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Gallery One Patrick Adams, Rush, Oil on panel, 24" x 24"
New Horizons T
his month brings news for Gallery One that is both bittersweet and hopeful. Longtime gallery owner Shelley McBurney is moving forward from her
work at the gallery and turning her beloved business over to new hands. McBurney spoke with us this month about the hard but ultimately hopeful decision to welcome new owners to Gallery One. “It was an extremely difficult decision. I founded the gallery, and it’s been my passion for eight years now.” McBurney, who was diagnosed with metastasized melanoma earlier this year, says that her life now demands things that she cannot get while working in the gallery. “The things that I need at this time include fresh air, exercise, meditation, time with my daughters, and travel.”
Sylvia Hyman, Classics, Porcelain, 7" x 14" x 12 1/2"
A conversation with McBurney reveals at once her strong spirit and her sense of peace and determination about the path that her life is taking her on. McBurney is currently being treated by a Vanderbilt doctor who happens to be a leading expert on her particular type of cancer. She is also responding to a new treatment that works on only seventeen percent of those who take it. McBurney’s progress under her new treatment has amazed and inspired her. She says, “I feel so fortunate.” McBurney will hand over ownership of the gallery to a former client of the establishment this month. She says of the new owner, “She is so talented. I think we will continue to see the gallery’s tradition of excellence.” Busily planning her last show as Gallery One owner, McBurney has hand picked a group of artists to represent the gallery. Some of my Favorite Things: Curator’s Pick runs through November 24. It includes works by Sylvia Hyman, Lori-Gene, Maggie Hasbrouck, John and Robin Gumaelius, Thomas Monaghan and others. Nashville audiences are familiar with Hyman’s delightfully deceptive porcelain and stoneware sculptures. These trompe l’oeil tableaux provide a playful escape from the everyday. Monaghan’s thoughtful, atmospheric landscape paintings are showstoppers. These dreamy, ethereal compositions capture the transforming effects of light. McBurney feels proud to leave Gallery One on such a strong note. “It was fun to pick from the work of a few popular gallery artists.” As she looks forward to life after Gallery One, McBurney hopes to write and travel more. A former reporter, she feels like her experiences with cancer, from the humorous to the sublime, deserve to be put down in pen and ink. We agree.
Thomas Monaghan, Evening Meditations III, Oil on canvas, 36" x 36"
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Judit Papp, Celestial Connection
Saints, Goddesses, and Bodhisattvas Finding Unity through Diversity
Most cultures and religions have sacred figures or representations of the divine, and in bringing them together we can find the one unifying presence within them all. Mary, Lakshmi, St Francis, or Kuan-yin appear different on the outside but can evoke feelings and represent attributes that are akin. Through the diversity of the many forms that the divine inhabits, we can experience a certain unity. Saints, Goddesses, and Bodhisattvas is a national juried exhibition of the divine figure in art featuring 42 works by 27 artists from 15 states. The exhibit includes paintings, photography, sculpture, and mixed-media pieces, ranging in style from whimsical to reverent, and from abstract, symbolic, and personal interpretations to specific and realistic depictions of holy personages. All works on display are for sale and are quite reasonably priced. The exhibit runs from October 22 through December 14, 2012, at Marnie Sheridan Gallery, the Harpeth Hall School, 3801 Hobbs Road, Nashville, TN 37215. Park and enter from Esteswood Drive. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. www.harpethhall.org
From Long Story Bit by Bit, Umbrage Editions, 2009
Liberia Retold at Vanderbilt Long Story Bit by Bit explores the dynamics of power and search for justice in recent Liberian history through the documentary photography, oral testimony, and personal writing of awardwinning photographer Tim Hetherington. From warlords to presidents, political hustlers to democratic visionaries, and environmental activists to traditional hunters, Hetherington vividly brings to life an incredible range of characters. Though the journey has been violent and grisly, Liberia’s horrible years of war and corruption have given way to a remarkable present, with 2011 Nobel Laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf leading the country as Africa’s first female president. Tim Hetherington gathered his material on Liberia over the course of eight years while living and working in West Africa. Known for his long-term documentary work, Hetherington has received numerous awards and was nominated for an Academy Award in 2010. He was killed covering the siege of Misrata, Libya, in April 2011. Long Story Bit by Bit remains on display at the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery through December 6. Hours are Monday–Friday 12–4 p.m., Thursdays until 8 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 1–5 p.m. The gallery will be closed November 17– 25 for Thanksgiving.www.vanderbilt.edu
From Long Story Bit by Bit, Umbrage Editions, 2009
The Sight of Sound Local duo offers a different kind of sound art by Joe Nolan
Ronald Reagan: "Tear Down This Wall"
remember when a Nashville mastering studio ran an ad campaign reminding potential clients that music was for listening to—not just looking at. With the advent of digital recording,
even lay listeners have grown accustomed to basic sound editing and the aesthetics of audio waves rendered on a timeline. One evening, after recording a new episode of a podcast, Nathan Moore and Bill Seaver shared some ideas regarding the look of the rendered waves in their audio software. Four years later, Epic Frequency was born. Epic Frequency offers limited-edition prints of classic quotes captured in wave form and printed on ready-to-hang canvases. From Neil Armstrong's “One small step . . . ” to Ronald Reagan's “Tear down this wall . . . ” to the entirety of Martin Luther King's “I Have a Dream” speech, it seems there is an Epic Frequency print for every cultural bent. The sides of each print are adorned with QR codes, allowing collectors to listen to the original recordings, identifying the words represented within their wave design. “Every Epic Frequency print is a unique work of art,” says Epic Frequency co-founder Bill Seaver. The company offers its prints in two sizes in runs of 5,000. “People that would like these prints would be people that appreciate the art but also appreciate the historical significance behind them,” says Seaver's partner, Epic Frequency co-founder Nathan Moore. In fact, even
