detailed explanation of how to manifest that which is most important to them and introduces the philosophies of influential metaphysics teacher, Neville Goddard. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 To Be Announced

7:00 Antiques Roadshow Pittsburgh (Hour Three). 8:00 Antiques Roadshow Los Angeles (Hour One). 9:00 American masters Cab Calloway: Sketches. An exceptional figure in the history of jazz, Calloway charmed audiences with boundless energy, bravado and elegant showmanship. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Black in Latin America Mexico & Peru.


7:00 Richard Bangs’ Adventures with purpose Pearl River: Quest for Harmony. The Pearl River Delta of South China is explored. 8:00 masterpiece Classic The Old Curiosity Shop. 9:30 Independent Lens Have You Heard from Johannesburg? – Free at Last. 10:30 Closer to Truth 11:00 Tavis Smiley 11:30 Inside Washington


7:00 Antiques Roadshow Pittsburgh (Hour Two). 8:00 Clinton: American Experience Part 1: The Comeback Kid. Clinton’s bumpy road to the 1992 presidential victory, an amazing triumph over repeated scandals and setbacks, through the first two years in office. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Black in Latin America Brazil.


7:00 Jean-michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures Call of the Killer Whales, Part 2. 8:00 masterpiece Classic Downton Abbey, Season 2: Episode Seven. In the finale, the family gathers at Downton Abbey for Christmas. 10:00 Bluegrass Underground Cherryholmes. 10:30 Closer to Truth 11:00 Tavis Smiley 11:30 Inside Washington


The Amish American Experience Tuesday, February 28 7:00 pm

7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:30 Volunteer Gardener 8:00 Rick Steves’ Hidden Europe Join travel guru Rick Steves on a tour of some of Europe’s more undiscovered locations. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 To Be Announced




Nashville public Television

Underground Railroad The William Still Story monday, February 6 9:00 pm

7:00 Big Band Vocalists Among the legendary artists included in rare, vintage footage are Louis Armstrong, Perry Como, Doris Day, Helen Forest with the Harry James Orchestra and Peggy Lee with The Benny Goodman Orchestra. 9:00 Celtic Thunder – Voyage A new special of Celtic and Irish music. 11:00 To Be Announced


7:00 Washington Week 7:30 Need to Know 8:00 moyers & Company 9:00 Back Care Basics: Yoga for the Rest of Us Yoga expert Peggy Cappy demonstrates exercises and yoga poses to protect the back and improve posture. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 To Be Announced


7:00 Lawrence Welk Show 8:00 Keeping Appearances 8:30 Vicar of Dibley 9:00 masterpiece mystery! Inspector Lewis: Old, Unhappy, Far Off Things. A reunion at Oxford’s remaining all-female college ends with the murder of a prominent student. 10:30 Wild photo Adventures Behind the Scenes. 11:00 Globe Trekker Sri Lanka & Maldives.


7:00 Washington Week 7:30 Need to Know 8:00 moyers & Company 9:00 Great performances Memphis. Winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best New Musical, Memphis turns the radio dial back to the 1950s to tell the story of a white DJ whose love of music transcends race lines and airwaves. 11:30 moyers & Company

Visit for complete 24 hour schedules for NPT and NPT2

POV Racing Dreams Thursday, February 23 8:00 pm



7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:30 Women and the War: Tennessee Civil War 150 The war forced changes in cultural and societal beliefs for women. 8:00 pOV Racing Dreams. 9:30 Women and the War: Tennessee Civil War 150 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Summer of a Lifetime


7:00 Nature Ocean Giants: Giant Lives. Nature provides new insights into the lives of whales and dolphins in a visually powerful, engaging and entertaining format. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Live from Artists Den Adele.

7:00 The Amish: 7:00 Country pop Legends American Experience 9:00 NpT’s With unprecedented acTeacher Town Hall As part of NPT’s Americess, this film answers can Graduate: Let’s many questions AmeriMake It Happen initiacans have about this tive, teachers from a insular religious commuwide range of schools in nity and looks at its fuMiddle Tennessee disture. cuss the major issues af9:00 Frontline fecting graduation rates 10:00 BBC World News in their schools. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Afropop: The Ultimate 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine Cultural Exchange 11:00 Live from Artists Den Everyday Sunshine. The Fray.


7:00 Clinton: American Experience Part 2: The Survivor. After Clinton wins the 1996 election in a landslide, events have been set in motion that will nearly destroy his presidency. 9:00 Frontline 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange Uprooted & Sanza Hanza.


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John Wood & Paul Harrison

Conquer the World Starting at the Frist, February 3 – May 6


British invasion arrives at the Frist Center this month as artists John Wood and Paul Harrison bring their delightfully quirky perspective to the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery. The duo uses physics,

gravity, and their own bodies as the subject matter for a humorous and kinetic contribution to contemporary art. Answers to Questions: John Wood and Paul Harrison, curated by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, explores their nineteen-year history in the first U.S. tour of their work. With ten video installations and a series of witty print posters, the show offers viewers a journey to the strange and wonderful world that Wood and Harrison inhabit. Although they met in the 1980s, Wood and Harrison have never lived in the same city. They meet for weeks-long sessions at an art/television studio they set up in Bristol, England. With nods to historic twentieth-century art, the pair has taken on contemporary life with an arsenal of ingenious, original ideas. Wood and Harrison enjoy fame in their native Great Britain and are familiar to European audiences. We considered writing an article to introduce our readers to Wood and Harrison, but we decided to let the artists themselves tell us about their work. We gave them no requirements and no restrictions. They sent us an imaginative and playful exploration of ten images. The final product is Ten Things, part photo essay, part prose, and part poetry. It captures the conceptual, minimal nature of their style and shows off the signature humor that defines their art. We invite you to enjoy this brief glimpse into the artists’ heads. We also encourage you to search YouTube for videos of their work in action. Answers to Questions: John Wood and Paul Harrison will be on view from February 3 to May 6 in the Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery at the Frist Center with a presentation by John Wood on February 3 at 6:30 p.m. |

February 2O12 | 55

Ten Things... by John Wood and Paul Harrison

John Wood Tennis Balls

There is a point. There are twenty-four points. In fact there are over a thousand points. Points that fall Points that bounce...


"When they were worn out I would have to get them mended, or get myself another pair..." Samuel Beckett, The End (1946) Table tennis (21 points)

The main advantage of working collaboratively is that there is always someone to play table tennis with...

