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©Wesley Clark


237 5th Ave N . Nashville 37219 . 615.255.7816 .


Nashvillian of the Year Award Dr. Ming Wang, Harvard & MIT (MD, magna cum laude); PhD (laser physics) Presented by Kiwanis Club International, Nashville, TN The Kiwanis Club of Nashville is proud to announce Dr. Ming Wang, director of Wang Vision 3D Cataract and LASIK Center, world-renowned laser eye surgeon, author, and philanthropist as the 35th recipient of their coveted Nashvillian of the Year Award for 2015. Dr. Wang receives the award by exemplifying the qualities of Outstanding Nashvillian of the Year and the Kiwanis International Vision. Dr. Wang worked diligently to make the world a better place, when he established the Wang Foundation, helping patients from over 40 states in the U.S. and 55 countries, with sight restoration surgeries performed free-of-charge. “It is difficult to know anyone who works as hard giving back to the community and changing the lives of children as much as Dr. Ming Wang,” said Kenny Markanich, president, Kiwanis Club of Nashville. “He has helped countless children through the charitable outreach of his foundation, giving free surgeries to repair their vision.” Dr. Wang actively contributes to the Nashville community as the founding president of the Tennessee Chinese Chamber of Commerce and as an honorary president of the Tennessee American-Chinese Chamber of Commerce. The mission of these two chambers is to help educate Tennessee businesses about China, helping Tennessee to increase its export to China. He is also a co-founder of Tennessee Immigrant and Minority Business Group, an organization that provides support to the diverse cultural and ethnic businesses in our community. For the past 35 years, the 100-year-old civic club has bestowed the annual ac-

colade upon an individual who has gone beyond the expected scope of their abilities for the betterment and benefit of the Nashville community. The selection committee was spearheaded by George H. Armistead, III, one of the three original architects of the award (along with the late Gillespie Buchannan and the late Ralph Brunson). Past winners of note include Martha Ingram, Roy Acuff, Jack Massey, Phil Bredesen, Vince Gill, Tim Corbin, Mike Curb, Frank Wycheck, Darrell Waltrip and Mayor Karl Dean. A program saluting Dr. Wang was held at the Patron Club, Friday, July 29th at 11:30am. Dr. Wang was presented with

a commemorative plaque along a commissioned caricature.

About Kiwanis: Kiwanis Club of Nashville is a local chapter of Kiwanis International. This global organization of more than 660,000 members is dedicated to serving the children of the world. It annually raises more than US$100 million and dedicates more than 18.5 million volunteer hours to strengthen communities and serve children. Members of every age attend regular meetings, experience fellowship, raise funds for various causes and participate in service projects that help their communities. Dr. Wang can be reached at: Wang Vision Cataract & Lasik Center 1801 West End Ave, Ste 1150, Nashville, TN 37203 615-321-8881


PUBLISHED BY THE ST. CLAIRE MEDIA GROUP Editorial & Advertising Offices 644 West Iris Drive, Nashville, TN 37204 615-383-0278

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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, or by mail for $6.65 a copy. Email: All email addresses consist of the employee’s first name followed by; to reach contributing writers, email info@ 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 credit card number.



New Paintings by Shane Miller

Hand Blown Glass Work by Travis Adams June 1–30, 2017 5 T H AV E N U E O F T H E A R T S

DOWNTOWN NASHVILLE The Rymer Gallery / 233 Fifth Avenue / Nashville 37219 / 615.752.6030 /


Lake Reflections

Featured Artist



Encaustic Paintings & Handcrafted Jewelry

Artist Reception • June 2, 6-9pm 202 2nd Ave. South, Franklin, TN 37064


19-21st Century American and European Paintings and Sculpture

6608A Highway 100 Nashville, TN 37205 615.352.5050 Elizabeth Ruggles American, 1915-2013 The Girl with the Flower Hat Mixed media on paper; 28 ½ x 22 ½ inches Signed lower right

On the Cover Jessi Zazu

June 2017 18

Jane, Mixed media, 28” x 22” See page 52.


70 Wayne Brezinka’s Triumph

18 Impressions of Summer A Pictorial Celebration of the Season at Stanford Fine Art

74 Accumulation & Repose James Lavadour’s Recent Findings at Cumberland Gallery

22 National Endowment for the Arts: What Is It? What Does It Do? Why Do We Need It?

79 From One Great House to Another Downton Abbey Comes to Cheekwood

86 Shane Miller Desiderium

24 Jim Jobe Nostalgia for the Familiar



42 32 Jennifer Sterne The Invisible Work of Art Conservation 36 American Artisan Festival Samantha Saturn Brings Back A Beloved Nashville Tradition 40 An American Tale Cheekwood Tells Its Own Story as a Study in 20th-Century Life 42 Wesley Clark The Prophet’s Library 48 Susan Bryant Borrows the Light 52 Jessi Zazu The Warrior



90 Margo Price On Life, Music, and Her New Role as Bonnaroo Works Fund Ambassador 92 Life and Lifestyle Four Photographers Document Nashville’s Streets

110 Pattern Recognition: Art and Music Videos in Middle Tennessee

Columns 16 Crawl Guide 60 The Bookmark Hot Books and Cool Reads 94 Art Smart by Rebecca Pierce 98 Theatre by Jim Reyland 100 Sounding Off by Joseph E. Morgan 102 FYEye by Hunter Armistead 104 ArtSee 106 NPT

62 Omari Booker Dreams in Color and in Rhyme

113 Beyond Words by Marshall Chapman 114 My Favorite Painting

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Magnificent English-style estate with 15 fenced acres with a pond. Updated throughout. Includes theatre, wine cellar, guest quarters, pool & workshop/barn.

Mediterranean luxury home in gated community adjoins Richland Country Club. Fabulous updates, chefs kitchen, great for entertaining. Putting green overlooking private outdoor oasis.

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Publisher’s Note

A Great City Deserves Great Art Here at the magazine, we get invited to a lot of functions. Art openings, concerts, rehearsals, galas, that sort of thing. I try to attend as many as I can. Last month was a particularly busy one with events going on all over town. However, two of them stood out as simply sensational. First, Nashville Ballet’s production of Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, choreographed by Paul Vasterling, opened the evening at TPAC. No words needed; the music, the movement, the body language were dialogue enough. Katie Vasilopoulos in the lead role gave a heartKatie Vasilopoulos wrenching performance that demanded and in Nashville Ballet's received a standing ovation. I clapped till my Appalachian Spring hands were red. Kudos to Paul and his troupe for bringing the very best ballet performances to us. I received an invite from Kimberly Sawyer to an art dinner at the Kayne Prime restaurant. Part of the M Street Entertainment Group, the restaurant is famous for its steaks, and here I am a vegetarian. Still, I decided to go, intrigued by the words “art dinner,” two things I love with a passion. Oh my goodness, what a night. Part theatre, part music show, part sleight-of-hand illusion, and part some of the finest cuisine to greet my taste buds in a long time, this was an evening designed to impress—and did it ever. A near-flawless presentation of great art and cuisine. Kudos to Kimberly and her team for their immaculate staging and presentation, but mostly for their creativity. If you’re invited to the next one, do not make the mistake of being busy or otherwise engaged. There is nothing you have to do that will make you happier than attending this “art dinner.” What a wonderful town this is. Let’s keep it that way. Paul Polycarpou | Publisher

280 White Bridge Pike, Nashville, TN 37209 615.356.9596



Front Row Seats Mixed media on canvas, 48” x 60” 2104 Crestmoor Road in Green Hills, Nashville, TN 37215 Hours: Mon-Fri 9:30 to 5:30 • Sat 9:30 to 5:00 Phone: 615-297-3201 •

June Crawl Guide Walton and Ryder in which the artists explore how this mysterious state is achieved through multimedia and mythical characterizations of sun and moon. At Blue Fig Gallery, see new work by artist/printmaker Mike Martino. Artist Jessyca Myers, known for her wide range of subject matter is the featured artist at “O” Gallery. In honor of the world premiere of Pressing On: The Letterpress Film, Hatch Show Print’s Haley Gallery is hosting a reception for Pressing On: A Celebratory Exhibition, a show of the work of over 50 artists working in letterpress, many of whom took part in the documentary film. Alicia Hampton, Finnleys

Carol Evans, Gallery 202

Franklin Art Scene

Arts & Music @ Wedgewood/Houston Saturday, June 3, from 6 until 9 p.m.

Friday, June 2, from 6 until 9 p.m. Enjoy historic downtown Franklin and the nearby neighborhoods during the Franklin Art Scene. Gallery 202 is featuring encaustic artist Carol Evans. Finnleys is showcasing acrylic paintings by Alicia Hampton. Enjoy new mixed-media work by Eva Grace at Hope Church Franklin. Denise Michelle’s paintings are on view at boutique MMM. Imaginebox Emporium is showing original illustrations created by Cory Basil for his young-reader novel The Perils of Fishboy. Parks on Main is exhibiting art by Melanie Cryar. Jack Yacoubian Jewelers is presenting work by Suzanne Ebersold. See figurative and landscape paintings by artist and art teacher Alison Logan at The Registry. Williamson County Visitor Center is showing woodturnings by Ben Paty.

First Saturday Art Crawl Downtown Saturday, June 3, from 6 until 9 p.m.

Enjoy a plentiful variety of art under the lights on 5th Avenue. The Arts Company is unveiling Jim Jobe’s Nostalgia for the Familiar (see page 24). Tinney Contemporary is exhibiting The Prophet’s Library, a solo show of new work by Wesley Sean Walton and Ryder, WAG Clark (see page 42). (An artist’s talk led by Nashville Arts Magazine’s Paul Polycarpou is slated for 5 p.m. prior to the art crawl.) The Rymer Gallery is presenting Desiderium, new paintings by Shane Miller (see page 86) while continuing with Travis Adams’s glass show. The Browsing Room Gallery is opening the exhibit Resident Artists of the Downtown Presbyterian Church, including work by Cary Gibson, Sarah Jorden, William Steven Stone, Browsing Room Gallery William Steven Stone, Hans SchmittMatzen, and Richard Feaster. In the historic Arcade, Watkins Arcade Gallery is showing Nirvana, a music video collaboration between artists Sean



Michael Giles, Channel to Channel

Rachel Ann Wakefield, East Side Project Space

From Hagen to Houston to Chestnut and beyond, Arts & Music @ Wedgewood/Houston offers a broad range of artistic experience. David Lusk Gallery is showing Outsider Artists: Bridging Communities by guest curator John Jerit, which includes works by Mose Tolliver, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Howard Finster, Purvis Young, and more. Ground Floor Gallery is unveiling the Art of the South 2017 exhibition curated by Mark Scala. Zeitgeist is exhibiting Fragmentary Survey, paintings by Brady Haston, and Split Ends by Douglas Degges. Julia Martin Gallery is featuring To Go Unnoticed by Christina Vogel. mild climate is presenting Today’s Special by artist Cody Tumblin which includes a community potluck dinner and additional food-centric programming. Channel to Channel is hosting One Hundred, a selection of abstract paintings from Michael Giles inspired by Colombian author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel One Hundred Years of Solitude. At COOP Gallery see Jennifer Crescuillo: Future Fossils, obsolete technological remains transformed into dense cast-glass objects to create a collection of small sculptural works. Open Gallery celebrates its new location in the Packing Plant with the exhibit The Crumbling Prince by Jesse Butcher. Southern Immersions, a new solo show by emerging artist Rachel Ann Wakefield is opening at East Side Project Space at The Packing Plant.

Boro Art Crawl

Friday, June 9, from 6 until 9 p.m. Murfreesboro City Square and the downtown area will once again be the location of the Boro Art Crawl. Moxie Art Supply

and Gallery is featuring the work of Pam Mack. Laura Neal is showing her work at Mayday Brewery. Photographers Toni Braley Tipps and Diane Marsella are also exhibiting. Bella’s Boutique, Trendy Pieces, Center for the Arts, Murfreesboro City Hall Rotunda, Bradley Academy, Vibe Nutrition, Liquid Smoke, VNTG, Green Dragon, Dreamingincolor, Sugaree’s, Quinn’s Mercantile, L&L Contractors, Funtiques, Let’s Make Wine, Simply Pure Sweets, The Boutique at Studio C Photography, and The Write Impression are some of the other locations featuring both new and established regional artists. For the latest information on the Boro Art Crawl, visit

A Branch of Anne Daigh Landscape Architect, LLC

Smyrna Art Crawl

Friday, June 9, from 5 until 9 p.m. As part of a month-long celebration of the arts, Smyrna’s Art Crawl presents works by local artists displayed in the Historic Train Depot, Smyrna Assembly Hall, and the Carpe Artista Training Center. Take the family for a stroll along Front Street and participate in a hands-on art activity sponsored by the Frist Center. For more, visit

East Side Art Stumble

Saturday, June 10, from 6 until 10 p.m.

Marshall Hall, Southern Grist Brewery

Take a drive down Gallatin Pike for Red Arrow Gallery’s opening reception for Passage by artists Margie Criner and Austin Reavis. Stop in to Sami Wideberg’s mobile art gallery The Box just outside of Red Arrow Gallery. Southern Grist Brewery is displaying paintings by Marshall Hall.

FRED GRGICH Lush Urban Canopy

Germantown Art Crawl

Saturday, June 17, from 6 until 9 p.m. Join in the one-year anniversary of this crawl with a tour of the non-traditional art spaces of Germantown to see an array of artworks by a variety of artists. As you make your way through the neighborhood, stop at these key arts spots: 100 Taylor Arts Collective, Abednego, Wilder, Bits & Pieces, Bearded Iris Brewing, and Alexis & Bolt.

Jefferson Street Art Crawl

Saturday, June 24, from 6 until 9 p.m. The Jefferson Street Art Crawl celebrates its one-year anniversary on June 24. Woodcuts Gallery and Framing will host Omari Booker’s I Live Here series documenting and celebrating North Nashville during this period of growth (see page 62). One Drop Ink is showing the work of Michaela Intveld-Sutherlin. Garden Brunch Cafe and The Loft at Ella Jean’s Café will also be participating in the celebration. Stay posted on event details at

Spring Ritual Birds 2015, 24 x 24 inches



J U LY 1 4 T H

Galerie Tangerine is free and open by appointment Monday through Friday, 9 AM - 5 PM 615 454.4103 Located at 900 South Street, Suite 104

WORDS Annie Stoppelbein

Impressions of Summer A Pictorial Celebration of the Season at Stanford Fine Art June 5 – July 31

François Gall, At the Beach, Oil on canvas, 11” x 18”


ummertime is upon us, with its gardens full of lush greenery and lengthy days with ample light to be enjoyed. Stanford Fine Art is celebrating the season with their current exhibition Impressions of Summer. The show is brimming with scenes of maritime activity, beach-side recreation, and ripe still lifes by both American and European artists. The subject matter is refreshingly simple, yet the history of each painting is worth further exploration. The exhibition, selected from Stanford’s sizeable collection, is in the style of Impressionism—a movement in art that



broke from academicism and focused on light and levity. Stan Mabry, who has owned and operated the gallery since it opened in 1987, can tell you the story behind each and every piece of art in the show. This is part of what he likes about Impressionism—the paintings tell stories. If not the exact provenance, he can recount an interesting anecdote about the work. Beyond the aesthetics, it is interesting to investigate the life of the artist and where they exhibited. Throughout the gallery, there are gems at every turn, many

of them in their original frames. Carl Locher’s Evening Sail is a tranquil scene of soft light at the end of a cloudy day. The view is a group of sailboats idling just off the coast of a rocky shoreline. This is Skagen, Denmark, a popular artists’ colony. Locher was a member of the Skagen Painters, a group of artists who made Skagen their summer retreat. They were attracted to the scenery and quality of light, which is ideal for painting en plein air.

Carl Peters, Summer Afternoon, Rockport, Oil on canvas, 20” x 24”

The treatment of the same subject by different artists is juxtaposed throughout the show. Beach-going is a classic summer pastime and a favorite point of study for Impressionist painters. In At the Beach, François Gall depicts a crowded shore in Trouville, France. The painting perfectly captures a busy day at the shore, full of color and liveliness. One can imagine the sounds of children playing, waves crashing, and gulls cawing. In contrast, Ruth Osgood’s Contemplation depicts a quiet moment in solitude. It is a small, quick painting of an anonymous woman in a state of reflection.

Charles P. Maxfield, Watermelons, Oil on canvas, 21” x 37”

Of course, summer is not only found at the beach. It can also be seen in street scenes of New England by Carl Peters. Summer Afternoon, Rockport depicts a winding street lined with colorful houses and people out for a stroll. Rockport was an artists’ colony for the American Impressionists. Peters, who was influenced by several art movements, set up a studio there and taught outdoor summer painting classes.

Willie Betty Newman, Spring Landscape in France, Oil on canvas, 22” x 15”

Stanford is proud of their roster of women artists, who were historically deprived of adequate recognition and exhibition opportunity in their lifetime. There are several women represented in Impressions of Summer. Willie Betty Newman grew up in Murfreesboro. She traveled to France in the 1890s to attend the Académie Julian and to exhibit her work in Parisian salons. Although her training was traditional, Newman was inspired by the experimental French Impressionists, as seen in works like Spring Landscape in France. Cognizant of the attitude towards women artists, she often signed her paintings “W.B. Newman” to obscure her gender. Later she



Ruth Osgood, Contemplation, Oil on artist board, 8” x 10”

Léon Giran-Max, Elégante à La Pointe de Crosnier, Oil on canvas, 22” x 32”

The works are pleasing to the eye and call to mind memories of the sweetness of the season.

opened a studio in Nashville and was commissioned to paint portraits of many notable Tennesseans, including President James K. Polk.