Martin Luther King Jr.: "I Have A Dream"
the not so historical can be found on the EF site. They were offering prints of both Barack Obama's and Mitt Romney's 2012 convention speeches only weeks after they'd made them. Of course, the duo also offers custom designs based on personal audio recordings. Know a songwriter with a birthday in the offing? Want to get an anniversary gift that “says” something special to a special someone? I wonder if I could get a “More cowbell!” I don't see why not. www.epicfrequency.com
Neil Armstrong: "One Small Step" 22 | November 2O12
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The Guitar An American Love Story The Tennessee State Museum Plays Host to American Objects of Desire by Michael Ross | photography by Jerry Atnip
t began with Elvis: Music fans worldwide saw an instrument shaped like a voluptuous woman, draped in front of the King’s swiveling hips, and an affair with the guitar ignited. How appropriate, then, that
the Tennessee State Museum exhibit, The Guitar: An American Love Story (November 8–December 30, 2012), found its genesis through the state’s most famous son.
just that thing. “I’ve had the idea to do a guitar exhibit for quite a while,” she says. “This is such a big guitar town, and when I ran into Paul Polycarpou [Nashville Arts editor and CEO], he told me about this great guitar exhibit he and Joe Glaser had done in Leiper’s Fork back in 2010, and everything fell into place." “The museum exhibit started as sort of a phoenix rising from the guitar fest in Leiper’s Fork,” says Polycarpou. Back then, he had joined with Music City’s premier luthier and fellow guitar collector Glaser to put on a show of mu seu m- qu a l it y instruments owned by the two of them and their friends. Unfortunately, this one-day show ran afoul of the biggest flood Nashville had seen in 100 years. With Leiper’s Fork surrounded by water and tornadoes threatening, they threw in the towel.
“We had signed up with the Smithsonian for this incredible show of Elvis Presley photographs by Alfred Wertheimer, called Elvis at 21,” says the museum’s Executive Director Lois Riggins-Ezzell. “Even though he is the most well known person in the world, the photographs are limited to a very small period in his life, so we needed something that would complement the exhibit.” Fortunately, museum curator Renée White had been working on 1939 Epiphone Masterbilt 28 | November 2O12
Bill Killebrew W
by Joe Pagetta
hile “non-objective art” is a type of art that owes its origins to Russian artists such as Kandinsky and Malevich, arguably it can also be used to describe most if not all styles of art. What art is truly objective, after all? Expressionism
and representational art, however, muddy the canvas. A scene may be based in reality, but when executed by the artist, objectivity gives way to emotion, and the painting becomes an expression or representation of the scene. In the hands of a master, such as French artist Édouard Vuillard and his painting Mother and Sister of the Artist (1893), the result is staggering in its delivery, though equally compelling in its simplicity of scene. Make something more of it if you want, or don’t.
ABOVE: That night the clouds were really bright, 2012, Oil on canvas, 78" x 80" 38 | November 2O12
Sun Porch, 2012, Oil on panel, 14 3/4" x 24"
Nashville artist Bill Killebrew doesn’t want you to try too hard. Influenced by Vuillard, as well as Giorgio Morandi, Killebrew has been painting what he sees for decades, creating what he calls “non-objective art” as opposed to expressionist or representational art. And he’s done it, since at least the early ’80s, with very little public or critical attention. Now in his first major exhibit at the Parthenon and his first museum show, Distilled Accumulations: The Paintings of Bill Killebrew, Nashville may discover what Killebrew’s friend and renowned artist Wayne White has known all along, that his work’s “color, composition, and surface rival the great French masters . . . Bill Killebrew is a genius.” “It’s just pictures of stuff without an idea,” says Killebrew humbly while sitting in his sun-drenched home studio in the Forest Hills section of Nashville. “Something you see just grabs your attention. A lot of times it’s about a light quality, like as we sit in here and there’s a cool light coming in.” One of those pictures of stuff is the centerpiece of Killebrew’s fourteen-painting Parthenon exhibit. Becca Porter Holloway in Her Studio on Block Island (2011) is a lush and vibrant 42.5” x 54.2” oil on canvas that is just as its title suggests: Killebrew’s sister-in-law, Becca, in her studio surrounded by stuff. “We went up to her studio, and it was winter,” says Killebrew. “And there’s all this stuff in there. It’s kind of a compressed space. That’s really always what it’s about, an activity or
Time to Leave, 2012, Oil on panel, 16" x 13" NashvilleArts.com
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White, whom Killebrew met when both studied at MTSU under famed—and famously tough—teacher David LeDoux, even though they were several years apart, sees much more in Killebrew’s painting. "Bill's work is an inspirational example of art for art's sake,” he wrote via email. “Out of pure love for the craft, he has steadily created thousands of paintings and drawings for forty years, without gallery shows, media attention, or any kind of attention at all. It's a true and steady vision. It's deep and personal poetry that expresses the beauty of daily life as seen in figures, interiors, landscapes, and still lifes. It's the first really good painting that I saw face to face as a green kid fresh out of Chattanooga and the standard I always measured my early attempts against. Bill was my first art hero, and he still is. Every time I visit Nashville, I make a beeline to his studio to groove on the latest masterpieces. It cheers me up just knowing he's out there painting away.”