12 Reasons to Stand Somewhere

Because you’re waiting for someone Because you’ve seen something...

A Ream of A4 Paper

Another perfect sculpture. One volume 500 pieces of paper...

56 | February 2O12 |


Paul Harrison

Everyday life sometimes looks like a film, especially if you put music to it...


When I was about seven years old my dad helped me make a toy boat...

Cardboard boxes are perfect sculptures

It might have been a dramatic event. It could have been an accident in transit...

Horizon Line

The simplest drawing. A one liner...

Our Studio

Where we draw, make things, play table tennis and pass the time...

To read the entire transcript, visit

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photo : anthony scarl ati

Steve Forbert Every Picture Tells a Story "


by Peter Cooper

ou can say, man, it's just a fireplug," says Steve Forbert. "But aren't they all unusual?" They actually

are, though most folks in and out of the art world find fireplugs about as unusual as a Waffle House next to an interstate exit. Forbert has spent decades examining the unusual aspects of usual subjects, most often in bracing folk and pop songs that trade on specificity of language and on a peculiar sensibility that entered and exited the commercial radio zeitgeist with the 1980 hit single "Romeo's Tune." (The one that began, “Meet me in the middle of the day, let me hear you say everything's okay.") A Nashvillian since the mid 1980s, he's known as a singer-songwriter whose albums and live performances are too deep, expansive, and intriguing to be defined by his one major hit. These days, he travels the world for show dates, usually alone, save for a 2005 LG cellphone that has somehow expanded his artistry and complicated his world. “It’s an imposition. It’s added stress to my life,” he says.

Forbert’s shots rarely depict necessities. Instead, they capture the things we use for escape from regimentation and from gray routine. 60 | February 2O12 |

See, on the cellphone, Forbert takes pictures. Some of them are of fireplugs, others of diner chairs, crates of eggs, candy corn, taillights on a Mercury Comet, manholes, highway ramps, candy apples, and garbage cans. He takes thousands of pictures, finding enough viable subjects that ten-minute walks become hour-long shoots. He doesn't use a zoom mechanism, doesn't think of trading up and getting a technically superior camera, and doesn't get his photos developed anywhere except Kinko's.

“Then I needed some gasoline, and I walked into a 7-Eleven store, and there was a display for Doublemint Gum that said Double Your Flavor. That picture’s going to go in the next show.” Though he’s taken a few shots while on tour in Canada and in Europe, he focuses on things that tend to be found in vintage American abundance: the odd colors of pink and blue plastic pool rings, a weathered, yellow Shell gas pump, or the audacity of a drive-in liquor store’s signage.

I’ve tried better cell phones and real cameras, and the pictures aren’t any good that way. They just look like everyone else’s photos.

Not that it's all been easy on the artist. "I probably take forty shots a day,” he says. “I'm not stopping to smell the roses, I'm actually taking something. I appreciate the beauty of something someone else might overlook, but I'm not sitting there relaxing behind this experience. I guess it's not harming anyone else, unless they're waiting for me to get the hell out of the passing lane and stop trying to shoot some picture." And they often are waiting for him to get out of the passing lane, but such is the price of art. Sometimes Forbert spies a photograph that cries to be taken, and he thinks to himself, “Oh, no.” Recently, he was thirty miles past Glenwood Springs, Colorado, when he saw a neon liquor sign that looked interesting. He tried shooting from several angles, but the sign was high up, and with no zoom, no ladder, and only a six-year-old cell phone for a camera, the endeavor proved fruitless.

photo : anthony scarl ati

Through the LG’s tiny lens, printed through what Forbert calls Kinko’s “imitation dye process” procedure, Forbert’s photos don’t look like anyone else’s. Lately, those photos have been hanging in Nashville's Tinney Contemporary art gallery and art629 Gallery in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Lately, people are noticing that Forbert's eye for detail, for irony, for color, and for beauty is compelling, even when he's not holding a guitar in his hand. Lately, people are noticing that fireplugs are unusual.

“I’m not making a cultural statement about art and sensibility here,” he says. “But a lot of the stuff that is beautiful is old and funky and has an inherent nostalgia to it. It makes you feel better, because you’re longing for something that’s better or that’s lost. And that stuff is a little enhancement of your nine-to-five.” Forbert has never been much on nine-to-five. His artist’s lot exists far from convention, and he’s extended the scope of his working days beyond the stage’s spotlight and into the natural light of street corners, parking lots, and overpasses. It’s an open-eyed existence, an imposition, and something of a burden. But it’s also a window into something special and unique. Something as colorful as candy corn, as unusual as a fireplug. Go to to watch Steve Forbert perform one of his favorite songs. |

February 2O12 | 61


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The Look of Love From the Lens to the Heart I

n 1874 Alfred Lord Tennyson looked to the newly emerging art of the photograph to illustrate his epic Arthurian legend, Idylls of the King. He asked his friend Julia

Margaret Cameron to provide a series of photos to capture the romance and fantasy of his subject. This early nod to the power of photography demonstrates the art form’s unique capacity to suggest the nuances of human emotion. The Parting of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere reveals a soft, tender moment between two lovers.

"I wanted to try something different, instead of the usual embrace. I like the way that the contours of the profiles of each almost find a place to fit into each other." norman lerner

Over 130 years later, photographers remain captivated by the camera’s power to look inside the human heart. Love is a complicated emotion that varies in nature from person to person. We all love, but the word itself has unique meaning for each individual. The camera offers an ideal tool to interpret love’s prismatic manifestations: Each photographer uses a singular concept of romance when trying to document it in the world, and intimate moments offer an array of surprising

complexities. Nashville Arts Magazine asked some of the top photographers in the area to give us their personal definitions of love, told through the camera lens. They responded with a collection of unique, personal tributes to the changing moods of romance. Two photographs from the series help demonstrate the range of interpretations we received. Norman Lerner’s ’60s era snapshot of a kissing couple captures playful, youthful affection. A man leans forward to kiss his girl on the nose. Her blond bob and dark eyeliner evoke the glamour and innocence of days gone by. John Guider sees love in an image in which humans are merely suggested but not seen outright. A colorless, dimly lit street is enlivened by bursts of electric color. A vase of tulips dances with red and bright yellows as windows seemingly explode with sharp rays of light. An otherwise lifeless image sings with feeling in a flashing moment. Isn’t that how love feels? Sometimes quiet, sometimes nostalgic, sometimes like a shock of happiness, it has myriad forms. Take a romantic journey through the eyes of our photographers and enjoy their unique expressions of love. It is, after all, Valentine’s Day.