Carl Ludwig Thilson Locher, Evening Sail, Oil on canvas, 19” x 24”

Amid the landscapes and nautical scenes are a few mouthwatering still lifes. In addition to landscapes and portrait paintings, the French Academy of Fine Art considered still life to be a lesser form of art. How can one derive intellectual meaning from a bowl of fruit? The Impressionists, however, loved to indulge in this type of painting. Charles P. Maxfield’s Watermelons is a spin on the genre often oversaturated with apples and oranges. It is an unexpected homage to the juicy fruit, a product of and remedy for the summer heat. Antoinette Schultz’s Still Life with Pear and Figs showcases a vibrant bounty in bright greens and deep purples. For over three decades Stanford Fine Art has been Nashville’s paragon purveyor of nineteenth- and twentiethcentury treasures. Impressions of Summer is a mélange of lighthearted visuals with a rich history. The works are pleasing to the eye and call to mind memories of the sweetness of the season. A visit to Stanford Fine Art, located off the beaten path in Belle Meade, is an abbreviated vacation in itself. na Impressions of Summer is on view at Stanford Fine Art June 5 through July 31. For more information, visit

Alice Judson, Schooner at Anchor, Gloucester, Oil on panel, 12” x 16”





Journey back in time with the costumes of Downton Abbey®. Exhibition is included with admission or membership, but timed entry is required. Reserve your time today!

Exhibition produced by Exhibits Development Group in cooperation with Cosprop Ltd., London. Downton™ and Downton Abbey®. ©2014 Carnival Film & Television Limited. All Rights Reserved. ©Carnival Films

Co-presented by 1200 Forrest Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37205

Photograph by Jerry Atnip

National Endowment for the Arts: Part 2 What Is It? What Does It Do? Why Do We Need It?

Last month we explored common misconceptions about the role of federal funding in the arts. This month we will explore what impact elimination of NEA and other federal cultural funding might have on the local arts ecosystem. The FY17 budget of the NEA is $151 million dollars or .47 cents per taxpayer, the equivalent of a rounding error in a multi-trillion dollar budget. The combined cultural spend throughout the federal government adding cultural programs from Interior, State, and the independent agencies like NEA and NEH is about five dollars per taxpayer, per year. In other words, the federal government is currently investing the equivalent of a large pumpkin spice latte in arts and culture nationwide. The convenient argument is to posit that if it is so little already, no one will really miss it. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Federal funding for the arts drives local innovation. Mayors and city leaders compete constantly to attract and retain the best and brightest talent. Time after time, research bears out that the creative cities, those that invest in a wide variety of arts and culture offerings, also tend to attract and retain the critical technology, manufacturing, and corporate innovators cities need to thrive.



Matt Garner, Megan Murphy Chambers, Garris Wimmer, Andy Kanies, Denice Hicks in the 2015 Ingram New Works Festival reading of Air Space

In the tech sector, you have venture capital structures to support innovation and growth; in science, the National Institutes of Health. In the arts, we have the National Endowment. Last year in Nashville, NEA awarded grants to support the Ingram New Works play festival, an adaptation of Laurie Brooks’s Afflicted: Daughters of Salem into a new play for young audiences at Nashville Children’s Theatre, a new recording of composer John Harbison’s Requiem with the Nashville Symphony, a new opera Maria de Buenos Aires with Nashville Opera. Each of these investments helped these organizations generate new work that excites new audiences and adds to their capacity to generate revenue. Perhaps more important, these new “cultural products” are sought after by other artistic leaders to replicate on their stages. In a way, NEA investments often serve as a sort of risk capital for arts organizations in Nashville. Most run so close to the margin with their season or exhibits that doing something new and artistically bold must be balanced with the reality of keeping the doors open and the lights on. Because NEA grants are nationally competitive it drives our local applicant organizations to push their creative limits and really take bold risks. These risks often result in excellent new content and global accolades and opportunity for our

Photograph by Tori Kennan-Zelt

Megan Murphy Chambers, Lauren Jones, Amanda Card, Jamie Farmer, Rosemary Fossee, and Kristin McCalley performing in Afflicted: Daughters of Salem at Nashville Children’s Theatre

Photograph by Colin Peterson

WORDS Jennifer Cole, Executive Director, Metro Nashville Arts Commission

artists and organizations. Past NEA investments have resulted in Grammy nominations for Alias Chamber Ensemble, the Nashville Opera, and the Nashville Symphony. And just last month, Paul Vasterling and the Nashville Ballet made their debut at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Arts with The Ben Folds Project, a music and choreography collaboration funded in part through investment from the NEA. At Metro Arts, our Learning Lab artist training program has quickly become a national model, and we are in discussion with numerous cities about replication. Empowering our creative sector to be bold and edgy reinforces our brand as a global, cultural city. This allows our mayor and governor to attract large employers who see our diversity and cultural leadership as a requirement for a pro-business climate. Without the NEA and their targeted investments, our artistic leaders will have less incentive to take risks, and our audiences and ultimately our overall city innovation climate will suffer.

However, the region is home to 150+ arts and cultural organizations. As the demographics of our community change, it is increasingly important to invest in our longstanding arts organizations as well as those emergent grassroots or culture-specific organizations that showcase our racial, religious, and class diversity through the arts. Additionally, many non-arts organizations are taking the lead in offering arts education and programs to our most underinvested civic populations. Public funding is often vital to

Photograph by Heather Thorne

Federal funding for the arts ensures that the arts remain equitable and for all people. According to the 2010 “Fusing Arts, Culture and Social Change: High Impact Strategies for Philanthropy” report by the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, just 11 percent of all U.S. private philanthropy goes to the arts, some 2.3 billion dollars. Of that, more than half of the dollars support just 2 percent of the entire sector—mostly the largest, best known, and most endowed institutions, those like the Met, the L.A. Philharmonic, and the Getty. This means, in general, that the arts sector receives one of the smallest slices of U.S. philanthropy and that, of dollars flowing into the arts world, the vast majority flows to mega institutions, those with budgets over 50 million dollars, generally located in large cities. The National Endowment for the Arts since the 1980s has sought to be populist, supporting arts programs in every Congressional District in the U.S. and art forms that are traditionally under-invested in through private philanthropy. This approach widens the tent in most arts ecosystems, and Nashville is no different. Nashville is lucky to have a longstanding arts philanthropy legacy that has given us many of our treasured institutions from TPAC to the Frist Center and the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Leaders like Martha Ingram, Steve and Judy Turner, and the Frist family continue to ensure we have world-class cultural treasures through long-term investments and endowments. Our local private philanthropy sector is smaller than many of our peer cities’, meaning we simply have fewer foundations— family and corporate per capita—than cities like Charlotte, Boston, or Portland.

The Ben Folds Project

these smaller organizations as they build their audience and outreach or seek to serve a community that is limited in its ability to financially support the cultural organization. A flourishing arts ecosystem includes the Nashville Symphony and Intersection; the Nashville Rep and the Tennessee Women’s Theater Project; the Frist Center and Seed Space; TPAC and Music for Seniors; the Ballet and the Chinese American Cultural Alliance. Availability of public funds for small organizations, arts education, and access makes our community more equitable and vibrant. Artistic excellence and cultural equity are not mutually exclusive, and federal leadership by the National Endowment holds up both as values and critical areas of investment. Metro Arts is deeply committed to equity, innovation, and most of all the role of artists in our community. We believe continued investment in federal arts funding reinforces what our songwriters, dancers, potters, and makers do every day in our city. We will continue our work locally, driving these values and hoping we can do so with the National Endowment for the Arts in years to come. For information on the Jobs, Economic and Other Benefits of the National Endowment, please visit the Americans for the Arts Mobilization Center,



I Wish I Was the Sparrow in Your Child’s Eye, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”

The Arts Company


June 3–23

WORDS Margaret F. M. Walker

Jim Jobe Nostalgia for the Familiar

Unravel, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 36” x 60”


magine you are running on a wooded trail, ruminating over something but trying to keep aware of your surroundings: a rock here, a ditch there, a branch to dodge. Thinking about this gets me in the right place to understand Jim Jobe’s incorporation of highly realistic natural elements into otherwise abstract paintings and drawings. An avid hiker, the artist describes this phenomenon in his work: “A lot of that imagery comes out of peripheral perception. When you’re hiking, you can stop and frame a bucolic setting, but that’s not how you experience it. In reality, imagery comes in constantly from all sorts of directions.” This is a way for Jobe to approach abstraction while intuitively drawing on his surroundings and experiences.



Alter, 2014, Acrylic on canvas, 48” x 36”

From the Loam, 2014, Oil on canvas, 48” x 36”

In our hurried world, Jim Jobe’s work invites one to slow down, to trace the threads as if a maze, and in so doing to contemplate the connections within the art and within our lives.

Take a minute (literally) to observe this in Indigenous. The greater part of the painting is occupied by negative space, areas that are primarily studies in tone and brushwork. These unobtrusive patches allow our eyes easily to trace the many lines—realistic and abstract—that create unity in this painting. The composition is framed by portions of two tall trees while two similar ones in the exact center give the impression of being farther in the distance because they are shorter. In the foreground, though, is a greenish area faintly outlined as an irregular trapezoid. This abstract shape connects the distant portions of trees with the more present ladder that leans off to the left. Its very realistic branch rungs are stabilized by simple lines that relate more closely to the fully abstract ones. While a mature artist will continue to experiment with new techniques and imagery, similar hieroglyphs often will appear



among a group of canvases. For instance, it is evident that Jobe’s imagination is caught more by bare branches and rocks than foliage and animals. Even in I Wish I Was the Sparrow in Your Child’s Eye, a birdhouse is perched on a post, overgrown by a tangled branch-like vine; we imagine it has not been inhabited for quite some time. Absent from this realism and yet connected by their incorporation into the same scene are a flattened background evocative of color field painting and a quadrilateral, faintly outlined in blue, that weaves through and frames the central, abandoned birdhouse. Jobe has created art over the course of his career that visually varies widely. In the words of Anne Brown, owner of The Arts Company, “It is as though he takes elements from all over and creates his own innovative world. It is like nothing I have seen before.” Constants throughout his oeuvre, though, are a love

Devotion to His Own Pursuits, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 20” x 48”

for the power of lines, a focus on surprising connections, and often a neutral or cool color palette drawn from nature. Alter is highly complex and fractured with curiously suspended rocks at the top and in the middle. The strings that harness them and even the varying degrees of realism with which the rocks are depicted draw them into and out of the almost overwhelming number of linear relationships within the painting. A labyrinth for the eye, this painting, like so many of his, reveals different paths and connections with each viewing. Particularly in person, this work and others feel almost like collage, achieved through a buildup of paint in one section, sgraffito (a scraping technique) both to erase and continue line, and optical illusions that weave shapes over and behind each other. Lines are the predominant focus, subject even, in Jobe’s art. He expresses fascination at how “just putting a mark across a certain part of the picture plane can so dramatically affect things visually.” Drawings from the Sanctuary series provide excellent opportunities to ponder this. In Sanctuary 20, the trellis-like structure appears again. Its central triangular shape anchors the composition. Semi-realistic shadows nod to perspective. This grid is one of the hieroglyphs that appears often, and it belies a fascination for how structures grow from simply a series of lines. In these drawings, particularly in Sanctuary 5, lines also carry light. This piece is populated by faint, white whiskers that create movement and draw the eye to and around the more voluminous branches. For a few years, in an effort to refocus his work or perhaps to see if it would go in another direction, Jobe stopped Indigenous, 2017, Acrylic and graphite on paper, 23” x 17”



connections we experience in this world take many forms: physical, metaphorical, philosophical. In Remnants, wooden boards are nailed together in a manner not particularly practical and further joined along different pathways by white string. This string unites the wooden planks with other non-realistic lines such as the frame of a cube in the lower left. In this painting and so many others, Jobe believes, “The line that looks like a piece of string is the same as the line that is not,” creating a sort of trompe l’oeil effect. In other works, such as Sanctuary 20, the branches literally become the abstract frame of the drawing. Sanctuary #20, 2014, Graphite on paper, 17” x 20”

painting altogether and tried to re-teach himself how to draw. Admiration for the craftsmanship of woodworkers and ceramicists led him to approach drawing more as a way of achieving mastery with a pencil as a tool than as a way to produce imagery. This led him more deeply into abstraction, studying the interplay between line and shape and color. Guided by these formal elements, Jobe’s artwork always incorporates a web of sorts; “It’s how I see things. Everywhere, I see these puzzle-pieces of interwoven connections.” Most intriguing are the threads of these webs that so easily morph between the real and imaginary, visually speaking to how the

In our hurried world, Jim Jobe’s work invites one to slow down, to trace the threads as if a maze, and in so doing to contemplate the connections within the art and within our lives. It is clear just from looking how much time goes into the creation of even one canvas. Their playful titles are more about linkages than interpretation, thereby adding another factor on which we may pause and ponder. Like the thin lines that easily connect the real and the abstract, the titles, often drawn from literature, lay out further pathways for the artwork to reach off the canvas and connect with us. na Jim Jobe’s exhibit Nostalgia for the Familiar is on view at The Arts Company June 3 through 23. For more information, visit To see more of Jobe’s work, visit

Jim Jobe in his studio with his dog Mona

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Photograph by Rob Lindsay


WORDS Gracie Pratt

Jennifer Sterne The Invisible Work of Art Conservation


hen Jennifer Sterne was introduced to art conservation, something clicked. “It was the perfect fit,” she says. “I was always the one putting things back together.” In her fifteen years as an art conservationist, Sterne has restored ripped canvases, filled in structural damage to custom frames, and painted delicate blooms with the same strokes as the original artist. Her skill set is multi-faceted, focused on preserving the integrity of an object. Though she was originally interested in art and fashion, Sterne switched to art history after spending time in art school. Her career as an art conservationist began to take shape when she interned for the Rhode Island School of Design Museum. Her work there included everything from handling an Egyptian mummy to repairing the structure of a broken Roman stone sarcophagus. The stories behind the objects are what caught Sterne’s interest: “The history, politics, culture, and religion


surrounding the objects were as important to me as the objects themselves,” she says. “The objects are the only historical record we have, and understanding them provides tremendous insight into times and places with which we have no familiarity.” Her internship provided the hands-on experience that Sterne craved, and she continued to build on that work when she was hired at the New Orleans Conservation Guild, where she received training in gilding and frame restoration as well as painting conservation. In 2010, she moved to Nashville to launch her own studio. Now she restores as many as forty works a year, specializing in paintings and frames. Most of the objects that Sterne takes on—whether they be paintings, frames, or icons—are nineteenth-century works. “It is usually either a piece that is part of a collection or it’s a family heirloom,” she says. Sometimes art dealers bring pieces to her as well, knowing that they are valuable enough to be resold once they are restored.










Sterne begins the process with an overall evaluation. “You have to figure out what’s wrong with a piece before you can fix it.” How to restore a painting that was damaged by water is a different process than restoring an object damaged by fire. Sometimes the work has even been further damaged by others’ attempts at repair. Each piece is handled with a case-by-case approach that responds specifically to the damage and desired outcome. The process can take a few days or several months, depending on the scope of the damage and restoration plan. Sterne’s restoration of a piece is painstakingly precise. “The creativity in the restoration process lies in the approach and solution to the problem,” she says. “After that you have to leave your creativity at the door. The idea is to return the piece to its original state, not make it look better than it did originally. My hand should be invisible.” In many ways Sterne must enter the mind of the artist, especially when it comes to restoring paintings. She paints losses with not only the same color as the original, but the same brush strokes and texture. “When you know things about the painter, it helps,” she says. Restoration is a laborious yet fulfilling process for Sterne: “It’s important to me to serve people. I don’t do this for the art. I do it for the people.”



that details would emerge to help her date the painting. In the conservation process, Sterne found a signature on the back of the canvas. A small detail—the grandmother’s use of her maiden name—gave the client all she needed to date the work accurately. Those moments of meaning and connection are the most rewarding for Sterne, especially considering the rarity of objects that are preserved today. Her restoration art provides a transcendent look at where we come from, a rich context with which to view the past.

Most of the pieces she works on have sentimental value to her clients. Either they were created by a family member or owned by one. “Sometimes a client will apologize to me that the piece isn’t worth something,” Sterne says. But she always responds, “No, it is worth something to you.”

“Living in a fairly disposable culture places an even higher importance on preserving the things that remain, especially when there are few of them remaining,” Sterne reflects. With each piece, she participates in a sacred task, preserving a historical narrative that will be passed down to future generations. na

Sterne remembers a particularly meaningful experience of working on a painting by a client’s grandmother. The piece didn’t have significant monetary value, but the client hoped

For more information about Jennifer Sterne and her art conservation, visit




Samantha Saturn 36 NASHVILLEARTS.COM

Photograph by Tina Gionis

WORDS John Pitcher

Samantha Saturn Brings Back A Beloved Nashville Tradition

American Artisan Festival Returns to Centennial Park June 16–18 Courtesy American Artisan Festival


few years ago, the American Artisan Festival reached a critical crossroads. Its founding director and spiritual force, Nancy Saturn, passed away in 2010, leaving control of the popular event to her daughter Samantha. When the younger Saturn relocated from Brooklyn, New York, to Nashville in 2014, she found that the festival’s usual venue, Centennial Park, would be temporarily unavailable due to renovation. Would Nashville’s handcraft and fine-arts event have to find a new home? “In the end, we decided it would not be right to hold the festival anywhere other than Centennial Park,” says Samantha Saturn, who spoke recently to Nashville Arts Magazine. “With all the growth and development in Nashville, we felt there was still a place for this event in the city. So we took time off to rebuild the festival in a way that would honor its legacy and expand its vision.” This Father’s Day weekend, the American Artisan Festival returns to Centennial Park, where it will present its 44th and most expansive fest to date. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will feature a wide variety of arts and crafts, from exquisite paintings and museumquality jewelry to folksy woodcrafts and pottery. There will also be a major art installation constructed on the mall. Music will play an especially important role at this year’s festival, with a three-day lineup of Nashville singersongwriters, Americana, blues, and gospel musicians. “We’re going to have music all of the time,” says Saturn. There will also be plenty of craft food, along with beer, wine, and craft cocktails.