Becca Killebrew and Mimi Pond, 2012, Watercolor, 22" x 23"
Killebrew, an accomplished guitarist who was in the original lineup of the sometimes-sprawling, iconic Nashville band Lambchop with Kurt Wagner, is also using his debut at the Parthenon as an opportunity to explore the connections between music and visual art. He commissioned composer Rachel DeVore Fogarty to write string quartets interpreting four of his massive 78” x 80” paintings, among them That Night the Clouds Were Really Bright. The recordings of the music, written to accompany the paintings, will be available for purchase in the Parthenon’s Museum Store during the run of the exhibition. If White has his way, where the people of Nashville need to be is at the Parthenon. “Nashville, wake up!” he proclaims.
You have a master living among you. Go to this very important show, and find out what I and a small group of people have known for years—Bill Killebrew is a genius.
Distilled Accumulations: The Paintings of Bill Killebrew is on view at the Parthenon until January 26, 2013. www.nashville.gov/parthenon
Brooklyn Backyard with Pool (detail), 2006, Oil on panel, 53" x 48"
sometimes an event, but never an idea. There’s no deeper hidden meaning, or anything other than I like this thing and I’m trying to pull it together.” The accumulation of thick paint by piling brushstroke upon brushstroke while “simultaneously distilling and flattening the objects in the picture,” according to Parthenon curator Susan Shockley’s description of the show, is all part of the process for Killebrew, as opposed to a goal. “When you do non-objective painting, you come in and there’s your canvas, and the thing you start reacting to is what you’re painting at the time,” he says. “You step back and you look at it, and there’s something about it that bothers you, and you start messing with it, and it starts to turn into something else. So much of non-objective painting is just that. You don’t have an idea, and that’s what I like.” 40 | November 2O12
Catching Koi, 2011, Oil on canvas, 78" x 80" NashvilleArts.com
ain York is a painter. He's also the gallery director
at Zeitgeist Gallery. He's also referred to as the “Mayor of Art Town” by his peers in Nashville's art scene. The honorary title is one York has earned after years of making his own work while also tirelessly advocating for and actively participating in the city's visual arts community, playing a vital role in growing it from a rag-tag gaggle of creatives to a thriving scene of artists, galleries, events, lectures, and educational opportunities. Despite his go-to status as the unofficial point man for the visual arts in Nashville, York is first and foremost an artist. York sat down with Nashville Arts Magazine to talk about materials, techniques, the many uses for Wite-Out correction tape, and a band called the Rolling Stones.
Nashville Arts: What is the name of the show you’re (with firetongs and cane) battle on the floor of congress, Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 30" x 23"
(the president) passes the bucket, Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 24" x 16"
about to install at the Bank Gallery? Lain York: When the Whip Comes Down. Nashville
Arts: It's the most recent anonymous/
pseudonymous exhibit curated by artist Todd Greene. Whip showed in October, so we can spill the beans on the backstory. What can you tell me about the work in the show? Lain York: I’ve always wanted to show with Joe
Saunders. He was in Zeitgeist’s Right to Assemble show (2010), and I think he’s a super-smart painter. His imagery and titles are always slippery and bring so much to mind. We finally decided to look at it as two independent bodies of work. My work was to be based (loosely) on the presidency of John Adams and lateeighteenth-century caricature and portraits. My series was titled Selections from the National Gallery, so they continue to reference an objective museum record.