"I came across these two very different couples in Rockefeller Plaza one spring day..." rob lindsay

"A couple that I met in a diner on St. Roch. She said she was born in Nashville. I love her face." Mark Tucker

"This photograph was taken during a break in June’s Press On recording sessions at their log cabin home studio. Johnny had released himself from the hospital the day before to be at his wife’s side. They recorded the emotional 'Far Side Banks Of Jordan' together." alan messer

"Love is mysterious at times…it often comes without a face, gentle and sweet as it floats into your heart, light as a feather. Not always meant for a friend or a lover but at times merely for the love of life." sheri o'neal

"When asked what I am thinking when shooting, the answer is hardly anything, it's more of feeling, when to hit the shutter. It's a very emotional vibe. Hopefully, the viewer gets the same feeling as I experienced." kris kristofferson

"I produced a body of street photographs of Parisian scenes, in the tradition of photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Doisneau and Willy Ronis, among others. I came across this couple in the Rue du Jour across the street from the Gothic church, St. Eustache." dennis wile 66 | February 2O12 |

"After a long cold, cold day in search of just the right image, there it was. A reflective moment that I couldn’t resist." anthony scarlati

"Paris. New growth of the spring enveloped the mythic, fabled city. Through the windows of the cozy eateries, the blooms of the fresh cut flowers danced their special dance in jars on tiny tables made solely for a couple's intimate encounter." john guider

"Sometimes the idea of romance can be displayed in couples who have spent a lifetime together becoming comfortable with each other's differences. I photographed this couple in 1985 in a mountaintop café in Switzerland." jerry atnip |

February 2O12 | 67

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Stroke of Genius? by Demetria Kalodimos

Nashville Arts Magazine asked several art experts to distinguish the work of a celebrated abstract expressionist (Joan Mitchell) from a painting created by a three-year-old. In some cases, Lylah’s painting won. Who is little Lylah? And did our experiment break the rules? Demetria Kalodimos investigates!


t's a sunny afternoon in Lylah’s unconventional playground—a hidden industrial park in East Nashville. I've driven up and down the street, lost, before Lylah’s dad waves me in from his roll-up garage door.

I'm here to watch her paint, but she'd rather twirl in a polka-dot flamenco dress her grandmother just brought from overseas. She fiddles with an iPad, tosses aside a well-worn Barbie doll, and seems most excited at the possibility that I just might relent and play "chase" around Daddy's studio. Lylah just turned three. Golden curls, blue chipped toenails, ball of fire. The very picture of an ordinary little girl. Yet the pictures she's creating, almost effortlessly, pose a puzzling question: Could her visual sense be extraordinarily heightened? Do we have a prodigy in our midst?

70 | February 2O12 |

I started painting when I was really young, like two and a half. I’m three now. I started early in school.

Ed Nash is Lylah’s dad. An art dealer and painter from picturesque Letchworth, England, he’s had a connection to Nashville since his college days, selling books for Southwestern. He’s now choosing to raise his family here. Like any parent, Ed delights in seeing his child at play. And that’s what it’s always been about, fun and play. “I would work on my stuff and let her paint on the back of my canvases.” (Sometimes in nothing but a diaper, with big messy brushes.) Lylah would fill a canvas or cast-off board with color and bold strokes. She seemed to know exactly what colors to use and precisely when she was finished. Ed never gave it a second thought, until the backside of his own work caught the eye of Nashville Arts Magazine Editor Paul Polycarpou. “I gave Nashville Arts Magazine one of my paintings, and Paul saw it on the back and said, ‘Oh my . . . what is this?’ And awhile later, I picked up a gallery magazine and saw this” (sliding the magazine across the table). It’s an ad featuring a piece by abstract expressionist Joan Mitchell. Untitled 1958. A dead ringer for a 2011 work by three-year-old Lylah Nash! “If you look at a lot of Mitchell’s work, she paints in a really simple style, but it is kind of wild. I don’t encourage Lylah; I don’t say use this or try that. I’m sure she watches and picks up from me, but it’s really the process. It’s the fun of it.” For the most part Ed laughs off the similarity. But could Lylah be showing early genius?

Still, our Nashville Arts Magazine experiment gave credit to the child. And make no mistake, this child knows what she’s doing. “Yesterday she told me she was painting a princess and a spider,” Ed says. After about ten minutes at the easel, Lylah, now covered by Dad’s cast-off polo shirt, is done. And it occurs to me I have yet to get a comment from the artist. “What’s your very favorite picture you’ve painted?” I ask. “Chase me, “ she says. Were you able to determine which painting on the previous page is Lylah's? It's the one on the right. Joan Mitchell's painting, courtesy of Estate of Joan Mitchell.

photo: anthony scarlati

In April 2011, the journal Psychological Science published “Seeing the Mind Behind the Art.” Two Boston College researchers wanted to know whether people could really distinguish costly museum abstracts from those done by children, chimps, monkeys, or

elephants. “We showed art and non-art students paired images, one by an abstract expressionist and one by a child or animal, and asked which they liked more and which they judged as better . . . Participants preferred professional paintings and judged them as better than the nonprofessional paintings even when the labels were reversed.” Researchers Angelina Hawley-Dolan and Ellen Winner concluded, “People can distinguish abstract expressionist paintings from highly similar paintings by children, chimps, monkeys, and elephants. The world of abstract art is more accessible than people realize.” |

February 2O12 | 71



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The Digital Signature

Art in the Age of the QR Code

by Nicholas Dantona


rtists today now have the opportunity to add a fourth dimension to their work, one that can take you deeper inside the art through the use of the quick response code.

Scan the QR codes with a smartphone for accompanying videos.

The QR code is similar to the ubiquitous bar code. But there is one significant difference: any consumer smartphone with a camera can scan these codes and reveal a secret world. Scanning a QR code can trigger a video or link to a predetermined website, automatically place a phone call, or launch a text message. Scan a QR code on that bag of Starbuck’s coffee and you’re off to Nicaragua, trekking through an organic and sustainable grove of coffee plants. Trying to decide which flowers to plant in the spring? Scan the QR code stickered on the pot, and bang! A video on the history, genus, and care of that rose bush in front of you comes to life. But what does this have to do with art? Well, we’re beginning to explore that. Let’s start with the artist’s signature. It has been a longstanding tradition for artists to sign their work as a way to claim authorship. But that’s it. No other information or insight is provided. Now imagine that next to his signature Picasso placed a QR code. By scanning his digital signature Pablo appears and

Nick Dantona

gives you the context of Guernica. Or maybe a QR code on the Mona Lisa where da Vinci settles the matter of her enigmatic smile. How about Henry Fox Talbot placing on his first photograph a QR code that explains the process that led to the birth of a new art medium?