Children will have the chance to make Father’s Day gifts at Kids Hill, where artists will work with youngsters on clay and mixed-media projects. Even dogs will have their day, with a special dog run and dog-feeding and dog-cooling stations set up at the park. This year’s festival will be truly national in scope, with more than 150 artisans arriving from 35 states. “There will be some familiar faces at the festival, since many of our exhibitors have been here before,” says Saturn. “But most, about 65 percent, will be new, which is very exciting.” Saturn noted that accessibility is always an issue in the art business, since fine art and top-quality handcrafts can be expensive. Artists at this year’s festival, therefore, will bring a broad sampling of their crafts at all price levels.

Spears Pottery, Spiked Tea Set NASHVILLEARTS.COM


Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie, Artist rendering for Grow Love installation

A former Hatch Show Print intern, Mueller likes to quote the philosopher Joseph Campbell who noted that “artists are the modern-day shaman.” In her highly symbolic works, Mueller uses archetypal animal images to tell stories. These wolves, foxes, birds, and other creatures are borrowed from diverse traditions to underscore the similarities between different cultures. “I like to mix symbols from East and West, from Hindu to Buddhist to Biblical traditions, to bridge the cultural gaps we have as humans,” she says. Arguably, the highlight of this year’s exhibit will be a massive interactive installation at the Parthenon called Grow Love. This site-specific piece, created by San Francisco-area artists Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie, will be a three-dimensional magnolia-flower labyrinth that will span the width of the mall. Labyrinths are irregular passageways, like mazes, that archaeologists often find near ancient sites like the Parthenon. Magnolias, perhaps the most iconic of all indigenous Southern flowers, was Nancy Saturn’s favorite blossom. In combining the labyrinth with the magnolia, Ginsberg and Lillie have found a way to connect their installation to the festival’s past and present. “We wanted to create something that honored Nancy’s memory,” Ginsberg told Nashville Arts Magazine in a recent phone



Johanna Mueller, Mountains Draw Me Back, Relief engraving with mixed media, 20” x 15”

Johanna Mueller, a Colorado-based artist who makes sophisticated relief engravings and prints, will stock her tent with art at every price. “I’ll have items ranging from $20 to true collectibles,” she says.

willseaobrien glass plates

interview. “The fabric walls of our labyrinth will be symbolic of the draped Athena figure inside the Parthenon.” Grow Love will be both a multimedia and interactive installation. Starting around dusk, video projectors will begin to enhance the labyrinth with light, color, and movement. Images will include magnolias and Greek archaeology, all of which will be viewable from the park and surrounding areas.

“We liked the idea of having people create their own messages,” says Lillie. “In that way, they become creators and contributors of the art.” Painter Bill Turner will have his haunting, oil-on-canvas landscapes on display. Most of Turner’s paintings feature winding roads that cut through bucolic settings. Turner, another Joseph Campbell fan, likes the philosopher’s observation that “the artist’s function is mythologizing the environment and the world.” Not surprisingly, Turner’s roads serve as symbolic paths of the imagination. Crafts lovers whose tastes run more along the lines of

functional art will find much to admire in the works of artists Ron and Christine Sisco and Larry Spears. The Siscos hand craft exquisite bowls and furniture out of mesquite, inlaying many of their works with decorative turquoise stone. Potter Larry Spears creates his own functional pieces— teapots, bowls, pitchers, and such—that are masterworks of invention. His aptly named Spiked Tea, for instance, is a beautifully fired teapot that uses rusty barbed wire to attach an elegantly polished wood handle. The finished product is a brilliant metaphor of rustic beauty and simplicity. “I’ve been doing this kind of glazed pottery for over 40 years,” says Spears. “You do something for that long and you get good at it.” na The American Artisan Festival takes place on the front lawn of Centennial Park June 16 to 18. For more information, please visit

Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie, Grow Love installation column projections

Participants who meander their way through the labyrinth’s scalloped petal paths will reach the installation’s communal center, where they will have the option of hanging their own Grow Love tags on the fabric walls. A table near the installation will supply tags, pens, and guidelines for walking the labyrinth.

An American Tale

Cheekwood Tells Its Own Story as a Study in 20th-Century Life

WORDS Stephanie Stewart-Howard PHOTOGRAPHY Cheekwood

June 17 – September 10 more context and detail about the home’s original inhabitants. “They wanted a narrative,” she says. “We’re telling them the story of why Cheekwood could become what it was. “The house has a unique place in the city’s history,” she adds. “We’re sharing a time period, in the post-industrial 20th century, the 1920s and 30s, that often gets overlooked in Southern history.” To make that happen, the mansion’s first floor with the dining room, drawing room, and other spaces now houses furnishings that would have been familiar to the Cheek family. Jones says some 40 percent is original furnishing, much of it given back to the mansion by family members in the recent past. The rest is commissioned or new acquisition intended to reflect the décor the family would have known. The permanent and traveling art exhibitions will remain on the mansion’s second floor. It’s no coincidence that the Dressing Downton exhibit, showcasing the glorious costumes from the TV show Downton Abbey, accompanies the reintroduction of the Cheek family’s life to Nashville. The financial declines in England and Europe during the early 20th century encouraged wealthy Americans to bring back pieces of art and decoration gleaned from stately homes abroad. They created, as Jones says, “their own versions of the English country house right here.”


e love Cheekwood as a community for its art exhibits (both permanent and traveling), its lush gardens, and brilliant events. Now, the mansion can fascinate us for another reason entirely—an addition to the city’s larger historic narrative. It doesn’t celebrate the Civil War, the antebellum South, horse racing, or the usual things we expect from historic houses. Instead, the story of Cheekwood is grounded in the birth of the modern technological age—the less romanticized but no less rich early 20th century. It tells the tale of burgeoning industrialization, of rising American interest in international art and design, and ultimately, the tale of a modern American family. Leslie Jones, Vice President of Museum Affairs and Curator of Decorative Arts, says the changes at the mansion reflected a survey of members, patrons, and the community, who wanted



It is vital to remember that the Cheek family is not a rags-toriches story. The family was well-off, cultured, and educated. The creation of the Maxwell House coffee brand only added to that and provided them with even more opportunity. For invested visitors wanting to understand their experience, Jones says, the newly redesigned spaces may feel as though you’ve entered a time warp—as though Mr. and Mrs. Cheek just left a room. But you’re not limited to the experience of the privileged. The new exhibits explore the lives of the children, the staff, even the gardeners who brought the mansion to life as a home. This adds a deep cultural and social diversity to our understanding of the time and place. More, you also come away recognizing that all of 1930s America, when the family was in residence, was not summed up by a dust bowl. Other aspects of the time will also be explored, including the national Prohibition experiment of the 20s and early 30s. na The new exhibition opens with a donor’s event June 15, a member’s event June 16, and to the public on June 17. For more information or to plan a visit, go to

Recent Findings by James Lavadour May 20 - July 1, 2017

4107 Hillsboro Circle | 615 297 0296 |

WORDS Sara Lee Burd

Wesley Clark The Prophet’s Library Tinney Contemporary through June 24

Doing for Self, Spray paint, wood and nails, 26” x 46” x 6”


n Wesley Clark’s solo exhibition he creates wonders that could be found in a fantastical library. Employing narrative devices such as foreshadowing, looking back, and mixing chronology, he casts light onto ideas shaping the past, present, and future. His artworks transcend memorializing a specific moment. Instead they serve as aesthetic markers that structure a much larger discussion that is enriched by the perspectives each viewer contributes. The title of Clark’s show, The Prophet’s Library, establishes the location and the protagonist whose collection is on display. The artist provides a simple context for stories to unfold: “Everyone has heard of a prophet and everyone has heard of a library. Where does the word “prophet” take your mind? “Library”? The words have specific connotations in people’s minds. That’s the beginning in a sense.” He acknowledges that the prophet is no one person in particular, but he imagines he may look like Fred Wilson and is based on his friend Craig P. Bryant. The artist lauds Bryant for instilling within him the value of history, discourse, and knowledge.





Photograph by Jati Lindsay

Wesley Clark

To imagine what a prophet would place on his bookshelf, Clark asked Bryant to write titles for books that could further the discussion of African American people in U.S. history. While these works do not exist in written form yet, Clark hopes this will not be the case for long. The antiqued wood casements he presents are ready to be filled. As he explains, “Everything was built around creating a space for the book to exist. The whole point is that I hope someone takes inspiration from these titles and runs with them.” Clark’s art comes to fruition as he forms and recalls stories as part of the process of preparing his materials. Beginning with raw lumber he purchases at hardware stores, Clark returns to the studio to distress it with his carpentry tools. “Mentally it is a performance taking place so that the marks make sense to me. I think, Where was it made? Where has it been? Maybe it came from a Black Panther’s garage sale. Maybe a mover scraped the wood when he wasn’t paying attention.” The backstories of the marks are left untold by Clark but prompt viewers to



imagine their own narratives of the work’s history. One challenge of inciting conversations around issues and ideas is mediating confrontation. Clark encourages interaction and play by incorporating games. He asserts, “They are more of a discussion than a sermon from the pulpit or on the corner with a microphone.” In Table of Contents, the artist introduces a range of contemporary concepts through a finely crafted crossword puzzle. The clues he provides stimulate reconsideration of words used daily such as race, culture, incarcerate, equity, Africans, capitalism, seen, and value, among many others. “Seen” for example is not simply defined as the past tense of “to see” in his puzzle. Rather, he presents a poignant alternate meaning, “respect,” garnered from reading Dr. Joy DeGruy’s work on Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me. Clark clarifies his interpretation: “The idea of respect is ‘re’ ‘spect’ like a spectator, one who sees. Respect is then to be looked at again. The idea of being seen is much bigger when

Master Sowers (Prophet’s Library series), Oil paint on wood, 4” x 16” x 10”

For the Sake of Our Own, Spray paint, chalkboard paint and wood, 40” x 31”

The Wondrous War (Prophet’s Library Series), Oil on wood, 3” x 10” x 7”

While some of Clark’s art references popular-culture games that convey messages directly, others are more abstract assemblages that require analysis of form and symbols to tease out meaning.

Black Don’t Crack but it Sho’ Catch Hell, Spray paint, wood and steal, 84” x 109” x 4”

you think of it in that sense.” African diaspora, or the movement of people from Africa around the world, is another fundamental aspect of Clark’s art. In Doing for Self, he recalls the Nkondi nail fetish figures that originated in the Congo and were used in religious rituals to protect against evil and punish wrongdoers. The foundation

of the work is reconciliation. “I’m bringing the African spiritual element through reference to Nkondi figures to this American symbol, the flag. Now, that’s ‘African American’ in the true sense of the word.” For him the lesson of acknowledging the population drift from Africa and the numerous unjust reasons for it is to ensure that the future may be built in union with the past. He explains, “In many ways I feel like there needs to be



Table of Contents, Oil paint on wood, 89” x 47”

a return to many African traditions. African-American people often don’t recognize their origins, but this is about dealing with our contemporary blackness and including our African roots into the mix of our American cities.” While some of Clark’s art references popular-culture games that convey messages directly, others are more abstract assemblages that require analysis of form and symbols to tease out meaning. The artist examines his approach and purpose noting, “When I’m taking in these ideas, I’m thinking through them because these are big ideas. It is history, and there are things that people need to understand, connect with, and talk about. Not everyone is grabbing the books



to do so.” Clark has accepted the challenge of bringing the conversations he encounters in the literary world to the art gallery through his narrative-style show. His work provides guidance and opportunity for others to enter discussions that some may deem taboo, but are critical for defining the American experience now and in the future. na

The Prophet’s Library is open at Tinney Contemporary through June 24. On June 3 at 5 p.m., Nashville Arts Magazine’s Paul Polycarpou and artist Sam Dunson will lead a talk with Wesley Clark. For more information, visit See more of Clark’s work at

ON EXHIBIT MAY 9 - AUG 1, 2017

The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection Exhibition is one of the most comprehensive traveling exhibitions ever organized featuring works on paper by African-American artists from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries. The 70 works in the exhibition include drawings, etchings, lithographs, watercolors, pastels, acrylics, gouaches, linoleum cuts and color screenprints by such artists as Ron Adams, Benny Andrews, Romare Bearden, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, Charles White, Elizabeth Catlett, John Biggers, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Eldizer Cortor, Margaret Burroughs, and many other outstanding artists. This highly acclaimed exhibition has been featured in major museums stretching across America, and Clarksville is its only scheduled stop in a contiguous twelve-state region in our part of the country. The exhibition The Harmon and Harriet Kelley Collection of African American Art: Works on Paper was organized by Landau Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. This project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

WWW.CUSTOMSHOUSEMUSEUM.ORG Customs House Museum & Cultural Center | 200 S. 2nd Street, Clarksville TN | 931-648-5780

Susan Bryant Borrows the Light Vanderbilt University’s Space 204 Gallery


Sunset, Florence



June 5 – July 28

WORDS Karen Parr-Moody


here is a whiff of the Grand Tour in the Italian images taken by Susan Bryant, a professor of art at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. Bryant captures the romance of the Grand Tour forays that date to the 1500s, capturing photographs of the very sights that would have inspired those early privileged travelers. When dapper young aristocrats polished off their formal education via the Grand Tour, they visited such Italian cities as Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa, and Genoa. In 2014, Bryant visited Montepulciano, Venice, Florence, and Rome with her digital camera in tow. Over five centuries, thousands of English gentlemen viewed the splendid ruins and statues that Bryant has captured so brilliantly with her modern-day lens and a 19th-century photographic process called wet-plate collodion process, invented in 1851.



It amazes me how much life there seems to be in the stone.

The images from her series Italian Vistas, as well as those from Southern Landscapes, will be on view in the exhibition Borrowed Light at the Space 204 Gallery at Vanderbilt University from June 5 to July 28. The opening reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 8.

Italian Gesture #25

The Grand Tour and Bryant’s antique process intersected around the time that wealthy youths from England spilled into Italy at increasing rates. Bryant photographs her subjects with a digital camera, then creates glass negatives and positives, tintypes and ambrotypes, thus reviving the wonder of early photography. With this combination, Bryant, who has taught photography for the past thirty-four years at APSU, creates images that seem steeped in the centuries, complete with a graininess that infuses them with seeming authenticity. It is fitting that Bryant captured traditional sightseeing imagery—the Colossus of Constantine, Michelangelo Buonarroti’s sculpture David, Venetian rooftops—from romantic chapters of European travel, for romance is Bryant’s forte. She credits her style to the Hudson River School painters and her “unabashed connection to Romanticism.”



Since 1486, when the broken remains of a statue of the Emperor Constantine—the forty-foot-tall Colossus of Constantine—were discovered, they have fascinated viewers with their magnitude. It was Constantine’s gigantic hand that inspired Bryant’s photo Italian Gesture #13. She has been fascinated by hands for years. As she says in her artist’s statement, “I’m interested in how hands have mirrored human emotion and intention throughout the history of art and how such gestures lend themselves to metaphor and are imbued with a powerful presence.” Constantine’s hand drew Bryant in, naturally. “I’ve always found that Constantine piece so strikingly strong,” Bryant says of the sculpture in Rome. “Whereas with some of the other hands that I photographed, I was drawn to them because they were graceful, this one feels like it’s commanding.” The photo of Constantine’s hand is just one of many postcard-worthy shots in Italian Vistas. Bryant also captured Michelangelo’s masterpiece in marble, David, by closing in on a heavily veined hand from below after circling the piece for an hour. It is called Italian Gesture #5. “From that vantage point the hand just seemed so large, but also so graceful,” Bryant says. “It amazes me how much life there seems to be in the stone.”

“They’re just so graceful,” Bryant says. “They don’t necessarily make me think about death; they just have so much grace and peace in them, along with the way the sculptor handled the fabric, and how organic and beautiful that was, as well.”

Italian Gesture #13

Visat, Montepulciano

For Italian Gesture #16, Bryant found a subject that was off the beaten path in a female sarcophagus sculpture located in a Montepulciano church. Again, she focused on the hands.

Borrowed Light by Susan Bryant is on view June 5 through July 28 at Vanderbilt University’s Space 204 Gallery. A reception is slated for June 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. For more information, visit Susan Bryant is represented by Cumberland Gallery, See more of Bryant’s work at

Beyond capturing emotion and beauty, Bryant is a master of freezing a simple motion, as with her photo entitled Italian Gesture #18, in which a hand reaches just beyond the statue’s hip. “It’s so graphic in that it doesn’t look like a pose that was held for very long,” Bryant says. “It looks like a gesture of the hand that was captured in a split second, which is what one can do with a camera, photograph a gesture that is held for only an instant. But the fact that a sculptor could do that is also amazing to me.” Another discovery Bryant made in Italy occurred as she watched the legendary sunset from the Piazza Michelangelo in Florence. She transferred her resulting image Sunset, Florence to a tintype that surprised her in its translation.

But timelessness is what one can expect from Bryant’s blend of modern and antique technologies. Her gorgeous images are informed by a history of beauty and discovery—and it shows. na

Photograph by Gina Binkley

“It seemed really timeless to me when I looked at it, like it could have been taken in another century,” she says. “There was the atmospheric perspective, the way that the tones recede into space and become lighter and lighter, that reminded me of the Hudson River School paintings that I have always loved. I just didn’t expect it.”