(jefferson) i think we’re lost, Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 30" x 23"
aaron burr risen upon stilts, Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 24" x 16"
Nashville Arts: "When the Whip Comes Down" is a Rolling Stones song from their Some Girls album. I've always admired their ability to continually remake a simple formula. I see a similar evolution in your work. I can trace a direct line back to the mask-style paintings of many years ago. Are you still mining the same vein? How do you keep finding gold? Lain York: Artists that helped me out a lot when I
was coming up—like Richard Painter—always set great examples of staking out particular themes that remained consistent in their work and then found new means and media to continue their conversations. I have to say that I'm primarily driven by materials as opposed to getting particular messages across. My work has become more abstracted over the past several years to the point of becoming a deconstruction of itself. I like the idea of breaking it all down into its more basic elements. I feel that although I'm working abstractly, I'll always be a figurative painter. The figure might be hard to find, but it's there. just another Bonaparte, Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 30" x 23"
trashed in the press, Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 30" x 23" NashvilleArts.com
Nashville Arts: Let's talk about technique. Your show
Bedrock welcomed 2012 at Belmont University's Leu November 2O12 | 43
I’ve always felt that I make paintings about sculpture and use a sculptural vocabulary.
Gallery, and it remains one of the strongest shows of the year. The most prominent element in the work was also the most paradoxical: Most of the forms, figures, designs, and markings on your panels were made using Wite-Out correction tape. Why reveal your subjects in a medium designed to cover things up? Lain York: Honestly, it has been a response to materials. I love mixing a hard edge (lines formed with masking tape) and “more processed” elements with hand-wrought designs and drawing. The correction tape allows me to literally put down a “line” that looks like it was painted but is also broken and fractured. It’s been a great reintroduction to drawing for me. I also like the idea that I’m going to have only so much control over what comes out. I once read that Willem de Kooning liked to set up obstacles for himself, things that he had to wrestle with in order to whip a painting into shape. He painted himself into a corner before seeing if he could blast his way out of it. Nashville Arts: Casual observers have a limited idea of what a painter does in the course of
aurora turns on adams, Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 24" x 16"
making work. Your use of correction tape is still “painting,” and it's obvious from the chips, scrapes, and holes in your surfaces that you're using something other than the wrong side of a paint brush to bring those textures to your surfaces. What other tools and techniques did you employ to create the work you've been showing this year? Lain York: I’ve always felt that I make paintings about sculpture and use a sculptural vocabulary. There has always been an attention and sensitivity to materials along with the routers, chisels, sanders, spray paint, biting, kicking, and scratching. The Bank show incorporated vinyl, which goes back to pieces I was making in the early to mid nineties. I have been very interested in the recent developments of more “concrete” type painting that focuses more on materials and moves away from imagery. I’m looking at a lot of Europe-based artists (as well as from the U.S. and Australia) whose work deals with just about everything other than paint yet concerns itself directly with issues of painting with a capital P: color, line, texture, shape, etc. It’s a line of inquiry that asks, “What makes a painting a painting if you take away the paint?” This might sound like serious tail chasing, but in most senses there is a lot of humor in the responses. It’s like painting is fun and unapologetic again. Nashville Arts: The highlight of the Bedrock show was the massive Untitled (Permian Chapters).
The piece was also displayed during your show at Zeitgeist Gallery this summer. It features an abstract eraser-tape pattern that skitters and jumps across a dozen large panels. The panels are stacked in two rows of six; each one is installed at an odd angle. The whole installation appears to be dancing along the wall. Was this discovered through a happy accident, or was this crooked hanging your intention all along?
a wound to air (in 7 letters), Vinyl, acrylic paint, correct tape, graphite on panel, 24" x 16"
Lain York: Permian Chapters refers to geologic time and entropy—that the most carefully
Nashville Arts: Keith Richards once said, “There's only one song, and Adam and Eve wrote it; the rest is a variation on a theme.” Is there only one painting? What is that painting? Lain York: For me it would have to be Cy Twombly’s Age of Alexander. I remember seeing his
work in a freshman art history class. I have never been the same since. Lain York is represented by Zeitgeist Gallery. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. 44 | November 2O12
PHOTO: MARK TUCKER
managed program will eventually go its own way. It was all about rhythm and expressing it on a geologic scale. Again, I believe that I have to give myself permission to do certain things, and this was something that I have wanted to do for some time. I don’t think a “painting installation” or an overly planned suite of paintings works very well as a rule. It’s kind of like a “concept album” that tries to go beyond some two-dimensional surfaces on a wall in a gallery, but there was something so simple about the idea, and I had the perfect opportunity. The Leu is such a beautiful space that I have some personal history with, and I wanted to do something special for it. I hoped to make something that had a casual elegance to it that complemented the space, created a contemplative atmosphere, yet was fun and conveyed a sense of humor.
PHOTO: JONATHAN HOBSON
Bella Veritas Productions is a Nashville based non-profit production company, focused on making films that educate, inspire and bring social awareness. Founded in 2008 by producers David Perry, Elena Dering and Matthew Rampulla. The latest Bella Veritas production is the film, 10 Seconds, a short film presenting the story of human trafficking through the eyes of a sex addict. www.bellaveritas.com NashvilleArts.com
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PHOTO: RON MANVILLE
PHOTO: COURTESY OF ROOM IN THE INN
Room in the Inn
StreetSmart by Deborah Walden
hose unfamiliar with Nashville’s non-profit world might assume that “Room in the Inn” is simply a reference to the Christmas story. This season, the charity
embraces the holiday season from which it draws its name. StreetSmart, a holiday giving campaign that originated in England, will take root in Nashville. This incentive asks diners at participating local restaurants to add a one-dollar donation to their tab. Every penny raised during the campaign will go directly toward helping Nashville’s homeless community.