Chuck Arland

74 | February 2O12

The digital signature can engender a more full appreciation of the art before you. Many art collectors acquire only contemporary work; they want to meet the artist and know more about their creative process. Clever use of this technology can act as an introduction to that relationship. Alternatively, adding the lush sounds of the jungle can add depth to that picture of the rain forest. Gunfire can scream of the danger and desperation of today’s Syrian imagery, virtually putting you in harm’s way. |

The history of the use of new technologies tells an interesting story. Photography and technology have always been linked through a symbiotic relationship. Photography embraced advances in chemistry, metallurgy, mechanics, paper and fiber, optics and X-ray, to name a few of the sciences, as a means to advance the medium and the art form. Names like Daguerre, Muybridge, Le Prince, Edgerton, Eastman, and Land are only a few of the giants in the exploration and advancement of art through technology. The developers of these advancements rarely foresee the eventual applications. Consider how absurd it seemed to text someone when a phone call is more robust and intimate. Not even the architects of Twitter could have imagined that a Tweet would be the backbone technology of the Arab Spring. Like it or not, art and technology are linked, and the digital signature stands in as the next batter. The implications of an artist’s digital signature hide in plain sight, waiting to be discovered, tampered with, and explored. Who can say where it will lead? SouthLight Salon, a Nashville-based group of eight photographers, has taken on that question. Their upcoming show, Southern Light–the South through Eight Lenses and a Code, is a photographic exhibit in which each artist uses his or her digital signature to bring an added dimension to the work specifically and to the art experience in general. The results? They vary with each artist. A rural roadside image comes to life in David Robert Farmerie's photograph. Jerry Park adds the sights and sounds of the art of life in New Orleans to his French Quarter photographs through the narration of a local Cajun. Walk through the hidden locations of Jerry Atnip’s Gone South photographs.

David Robert Farmerie

Like it or not, art and technology are linked, and the digital signature stands in as the next batter.

Perhaps in the future these examples will appear rudimentary. They are, after all, the first steps. However, being among the first photographers in history to explore this opportunity has been exciting and challenging. Its relevance is not lost on us and should not be lost on the art community. The artist signature is a tradition with a deep heritage. The digital signature, whether successful or not, will add to that legacy. The South Through Eight Lenses and a Code exhibit is at The Arts Company through February 24.

Jerry Park

Jerry Atnip |

February 2O12 | 75


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Film-Com Provides Catalyst for Collaborative Art Forms by Randy O’Brien | photography by Jimmy Abegg

Scenes from the Nashville-created feature film Blue Like Jazz, directed by Steve Taylor.


he motion picture medium is among the most collaborative art forms in human history, as it combines the arts of writing, acting, score composition, songwriting, choreography, photography, set design, costume creation, special effects make-up, directing, editing, post-production sound design, graphic arts, and all for an end work of art designed to be seen by millions on big and small screens around the world,” says Andy van Roon, chairman of Film-Com, a Nashville-based annual convention for film and television. Film-Com is a financing and distribution market for feature films, television concepts, and

documentaries, which takes place every April in downtown Nashville. It helps bring together the diverse array of talent that makes films possible in today’s market. Van Roon says financing and distribution support of locally created film works is a fundamental goal of Film-Com, enabling regional artists to have their work exported and admired around the U.S. and the world. 78 | February 2O12 |

The event brings in film and television executives from Los Angeles and New York, financiers from the region and other parts of the country, as well as filmmakers from as far away as Australia, South America, Europe, and India, to interact and build much-needed bridges with regional filmmakers and other artists involved in the filmmaking process. Film-Com partners with a number of local arts organizations and institutions, including the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Nashville Composers Association’s Score-Com Symposium, Tennessee Screenwriting Association, Songwriters for Film & Television Forum, International Black Film Festival of Nashville, and SEANET (SouthEast Actors Network), for a week’s worth of film business events that dovetail with the venerable Nashville Film Festival.

Untrademarked Productions’ Worm, made by recent graduates of the Watkins Film School, clearly demonstrate that Nashville artists are creating films of outstanding vision that translate anywhere in the world. Our fundamental goal with Film-Com is to solidify bridges to pragmatic mechanisms that will deepen the local filmmaking permaculture in order to provide greater opportunities for all such artists and professionals related to the medium.” Film-Com Week this year runs April 14–20. To participate or for more information contact and peruse

Kelly Corcoran, Associate Conductor of the Nashville Symphony, observes, “Working with Film-Com for the annual OnStage Music in Film event at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center is always an artistically enriching event.” Each year, the relationship between music and film is explored in this intimate event where filmmakers and executives sit on stage with musicians from the Nashville Symphony, as Corcoran illuminates the dynamics between music and scenes from landmark films. Corcoran says music can enhance the intention in a film scene by “emphasizing drama or humor and adding to character development.”

I often think of the music in a film as a character itself. Different musical choices can completely change the way a film is perceived.

For Nashville-area writers, the Tennessee Screenwriting Association (TSA) produces Script-Com, an annual workshop partnering with Film-Com that brings in professionals already working in the motion picture business. TSA President Pete Kremer says of the relationship between Script-Com and FilmCom that “it’s great meeting people with experience in finance and production. For local filmmakers this really stirs the pot.” Nashville-based, award-winning producer and director Carolyn McDonald (TNT's Buffalo Soldiers and Freedom Song; HBO's America's Dream) moved to Nashville from Los Angeles four years ago. She’s committed to helping developing talent hone their skills to a professional level, and Film-Com is the perfect environment for fledgling projects. As current board president of FilmNashville she says, “Film-Com also enjoys the support of local professional film crews on both the artistic and technical side.” Film-Com is partnering with the newly forming SouthEast Actors Network, founded by veteran actor Dan O’Callaghan, to facilitate greater opportunities for actors and the agencies that represent them. Though the most visible characters in film, actors are oftentimes left out of the filmmaking process until casting and filming. O’Callaghan further observes that “high school and university acting classes often fail to discuss the business aspects of show business.” Film-Com Chair Van Roon concludes: “Local works created by both established artists such as Steve Taylor’s Blue Like Jazz and |

February 2O12 | 79

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by Paulette Licitra

ow do you really know the food of another culture?