We all need to remember that there are reasons to keep fighting and there are reasons to want to be alive. That’s where the boxing gloves come from.

PHOTOGRAPHY Alysse Gafkjen

WORDS Molly Lasagna

Jessi Zazu is a warrior. For the past year, she’s been battling cancer and making art about it. In her upcoming show Undefeated, Jessi takes paint to paper in an expression of love, strength, and fighting spirit. Recently I spoke with her about the ways that she experiences the healing powers of painting and how she has learned to shore up her defenses by diving into the moment.



Tim, Mixed media, 28” x 22”



ML: You’ve said that in the last year you feel like you’ve really come into yourself. What do you think you’ve learned about yourself from being sick? JZ: Oh gosh, so much. Mainly I’ve learned that I have a much greater capacity than I previously thought, and for more things than I would have previously imagined. ML: When you say greater capacity you mean for the good things and for the challenges? JZ: Yeah. It’s kind of interesting because it’s not that I didn’t know I could endure hardship because I certainly knew that I was tough enough to perform through rough circumstances. But I think what I learned was how to balance—that it wasn’t all about surviving the hard times. I really have learned how to nurture myself and my own spirit. Instead of letting the bad things beat me up, I’ve tried to focus on taking care of the good things. That’s helped me to stay strong in the hard times to a greater degree than I ever knew I could. ML: Undefeated is about the intersection of healing and art. What is it about making art that feels healing to you? JZ: There are lots of aspects that are healing. The actual act of doing art is a meditation. It’s almost as if, no matter what’s going on, if I can get into a drawing and acknowledge the presence of an object in front of me, I’m just taking the time to see it and that’s it. It’s a moment of awareness that when I’m not drawing I’m trying to find all the time. All these millions of worries that I could have now and that I had before I was sick …

Christie, Mixed media, 22” x 28”

I had periods in my life where I would worry constantly over things that might happen, and I suddenly realized how much energy was going into that. And what I like about art is that it takes you out of all that swarm of anxiety and puts you right in a moment in time. And then when you look back at a piece you always remember that moment in time. I have lots of drawings where I can look back in my sketchbook in five years and remember exactly what conversation was happening while I was making that drawing, even if maybe the details of the conversation have faded. I remember the feeling and who was there, and it helps to preserve little moments of life that seem insignificant at the time. When you look back, sometimes you realize that all those little moments make up who you are.

My greatest challenge is being in the moment because I am a person who likes to be deep in thought. I’ve always been really sensitive to my emotions, and I’m always contemplating and analyzing. So I like art because it can help me filter that stuff out in a really concise way and put it down and move on. Especially going through something as challenging as a critical illness. Now I do a lot more than just art as a way to process, but even before I had all these extra tools I always had art as a way to get me through, so I was doing some of the process work before I even understood I was doing it. That’s how art helps me for my own healing, but then there’s this whole other aspect of it which is like you make art and then other people recognize their own selves in that art and it’s healing for other people. And that can be healing

Cynthia, Mixed media, 28” x 22” NASHVILLEARTS.COM


Francis, Mixed media, 22” x 28”

My greatest challenge is being in the moment because I am a person who likes to be deep in thought.

for me too, because I spend so much time and sometimes anguish in whatever it is that’s coming out from me into my own art and music, and then for someone to find any sort of comfort from that it makes me feel like I’m so glad that I took the time to do that. ML: It sounds like creativity and art help you to heal yourself and also that there is some community aspect to it. Do you understand there to be a greater purpose to your work? JZ: From the very beginning, I made it a point to take my artwork and supplies with me to the hospital and take a lot of reference pictures because I knew I wanted to make a show out of my experience and because I felt like that was the only way to survive. My mom and I were both focused on making art as a way to weather the storm. There were so many challenges being thrown at me all at once, I wanted to catch all these little moments that add up to this really really big experience. I think it helped me to say, “Okay, if I just focus on this moment, if I just draw everything in this room, then I won’t lose myself.” ML: It’s so interesting to hear you say that you wanted to go toward that moment, because you might expect the typical response to be to try to get out of that moment. Ilene, Mixed media, 28” x 22” 56


JZ: I guess I’ve been through phases of escapism, and I’m just not a fan of who I’ve become in those phases. I think I have learned to face things head on—I’m going to be there for it anyway! ML: The pieces in Undefeated feature boxing gloves that are decorated with floral patterns. What inspired this subject matter? JZ: When I started thinking about this show, I was thinking about the first time I went to the hospital for treatment and how I was really scared when I entered the treatment room. The doctors rolled me in and I didn’t know what was going to happen. So I started thinking about what I would have wanted on that day. What type of vibe would I have needed when I was in there? And then I thought a lot about the people that I see who seem like they’ve lost hope, and there have been moments when I’ve felt hopeless, but ultimately I came to the conclusion that I just wasn’t going to give up in any way. I really wanted to, maybe even in some small way, spark a little bit of rebellion back and show that bit of humanity in me that just wants to fight—wants to say, I want to be around. I’ve been thinking so much about what’s going on in this country at large, especially politically, and we all need a little bit of fight right now. We all need to remember that there are reasons to keep fighting and there are reasons to want to be alive. That’s where the boxing gloves come from. And the juxtaposition of the floral patterns is a reminder to revive and nurture that spark in myself and in other people to keep going because sometimes what you might need to keep going is to lay back and take it easy. Some moments it’s appropriate to say, I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to stand my ground. And then there are other moments where you need to be delicate like a flower, and you need to nourish your soul more, and maybe go into a quiet room and just become present with your own self and your own emotions. ML: I’m hearing you talk about a powerful duality: Sometimes you’re the one doing the punching and sometimes you’re the one taking the punches. It seems like you have to be able to do both of those things in order to make it through. You can’t always be on the attack, but you have to have some of that fighting spirit. JZ: Yeah that’s a really good point. I never thought of it that way. ML: I think anybody who studies boxing will tell you that it’s probably just as important to be able to take a punch as it is to be able to land a punch. And sometimes you just get punched in the face. JZ: Right. Even in between the rounds when you’re sitting

down and they’re feeding you the water is important. Finding a good team for yourself, finding people who help you fight, is important. It all affects your ability to perform and survive in that moment—it’s a whole network of things. It’s not just about how hard you can hit; it’s about how to sustain. Life can be really scary, and there are lots of things in the world that scare people. This show isn’t about being scared or not being scared; it’s just a representation of what it means to struggle. It’s about finding myself and maybe helping other people in my situation to find themselves. It’s about relating to each other and reaching out and connecting. Undefeated features sketches and paintings by both Jessi and her mother, Kathy. In Kathy’s statement on the show, she writes, “Jessi had a studio at one end of the house, and I had mine at the other end. The experience [of Jessi’s illness] was getting so intense that I started painting in every spare moment I had. It wasn’t long before my nightmares and sleepless nights went away. My attitude was better and I could breathe. My art became about healing and not feeling hopeless, and about celebrating life.” na Undefeated will be on display at Julia Martin Gallery from June 17 through June 28. The show is co-sponsored by Woodcuts Gallery and Framing and Midtown Printing. For more information, visit





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The Potlikker Papers: A Food History of the Modern South John T. Edge This book tells the story of Southern food as language, its role in politics and in shaping the South as we know it. Anyone who indulges in a classic Southern meal from time to time or with an interest in history will devour this book. John T. Edge will be at Parnassus Books on June 6 to discuss and sign The Potlikker Papers. Don’t miss it!

50 Years of Rolling Stone: The Music, Politics and People that Changed Our Culture Rolling Stone and Jann S. Wenner Rolling Stone has long been the crème de la crème of music reporting, a trusted name in journalism, and home of iconic photographs. Any coffee table in Music City graced with stacks of old Rolling Stone magazines can now upgrade to this beautiful volume celebrating its 50th anniversary.

Chemistry Weike Wang

Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977–2002 David Sedaris

Chemistry takes us into the mind of a brilliant graduate student in crisis, a woman who begins looking for answers that can’t be found in textbooks and ultimately confronts the universal question with wit and honesty. Weike Wang will be at Parnassus on June 1 to sign and discuss her novel in conversation with Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers.

Fans of Sedaris will be delighted to learn that for decades he has been keeping a meticulous diary full of his singularly hilarious thoughts and observations. Theft by Finding offers a rare, intimate look into his mind and a “behind-the-scenes” look at some of the most brilliant Sedaris anecdotes. David Sedaris will be at Parnassus Books on June 9.

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WORDS Erica Ciccarone PHOTOGRAPH Jerry Atnip



Now You See Me, 2017, Oil on panel, 30” x 28”

Might As Well, 2017, Oil on panel, 30” x 28”


mari Booker’s home is crammed with paintings. They hang on walls, lean up against furniture, and sit atop beds and tables. There are so many that it’s easy to close your eyes and imagine that Booker is painting another at the same time that he’s making you tea.

On the easel, there is a long door on which Booker has painted a street scene. Heavy brush strokes fill in the sky with the cool colors of dusk offsetting the warmth of the brick buildings at the intersection of Cheatham Street and Rosa Parks Boulevard in North Nashville. The moneyed Werthan Mills Lofts stretches down the block, a barely perceptible

Booker won’t say. He doesn’t make any bold statements about

Fusion, 2017, Oil on panel, 30” x 28”

Visionary, 2017, Oil on panel, 30” x 28”

skyline in the distance. In the foreground, the Metro Housing Agency office sits on the corner. You have to wonder: As the area’s property values swell, how long can these two entities exist together?

his changing city, but his exhibition that opens at Woodcuts Gallery and Framing this month asks questions. Called I Live Here, the series began as a collaboration with photographer Kehana Krumme, a petite white California transplant who, at the outset, didn’t appear to share much in common with six-foot-nine Nashville native Omari. As they discussed their differences, Booker looked around at his North Nashville community; soon, the two set out to photograph and then paint the people from both the Werthan Lofts and the Metro Housing Agency sides of Rosa Parks Boulevard. The differences in landscapes are pretty stark, but not so with the people Booker has painted. It’s easy to imagine the sitters in I Live Here to be part of one community: to go to church, celebrate graduations, and attend sporting events together as one. With Booker’s rich palette, they are imbued with warmth. Each portrait affirms the sitter’s life: his joys and regrets, her triumphs and failings, and, important to Booker, the ways in which they feel the most free. We talked with Omari Booker before the show’s opening. Tell me about the way you’ve framed this series. They’re framed in windows that were pulled out of demolished housing in Germantown that dates back to the 1930s. The door also came from some North Nashville housing that was torn down or gutted and refurbished. Same with the burglar bars that will go on another piece. In two of the pieces in this series, the muntins of the frames are vertical so they suggest prison bars. One portrait is of an older white woman and the other is a middle-aged black man. Why did you choose these two portraits for those frames?

I Live Here, 2017, Oil on panel, 32” x 80”



I think freedom is the most prized thing that we have. For me, I found that art was the way to get that when I was in prison. When I was drawing and sketching and listening to my headphones, I didn’t feel like I was in prison anymore. People are like, “You’ve created so much work so quickly.” That’s my connection to freedom, so I’m going to do it as often as I possibly can. Finding that connection to true freedom and liberation is something that’s priceless. It can’t be taken from you. No matter what hole you’re in, you can still have it.

Present and Counted, 2017, Ink and graphite on paper, 11” x 9”

What I love about art is the instinct of it. So much happens that has nothing to do with the artist. Honestly, it happened that way because of the eyes. They’re in the right place. If I did that with other pieces . . . It would go right through his face. But there’s something there thematically, too. What her prison is and what his prison is . . . that’s a pretty palpable thing.

What’s your favorite song? “Never Let Me Down” by Kanye West, featuring Jay-Z and J. Ivy.

The most difficult thing about prison was the reality that I lived there. It ended up being kind of transformative. I think I’m forever changed. I don’t credit the justice system, but you go into certain places where you’re forced to either learn something about yourself or wallow.

You’ve been one of the artists organizing the Jefferson Street Art Crawl that kicked off last fall. There is a lot going on artistically in North Nashville as always, but art is starting to feel a lot like resistance to gentrification there. What role can artists play in a rapidly changing city? I think awareness. What I love about being an artist is that it takes me personally out of the equation. If you look at one of my pieces and have a reaction, you’ve gotta deal with that within you. It has nothing to do with me. I feel like I have a lot more to offer as an activist by being an artist than I might even in politics or through speaking. People can’t accept the message sometimes when they see who it’s coming from. I don’t say a lot about this exhibit being about gentrification. I present it as, This is what the neighborhood looks like right now. What do you think? na

That brings me to your artist statement. You say you hope your work communicates to your audience “their unique and intrinsic ability to be free.” That’s really beautiful and profound.

Omari Booker’s exhibit I Live Here opens with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. during the Jefferson Street Art Crawl on June 24. On July 7 at 6 p.m., Paul Polycarpou and Erica Ciccarone will lead an artist’s discussion with Booker. I Live Here remains on view until August 5. For more information, visit See more of Booker’s work at

The series reminds me that it’s crucial to affirm each other’s existence. We miss so much importance by not valuing everybody. Everyone’s got stuff to offer . . . Homeless people may not be residents, if they don’t have a residence, but they’re alive.


Music seems to have an influence on your work, too. Even though you paint mostly realism, there’s abstraction within it that includes unanticipated colors that contribute to this overall sense of warmth that makes it all glow. I’m gonna paraphrase my favorite artist, Jay-Z: “Get in the studio, crack the door, and let God in.” Music is the fuel. It’s the energy. It’s spirit-driven stuff. Anything you do that is really good, it’s not you. It’s not us, it’s through us. Having music playing, having that spirit to get lost in, it’s a conduit. It gets you there, even if you are doing work that’s realistic. I’m so grateful for musicians. Of all genres, I think I relate to hip hop so heavily because it gives me a personal context to be truly free to be confident. You grow up as a black male in the South, and you don’t have a space outside of athletics to really be confident. Anything that is aggressive is looked at as dangerous.



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May 17 – August 8, 2017 Artist Reception June 7, 5–8PM Carolyn Boutwell creates a work LIVE during the reception. Everyone is welcome to this FREE event. Pryor Art Gallery • Waymon L. Hickman Building 1665 Hampshire Pike, Columbia, TN 38401 (931) 540-2883 •

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TRUMP, 2016, Cut paper, collage and mixed media on wood panel, 30” x 24” 70


Triumph Nashville artist Wayne Brezinka was commissioned by the Washington Post to create an editorial portrait of Donald Trump. Although grateful for the assignment, he quickly found himself at the crossroads where creativity and conscience collide.

WORDS Elaine Slayton Akin

Wayne Brezinka’s


Likewise, political commentary in the form of art is not new. In fact, some of the most notable works of art in history were commissioned as political propaganda. Pope Julius II commissioned elaborate religious imagery such as the Sistine Chapel ceiling (1508–1512) to align himself with celebrated rulers of the past and allegedly used his military power to urge Michelangelo to return from Florence to his service in Rome. French painter Jacques-Louis David notoriously sympathized with three regimes over his prolific career: the Bourbon monarchs with Oath of the Horatii (1784), the revolutionists with The Death of Marat (1793), and Napoleon with Napoleon Crossing the Alps (1801–1805). More recently, Heinrich Knirr was Hitler’s official portraitist and the only artist to paint the dictator from

Wayne Brezinka



Photograph by Matt Huesmann

he emotion of a moment can sometimes blind us to perspective. In The Life of Reason, 20th-century philosopher George Santayana famously wrote, “Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness … and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” As our current political landscape feels more like a civil war than democracy in action— except that patriots are armed with the Internet and words instead of muskets and bullets—some solace may be found in knowing that, no matter how good or bad you believe Donald Trump to be, arguably a better and worse leader has preceded him. That is, depending on who is documenting history.

We’re all made up of different thoughts, convictions, and beliefs. The compartmentalization of humans translates beautifully to the portraits of humans.

life. Alternatively, he also taught several women and Nazidespised expressionist painter Paul Klee. Employment for an artist, therefore, doesn’t necessarily equate to personal allegiance. This is no less true today, especially in the context of the media. Nashville illustrator Wayne Brezinka has depicted celebrities from Willie Nelson and George Strait to Thom Yorke and Chris Stapleton in his distinctive Robert Rauschenberg-esque collage style. Until The Washington Post approached him this past December about creating a collage portrait of Donald Trump, Brezinka had never experienced a moral dilemma regarding a commission. Brezinka’s political leanings were definitely in the opposite direction, and his initial instinct was to say no. Over the period of a few days, however, he changed his mind. Brezinka’s inner conflict forces the question of the artist’s role in reporting the truth regardless of the topic, in recording what’s going on in the world (what will one day be history) whether he likes it or not.


convictions, and beliefs. The compartmentalization of humans translates beautifully to the portraits of humans. It simultaneously breaks down our complexity, yet adds a layer of communication within the image. From a distance, the subject’s identity is obvious, but up close we see the different parts of a person brought to life. How did the Post approach you about the Trump portrait, and what was your immediate reaction? I got an e-mail out of the blue from a Post art director two weeks before Christmas with the subject line “possible commission.” In his words, they wanted me because my portrait style is very unconventional, and we have a very unconventional president. I didn’t reply right away. For what would normally be a huge honor, I felt gut-wrenched, unnerved, and uncomfortable. I don’t really have an eloquent reason, other than the subject matter doesn’t sit well with me, and I wasn’t sure I had it in me to compose a gracious representation of the president-elect.

Help us set the stage, Wayne. How does the process of collage affect a portrait specifically, as opposed to the more traditional realistic depictions in paint or graphite?

Why did you eventually say yes, and how did you get to this point?