Nashville Predator Mike Fisher
Fisher is quick to point out that there are many ways that interested community members can lend a hand to Room in the Inn. “There are always ways to serve and help. StreetSmart is with local restaurants, so you can visit those. Obviously, you can also volunteer at Room in the Inn, tell people about it, come visit—there are so many ways to help out.” He underscores the holistic approach of the organization, saying, “It’s more than just feeding people. It’s educating them and helping them get on their feet.” StreetSmart will begin at select Nashville restaurants on November 23, including Anatolia, Bella Napoli, Chagos, Firefly Grille, Flyte, Noshville, and Silly Goose among others. The program lasts through December 31. Visit www.roomintheinn.org for more information.
The organization has brought on some familiar faces to help promote their efforts and to raise awareness for the StreetSmart program. We recently caught up with Nashville Predators hockey player, Carrie Underwood beau, and Room in the Inn volunteer Mike Fisher. The hockey star relates, “When I got traded here a year and a half ago I was looking for places to support. I found out some of the needs in the community. I came and visited Room in the Inn, and I thought it was such a great place. I have always had a heart for the homeless and for people who are in need, and you know, it was perfect. I enjoy working with the people there, and it’s just a really neat place.” He adds, “There are so many great people who are doing a lot of great things here. You don’t see something like Room in the Inn in very many cities.”
PHOTO: BOB DELEVANTE
Room in the Inn provides a range of life-saving and empowering programs for the homeless. They address emergency and short-term needs, such as winter shelter, veteran’s assistance, job coaching, literacy programs, affordable housing, employment search, and housing for those awaiting alcohol and drug treatment programs.
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PHOTO: ANTHONY SCARLATI
Artists in Love
A Century of Creative and Romantic Partnerships PHOTO: © ROBERT CAPA © INTERNATIONAL CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY/MAGNUM PHOTOS
a review by Marshall Fallwell, Jr.
eronica Kavass’s Artists in Love delivers more than its title might suggest and without the romance-novel ambience, Brangelina-style gossip, rumor mongering, and tittering usually found at the checkout counters of food stores.
Artists in Love is large format, thick, heavy, well produced, compassionately well researched and well written, and peopled with pairs of love-driven (obsessed, troubled, inspired) artists both famous—Pollock/Krasner, Picasso/Gilot, Kahlo/ Rivera—and relatively obscure Tom Doyle and Eva Hesse. But as you read Kavass’s jewel-like, anecdotal glimpses into their lives and look at the photos, many of which you will not have seen, all the souls encountered become worthy of attention, as if Kavass and her associates had revealed a secret archive of pictures and commentary unaccountably suppressed or redacted from view, now rediscovered and finally made available. This kind of art history doesn’t come along often because it is very hard to track down and access, once having been found at all. It may also be witheringly hard to get permission for use from dead artists’ estate executors. Art, we learn, may be as much a two-way street as is the “romantic” involvement artists forge with each other quite 66 | November 2O12
Pablo Picasso and Françoise Gilot in Golfe-Juan, France, August 1948 NashvilleArts.com
PHOTO: STIFTUNG HANS ARP UND SOPHIE TAEUBER-ARP E.V., ROLANDSWERTH
Immediately, one thinks of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, an affair of sexual convenience wheedled by Rivera in response to young Kahlo’s hero worship and need for artistic approval, and which worked its way through its various stages—Kahlo’s worsening debilitation, Rivera’s growing awareness that his uniquely beautiful wife was as artistically gifted as he, but whose fidelity he always rewarded with betrayal, which she, in turn, just as persistently met with her refusal to betray him (e.g., the Trotsky affair that probably never really happened). Happily, and without meaning to, Artists in Love prefigures its own sequel, Volume II, surely already a gleam in the publisher’s eye for more short tales of artists and how they use, abuse, and adore each other. Be kind to yourself, and do not ignore this book. Veronica Kavass is a Nashville native with cosmopolitan inclinations, an author, lecturer, art consultant, and official at Cheekwood. Kavass will have a book talk followed by a signing at Nashville's Parnassus Books, 3900 Hillsboro Pike, at 2 p.m. on November 11, 2012.
PHOTO: UGO MULAS
Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Hans (Jean) Arp in Ascona, Switzerland, 1925
Hans (Jean) Arp, Positiv-Negativ Figuren, 1962
apart from their artistic needs. Often, artists seek inspiration and reassurance from each other in their studios as well as their bedrooms. Sometimes, they find or create their own worst enemies, virtual Doppelgangers, singularities merging in their own self-annihilation. Either way, it is inevitable that such alliances do happen, for better or worse, arrogating time to work out their destinies as they will—which becomes fascinating when such bonds exist between two strong-willed people driven by their mutual, unavoidably selfish creative needs.