Visit the country, yes. Eat in their restaurants, yes. But to go even further—to really live the food of that culture—shop in their markets and cook the food in their kitchens. I’ve been doing this for years. My country of choice: Italy. Overflowing with authentic recipes from Italian home kitchens, I began teaching Italian cooking in Nashville two years ago. My favorite city is Rome, where I lived for a year as an undergrad student. Recently, the thrill of cooking in Roman kitchens became more exciting when I led a group of five enthusiastic travelercooks—all from the Nashville area—to join me on a private Roman cooking adventure. We rented apartments and cooked at “home.” We shopped for produce at the famous Campo dei Fiori outdoor market. We shopped at the local macelleria (meat shop), panetteria (bread store), formaggeria (cheese shop), the alimentare (all purpose food shop), and the pasticceria for delectable pastries. Porcini mushrooms were in season, as well as zucchini flowers, artichokes, cauliflower, and Roman cauliflower, which is a green cauliflower with pointed crowns. We made fresh pasta, fresh ricotta gnocchi, porcini risotto, chicken francese, fried eggplant with beef ragu, artichokes Roman style, and spicy zucchini coins. My Roman friend Malena demonstrated rigatoni al cavolo Romano: a seasonal specialty of pasta, cauliflower, crispy breadcrumbs, and garlic. 82 | February 2O12

Paulette Licitra, second from left, and the gang in Rome

But don’t imagine that we passed up the chance to eat in Roman restaurants. One afternoon we spent three hours sampling the treasures at Ristorante Archimedes near the Pantheon, a restaurant I loved more than twenty years ago. I was anxious to see if their signature dish, Fritto Misto—battered and deep-fried vegetables with the crowning deep-fried artichoke ala Roman Jewish style: carciofi alla giudea—would measure up to what I had tasted so long ago. It did. Perfect in every bite. I was thrilled for my companions to try it (which they loved). |

One evening, walking back to the apartment, we decided to take a route we didn’t know. Drawn down a narrow via by a brightly lit sign reading Alfredo, we wondered if this was the famous restaurant of the original Fettuccine Alfredo. But instead we stopped short of the Alfredo sign at another restaurant called Ristorante Campana. It was quintessentially Roman: brown wooden tables and chairs, a few quiet paintings on the wall, a table near the door covered with antipasti. We read the menu and decided to go in, leaving Alfredo behind. Good choice! Campana’s osso buco alla porcini, polpette con piselli, chicken under a brick, spaghetti alle vongole (clams), and antipasti were all made-us-swoon standouts. Along with Rome’s classic pasta: spaghetti alla carbonara. Reeling from good food and good wine we floated from the restaurant into the night and finally took a look at Alfredo’s a few doors away. The 1950s photographs framed near the door told us this was the famous restaurant tucked away on a narrow street. Of course, food and wine go great with sightseeing. How could we miss the Roman Forum, Campidoglio, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, St. Peter’s, and the awe-inspiring Pantheon? We didn’t. We embraced the Eternal City and were so much more than tourists. We crept into the very soul of Rome. Shopping with Romans for our lunch ingredients. Cooking at home while other Romans were doing the same. Having our morning cappuccino and cornetto at the bars alongside Romans on their way to work. Our walking stride got used to the bumpy black Roman cobblestones—sanpietrini (a word mixture of Saint Peter and stones)—the equivalent of the yellow brick road leading us to wonders. And until we return, and perhaps try Alfredo’s, here is the original recipe for Fettuccine Alfredo, which is senza panna . . . without cream!

Trevi Fountain, Rome

“True” Fettuccine Alfredo 1 lb. fettuccine ½ lb. unsalted butter (2 sticks) 2 ½–3 cups grated Parmigiano

Fill a large pasta pot with water and bring to a boil. Add salt. Add fettuccine. Cook until al dente. Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water. Drain pasta. Meanwhile, warm a large shallow bowl. Slice the butter into thin pats and lay them out in the bottom of the bowl. Place the drained pasta on top of the butter and sprinkle half of the cheese on top. Using a large fork and spoon (or two forks) toss the pasta, coating it with the butter and cheese. Add some of the pasta water—about half. Continue to toss. Add the rest of the cheese. Keep tossing until the pasta is coated in the creaminess of the butter-cheese-water combination. Add more water if it’s too thick a mixture. Serve hot.

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beyond words by Marshall Chapman

Travel Travail

Photo: Anthony Scarlati


here's something liberating about letting yourself fall apart and letting someone else— preferably a stranger—pick up the pieces. I have experienced this twice,

once in a Hertz parking lot in Los Angeles and the other in Terminal 2 at the Mexico City International Airport.

I have a name for this phenomenon: sit-down breakdown. In other words, you become so distraught you can no longer stand, so you simply drop everything and hit the floor. My most recent sit-down breakdown occurred last month. I was on the west coast of Mexico when I received word my husband had fallen ill while attending a medical conference in Boston. Chris and I have been together more than twenty years, and in that time, I can recall him having two—maybe three—colds. Not even bronchitis. Just the sniffles. I have always marveled at his stamina, attributing his good health to years of practicing medicine. Being around the sick had somehow inoculated him from disease.

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I admit I had not slept well the night before. Also, this was my first time changing planes in Mexico City. I consider myself a seasoned traveler, okay? Plus, I am getting so I can understand Spanish. However, nothing could have prepared me for the chaos of changing fights at Aeropuerto Internacional de la Ciudad de México Benito Juárez.

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After disembarking my flight from Puerto Vallarta, I began walking for what seemed like miles, all the while lugging my guitar and carry-on. I'll spare you the details, but after many twists and turns and misdirections, I suddenly found myself faced with going through security a third time. And that's when I lost it.

My knees buckled as I crumpled to the floor. Forehead on guitar case, I began sobbing uncontrollably. After what seemed like a very long time, a uniformed woman appeared. She did not speak English, but she looked at me like, Are you okay? All I could manage between heaving sobs was, Mi esposo . . . mi esposo . . . Mi esposo está enfermo! Necessito ir a mi casa! I can't recall what all happened after that. All I know is she was very kind, as she miraculously escorted me to my gate in time for my flight. Unlike Blanche DuBois, I do not make a habit of depending on the kindness of strangers. Maybe it's rare, but there are some Good Samaritans out there. So why not give them a chance to show compassion? It might help you get where you're going.