A friend suggested collecting authentic items to use in my first collage portrait [Abraham Lincoln, 2012], and the idea just kind of stuck. We’re all made up of different thoughts,

I realized, maybe I don’t have to like the subject matter. I sought advice from fellow illustrator Tim O’Brien, who produces editorial content for the most high-brow


Always applying craftsmanship, intentionality, and quality—that’s how we keep from sacrificing ourselves no matter who the client is.

publications in the business—The New York Times, Mother Jones, and TIME magazine. In a nutshell, he explained that it’s our job as artists to best portray subjects in a natural, vulnerable state and let the public decide. It doesn’t mean I have to agree with them, but it’s my responsibility to capture people in their most human form. Then Tim said that if he were me, he’d take the assignment. What found or repurposed items did you use to capture Trump? I was very intentional to be as respectful and honest as possible. I included conventional Republican references, such as an actual program from Ronald Reagan’s 1981 inauguration [its gold presidential seal prominently displayed] and a sturdy red tie made from paint, cardboard, and other found paper. The Post sent me a “Make America Great Again” ball cap, which I cut up and used in the background. The Post also requested I use a clipping of its headline “Triumph of Trump.” At the same time, the tie has a “made in China” tag, reprints of Trump’s infamous tweets are sprinkled throughout the composition, and a faux-gilded wooden frame is deconstructed along half of the portrait’s edge. I was pressed to tone down the emphatic swoop of his blonde hair and the artificial tan of his skin. Do you believe artists should be unbiased in the creation

of their work? How does an artist retain his or her integrity while fulfilling the role of storyteller? Under what circumstances? It varies. I mean, if you are collaborating on a feature story with a powerhouse news outlet like the Post, then yes. You have to be unbiased. For an op-ed piece, though, you could push the envelope drastically more. If you’re creating on your own volition, I hope artists would play by no rules. I know I don’t want to be considered safe. Always applying craftsmanship, intentionality, and quality—that’s how we keep from sacrificing ourselves no matter who the client is. How has this experience changed you as a person and an artist? I understand now that it’s possible to bring awareness without glorification. I’ve learned to deconstruct my own beliefs and passions so as to approach difficult commissions with neutrality. If I can look at Trump in a compassionate way and see his vulnerabilities, I can depict him as human. Take away his money and presidential title, and he’s just one of us. It would’ve been much easier to poke at his imperfections than to approach the portrait with the foresight that’s he’s still a person. na See more of Brezinka’s work at Our sincere thanks to the Washington Post.



WORDS Noah Saterstrom

Accumulation & Repose

Ruby II, 2016, Oil on panel, 32” x 48”

James Lavadour’s Recent Findings at Cumberland Gallery through July 1

his is the artist’s routine: Enter the studio at 3 a.m., the world still dark, the mind still dreaming; begin to paint. In those silent hours, the boundaries between movement and the unconscious remain briefly permeable, rendering the cosmic aspects of painting close at hand. For James Lavadour, painting is an intensely personal act. Once day breaks, the phone rings. Errands need running. Relationships need tending. Thus the artist finds the precious speechless vortex of pre-dawn his best time to work. The resulting work is abundant. Lavadour keeps a couple hundred pieces going at once, accumulating layers of oil paint on two-inch-thick gessoed Baltic birch panels—a surface that can take rough working, scraping, pouring, scratching. The surfaces develop like this for years. “I don’t know how it happens,“ he says, “but every couple of years there’s a group that reaches some sort of repose.”



Tiger, 2016, Oil on panel, 32” x 28”


I Remember Everything, 2016, Oil on panel, 90” x 102”

Repose—a wonderfully precise choice of word. He could say they are finished, they reach completion, or are resolved. But repose implies they have arrived at a state of restful tranquility. The spiritualism in Lavadour’s work is not a conceptual veneer but is at the core of his art. The most recent paintings to reach this repose will be seen at Cumberland Gallery in May, while the remaining pieces continue to transform in the chrysalis of his Oregon studio, perhaps for several more years. It’s a natural, evolutionary, almost gestational process. At first glance, one recognizes these as landscape paintings. The drama of nature in J.M.W. Turner’s work springs to mind, or echoes of the moody, operatic countrysides of German Romanticism. But take a closer look and the scene vaporizes into painted mark. Without the tenuous reference to topographic panorama, these are more in the company

of Gerhard Richter, Per Kirkeby, Pat Steir, or even the earlier gestural abstraction of Jackson Pollock and Helen Frankenthaler. These are action paintings where landscape is a phantom—if unequivocal—presence. Lavadour is frequently described by others, though (notably) not himself, as “self-taught.” At best this trope is somewhat dubious; often an artist is referred to as self-taught not to highlight the absence of an art degree, but because it lends a certain mystique, a folksy spiritualism, an air of curated anti-intellectualism to their work. It’s a description that can be used to deflect criticism as it ropes off the “self-taught” artist from current artistic trends or discourses and to distinguish an autodidact as outside institutions of art or centers of ambition. This appellation seems hardly appropriate for Lavadour; he was included in the 2013 Venice Biennale and has shown widely in galleries and museum collections.



Red House Suite 1, 2017, Oil on panel, 28” x 32”

Lavadour is an eloquent and inquisitive artist who has a keen grasp of both his own artistic process and how it intersects with his influences. John Coltrane, a perennial inspiration, was also a warm, mystic intellectual, an artist who didn’t traffic in concepts, but in sensations. Like Lavadour, Coltrane explored his improvisational utterances—sometimes guttural, sometimes shrill, often multidimensional and primal—within a tight modal structure. Consistent forms and grids serve as such a modal structure for Lavadour. He occasionally installs collections of paintings in a grid, as in his nine-piece I Remember Everything (oil on panel, 90” x 102”). A stable framework is capable of holding unstable content. The painter Francis Bacon, in his conversations with David Sylvester, said it is a “difficult thing to know why some paint comes across directly onto the nervous system and other paint tells you the story in a long diatribe through the brain.” Lavadour’s artistic impulse is solidly the former. His paintings are all about the gesture: the first mark, and the subsequent accumulation of marks. The experience of the work is propelled by one sensation informing the next. As he works on the surfaces for years on end, the paintings turn and reorient while Lavadour keeps scraping, adding, scraping. At some point in the process, a landscape is insinuated. One wonders: Why bother? Why not give completely over to abstraction and release that stubborn old-fashioned landscape reference? Why not let them be the abstract action paintings that they clearly are? Lavadour himself seems to ardently resist the depiction of landscape. He walks a line between the tumultuous substance of paint



and the strong reference to, not depiction of, landscape. He walks that line but maintains it rigorously. These are definitely not abstracts or landscapes. Clement Greenberg, champion of abstract painting, once said: “You like it, that’s all, whether it’s a landscape or abstract. You like it. It hits you. You don’t have to read it.” The resistance to and simultaneous insistence on both is peculiar, intentional, and, to use Bacon’s terminology, appeals to the nervous system and crystallizes in the uniquely human dilemma of whether to feel the great outdoors or study it. Whether to be one with the land or see it as real estate. In the limited canon of Western art history, we are taught that depiction and narrative ruled the day until the 19th century when art and artifacts from China, Japan, Africa, Native American cultures, and South America drifted into the European frame. Familiarity with cultures that use materials for their own sake—to “be” rather than to “describe”—triggered an emergence of forms new to the regional tradition. According to Lavadour, his lifelong home on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and strong connection to his cultural heritage inform his desire to have materiality and action, rather than classical modes of representation, at the center of his practice. He has developed, from his experiences as an artist in a particular world, a direct line to the “objectness” of painting. As the artist says, “Paintings are a refuge from thoughts and interpretations: not meaning, but energy.” na Recent Findings by James Lavadour is on view through July 1 at Cumberland Gallery. For more information, please visit

Red House Suite 4, 2017, Oil on panel, 28” x 32”

Red House Suite 2, 2017, Oil on panel, 28” x 32”

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Photography courtesy of Exhibits Development Group

Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times is on view June 17 until September 10


delightful confluence of exhibition theme and setting comes together in Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times™, opening at Cheekwood on June 17—the same day the newly refurbished Cheek Mansion reopens to the public. The family’s former bedrooms, bathrooms, and dressing rooms are now gallery spaces that will accommodate most of the 36 costumes representing upstairs and downstairs fashions (though mostly upstairs) from the PBS Masterpiece series. The mansion’s main floor will feature an introductory video and a special gift shop stocked with the exhibition catalog and related items.

Nashville Public Television

Downton Abbey Comes to Cheekwood

WORDS MiChelle Jones

From One Great House to Another

Downton Abbey followed the lives of an aristocratic English family in the years between 1912 and the late 1920s. Over its six-season run, the series became the highest-rated drama in PBS history and won 12 Emmys, three Golden Globes, and four Screen Actors Guild awards. More than an entertaining drama dressed up in period clothing, the series explored real social and economic events in British history. “Time moves on [in the series], but only for a decade or so, but this happened when the world would never be the same,” said Nancy Lawson, co-curator of Dressing Downton for Exhibits Development Group. “Because of the difference

that happened in society—bicycles, and women having to go to work during [World War I]—there is quite a huge difference in how people dressed.” Corset-free garments, for example, became popular with the rise of designers like Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret in the early 1920s and were embraced by younger generations of women. Similar pieces in Dressing Downton include Lady Edith’s melon-colored silk evening dress with embroidered collar and waist and Lady Rose MacClare’s salmon-colored silk velvet evening dress with glass beading and sequins. Though her personal life was often in shambles, Lady Edith emerges as fashion-forward; her cycling outfit, for example, includes wool britches (and will be displayed with a periodappropriate bicycle). Edith also learned to drive a car and tractor and eventually ran a magazine in London. Her wardrobe ultimately reflected her life as an independent woman. Some degree of change is evident even in the clothing of the formidable Dowager Countess Violet (portrayed so brilliantly by Maggie Smith), who certainly had the best lines in the series, if not the best wardrobe. Only two of her outfits are in the exhibition, but those two are fabulous, Lawson said. The first is the dowager’s signature purple dress with short jacket, white blouse, and black silk bodice. “It’s quite stiff-looking, just like her,” Lawson said. The fabric is a reproduction of an Edwardian pattern, and vintage lace is used on the cuffs. Violet’s other dress is lightweight black chiffon layered over pale olive-green satin and illustrates a move toward less restrictive clothing. Declining fortunes were another reality for the British aristocracy in the years between the world wars, while American families were gaining wealth. “The Cheeks themselves went over to England in 1929 and acquired— actually more amassed—a large number of architectural elements, fine arts, and furnishings that had been taken from, removed, or sold by some of these aristocratic families,” said Katelyn Bennett, Cheekwood curatorial assistant. Chairs, mirrors, and other furnishings from Cheekwood’s collection will be interspersed throughout Dressing Downton to help provide context for the costumes. A footman’s livery of the type worn by the devious Thomas will welcome arrivals from the landing overlooking Cheekwood’s entrance. In another vignette, Lady Mary’s green silk evening dress with black net overlay adorned with black and silver starbursts will be paired with a maid’s black cotton dress with crisp white apron to suggest lady’s maid Anna helping her dress for the evening. Visitors to Dressing Downton could be excused for

Cora Crawley, White silk day dress 80


Robert Crawley, Light cream linen suit

Cora Crawley, Gray drop waist silk velvet formal dress

Footmen uniform

Lady Mary Crawley, Silk evening dress

thinking of the outfits as relics from a bygone era rather than contemporary costumes, because the pieces were created with an eye toward authenticity that was crucial to the success of the series. “Many actors do not feel that they’re really that person until they put this clothing on. It might have to do with the bustle or the crinoline or the corset, or the very tight, stiff collars that the men wear in Downton Abbey,” Lawson said. “They all stand up straighter, they all hold themselves differently; it’s instant, tangible information for them for their characters.” The costumes were created by London’s Cosprop Ltd., and several include antique elements or were made using Edwardian patterns. Dresses may incorporate panels of vintage lace, and men’s suits may have original cuffs. No synthetic fabrics were used on the costumes; instead they are made of wool, tweed, silk, and linen. Nor were zippers used in any clothing supposedly dating prior to their invention in 1926. “I think seeing the costumes in person really will, for one, bring out the level of detail and research that went into the show and also into the period costumes. The needlework, the embroidery, the craftsmanship of these pieces—they are artworks on their own,” said Leslie Jones, Cheekwood’s vice president of museum affairs and curator of decorative arts. na Dressing Downton is on view June 17 through September 10. Cheekwood is offering special programming including afternoon teas in the Pineapple Room, a display of classic cars in the Courtyard Gallery, and 1930s-themed entertainment and cocktails on Thursday evenings. Tickets are included with Cheekwood admission; special programming may include extra fees. For more information about Dressing Downton at Cheekwood, visit NPT will air a special feature, The Weddings of Downtown Abbey, on June 4, 10, 13, and 16. Read more about it in this month’s “Arts Worth Watching” column.

Matthew Crawley, Captain’s uniform NASHVILLEARTS.COM


Photograph by Paula Van Goes

Photograph by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Make Music Nashville Invites Public to Play

by Peter Chawaga

Photograph by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

All of Nashville will celebrate joyous noise during Make Music Nashville (MMN) on June 21. The festival is a public, crossgenre, music-making event of musical instruction, play-along, and free concerts throughout the city. The 2017 iteration is expected to be the largest ever in terms of participating artists and venues. Special events include a 250-person “kazoo jam” at the airport, a songwriting “street studio” downtown, and pre-festival activities like train-whistle instrument giveaways to trolley tourists and a “Pianos in the Park” installation at Cumberland Park featuring upright pianos decorated by local elementary school students.. Among the over one hundred performers providing free concerts this year are Riders in the Sky, quartets from the Barbershop Harmony Society, and the Alliance Française de Nashville. Kids at the Nashville Zoo will be given harmonicas to jam with, and over one hundred guitar lessons will be provided at the Country Music Hall of Fame. “For musicians, we hope they take the opportunity to join the community in one of the hundreds of events offered throughout the city,” Matt Fox, co-founder and president of the festival, says. “For venues, we hope they open their doors to performers and curate their own creative ways to celebrate our diverse community. For patrons, we hope they enjoy performances throughout the city and consider joining in one of our many play-alongs.” The free lessons, instrument giveaways, and far reach of the event remove the separation between performer and spectator found at most music festivals and give everyone in Nashville a chance to play.



“In short, MMN seeks to break down the barriers that hold people back from making music,” Fox says. “We believe music is for everyone regardless of ability, background, or approach, and our events are focused on providing a platform for everyone to express themselves at their own comfort level.” The impact, however, is designed to last well beyond a single day. The broader goal of MMN is to introduce those who haven’t plumbed the depths of their music talent to a new form of expression. “If our programs encourage someone to pick up an instrument for the first time or to dust off the old guitar in their attic, our mission is fulfilled,” Fox says. “Music expression is for everyone, and we want to provide Nashvillians with every opportunity possible to discover what music can mean to them.” Make Music Nashville will be hosted on June 21 at locations throughout the city. For more information, please visit

YORK & Friends fine art Nashville • Memphis


Everlasting, Acrylic on canvas, 40” x 30”

Fling Spring

Starts Saturday, June 10 at 10 : 00 AM The Co-op artists’ one sale of the year! 107 Harding Place • Tues-Sat 10-5 615.352.3316 • Follow us on

at York & Friends Fine Art

1416 Lebanon Pike, Nashville, TN, 37210 • 615.242.0346 Hours: M-F 8am-4:30pm, Sat 10am-2pm


Omari Booker I Live Here OPENING RECEPTION JUNE 24 • 6-9PM During the Jefferson Street Art Crawl Paul Polycarpou and Erica Ciccarone will lead a discussion with the artist on July 7 at 6 p.m.

1613 Jefferson Street • Nashville, TN 37208 • (615) 321-5357 • Follow us on

Fine Art & Gifts by Olga Alexeeva & Local Artists



NeLLie Jo

Olga Alexeeva, artist and owner, is available for commissioned works for home and business Art classes by Olga are conducted weekly

Olga Alexeeva, Anticipation, Mixed media, 8 x 10


Open 7 Days a Week • Monday-Saturday 10-6 • Sunday 11-5 1305 Clinton St. Ste. 120 • Nashville, TN 37203

Alabama Ages, photography by Nellie Jo Rainer •

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WORDS Cat Acree

Shane Miller Desiderium |

June 1–30

Finding Clarity, 2017, Oil on canvas, 36” x 48”

The Rymer Gallery


inged with a rosy haze and fading to a blur at the edges of your vision, Shane Miller’s oil-and-water paintings may seem familiar. Do you remember that summer when you were so young? Do you remember the light on the water, the smell of wet leaves? Miller’s imagined impressionistic landscapes do. With soft lines and distant horizons, this is the golden hour of memory. Each painting is an intentional avenue to nostalgia, or as Miller has titled his new show at The Rymer Gallery, Desiderium. “Think about a dream,” Miller says. “You can always recall a very specific part of a dream, that focal point. But everything else around it is very hazy and fades away. I have that in mind when I’m creating these paintings. Everything else fades off.” The Journey Home, 2017, Oil and encaustic on board, 24” x 24” 86


There is torment here, but it’s balanced with peacefulness. The journey was long, but you are whole because of it.

Fleeting Moments, 2017, Oil on canvas, 48” x 36”

Desiderium is nostalgia that runs deep under the skin. From the Latin for “to desire,” it suggests a profound longing, perhaps even a sense of grief for what has been lost. So often people like their nostalgia to be honeysuckle sweet, but with titles like The Walls of Our Mind, Perseverance, Faulty Memories in Our Mind, and The Journey Home, Miller’s work seeks to balance the light with the dark. Bad memories haven’t been repressed—at least not completely. In these blurry scenes, dark clouds break to let light in, and wet earth relishes the passing storm. A painting isn’t titled Peace but rather Ensuing Peace—peace that comes after something else. Miller, a former physical therapist assistant who moved to Nashville a little over three years ago, is comfortable with nostalgia in a way that few can be. He has only favorable things to say about his childhood, either because it was only good or because that’s the only way he wants to remember it. Although he paints from his imagination, many of Miller’s works recall his childhood home of Western Maryland and the foothills of the Appalachians. Others have a stormy, watery quality from the East Coast. Others could be Midwestern vistas. None exhibit the destructive power of nature, but rather its ability to comfort. “It’s an escape,” Miller explains of his painting process.