PHOTO: HARRY SHUNK
Christo and Jeanne-Claude in their room at the Chelsea Hotel in New York City, 1964
Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Wrapped Coast, One Million Square Feet, Sydney, Australia, 1968-69 NashvilleArts.com
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was simple: he stocked his stores with the best pieces around by attending furniture shows in cities across the nation. His store was non-exclusionary regardless of race, religion, or social standing. It was one of the first in town to welcome the African American community through the front door, where, like the rest of his customers, he treated them as friends. Following in his footsteps, Kletzien upholds a similar business strategy at his oneyear-old gallery in the Gulch. PHOTO: ROB LINDSAY
If you’re lucky enough to catch Kletzien while visiting E.T. Burk, you’ll surely be seduced by his vast knowledge and biting wit. He simultaneously exudes an infectious passion for design while maintaining a sardonic sense of humor about it all.
In the middle of gushing about the beauty and meticulous craftsmanship of the hand-carved hickory spindles on his George Nakashima chairs, he interjects, “But really, it’s just something for people to put their butts on.”
PHOTO: ROB LINDSAY
PHOTO: ROB LINDSAY
E.T. Burk’s design approach certainly stands out in an age of disposable design, although Kletzien is quick to point out that the human side of design—the craft and emotional aspect—seems to be experiencing a resurgence in today’s culture.
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Stacey Pierce-Nickle Reveals Her Latest Adventures in Color by Lily Hansen
tacey Pierce-Nickle tends to pepper her sentences with both wisecracks and wise woman sayings, specifically when explaining success. “It all started with my mother. Doesn’t
it always go back to your mother? She knew I hadn’t painted in years, and since she’s a master gardener, she asked me to paint an orchid for her birthday two and a half years ago,” says Nickle.
Bird Czar, Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 40"
Her latest collection, What Lies Beneath, is symbolic of Nickle’s spiritual ‘Episcobuddhist’ lifestyle paying homage to experiences of nature and travel through multilayered, Technicolor canvases. Using a rather complicated process, Nickle intertwines her two favorite artistic mediums, laying down an acrylic background of an evocative place she has visited or lived before stenciling a photograph of nature on top. “With every background there’s a full painting behind it. I then paint over the background to see what comes out. It’s always a surprise. I never know what they will eventually turn into,” says Nickle. ABOVE: Nashville Arts, Acrylic on canvas, 2' x 5' 78 | November 2O12
PHOTO: WENDY HOUSE
That serendipitous commission and Nickle’s marketing background helped pave the pathway for the artist’s rapid success, allowing her to bypass the starving-artist stage generally considered a prerequisite. In less than three years she has established herself as a nationally acclaimed painter with exhibits spanning the U.S. and, in some cases, canvases plane-hopping from city to city. “My painting Bird Czar literally went from Austin, Texas, to New Jersey, and now it’s in Paso Robles, California, surrounded by excellent wines. It’s traveling more than I am,” the artist jokes.
Amos Koi (detail), Acrylic on canvas, 18" x 24"
Working out of a renovated sock factory turned art studio in the industrial Chestnut Street area, Nickle pays homage to her extensive travels (“From Paris, France, to Paris, Kentucky”), affinity for nature (“Isn’t it the one thing that joins us all?”), and diverse catalogue of inspirations including Chihuly, Rodin, and Georgia O’Keefe. Viewing Chihuly’s vibrant, intricate sculptural fusions of humanity and nature in person at last year’s Cheekwood Botanical Gardens exhibit left such an impression on Nickle that she created a five-painting series in tribute to her muse. “I was at the Cheekwood exhibit with all the gorgeous blown-glass sculptures in the middle of trees and bushes, and it was all so beautifully combined. I believe everything about us changes, but the one thing that is consistent is nature.” Conveying the profundity of a recent trip to Paris, Nickle’s visit to the Musée Rodin inspired another poetic ode to the unifying force of nature where underneath layers of paint one can distinguish the infamous Thinker pondering
Cheekwood Charm (detail), Acrylic on canvas, 48" x 60"
in the sculpture garden. Walking a fine line between delicate and aggressive, chaotic and serene, Nickle’s current series oftentimes resembles the corporeal lovechild of Jackson Pollock and Georgia O’Keefe. What Lies Beneath exudes the Buddhist mentality of “being in the moment” capturing the branches, petals, and pollen we often overlook due to the frantic speed of modern life. Searching for a way to repay her success and serenity back to the community Nickle founded Diaries of the Voiceless, inspired by her volunteer work for the YWCA’s program Bold Faces of Truth. A series of art therapy workshops for victims of domestic abuse, Diaries of the Voiceless hit home after one of Nickle’s friends was almost strangled to death by her heart surgeon husband. Seizing the opportunity to give these women a creative outlet, Nickle and her friend organized the first workshop where the participants decorated Styrofoam heads to represent their emotional progress in their journey to recovery. “The heart I did is called Silent Beauty because that was my friend. Some of the women have just arrived at the shelter, and others are six months out of the abuse, and you can see that mixture of hopefulness and doubt in the heads they create,” says Nickle. Recognized by the nonprofit Transforming Violence for her philanthropy, Nickle received an award for Arts That Make a Difference in October and hopes to establish Diaries as a nationwide program. Contemplating her astounding achievements in the last two years, which include gallery showings in Vermont, Texas, and Georgia, Nickle muses in her characteristic introspective fashion: “When things are right they’re easy. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to fight for them, but things just fall into place if you’re looking for them at the right moment.” For more information about Stacey and her work, visit www.staceynickle.com. LEFT: Julia's Paris, Acrylic on canvas, 24" x 36" NashvilleArts.com
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But if I could give you everything, I would All the mountains and the oceans and the seas But all I have is love to give. – Rayland Baxter, "The Mtn Song"
Rayland Baxter feathers & fishHooks by Holly Gleason photography by Joshua Black-Wilkins
here’s a polka-dotted rooster on his bicep, a goose for his car, an oriole for where he lived, a Native American warbird for his past life, and soon a mallard—his favorite duck—all circling his arm in some tattooed aviary celebration of the life of Rayland Baxter, the lanky, post-romantic songwriter.