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Blackbird Theater by Jim Reyland | photography by B. Burkey


had the pleasure of knowing Greg Greene and Wes Driver when. We sat in

my office talking about writing new plays, how to get them produced, and the hills we all must climb. The advice at the time was simple: Start climbing. Take control of your own theatrical destiny. It wasn’t long after that Blackbird Theater was born on the campus of Lipscomb University, a unique collaboration between talented, hungry artists and the undaunted student spirit. Lipscomb’s Department of Theatre is led by its chair, Mike Fernandez. “Blackbird Theater is producing some of the finest theatre in Nashville, and Lipscomb University is proud to have them as our Artists in Residence. I firmly believe we have a special relationship, one that allows Blackbird to do quality work that challenges the Nashville artistic community while giving our students the invaluable opportunity to work with some of the best professional artists around.” You may remember Blackbird’s inaugural production, Twilight of the Gods, a critically acclaimed original piece written and presented by the dynamic duo, followed by Arcadia, a Tom Stoppard masterpiece, and G .K. Chesterton’s Magic. Not a small accomplishment among them. Today, Blackbird continues to make a name for itself doing brilliant, littleseen shows with stellar casts and top-notch production values.

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In 2012, enter the modern master of musical theater, Stephen Sondheim, renowned for Sweeney Todd, A Little Night Music, and Company, with one of his most compelling works, a rarely produced gem, Pacific Overtures. Nothing scares these guys. Blackbird Theater’s co-founder, Greg Greene: “I fell in love with Pacific Overtures on a spring day in the ’90s, alternately listening to the score on a bootleg cassette in my car and then wandering the rainy neighborhoods of old Franklin, trying to piece the story together sans liner notes as the songs cast their spell.” Pacific Overtures takes place in nineteenth-century Japan where an unlikely friendship is forged between the samurai Kayama and the Americanized fisherman Manjiro in the wake of a U.S. naval mission to secure trade with the reclusive nation. When the shogun reluctantly agrees to America’s demands, Kayama and Manjiro— and all of Japanese society—must face the wave of Westernization that follows. Blackbird’s production of Pacific Overtures takes place just weeks before Nashville’s popular Cherry Blossom Festival (March 24) and shortly before the one-year anniversary of the devastating tsunami of March 11. It is a fitting tribute to the strength and resilience of the Japanese people.

We’re putting on the kinds of shows we ourselves most want to see—imaginative, intellectually stimulating, emotionally engaging, and uniquely theatrical. – Wes Driver, Artistic Director, Blackbird Theater

Enjoy Blackbird Theater and Lipscomb University’s latest theatrical collaboration, Pacific Overtures by Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman, February 2–4, 9–11, and 16–18 at 7:30 p.m. in Shamblin Theater on the Lipscomb University campus. (The 1976 original Broadway production, directed by Hal Prince, was nominated for ten Tony Awards.) Tickets are $20 for Thursdays, $25 for Fridays and Saturdays at More information at

Jim Reyland is artistic director of Writer’s Stage Theatre. His new play, STAND, starring Barry Scott and Chip Arnold, directed by David Compton, premieres August 24, 2012, as part of the STAND project, a twelve-week, city-wide, multi-theatre tour to help bring awareness to the plight of the addicted and homeless. |

February 2O12 | 89

appraise it with linda dyer

Ladies 14-Karat Yellow Gold Dome Style Cocktail Ring, Circa 1950 Gypsy set with round center diamond surrounded by smaller cut diamonds in bright-cut settings. The center diamond is approximately 1.55 karats, and the total diamond weight approximately 1.69 karats. Retail replacement value would range between $10,000 and $12,000. Jewelry design is what turns geology into art. Thus jewelry design traditionally mirrors the aesthetics of the day. I believe that this circa 1950s “Atomic Age” cocktail ring reflects that Term: principle beautifully. Gypsy Setting is a setting in





I will never forget the time sunk into the surrounding that I turned to an Antiques metal leaving the top of the stone reaching over Roadshow colleague during the base, subtly reflecting dinner to ask about sourcing a the light. replacement for a lost diamond stud earring.  He startled me when he said, “Just get a CZ. Why spend real money on a simple stone? I make all my wife’s pieces out of cubic zirconia, and she can’t tell the difference.” I silently turned back to my dinner.

Hand-colored Engraving, Denmark, eighteenth century This simple yet elegant print is a plate from Flora Danica, one of the world’s great works concerning botany.  Before 1752 botany was considered an ancillary subject to medicine. The aim of  Flora Danica  was to popularize botany and in that way enhance the knowledge of both the useful and the harmful characteristics of the various plants.  With that objective in mind the work began.  The printing history of the text is very complex. The first part of the book was published in 1761 and the last, one hundred and twenty-three years later.  Flora Danica, with its expansive text and folio-sized pictures, sought to include all wild plants in Denmark, which at the time of the project’s inception in 1752 included Norway, Holstein, Faroe Islands, Greenland, Iceland, Northern Germany, and parts of Sweden.

of “the four Cs”—color, clarity, carat, and cut.

Linda Dyer serves as an appraiser, broker, and consultant in the field of antiques and fine art. She has appeared on the PBS production Antiques Roadshow since season one, which aired in 1997, as an appraiser of Tribal Arts. If you would like Linda to appraise one of your antiques, please send a clear, detailed image to Or send photo to Antiques, Nashville Arts Magazine, 644 West Iris Dr., Nashville, TN 37204.

all Photos: Jerry Atnip

So when it comes to diamonds, the question is always real or fake? The good news is that the science for testing diamonds has The engraved botanical plates on watermarked Honig paper appeared been developed, even for use by a hobbyist or flea market shopper. in a hand-painted edition, as well as an unpainted edition. The plainer A battery-operated probe was developed that can measure the edition ensured that the work would become known in all parts of speed of heat traveling through different types of stones. The the country.  Free copies of the plain edition were given to bishops pen-shaped device not only detects diamonds; it can with instructions to distribute distinguish natural diamonds from synthetic ones, them to clergymen, grammar Note of Interest: an undertaking that even diamond experts can schools, and the educated, with The original Declaration of Independence find challenging. If the diamond is real, the meter was adopted on July 4, 1776, and on the promise that the recipients along the side of the probe displays a green light and the same day the Continental Congress would provide information to directed that copies be printed makes a beeping sound.  These the Danish Royal Botanical immediately for distribution to official devices are available via Institution on any plants in bodies in various states. These broadsides Internet sources and retail their part of the country. were created by John Dunlap, official for under $100. printer to the Congress. The paper maker's The bulk of the work, which watermark Is "J. Honig & Zoonen," wellRest assured that included flowers, grasses, known Dutch papermakers of Zaandyk, this device will and fungi, consisted of Holland. There are only a few copies of not be putting this priceless broadside known to exist. fifty-one parts plus three any gemologists supplements, containing 3,240 out of business. Consulting hand-colored engravings from copper plates.  a trained jeweler will always This plate “Flora Danica Tab DCCCXXI” is clearly of its period, handbe necessary.  Grading of painted and printed on watermarked “J.  Honig  &  Zoonen” paper.  diamonds is best left to With myriad condition issues but none that distract from the central trained professionals who subject “focus film,” the print would have a retail value of $200. judge the stones on the basis