Ensuing Peace, 2017, Oil and encaustic on board, 24” x 24”

“Sometimes I already have imagery in my head prior to getting in the studio; other times I have to sit and stare at it for five, ten minutes. But then the landscape starts to jump out at me and I roll with it. When I see the image, that is a peaceful time. That’s when the flow begins. Time doesn’t exist. It’s kind of my meditation.” While this sounds very intimate, Miller’s work requires—no, expects—its viewer’s presence. As he describes his paintings, Miller never talks about his own journey or his own memories in detail. It’s always in terms of what his viewer might remember, know, and see. In this way, humanity isn’t missing from the landscapes; your presence is mandatory. “One of the greatest compliments that I love hearing from people, and I get this all the time, is this piece reminds me of where I grew up, or this piece reminds me of home,” Miller says. “They’re seeing this generic painting, so to speak, generic in the sense that it’s not very well defined—it’s very subjective—and they’re finding pieces of their own memories and connecting the dots. I love that. I connect with my work, but I want other people to connect with it as well.” It’s clear that Miller has tapped into something universal in the



The End of Our Journey, 2017, Oil on canvas, 48” x 60”

way people visualize memories or remember dreams. This connection has led to a rapid rise for the artist, who began painting full-time only a year ago. He has shown in The Rymer Gallery twice since last August, and Desiderium will be his first show as a featured artist. Originally a watercolor painter (beginning at age 14), Miller now works with oil and water, but close inspection of his skies reveals watercolor techniques. Finishing touches consist of a traditional varnish on canvas or encaustic wax on board. “The cool thing about encaustic wax is, when the wax is young, the wax will bloom and create a matte sheen on the surface,” Miller explains. “You buff it with a microfiber cloth like you would buff a car, and it creates this glossy sheen. So you can have a really glossy, glasslike surface or a really matte, obscure surface.” The glossier oil-slick finish makes Miller’s scenes seem even more malleable, with light and shimmering color suggestive of J.M.W. Turner’s landscapes. There is torment here, but it’s balanced with peacefulness. The journey was long, but you are whole because of it. After all, in Miller’s contemporary landscapes, gold can stay. Such is the nature of memory.

Miller’s exhibit Desiderium is on view at The Rymer Gallery June 1 to 30. For more information, visit See more of Miller’s work at



Photograph by Keep3

“I think most people relate to childhood memories and wish they could go back to some of those times,” Miller says. “I think it’s more of just longing to be somewhere. Maybe it’s escapism. Maybe it’s a way to escape into the landscape.” na

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May 26—September 10

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Organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas

Organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

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WORDS John Pitcher

Margo Price

Photograph by Angelina Castillo

On Life, Music, and Her New Role as Bonnaroo Works Fund Ambassador

Margo Price



n 2003, a young aspiring singer-songwriter named Margo Rae Price made a beeline to Nashville, hoping to realize her dream of music fame. But like so many artists before her, she soon found herself on Music Row’s familiar treadmill of rejection.

That final round of refusal, however, turned out to be Price’s greatest stroke of luck. Her album eventually came to the attention of Jack White’s Third Man Records, which recognized Price’s songs for what they were—bluesy masterpieces of classic country music.

She tried her hand at writing commercial country music but to no avail. “I can’t count all the times I’ve been had,” Price sings in “This Town Gets Around,” her heartrending song about the greedy managers and publicists who exploit vulnerable young artists. Desperate for a breakthrough, Price and her husband, Jeremy Ivey, sold their car to finance her album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter. The recording was serially rejected all over town.

Since Third Man Records’ release of her album in March 2016, Price has been riding high, performing more or less nonstop while appearing on high-profile television programs. (Along with Jack White, she did a guest spot on the Nashville edition of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.)


Price and her high-energy, authentic country band, the Price Tags, will be performing at Bonnaroo on Sunday, June 11.

Nashville Arts Magazine recently caught up with Price to talk about Bonnaroo and her role as ambassador of the festival’s charitable arm, the Bonnaroo Works Fund. Were you surprised when Bonnaroo asked you to become its Works Fund Ambassador? I was thrilled by the offer. Supporting the arts, education, and the environment has always been very important to me. Bonnaroo has been committed to these causes, setting aside money from the sale of every ticket to support them. I’m proud to be the person who gets to talk about these issues. You’ll be performing on the final day of the festival, a day Bonnaroo usually reserves for living legends like Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Elton John. Were you excited to get booked for that day? I would have been psyched to play any day. I’ve wanted to play at Bonnaroo for years. The first and second year of the festival, I attended just as a fan. After that, I swore I wouldn’t go back until I got to be a performer. It’s a dream for any musician. I read that you sold your wedding ring to make your album Midwest Farmer’s Daughter? Why was the album so important to you? It was hard to save money, so we had to sell many things. My husband came to me one day and said he was going to sell the car and added he thought I should sell the ring, too. I was against it at first. But in the end, I felt that getting the songs out there was the most important thing. The songs on the album would be more permanent than any of our things.

Photograph by Jeff Kravitz

Photograph by Angelina Castillo

Margo Price performing live

Aerial view of Day 3 at 2016 Bonnaroo Arts and Music Festival

Who are your biggest musical influences? My biggest influence has probably been Bob Dylan, but I’ve also learned a lot from Neil Young. Among the country artists, I’d have to say George Jones. My grandmother’s brother was a writer and wrote for him and other Nashville artists back in the 1970s. Of course, Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn have also been very important to me. You’ve written a lot about your own hardships. Has this helped you deal with these painful experiences? Definitely, it has helped me deal with a lot of strain. I started writing poetry and songs at a very young age, and they gave me a way to talk about life experiences. Writing for me has been a form of therapy. I really enjoyed the Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown episode about Nashville. Would you have guessed a few years ago that you’d be hanging out in East Nashville with the likes of Jack White and Anthony Bourdain? I never thought I’d get to hang out and cook with someone like that. I’ve been an Anthony Bourdain fan for a really long time. And I’ve looked up to Jack White for years. When you’re not touring and performing, what do you like to do? I like to be outside hiking and fishing, and spending time with friends and with my six-year-old. na For more information on the Bonnaroo Works Fund, visit Learn more about Margo Price at



WORDS Megan Kelley

Life and Lifestyle

Four Photographers Document Nashville’s Streets

Keep3, The Wisdom of Water

Elliott Hall at Tennessee State University through July 24


ocumenting Nashville Streets pulls together images from four Nashville-based photographers. Carlton Wilkinson, Duan Davis, Keep3, and LeXander Bryant handpick images from their personal perspectives documenting the faces of Nashville. Commonly, the photographers play the line between life and lifestyle, each navigating concepts of social image and personal identity. Bryant’s photography puts the everyday subject into bold presentations that evoke magazine covers and double-page spreads, while still capturing unconcealed smiles and unprotected expressions. This honesty is key to the image. “You see their vibe and you make it larger than life,” Duan Davis notes. Whether taking advantage of natural light filtered through alley windows or pausing powerful moments in black and white, Davis’s work is versatile and unflinching, using his encyclopedic knowledge of Nashville to ground Duan Davis, Southern Roots



LeXander Bryant, People Change Like the Weather

his subjects in spaces that allow their inner selves to speak. “In this world of images, so much of a photograph’s power can get washed out. You have to tap into how they see and use that to show them who they are.” He attributes his success to his ability to see through to the subject’s core, away from the mask. “Achieving vibe is about taking away all the filters. It’s about making [your subject] natural through finding the vulnerable moments.”

to enjoy the aesthetic, the creative expression of people coming to enjoy the street life.” He describes it as seeing history as it happens.

“When you are behind the camera, it allows you to observe life even more fully, to gain insight,” explains Keep3, whose work blends lifestyle framing straight from Nashville’s glossy rise to “It City” with a more candid, personal approach that centers in the side streets of its everyday life. “In the streets you see people express themselves. It’s a raw, unfiltered place that shows who they are, in the moment—no fear, no posturing, just expressions.” He describes the candid documentary work as existing at the borders: “Streets form crossings of right and wrong in society. They are where people go to protest, to stand back, to stand out, to just be. If you just pay attention, you will meet everyone at the intersection.”

Documenting Nashville Streets is on view through July 24 at the Hiram van Gordon Memorial Gallery, located within Elliott Hall at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee, with an opening reception June 8 from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact Courtney Adair Johnson at

“We exist to pay attention to the reasons these things happen,” Keep3 states. Together, the four photographers preserve these moments, uncovering their catalysts. “I use my camera to bring these reasons forth.” na

Wilkinson, a noted photographer with over twenty-five years behind the lens, agrees. “It’s about being present for the scene.” Though technical approaches and compositional structures guide his eye, Wilkinson’s images capture painterly approaches to light, letting the medium of camera be articulated as he documents the relationship of the figures to their environments. “You allow yourself—and your subjects— Carlton Wilkinson, Ajora in the Arcade




A monthly guide to art education


Tennessee is home to a rich historical and cultural landscape comprised of traditional arts and skills shared from generations past. Consider the time-honored white-oak basketmaking or Native American beadwork. Tennessee’s heritage also includes current practices in new (or new to Tennessee) and evolving art forms such as Ghanaian drumming or Memphis Jookin. The Folklife Program at the Tennessee Arts Commission documents and preserves much of this work through publications such as Tradition: Tennessee Lives and Legacies and with the Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program, which encourages the survival, continued development, and proliferation of rare or endangered folk arts by pairing master artists with apprentices. The Visual Arts Program supports and creates opportunities for artists living in Tennessee by presenting diverse and challenging exhibits of their work in the Commission’s gallery. Recently, the gallery celebrated contemporary art collected over the past 50 years produced by artists living and working in Tennessee. According to Krishna Adams, Director of Visual Arts, Craft, Media, and Design, “Contemporary art, as observed by the works on exhibit, serves as a way for artists to express how they view their current culture and issues shared personally as well as globally.” During June and through July 14, the Folklife Program will feature the Tennessee Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program in the gallery, highlighting the unique learning exchange that occurs in this type of one-on-one training while showcasing the expression of Tennessee’s culture from one generation to the next.

Photograph courtesy of State Photography

The concepts of synthesizing knowledge and personal experiences to artistic endeavors and then relating these artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context are two “Foundations” of the “Connect Domain” found in the

by Ann Talbott Brown Director of Arts Education Tennessee Arts Commission

Brenda Kucharski, apprentice, and her completed white oak basket, at master basketmaker Sue Williams’s home in Morrison, Tennessee

Photograph by Dr. Dana Everts-Boehm

Choctaw beadworker Sally Wells and her apprentice Madison Dean

Photograph by Dr. Dana Everts-Boehm

The Art of Tennessee: Resources for Teachers

new Tennessee Fine Arts Standards, which are slated to take full effect in the 2018–19 school year. The opportunity to connect students’ own artwork to others’ artwork and place it within a “Tennessee” context is possible with resources provided by Commission programs, but also with efforts from the Tennessee State Museum. Weaving the arts into carrying out its mission to procure, preserve, exhibit, and interpret objects that relate to the social, political, economic, and cultural history of Tennessee and Tennesseans, the Museum provides exhibitions and programs for the educational and cultural enrichment of the citizens of the state. Included in this educational enrichment is providing extensive learning opportunities for children through school tours of the Museum, lesson plans, and professional development for teachers. On June 23, the Museum and the Commission are partnering to offer a free, one-day workshop for educators on The Art of Tennessee. Jim Hoobler, Curator of Art and Architecture at the Museum, will lead an in-depth presentation on the artistic landscape of Tennessee guided by works from the state collection, including quilts, portraiture, sculpture, and pottery. Participating teachers will also attend a hands-on session led by teaching artist Cherri Coleman centered on The Tennessee Armillary Sphere Sundial: Science, Symbol, Art and Identity, which is an interdisciplinary teacher’s guide geared toward students in grades 3–6. To register for the free teacher-training workshop on June 23, visit Spots are limited so register early.

ARTSMART Nashville Jazz Workshop: Summer Jazz Camp Photography by Larry Seeman

“Jazz is a language,” says Evan Cobb, director of the 6th annual Nashville Jazz Workshop Summer Jazz Camp. “Like any language, we listen before we use it. Jazz is no different.” Hosted by Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, Jazz Camp offers students ages 13–19 an opportunity to immerse themselves in the language of jazz. Whether solo or in ensemble, for the musician and the listener, that language is both complex and spontaneous, and the key to it all is improvisation. Launched in 2012 by NJW founders Roger Spencer and Lori Mechem, the popularity of the instrumentalist and vocal camps quickly outgrew the facility. The 2017 camp (June 26–30) is the second year at Blair, which, as Cobb points out, “graciously allows us to plant our flag for a week.” The expanded space allows combining the instrumental and vocal camps into one. Meanwhile, the generosity of individuals and sponsors (Billy Strayhorn Foundation, Van Heusen Music, and Jupiter Band Instruments) underwrites scholarships for students in financial need, as others (Jamey Aebersold Jazz, D’Addario, Vandoren, Pearl Drums, and Meinl Cymbals) donate products and equipment. In addition, each year Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville Vanderbilt offers 3–5 rooms at a special Vanderbilt rate for out-of-town students/families The camp concludes with a concert (June 30 at 3 p.m.) providing each participant an opportunity to perform in one of several ensembles with a featured solo. Cobb explains that camp participants are already musicians who can “play what’s on the page,” but in this creative environment, surrounded by both faculty and featured guest musicians, students expand that basic knowledge to include improvisation, theory, and ensemble. One offering, Ear Training, he describes as “learning to recognize parts of the jazz language while also expanding the ability to describe and talk about them.” Another focus area, Lyric Interpretation, moves beyond learning songs to an awareness of how music and lyrics work together. “It’s not just hearing the words, but responding to the words,” Cobb says. He describes the one-week camps as fairly intense. “Many have no direct experience with jazz and must overcome the fear factor associated with improvisation—moving beyond the existing melody or basic rhythm. What is challenging about jazz is also what appeals. Jazz as a genre appeals to many because it is less rigid, more interactive,” he says. “Although it’s challenging, it’s also musically rewarding. If you can play jazz, you can play any style.” For Cobb and other instructors, it is not as much teaching as it is releasing the student to an awareness of what makes jazz cool: With improvisation, each performance will be unique to that moment whose exact musical sequence will never be heard again.

by DeeGee Lester Director of Education The Parthenon

Photograph by Drew Cox

For more information, visit

ARTSMART Chalked Ceiling Tile Event The best part about being an art teacher is dreaming. Dreaming up projects for your artists that you know will leave an impact. That impact might be as small as a happy memory or as big as a desire to pursue art (or, better yet, art education!). The ripple effect of introducing children to the different means of expressing themselves creatively is boundless. One project that seems to inspire a chain reaction of excitement, creativity, and confidence is our annual chalked ceiling tile event. Each spring, I gather all of my second grade artists into the gym, give them a ceiling tile, and, for the next two hours, lead them in drawing a beautifully bright and colorful masterpiece. At the end of our two hours, not only is our ceiling tile covered in chalk but so are we . . . and we wouldn’t have it any other way. As each young artist completes their masterpiece, they are asked to sign it. This spring marks our third year to create these ceiling tiles. My students understand that their work will hang in the ceiling of our school as their magnificent mark that they leave behind. As they move forward into third grade, they leave this beautiful creation as a gift to our school.

Kelly Reyes-Trujillo

So far, my students have created butterflies, flowers, and now, fish. The ceiling of our school is one of the first things visitors notice as it’s so colorful, happy, and unusual. Art in the ceiling isn’t something you see every day unless you are visiting the Sistine Chapel. But if you talked to these young artists, you’d find that they are just as proud as I’d imagine Michelangelo was all those years ago. And they aren’t the only ones. One of our amazing custodians at my school loves this project. He starts asking in early spring when we will be starting, what our theme will be, and where the tiles will be hung. The morning after the tiles are complete, he spends hours removing pristine tiles and replacing them with our colorful ones. Along with my principal, Tosha Baugh, he’s one of the biggest advocates for this fun project. After the tiles are up, the kids and I take a tour to find their tiles. We admire the creativity; we applaud the efforts, and we recognize the hard work that went into each tile created. I hope this project leaves an impact. Scratch that. I’ve seen the pride and joy in each face when we take a look at the tiles. I know this project creates a ripple effect of pride, happiness, and confidence. I look forward to doing this year after year with my budding artists.

Photograph by Juan Pont Lezica

Jerry Scruggs

by Cassie Stephens Art Teacher Johnson Elementary

by DeeGee Lester

ARTSMART All Roads Lead to Home triptych by Dakota Collins

Parthenon Artist-in-Residence Program

High school artists are accustomed to periodic opportunities to participate in group exhibitions showcasing the talents of students from various schools. But imagine the impact of your own project backed by a gift card for art supplies, personal one-on-one mentoring from a professional artist, and your own exhibition space in a museum, while still in high school.

Josh Graham took on the challenge of presenting a student photography perspective on Atnip’s images for Gone South. “As I looked for shots that fit the theme, I wanted to consider the whole landscape image—both land and sky.” Graham says. “I’d be trying to find a shot, walking around, and suddenly just feel this is where I need to capture the image.”