Baxter has a slow smile, light-blue eyes, a calm that is weightless. Acoustic-steeped, yet powerful when he plugs in, Baxter sculpts songs, all wisps of emotions, scraps of detail, tiny moments, and profound insight. With feathers & fishHooks, the man who’s followed his muse—even when he didn’t know it—across Europe, to Israel, Colorado, finally Nashville, Tennessee, confesses vulnerability, true love, and big ache with an easiness that spills like sunshine. “A romantic? Like take my lover to dinner?” He stalls, then laughs, “No . . . But I think about love all the time. I dream about it. I love seeing it. I love love. Woman to man, woman to woman, man to man, tree to tree. It’s a beautiful thing. I don’t like heartbreak, though.” There’s a slight falter. Lets you know the pain of fallout is real. Not that he’ll dwell on it or whine about it. Rayland Baxter, the former Division 1, Top 25 college scholarship lacrosse player who came to music after an injury, would never lose his dignity. “Olivia” finds him alone, willing to do whatever to make it work, while “Tell Me Lover” is the moment of gone, captured. “The Woman for Me” is all hope and could-be, his slightly lonesome voice floating over a warm, acoustic arrangement. NashvilleArts.com
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Baxter may not have grown up obsessed with music, but he lived it. His father, Bucky, played steel and other things for Steve Earle, then Bob Dylan, later Ryan Adams. Then lacrosse stopped, and he started Ralph + the Movers. Baxter, his roommate, Pete, and two guys from the moving company where he worked—one who’d sung on Pink Floyd’s The Wall, the other a bass player with three fingers—playing a cocktail of Tom Petty, the Band, Sublime, Bob Marley, Old Crow Medicine Show every few weeks to whomever showed up. “I was a hippie jock till I was 21,” he says, as surprised as anyone at his emergence as a revelatory songwriter. “I didn’t listen to lyrics till I started writing. I knew every lyric to Sgt. Pepper; I could sing ’em, but I didn’t hear ’em.” He hears ’em now, writes and sings ’em with a quiver in his voice.
“Dreamin’”, from fishHooks, falls like a statement of truth for the lanky musico who’s never anchored but drifts in life’s beauty. Simplicity in song, evocatively arranged, the wandering is its own reward. Never mind the Adderall and energy-drink-fueled run to Colorado where he chased his dream, ended up working Breckinridge’s ski resorts and hating it. Teching for Moonshine Orchestra across Europe led to a broken heart in Paris and living six months with Andre, his father’s best friend, in Israel—steeping in Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Townes Van Zant, trying to write songs that measured up. Returning to Nashville, a few gigs, a few friends, a sense of finding a community. He released Miscalculation of Song, an EP that eased him forward, opened for Joe Pug, kept plugging. Things started happening: the Civil Wars inviting him to open their tour, a bigtime manager, hipster label ATO releasing fishHooks, and a drive to Wisconsin for $150 leading to a fall tour with now-friends Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. For a schedule of Rayland’s upcoming shows and to watch his music videos, visit www.raylandbaxter.com.
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Actors Bridge Outside the Box with Outside Paradise by Jim Reyland
Such were the lives of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and when Bill Feehely saw an opportunity to tell this volatile, passionate, and conflicted story, he began writing. “I discovered many things like F. Scott’s love of football and Zelda’s astounding popularity, but what hit me hardest was the degree to which they scavenged their own lives—and each other’s—for the sake of their art.”