at the auction

Elizabeth Taylor Auction The end of 2011 marked a series of records for jewelry auctions with Christie’s highly anticipated sale of Elizabeth Taylor’s unparalleled collection of gems. A four-day series of auctions captivated collectors around the world. The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor: The Legendary Jewels Evening Sale ranks as the most valuable jewelry auction in history with $115,932,000 in sales. Seven new world auction records were reached during the event. One of the most alluring and romantic items in the sale, the legendary La Peregrina pearl, now holds two new auction records. The pearl was discovered in the sixteenth century and became photo: MPTV Images part of the crown jewels of Spain. It was given to Taylor by Richard Burton in 1969 and placed in a ruby and diamond necklace designed by Taylor and Al Durante of Cartier. The success of the auction demonstrates the lasting appeal of Taylor’s daring and iconic style.

La Peregrina Sold for $11,842,500

For more information visit

A Ruby and Diamond Ring, by Van Cleef & Arpels, 8.24 carats, a gift from Richard Burton, Christmas 1968. Sold for $4,226,500

A Suite of Diamond, Emerald, and Ruby Jewelry, by Massoni, from the collection of Baron and Baroness di Portanova, given as a gift from Michael Jackson. Sold for $290,500

An Emerald and Diamond Flower Brooch, by BVLGARI, 1960. Sold for $1,538,000

An Art Nouveau Enamel and MultiGem Butterfly Brooch, by Boucheron, circa 1905. Sold for $122,500

A Pair of Diamond, Sapphire, and Cultured Pearl Ear Clips, by Jean Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co. Sold for $230,500 |

February 2O12 | 91

on the town with Ted Clayton


s we are all on our way into the New Year, I am certainly sure that all of you are practicing your New Year's resolutions. I

thought I would share with you my resolution for the year: to become more tech savvy in my old age. I'm learning the lingo: OMG, OMW, LMAO, LOL, BRB, TTYL, etc. (that one I have to know). With my new smartphone I think I could talk to the moon if I only knew which tiny button to push with my fat fingers. (Now this is something I have never thought about: Are my fingers too fat?) I can email, text, send pictures, Facebook, get the time of day and weather, daily briefing (not sure on what), play solitaire, watch movies, read a book, and be navigated wherever I want to go. Speaking of navigation, why do I need to go anywhere, see anyone, be kind and courteous, and practice fine etiquette or dress well? I can just sit and punch a button. Not to mention, I can talk and find you anywhere and everywhere. Skype? Why would I want you to see me sitting around in whatever? OMG, SWM (that’s stay with me, made that one up) for this is the perfect example I must share with you. Last fall I attended a wonderful fundraising event at the War Memorial Building. Before leaving to fetch my car from the valet parkers, I decided to visit the gentlemen’s room. Upon entering the restroom I went to my designated, partitioned, wall-mounted, porcelain station, minding my own business. All of a sudden, the door opened and many black-tie patrons entered the Ed and Nicki Nash room. OK, fine, this was not my private space. So, a young patron stands next to me at his designated, partitioned, wall-mounted, porcelain station with his phone above his head moving left to right watching a football game. As you know me, I had to say something, so I said, "Can you not leave it alone for a few seconds?" bringing laughs from the other gentlemen, lined up at their wall-mounted stations, probably not sure what I was referring to. Then he started texting his fellow table buddy two floors up to relay the game. (Now that’s a lot to do with one hand, for me.) And to think they arrest folks for texting while driving. NTY (not through yet, another one I made up):

Trey Lipman, Julie and Laurie Eskind

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While I was writing this article my postman came to the door delivering my mail. I had some outgoing mail to give him and also a question to ask, but he had that thingy in his ear carrying on a conversation (at first, hearing the voice I thought I had company) and was way to involved to speak with me. So I'm OMW to the PO Michael and Taylor Visconti (post office, LOL) with navigation to get me there and bring me back home. I guess my daughter, Grace, is correct when she says, "Dad, let’s move out of the ’90s"—or I should say that is what she texted me. "Come one come all to the greatest show on earth!" We have heard that for a lifetime describing the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Local photographer Allen Clark, partnered with Feld Entertainment, hosted "Museum & Menagerie: A Circus Celebration from Past to Present" benefiting Safe Haven Family Shelter. Allen always had the dream to photograph the circus and was granted access behind the scenes of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus to do just that. His work includes close-up shots of the animals and performers, showcasing the depth and power behind the scenes that make the circus such a spectacular event for all ages. Local artists Andee Rudloff and Lindsey Bailey collaborated with Clark to create the grand circus atmosphere. Together with the stunning photograph collection, decor, and yes, circus food—hot pretzels with sissy mustard, popcorn, hot dogs, and spiked snow cones—live aerial performances made this three-ring circus an Aerial performance event not to be forgotten! With standing room only at ringside were Julie and Laurie Eskind, Jim Shulman, Jared Danford, Michael Visconti with nephew Taylor, Levi Weaver, Ben Miller, Nicki and Ed Nash, Skippy and Amber Chapman, Ellis and Clayton Clark. I must add, Trey Lipman, VP of Safe Haven Development, was oh so cute and sexy in her sequined ringmaster costume. Lions and tigers and clowns, oh my—it was a great evening full of warm energy and entertainment on a cold winter night in Ellis, Allen and Clayton Clark downtown Nashville. |

Shaved foie gras with brioche French toast was served to accompany incredible wines at l'Eté du Vin Nashville Crush, chaired by Pam and Steve Taylor. Combination of artists and floral designers at the second annual "Arts and Flowers" benefiting ALIAS Chamber Ensemble, a most creative evening and great food! Dinner on the Bridge of Belle Meade Plantation for patrons of Fall Fest—Alton Kelley's creative idea and a great one, I may add. Chaired by Betsy and Ridley Wills, Alva and Frank Wilk, Deby and Keith Pitts.      