Through an on-going partnership with Hillwood High School’s Academy of Art, Design and Communication, the Parthenon offers a recurring Artist-in-Residence program for selected students. For the most recent program, two Hillwood students, sophomore Dakota Collins and junior Josh Graham, offered their own unique perspectives on the Parthenon’s current exhibit, Gone South, by photographer Jerry Atnip. Exhibited in the Gallery Lobby, Collins offers three paintings while Graham provides a series of four photographs addressing the “Gone South” theme.

Graham, too, had the opportunity to sit down with his mentor— the photographer himself—and together they discussed photography and selected the pieces for Graham’s exhibit. “It was exciting to work with Mr. Atnip, to get tips and hear his perspective—his outlook on the photos and the details within the photos.”

With painting supplies from project sponsor Plaza Artist Materials and Picture Framing, Collins moved beyond her preference for pen and ink washes to produce the three paintings. During the project she met with her artist mentor, Sue McGrew. “She really helped me better understand the technical aspects— color, design, and composition.” Knowledge of these elements will be important for Collins’s goal of a future in theater set design. In addition to the Parthenon project, Collins hopes for a second summer in the Apprentice Company for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

The student exhibits flank the entrance to Jerry Atnip’s East Gallery exhibition through August 27.

Photography by Josh Graham

“My title (for the three-painting series) is All Roads Lead to Home, says Collins. “The triptych includes, as the center piece, the mountains where I grew up [in East Tennessee], flanked by my garden and a city scene. I tried to paint the South in the way I know it; to paint it as something beautiful.”

As he closes in on his senior year in high school, the experience helped to solidify Graham’s career choice. “It was a cool experience, and lately I’ve been thinking about photography as a career,” he says.


Handmade – Friendships Famous, Infamous, Real and Imagined by Jim Reyland is available at Or get an autographed copy and support a 2017 high-school tour of his awardwinning play STAND at


2017–2018 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC

Part of the Plan Opens the 2017–2018 Broadway Series Harley Jay stars in the developmental production of Part of the Plan, a new American musical featuring the music of singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg

“Dan Fogelberg had many ties to Nashville. His stirring music was the soundtrack of a generation, and TPAC couldn’t be more proud to bring this moving, touching story to the stage so that new audiences can enjoy his music.” —Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC President and CEO


or the first time, September 8–24, TPAC will present a developmental production of a new American musical, featuring the music of singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg. Part of the Plan takes audiences through the post-World War II boom times, the social and sexual revolution of the 1960s, and the political upheaval of the 1970s, while exploring the theme that everything in life happens for a reason. Who doesn’t like “never been done before”? When I sat on the TPAC stage at the read-through of Part of the Plan last year, I remember thinking what a great opportunity this was for the writers, the legacy of Dan Fogelberg, and, of course, musical-theatre fans in Nashville and across America. CEO Kathleen O’Brien has once again invited us into the world of the new. Thanks to TPAC’s creative thinking, we’ll all be part of the plan. Fun Home, October 10–15. Every once in a while a Broadway musical comes along that surprises, moves, and excites audiences in ways only a truly landmark musical can. A refreshingly honest musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes. An American in Paris, October 31 to November 5. The new Tony Award®-winning musical is about an American soldier, a



Colin Cloud, “The Deductionist” in The Illusionists – Live from Broadway™

Photograph by Joan Marcus

mysterious French girl, and an indomitable European city, all yearning for a new beginning in the aftermath of war. The King and I, January 30 to February 4, 2018. Rodgers & Hammerstein’s The King and I boasts a score that features such beloved classics as “Getting to Know You,” “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello Young Lovers,” “Shall We Dance,” and “Something Wonderful.” Set in 1860s Bangkok, the musical tells the story of the relationship that develops between the King of Siam and a British schoolteacher whom he brings to Siam to teach his many wives and children. Cabaret, February 27 to March 4. Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Klub, where the emcee, Sally Bowles, and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd— and to leave their troubles outside. But as life in pre-WWII Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times? Wicked, March 28 to April 22. The Broadway sensation looks at what happened in the Land of Oz—but from a different angle. Long before Dorothy arrives, there is another young woman, born with emerald-green skin—smart, fiery, misunderstood, and possessing an extraordinary talent. Waitress, June 5–10. Jenna, a waitress and expert pie maker, dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town’s new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. Love Never Dies, June 19–24. This is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera. Ten years after disappearing from the Paris Opera House, the Phantom has a new life in New York where he lives among the joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island.

Sara Esty and Garen Scribner in An American in Paris

Photograph by Matthew Murphy

Alessandra Baldacchino as ‘Small Alison’ and Robert Petkoff as ‘Bruce’ in Fun Home

Photograph by Joan Marcus

Jessica Vosk as Elphaba

2017–18 BROADWAY SPECIAL ADD-ONS Disney’s The Little Mermaid, August 1–7. In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, the beautiful young mermaid Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. Les Misérables, November 14–19. Set against the backdrop of 18th-century France, Les Misérables tells an enthralling story of broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice, and redemption—a timeless testament to the survival of the human spirit. Jersey Boys, January 9–14. The true story of how four blue-collar kids became one of the greatest successes in pop music history. They wrote their own songs, invented their own sounds, and sold 175 million records worldwide—all before they were 30! The Illusionists – Live from Broadway™, February 16–18. Direct from Broadway, the world’s best-selling magic show is coming to Nashville! This mind-blowing spectacular showcases the jaw-dropping talents of five of the most incredible Illusionists on earth. It’s packed with thrilling and sophisticated magic. No matter one’s musical theatre taste, there’s something on stage for everyone in the 2017–2018 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series. na For more information, visit, where season tickets are on sale now, or call TPAC Subscriber Services at 615-782-6560.




Photography by Karyn Photography

Sins and Shakers Stun the Nashville Crowd

Seven Deadly Sins

The Nashville Ballet continued its 2016–17 season on May 5–7 with a performance of two distinctly different pieces: Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring, choreographed by Paul Vasterling, and a world premiere of Seven Deadly Sins, choreographed by Christopher Stuart with music written and performed by Ten Out of Tenn and composed and arranged for orchestra by Nathan Fifield. Vasterling’s Appalachian Spring premiered this season in March at the Schermerhorn with the Nashville Symphony. Vasterling’s choreography is Spartan; it is a chair dance juxtaposing an “othered” Katie Vasilopoulos within a community of Shaker/Dancers. We’ve come to know Vasilopoulos from her performance as the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella and as a Witch in Something Wicked last year. Here, given the lead role, she brought a longingly intimate, mature, and beautiful interpretation to Martha Graham’s quintessential frontier woman. As is typical of Vasterling’s work, the social/political message is never far from the



Appalachian Spring

surface. Here, the marginalized dancer slowly finds her place among her peers, in a message about the American identity that emphasizes our inclusive heritage. Stuart’s Seven Deadly Sins is the classic morality play describing the Everyman, a character who is danced with strength and charisma by Jon Upleger. In the narrative, the Everyman is tempted by the Seven Deadly Sins personified, each with their own individual dance. The music features lush orchestration and a backbeat, articulated and made primal through a driving floor tom. The Everyman’s guide is Agatho, danced beautifully by Mollie Sansone on Friday with a kind of regal presence as she led Upleger to the ingress of each new temptation. All numbers were remarkable in their own way. The overt licentiousness of Lust, as danced by Keenan McLaren Hartman and Julia Mitchell, was well contrasted by Nicolas Scheuer’s picture of Greed. Perhaps most remarkable was Stuart’s achievement of the impossible—the expression of Gluttony by an ensemble of ballet dancers.




SEPT 8-24, 2017


OCT 10-15, 2017

welcome OCT 31 – NOV 5, 2017


MAR 28 – APRIL 22, 2018

JAN 30 – FEB 4, 2018

FEB 27 – MAR 4, 2018

JUNE 5-10, 2018

JUNE 19-24, 2018

plus season ticket holders get discounts for

4 add - on

AUG 1-6, 2017

NOV 14-19, 2017


JAN 9-14, 2018

FEB 16-18, 2018

Save up to 25% when you secure your seats for all eight season shows 6 1 5 -7 8 2 - 6 5 6 0


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Photograph by Jerry Atnip

FYEYE Instagram: @hunterarmistead

A Frame of Film, A Line of Words, Capture the Creative Culture of Our City

Rie Schaffer Fashionista, hemp healer, vitality visionary, divine towering disco inferno

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds Growing up with Clare Armistead (aka Mom), the Audrey Hepburn of Nashville, I recognized in Rie Schaffer someone carrying her own fashion fairy dust. Each time I see her, it’s a vision. Even her pink exercise togs are exquis, for Chrissakes. Schaffer’s look begins with her lithe 5’10” frame and leonine mane of hair. She often stretches the tape with five-inch heels and her own feathery headpiece. At the Steeplechase this year, she ratcheted her presence even higher with a seven-foot parasol. “More is more,” says Schaffer.


Slipping the Moorings Rob Millard-Mendez Wood and Mixed Media Sculptures

June 5 - June 30, 2017

“Flair for the dramatic” is too weak a phrase for what Schaffer has. She reminds me so much of a deeply missed icon here in Nashville (and my mother’s best friend), Teenie Hooker, a lead actress without a movie. The Dracula cape (to die for!) that Schaffer wore to my friend’s Christmas party last year was straight out of Hollywood. The tie to Tinseltown is no accident. In many ways, it was her lifeline. At a young age, Schaffer was “ripped away from” her natural habitat, Newport Beach, California, and plopped in Strawberry Plains, Tennessee (pop. 5,000), an alien and awkward creature in the simple Tennessee town. Relentlessly teased and bullied from the get-go by her new schoolmates, Schaffer spent much time at the movies dreaming of stars and beaches in her real home. Once, for three months, Rie gave up her look and wore the same thing every day, but she defiantly returned. Now, in this boiling cauldron of creativity and new ideas, Schaffer is at home in Nashville. In truth, though, she remains bicoastal. “I’m there (in L.A.) even when I’m here,” she says. When I met her at the door, there were two exquisite cupcakes with plum strawberries in her hands. I was struck with how sweet and refined a gesture that was. What a sweetheart. Incredibly, our little shoot was the first time Rie Schaffer had ever been asked to pose. I doubt that it will be the last. Shine on, Rie. Find out more about Rie on Instagram @rieschaffer.

LOCATED ON THE MAIN FLOOR OF SARRATT STUDENT CENTER AT 2301 VANDERBILT PLACE NASHVILLE, TN 37235 Summer and holiday schedule hours are Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

Photograph Courtesy of Watkins Waddell Wright and Tove Gunnarson at Watkins’ Glimpse 2017

Kim Roller, Lance Roller, Lance Roller II, Brie Roller, and Anais Roller at David Lusk Gallery

Sari Barton, Steve Kravitz and Samantha Saturn at Watkins’ Glimpse 2017

Elizabeth Adamski and Quintin Watkins at East Side Project Space



Photograph by Tiffani Bing


Theresa Hooper and Michael Hooper at Gallery 202

Mike Martino and Susan McGraw at Blue Fig Gallery

Omari Booker and Christina Renfer Vogel at Julia Martin Gallery

At Blue Fig Gallery



Glimpse 2017 artist Ashley Doggett in front of her work

Photograph Courtesy of Watkins

Trishaw Quincy, Jessica Lyon, and Molly Orner at Julia Martin Gallery

Roger Moutenot, Robin Eaton, and Lanie Gannon at Brikolai Gallery

Photograph Courtesy of Watkins

Photograph by Tiffani Bing

Julie A. Harvey at Gallery 202

Photograph by Tiffani Bing

Andrew Brooks and Alexa LeBouef at Gallery 202

Sandy Shorey at Channel to Channel

Jesse Quintana at David Lusk Gallery

Ryan Lowe and Lorraine Ensley at Channel to Channel

Forrest and Stephanie Conner with Louise and Will Alexander at Watkins’ Glimpse 2017

Sara Shearer, Chris Smith, Elizabeth Straight, and Richard Feaster at The Browsing Room Gallery



Photograph Courtesy of Watkins

Sarah Smith and Kat Friedmann at Zeitgeist

Jasmine Bartlett and Freeda Bartlett at The Rymer Gallery

Logan Jones at Brikolai Gallery

Jeff Lee, Leslie Glass, and Andrew Bailey at Zeitgeist

Alyssa Mielock, Zach Pinder, Jonathan Rodgers, and Anne Warner at The Arts Company

Whitney Fisher and Kelly Harwood at Gallery 202

Photograph by Tiffani Bing



Betsy Crowe and Adam Slater at Blue Fig Gallery

Paul Polycarpou and Papaya at Tinney Contemporary



“Ode to the Inauguration” rehearsal (Jan. 19, 1961) from JFK: The Lost Inaugural Gala

TRUE GRIT Settle into a good crime story with Prime

Stefanie Martini as Jane Tennison (center) in Prime Suspect: Tennison on Masterpiece

Euro-crime series The Tunnel returns Thursdays, June 15 through August 3, at 11 p.m. Series 2, Sabotage, begins with a kidnapping in the Euro Tunnel, followed by a possibly related plane crash in the English Channel.

HELP FROM FRIENDS Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution is a 50th-anniversary tour of a groundbreaking album by an iconic band. Recordings of the Beatles’ in-studio discussions along with isolated instrumental and vocal tracks reveal the evolution of 1967’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The show premieres on Saturday, June 3, at 7 p.m., with additional broadcasts on Wednesday,

June 7, at 8:30 p.m. and Friday, June 9, at 11 p.m. Earlier in the 1960s, the songs on everyone’s lips were from Lerner and Lowe’s Camelot, and the musical became closely associated with the administration and lifestyle of newly elected President John F. Kennedy. JFK: The Lost Inaugural Gala, airing Wednesday, June 7, at 7 p.m. and hosted by Phylicia Rashad, is the never-before-seen 1961 pre-inaugural ball featuring Frank Sinatra, Harry Belafonte, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Gene Kelly, and other top performers of the day. See it again on Sunday, June 11, at 1:30 p.m. Great Performances’ Landmarks Live in Concert returns Fridays at 9 p.m. This installment of the series, in which artists perform in locations of special significance to them, presents reuniting onstage with the Black Eyed Peas at London’s Royal Albert Hall (June 23), while Andrea Bocelli is joined by Zubin Mehta in Florence, Italy (June 30).

Please support NPT this month online at or through our on-air pledge programming. Encore presentations of many of our shows are broadcast on NPT2, our secondary channel.

Laura Carmichael as Marchioness and Harry Hadden-Paton as Marquess of Hexham, from The Weddings of Downton Abbey

Courtesy of © Carnival Film & Television Limited

Cheekwood reopens this month with rooms decorated as they were when the Cheek family lived there. The house and gardens are an example of the American Country Place Era movement, when the wealthy sought refuge from the congestion and pollution of urban areas. Biltmore House, George Washington Vanderbilt’s estate in Asheville, North Carolina, is perhaps the best known of these pastoral retreats, but Cheekwood is a fine 20th-century example. NPT’s original documentary, Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature, explores the history of the mansion and grounds, as well as the work of architect Bryant Fleming. The program premieres Thursday, June 22, at 8 p.m.

Suspect: Tennison on Masterpiece, a prequel to the hit 1990s police procedural that starred Helen Mirren as tough DCI Jane Tennison. This new series retains the dark feel of the original with a nod to the gritty disillusionment of 1970s London as it chronicles Jane’s experience as a young policewoman coping with blatant sexism at work while rebelling against her family’s expectations. Stefani Martini stars as the determined young copper, and Alun Armstrong portrays a criminal kingpin in a story by Prime Suspect writer Lynda La Plante. Tennison airs Sundays, June 25 through July 9, at 9 p.m.

Courtesy of ITV Studios and NoHo Film & Television for ITV and Masterpiece

Enjoy the romance of summer this month on NPT, starting with Weddings of Downton Abbey hosted by Hugh Bonneville, premiering Sunday, June 4, at 8 p.m. Don’t worry about arriving late to this party: Encore presentations air on June 8 (11 p.m.) and 13 (7 p.m.). Enjoy the beautiful gowns on TV, then see other Downton Abbey costumes in person at Dressing Downton on view at Cheekwood this summer (see page 79).

Courtesy of Mark Shaw

Arts Worth Watching

June 2017 Weekend Schedule * 5:00 5:30 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30 5:00 5:30 6:00 6:30

5:00 5:30 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:30 12:00 12:30 1:00 1:30 2:00 3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30 5:00 6:00 6:30


am Mr. Roger’ Neighborhood Thomas & Friends Bob the Builder Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Splash and Bubbles Curious George Nature Cat Sewing with Nancy Sew It All Garden Smart Pati’s Mexican Tab;e Martha Stewart’s Cooking School Julie Taboulie’s Lebanese Kitchen noon America’s Test Kitchen pm Cook’s Country Kitchen Hubert Keller: Secrets of a Chef Lidia’s Kitchen Simply Ming Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting Best of Joy of Painting Baby Makes 3 Woodwright’s Shop This Old House Ask This Old House Woodsmith Shop PBS NewsHour Weekend Ray Stevens CabaRay Nashville

This Month on Nashville Public Television ORIGINAL DOCUMENTARY


am Sid the Science Kid Cyberchase Sesame Street Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Cat in the Hat Curious George Nature Cat Tennessee’s Wild Side Volunteer Gardener Tennessee Crossroads Nature Washington Week noon To the Contrary pm Born to Explore Joseph Rosendo’s Travelscope Family Travel with Colleen Kelly Globe Trekker California’s Gold Burt Wolf: Travels & Traditions America’s Heartland Rick Steves’ Europe Antiques Roadshow PBS NewsHour Weekend Charlie Rose: The Week

Cheekwood: A Masterpiece by Man & Nature The story of the former home of the Cheek family, now a historic estate and museum.