Alyne Massey and Grace Clayton

Historically, January is a slow social month in Nashville being that the A-List have migrated to Palm Beach and Naples for the winter. Reminiscing about the social calendar of 2011, a few events really stand out in my mind, and of course I want to share with you.

Andy Warhol, Studio 54, Rolling Stones—the Frist Gala where Chairs Elizabeth McDonald and Sally Nesbitt danced in cages.     The socials dressed for fall: "Sunday in the Park"— Elizabeth Coble and Kristin Taylor chaired the glorious alfresco luncheon under tent in the park.

La Bella Notte, an evening of song and fine music. "O Sole Mio," just love those Opera folks! Louise Kitchens and Carla Nelson chaired, and the annual award was presented to Earl Swensson. Red carpet, black tie, sequins, glitz and glamour at Oscar Night America benefiting Belcourt Theatre.        Breathtaking, elegant, and such class—Ballet Ball 2011 chaired by the lovely Nancy Cheadle and Sandra Lipman. T.J. Martell Honors Gala: a great mix of medical, sports, entertainment, and political folks. Dinner with President and Mrs. Andrew Jackson at the Hermitage Ball, chaired by Emily James and Rebecca Laine.   Dancing talents dazzled the audience at "Dancing for Safe Haven Family Shelter" where Amy and Owen Joyner took home first place. Chaired by Deborah and Dave Roberson, judged by Ellen Nelson, Heather Byrd, and Yours Truly. Two of Nashville's most glamorous women, Janet Bentz and Johnna Watson, chaired the Spring Symphony Fashion Show with superstar vocalist Faith Hill entertaining. Last-minute dinner move due to storms.

Clare Armistead and Jane Dudley

The Addams Family, Fest de Ville Gala benefiting TPAC. Elegant, ookey and eerie, chaired by Patsy Weigel and Ashley Henry.

Luminous, reflective, wondrous Conservancy Gala chaired by the mother-daughter team Ellen Martin and Phyllis Fridrich. An evening under the sea benefiting the Parthenon and Centennial Park. Lyle Beasley was so excited by the mermaid performance he popped his black bowtie. Book smart—the Nashville Public Library Foundation Literary Award Gala. Award presented to John McPhee. Event chaired by Mary and John Bettis, Mary and Calvin Lewis, and Gina and Dick Lodge. Socials in black tie and jeans dining with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill at the Patrons Party for Visions of the American West: Masterworks from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center at Cheekwood. Chaired by Kathryn DeLay and Emily Zerfoss. A most beautiful Winter Symphony Ball, chaired by Laurie Eskind and Vicki Horne. Taylor Swift entertained, and the Nashville Symphony performed. Incredible evening!

Governor and Mrs. Bill Haslam hosted their first "A Tennessee Best Quote of the year— Waltz"—a most elegant evening held by a valet parker at the at the State Capitol benefiting the Frist Gala Patrons Party: Martha Ingram and Denny Bottorff Tennessee State Museum Foundation.     "Everyone here has a building named for them!" A wet Steeplechase, but not to upset the socials; rain or shine they are there. Fascinators a big hit as worn in the Royal Wedding—sure am glad All of these amazing the Brits did not wear helmets. (Now that’s an idea, lace and camouflage social events will, of (you read it first here). course, be covered by "Oh What A Night" as Frankie Valli sang his theme song at the 49th Swan Ball. Missy Eason and Shannon Barton chaired, with local fantastic design by Amos Goss and Jane Sloan. The launch of Tennessee Rep’s 27th season at the lovely river home of Sylvia and Al Ganier. Chaired by Neil Krugman, Mary Neil Price, and Brande Thomas.

your favorite social editor again this year. The Arts and the Socials—what a great combination in the great coffee-table topper Nashville Arts Magazine. Enjoy! |

Jim and Janet Ayers

February 2O12 | 93

my favorite painting

Photo: anthony scarlati

Kim Sherman Wordsmith, Songstress, Musical Matchmaker, Art Collector


first saw this painting at a local gallery featuring Michael Madzo’s

work back in 2001. The show closed, though, and the painting "got away" before I decided I had to have it. Fortunately, some months later, the gallery manager was able to track it down for me, and I was able to make the painting mine.

I tell my customers all the time, "If you can walk away from something (be it a guitar, or art, or what have you), you should. If you can't forget it, go back for it!" Between the time I first saw the painting and bought it, the attacks of September 11 had taken place, and that, along with some personal challenges I was facing at the time, makes this painting extra special. I see it daily, and for me it represents perseverance and determination, with a bit of a wink thrown in!

ABOUT THE ARTIST Nashville Arts Magazine readers will be familiar with Michael Madzo’s captivating paintings from the feature story on his art in our November 2011 issue. A North Dakota native, Madzo has a Middle Tennessee presence through Leiper’s Creek Gallery. He exhibits his work in Los Angeles, New York, and Paris, as well. Madzo creates his textured paintings by sewing together patches of canvas with a sewing machine. He sometimes combines portions of multiple works in progress into one final painting. “The paintings are made with various pieces of paper materials, all beginning with a single form or color. The painted image evolves steadily, piece by piece, taking on its form and direction by the addition of each individual piece of paper or paint,” says the artist. The result is a collage of geometric shapes, zigzag stitching, and arresting, fantastic images. Madzo’s paintings have a literary aspect. Each one seems to narrate a story to the viewer. A poet, Madzo borrows lines from his poems for the titles of his paintings. He pieces together canvas and poetry elements to form brilliant compositions that speak to individuals around the world.

Michael Madzo, 2001 94 | February 2O12 |


1 ary u r Feb

2 1 20

e s l Va entine’s Crui ROMA


Tell your sweetheart you love them aboard the General Jackson Showboat while cruising under the twinkling stars and majestic Nashville skyline. The Craig Duncan Orchestra will perform live, providing romantic tunes perfect for you and your loved one to dance the night away. But not before enjoying a deliciously divine four-course meal during the three-hour cruise. There’s no better place to celebrate love than aboard the General Jackson on Valentine’s Day.


se r u o 4-C nner Orchest ra Di

615-458-3900 | |

GET social with us February 2O12 | 95

2012 February Nashville Arts Magazine