* Beginning June 24

Weekday Schedule* 5:00 5:30 6:00 6:30 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30 10:00 10:30 11:00 11:30 12:00 12:30 1:00 1:30 2:00 2:30 3:00 3:30 4:00 4:30 5:00 5:30 6:00

Thursday, June 22, 8:00 pm

am Classical Stretch Body Electric Ready Jet Go! Wild Kratts Thomas & Friends Curious George Curious George Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Splash and Bubbles Splash and Bubbles Sesame Street Sesame Street Super Why! noon Peg + Cat pm Dinosaur Train Ready Jet Go! Bob the Builder Nature Cat Wild Kratts Wild Kratts Odd Squad Odd Squad Arthur Arthur Martha Speaks PBS NewsHour

* Beginning June 5

Grantchester on Masterpiece Nashville Public Television

Sundays, beginning June 18, 8:00 pm

Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution Wednesday, June 7, 8:30 pm





6:30 The Appalachians Europeans arrive and encounter Native Americans tribes. Distinct musical traditions begin. 8:00 The Appalachians Andrew Jackson orders the removal of the Cherokees; the region becomes a fierce battleground. 9:30 The Appalachians The Appalachians and their music move into the larger world. 10:30 Age Reversed with Miranda EsmondeWhite

7:00 Antiques Roadshow Myrtle Beach, Hour 1. 8:00 Paul Simon: The Concert in Hyde Park Simon performs songs from his extensive songbook in this 2012 London concert. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Straight No Chaser – Songs of the Decades


6:30 Conversation with Bill Moyers The award-winning journalist, author and political commentator reflects on his life and career. 8:00 Weddings of Downtown Abbey Hugh Bonneville hosts a survey of weddings from the popular series. 9:30 Suze Orman’s Financial Solutions for You 11:30 Rick Steves’ Delicious Europe


7:00 Antiques Roadshow Boston, Hour 3. 8:30 Journey in Concert: Houston 1981 The band performs “Lights,” “Don’t Stop Believin’” and other big hits at the height of their career. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Magic Moments: The Best of ’50s Pop .


7:00 Weddings of Downton Abbey Hugh Bonneville hosts a survey of weddings from the popular series. 8:30 Bee Gees One Night Only The group’s 1997 concert at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall – An Acoustic Evening


7:00 American Epic Sessions Jack White and T Bone Burnett record Alabama Shakes, The Avett Brothers, Beck, Willie Nelson and others using the only working 1920s recording device in existence. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Conversation with Bill Moyers




7:00 The ’60s Generation My Music revisits 1965 to 1969 for songs of peace, love and protest. 9:00 Easy Yoga: The Secret to Strength and Balance with Peggy Cappy Yoga to increase range of motion, prevent bone loss and maintain metabolism. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine

15 7:00 NPT Favorites 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 The Tunnel: Sabotage Episode 1. A French couple is kidnapped from the Eurotunnel in the Season 2 premiere.


7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:30 Volunteer Gardener 8:00 Dickensian Inspector Bucket knows who killed Marley. 9:00 Dickensian Amelia Havisham prepares for the wedding of the year. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 Sir Tim Berners-Lee discusses his invention, the World Wide Web, and threats to Internet access.


7:00 JFK: The Lost 7:00 Mannheim Steamroller Inaugural Gala 40/30 Live This never-broadcast A December 2014 1961 gala features concert recorded in the Frank Sinatra, Harry group’s hometown of Belafonte, Ella Omaha, Nebraska. Fitzgerald and others. 8:30 Straight No Chaser – 8:30 Sgt. Pepper›s Songs of the Decades Musical Revolution The a capella group in 10:00 BBC World News concert. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 10:00 BBC World News 11:00 Journey in Concert: 10:30 Last of Summer Wine Houston 1981 11:00 Weddings of Downton Abbey

Fridays, from June 16, 8:00 pm


Great British Baking Show, Season 4


Fri, June 9, 8:30 pm


Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall


Nashville Public Television’s Primetime Evening Schedule

June 2017 2


7:00 NPT Favorites 8:00 Great British Baking Show Cake. A fresh dozen of contestants are ready for a new season of baking. 9:00 Great British Baking Show Biscuits. The 11 remaining bakers tackle cookies, including a construction challenge. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine


7:00 Ken Burns: America’s Storyteller – American Sampler A celebration focusing on Burns’ films on Thomas Jefferson, Susan B. Anthony, Mark Twain, Jackie Robinson and others. 8:30 Joe Bonamassa Live at Carnegie Hall – An Acoustic Evening Recorded in January 2016. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution

7:00 Magic Moments: The Best of ’50s Pop The McGuire Sisters, The Lennon Sisters, The Crew Cuts and others. 9:00 Age Reversed with Miranda EsmondeWhite 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 76th Annual Peabody Awards Rashida Jones hosts the presentation of TV, radio and digital media awards.



Weds, June 21 – July 5, 8:00 pm

Great Yellowstone Thaw



6:30 Classical Rewind Martin Goldsmith hosts this My Music special featuring reflections by Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Stewart Copeland of The Police and others. 8:00 Johnny Mathis – Wonderful Wonderful

7:00 Sgt. Pepper’s Musical Revolution A 50th-anniversary look at the recording of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album with rare footage and recordings. 8:30 I Miss Downton Abbey! 10:00 Suze Orman’s Financial Solutions for You











7:00 Antiques Roadshow 8:00 Antiques Roadshow Vintage Milwaukee. 9:00 POV The War Show. A four-year, ground-level look at the Syrian civil war. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 BBC World News 11:30 West of the West: Tales from California’s Channel Island Return.

7:00 Antiques Roadshow Vintage Hot Springs. 8:00 POV Dalya’s Other Country/4.1 Miles. A family displaced by the Syrian conflict; a Greek Coast Guard captain in the middle of the current refugee crisis. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 West of the West: Tales from California’s Channel Island Settlers.


7:00 A Capitol Fourth The annual musical Independence Day celebration live from D.C. 8:30 A Capitol Fourth 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 3, 2, 1 Fireworks 11:30 Next Door Neighbors Becoming American. An NPT original documentary about four Middle Tennessee immigrants. 11:30 BBC World News


7:00 The Story of China Golden Age/The Ming. The stunning achievements of the Song dynasty, creators of a Chinese Renaissance, and the Ming, builders of the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. 9:00 Frontline The Secret History of ISIS. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Roadtrip Nation: Life Hackers Cyber security.


7:00 Big Pacific 8:00 Great Yellowstone Thaw Summer arrives with soaring temperatures, drought and the risk of wildfires. 9:00 NOVA Making North America: Human. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Austin City Limits Band of Horses; Parker Millsap.






7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:00 NPT Favorites 7:30 Volunteer Gardener 8:00 Great British Baking 8:00 Cheekwood: A Show Masterpiece by Man Bread. The bakers face & Nature sweet dough and a NPT’s original three-flour showtopper documentary explores centerpiece. the history of the former 9:00 – home of the Cheek Landmarks Live in family, now a historic Concert house and garden. A Great Performances 10:00 BBC World News special. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 10:00 BBC World News 11:00 The Tunnel: Sabotage 10:30 Last of Summer Wine Episode 2. A plane’s 11:00 The Kate black box suggests a Kiefer Sutherland. terrifying possibility.

7:00 Big Pacific 7:00 Tennessee Crossroads 7:00 NPT Favorites 8:00 Great Yellowstone 7:30 Volunteer Gardener 8:00 Great British Baking Thaw 8:00 NPT Favorites Show Spring brings its own 10:00 BBC World News Batter. The first-ever challenges to the 10:30 Last of Summer Wine batter week includes park’s inhabitants. 11:00 The Tunnel: Sabotage pastry and a 9:00 NOVA Episode 3. Elise showstopping Spanish Making North uncovers disturbing dessert. America: Life. facts about a 9:00 Andrea Bocelli – 10:00 BBC World News passenger, while Karl Landmarks Live in 10:30 Last of Summer Wine makes a major Concert 11:00 Austin City Limits breakthrough. A Great Performances My Morning Jacket; special. Ben Harper. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 The Kate Mary Lambert.


7:00 Big Pacific Researchers explore an ocean that covers a third of the Earth. 8:00 Great Yellowstone Thaw How animals survive the national park’s brutal winters. 9:00 NOVA Making North America: Origins. 10:00 BBC World News 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 11:00 Austin City Limits James Bay; Rhiannon Giddens.

Visit for complete 24-hour schedules for NPT and NPT2.

7:00 My Mother and Other Strangers on Masterpiece Episode 3. Stolen paint provokes a crisis. 8:00 Grantchester on Masterpiece Season 3, Part 3. 9:00 Prime Suspect: Tennison on Masterpiece Episode 2. 10:30 Articulate with Jim Cotter Kevin Barnes. 11:00 Tavis Smiley 11:30 Scully/The World Show

7:00 My Mother and Other Strangers on Masterpiece Episode 2. 8:00 Grantchester on Masterpiece Season 3, Part 2. 9:00 Prime Suspect: Tennison on Masterpiece The premiere of the prequel to Prime Suspect. 10:30 Articulate with Jim Cotter Sugar Tongue Slim. 11:00 Tavis Smiley 11:30 Scully/The World Show

7:00 My Mother and Other 7:00 Antiques Roadshow 7:00 The Story of China Strangers on Vintage Albuquerque. Ancestors/Silk Roads Masterpiece 8:00 Antiques Roadshow and China Ships. Episode 1. Locals cope Vintage Los Angeles. Michael Wood explores with a U.S. base in 9:00 Independent Lens China’s long history. WWII Northern Ireland. Real Boy. The 9:00 Frontline 8:00 Grantchester on coming-of-age story Supplements and Masterpiece of a trans teen who Safety. Season 3, Part 1. A dreams of musical 10:00 BBC World News dead groom. stardom. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine 9:30 A Place to Call Home 10:00 BBC World News 11:00 My Love Affair with The Prodigal Daughter. 10:30 Last of Summer Wine the Brain: The Life & 10:30 Articulate with Jim 11:00 West of the West: Science of Dr. Marian Cotter Tales from Diamond The Ghetto Potter. California’s Channel A founder of modern 11:00 Tavis Smiley Island neuroscience. 11:30 Scully/The World First People. Show


Weds, June 21 - July 19, 7:00 pm

Big Pacific


7:00 Lawrence Welk Show The Vacation Show. 8:00 Keeping Appearances 8:30 A Place to Call Home Truth Will Out. 9:15 A Place to Call Home The Mona Lisa Smile. 10:00 Bluegrass Underground The Suffers. 10:30 David Holt’s State of Music Amythyst Kiah; Mipso. 11:00 Globe Trekker Top 10 South American Adventures.


7:00 Lawrence Welk Show Backstage with Our Musical Family. 8:00 Keeping Appearances 8:30 A Place to Call Home The Prodigal Daughter. 9:15 A Place to Call Home The Welcome Mat. 10:02 Bluegrass Underground Dave Rawlings Machine. 10:30 David Holt’s State of Music Wayne Henderson; Jeff Little. 11:00 Globe Trekker Nigeria.

WORDS Kathleen Boyle

Pattern Recognition: Art and Music Videos in Middle Tennessee Frist Center for the Visual Arts through October 8


n 1940, art critic Clement Greenberg made a bold statement hinged upon art’s route to abstraction: “… abstract art like every other cultural phenomenon reflects the social and other circumstances of the age in which its creators live.” Although published over the latter half of a century ago, Greenberg’s position on abstraction still maintains an authoritative pulse. Communicative in ways that lexicon is not, abstract art enables the expansion upon naturally occurring forms. Such discourse hovers throughout Pattern Recognition: Art and Music Videos in Middle Tennessee, the latest exhibition on view at the Conte Community Arts Gallery at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Consisting of digital photography and videos by area artists McLean Fahnestock, Morgan Higby-Flowers, Joon Sung, and John Warren, Pattern Recognition is a collection of active yet heavily abstracted imagery that flusters the senses. A pattern recognition is, as explained by Frist Center Chief Curator Mark Scala, a computer-science term that denotes the process of “the identification and organization of patterns, combining data from across the information spectrum.” Useful in areas such as image recognition and medical diagnosis, pattern recognition is a technological practice whose results determine repetition as a catalyst for source information. And what better avenue to rupture such a system than with art? “Artists in this exhibition explore patterns not to establish predictability so much as to undermine the expected,” said Scala. “There is a sublime irrationality in their works, which in the end points to the human side of any equation, the ghost in the machine.” While the artwork of Fahnestock, Higby-Flowers, Sung, and Warren each maintains distinct visual sensibilities, their grouping delivers a subversive dynamic largely due to the exhibition’s theme. Pattern Recognition explores a candid break from expectations via a computer analogy, yet the digital media used by these artists is quite thick, pronounced—it is artwork that utilizes semblances of pattern recognition as it combats its necessity. And it works. From oversaturated hues propelled at dizzying speeds, to geometric forms that dance to piano sonatas; jarring nautical



The Mute Group, Brainplate in E (still), 2016, Digital video, 4 minutes, 34 seconds

juxtapositions, and hand-painted film strips frantically spliced together—each of these works successfully alters reality in unprecedented beauty. And while these compositions may not necessarily connect with one’s rationale, it does evoke aesthetic resonance, a disconnecting breath from our digital age. A calming paradox. Pattern Recognition also features music videos for various Nashville recording artists (Ancient Ocean, Sturgill Simpson, and Cortney Tidwell to name a few) who have upheld experimental videography in their productions. “For years, we have been witness to the flowering of our creative community, with an increasingly energized relationship between disciplines,” remarked Scala. “These artists, musicians, and videographers represent a generation that seeks experiences that are transformational, pushing boundaries and raising questions about perception.” Pattern Recognition: Art and Music Videos in Middle Tennessee was organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts and is on view through October 8. For more information, please visit

John Warren, Notturno (still), 2011, 16 mm film transferred to digital, 2 minutes

Joon Sung, Into Great Circles (still), 2015, Computer animation, 4 minutes, 50 seconds

Cortney Tidwell, Watusii (still), 2009, Digital video, 3 minutes, 5 seconds

Ancient Ocean, Blood Moon (still), 2015, Altered found footage, 5 minutes, 4 seconds Sturgill Simpson, Turtles All the Way Down (still), 2014, Video, 3 minutes, 4 seconds

Morgan Higby-Flowers, Time-Blot-Simulation 2, 2011, Digital print, 32� x 36�





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If better English doesn’t hurt ... My mother has always corrected my grammar. For years, it drove me crazy. Then one day when I was older—like, in my forties—I decided to confront her about it. I’d just been released from a treatment center where they’d taught me things like how to calmly confront someone without trying to control them. This particular behavioral tool was called “When you..., I feel... .” In other words, if someone does something that bugs you, you identify the behavior, then share how you feel when they exhibit it. The person can then choose whether or not to engage in that behavior in the future. But the main thing is, you do not try to control them. Okay. Progress, not perfection. So one day I’m pouring my heart out to my mother about something when, sure enough, she interrupted me to correct my grammar. “Mother,” I said, “when you correct my grammar mid-sentence when I’m trying to talk to you, well, I feel sad ... and angry.”

Williamson County Culture

So far, so good, right? But then I had to add “... and damnit, I wish you’d stop!” Her response surprised me. Instead of getting mad, she got this vulnerable look on her face, then admitted how she didn’t think she could [stop]. “I don’t think I can,” she said. Amazingly, from that moment on, her correcting my grammar never bothered me. In fact, I even began to appreciate it. Okay. So a few years later, I’m performing at the Handlebar in Greenville, South Carolina. And my mother is in the audience, having driven over from Spartanburg that evening. At one point during the show, sure enough, she begins correcting my grammar. She just yells something out, which causes a ripple of whispers among many of the patrons in attendance. Who IS that woman? “That’s my mama, y’all,” I said with a combination of pride and fear. “She likes to correct my grammar. And believe it or not, I’m glad she does! “But I must say, if Joe South had written ‘Doesn’t It Make One Want to Go Home’ instead of ‘Don’t It Make You Want to Go Home,’ I doubt that song would ever have been a hit.” For what it’s worth, there’s a hand-scrawled sign on the door to my writing room that says, IF BETTER ENGLISH DOESN’T HURT, WHY NOT USE IT? Marshall Chapman is a Nashville-based singer/songwriter, author, and actress. For more information, visit


Photograph by Anthony Scarlati

ry Eve st fir ! ay Frid



Charles Keiger, The Tulip, Acrylic on canvas

Jorge Leyva, The Burro, Watercolor and fire on canvas


When the work first came into our home, we were

I bought this painting when I first began collecting. What I loved about it, aside from the overall whimsy that Keiger brings to his work, is that I saw myself in the painting. Having recently moved to Nashville I was exploring everything that Music City had to offer. The music, the art, the abundance of dogs that showed up on my doorstep for adoption were all part of my discovery of a city that has been my home for twenty years. I saw an optimism for what the future held for the city and for me. —Janet Kurtz



Janet Kurtz and Ron Gobbell

Photograph by Toby Rose

impressed with its sheer size. There was a presence about it that commanded the room. It could also be seen from the street, not that anyone looked up. The artist was inspired to create this work as he was making the transition from a pre-engineering degree to becoming a full-time artist. What I love about this painting is that it speaks to me in a lot of ways. Certainly that transformation from one stage in life to the next, but also because here is a guy walking around with his dunce cap on, just trying to look like he knows what in the heck is going on. —Ron Gobbell



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The Dance We Do

8x10, oil

Leiper’s Creek Gallery in Historic Leiper’s Fork

4144 Old Hillsboro Road, Franklin TN 37064 • (615) 599-5102

Nashville Arts Magazine June 2017  

Wesley CLARK | Jessi ZAZU | James LAVADOUR | Omari BOOKER | Jim JOBE | Susan BRYANT

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