The story of their relationship has all the stuff of good theatre: it’s volatile, passionate, and full of conflict. To me, it felt like the story was asking us to tell it. – Vali Forrester, Artistic Director, Actors Bridge
Vali Forrester, Actors Bridge creative director, was a part of the development team. “I had always heard about the controversy around Scott’s stealing from Zelda’s work. The contradiction of her boldness as a flapper (who would do or say anything) and a wife who was helpless to stand up for herself both fascinated and frustrated me. What I didn’t realize was how these events contributed to what she called her “ascent into madness.” OK, it’s a love story, but how did we get here? Bill Feehely: “We have a longstanding commitment to original work that energizes the ensemble and allows for member participation. Though I took on the role of lead writer, ensemble members were involved in every step of the process: research, readings, and dramaturgical discussions. Vali Forrester played a crucial role in helping me find and develop Zelda’s voice in the play. James Sperring and Jessika Malone were also invaluable in the process.” This world premier of Outside Paradise follows the lives and love of literary legends F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald—played by Clay Steakley (Walk the Line, White Lightnin’) and Jennifer Richmond (Avenue Q, Cabaret)—as they find their way through the jazz age and into infamy. Zelda, the original “flapper,” and Scott, leader of the “lost generation,” imprinted their lives on the American psyche in the years between the armistice of 1918 and the stock market crash of 1929. 86 | November 2O12
” PHOTO: BRITT SIMMONS
ylan Thomas, Ernest Hemingway, John Belushi: history is riddled with self-destructive artists who, on some level, understood that their gifts were enhanced by their behavior and that the same choices that limited the longevity of their own lives made the lives of others more enjoyable. They literally poured their humanity into their art.
Jennifer Richmond and Clay Steakley
Bill Mason's Bill Mason
by Deborah Walden
s our televisions, radios, and newsstands fill with talk of the upcoming presidential election, Nashville Arts Magazine takes you on a trip down memory lane, thanks to the lens of photographer Bill Mason. A press photographer
Nixon arriving with Brezhnev
during the Nixon administration, Mason shared with us some of his rare snapshots of the president’s last days in office. Local photographer Robert Quinn introduced us to Mason. Most Nashvillians do not know that such an exciting young man of eighty-four years lives in our midst. Mason recently visited us, and we delightedly pored over his carefully bound albums of presidential photos. Speaking of his time spent with the Nixon administration, Mason smiles, “It was fantastic to be there doing that.” The photographer recalls being present at some of the twentieth century’s most defining moments. He captured Brezhnev’s visit to the United States in the early seventies. How, you may ask, did a young photographer capture such a historic encounter? Mason explains that he had access to the Western White House, Nixon’s California home that became a hub of international activity during his administration. For Mason, capturing history felt like part of his calling as a photographer and an artist.
Nixon with wife Pat and daughter Tricia arriving at his brother's wedding
The photographer also caught on film some of Nixon’s last moments in office. He was there when the president stepped down after the Watergate controversy. Commenting on his photo of President Nixon and his wife, Mason explains, “I wanted to get a picture of Pat crying. But she was such a brave lady. You can see the grief in her face.” Mason’s work had humble but ambitious beginnings. As a child at St. Vincent’s orphanage in Columbus, Ohio, he built his first camera. “I made a pinhole camera out of a box when I was twelve years old. When I got out of the orphanage, I paid on installment to the local jewelry store and got a little Brownie camera.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Nixon's last day as President
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Critical i Brian Alfred, Riot!, 2009, Acrylic on canvas, 100" x 130"
by Joe Nolan
like my artisan crafts simple and utilitarianâ€”too many artsy flourishes on a teapot and I immediately lose interest.
That said, a few pieces caught my eye at Ten from TACA at Belmont University's Leu Gallery in September. Bryce Brisco showed a selection of stoneware vases and pots featuring well-chosen glazes and elegant, decorative designs that echoed Islamic motifs. They sat up straight, and the lids fit well. The finished surfaces of Louis and Christine Colombarini's vessels conjured a trompe l'oeil effect that mimicked the look of heavy copper including organic, iridescent patinas.
Louis Colombarini, Rain Bottle, Clay, 2012
Tim Hintz's wood and bark Terrazzo Seat would look great at my writing desk. It's a sturdy piece and handsome, dressed in a tasteful black wash. Also at Belmont, Gallery 121 hosted Tributaries: A Portfolio Exchange Celebrating Communities of Printmaking. The show included work from Nashville's Platetone Printshop and Denver-based Red Delicious Press. The good but uneven display had a few standouts. Tiberiu Chelcea showed at 40AU Gallery earlier this year, and I wrote a piece that praised the exhibition of maps printed from computer circuit boards. Here, Calm Water found Chelcea in good form, contributing a linocut print of black, horizontal lines that created an illusion, materializing forms and figures from the spaces in between. Megan Kelley's linocut print Soaking in It pictured a woman up to her eyeballs in a tub of water. I'd love to see a graphic novel illustrated with these rough, sexy images. The eye-candy paintings in Brian Alfred: It's Already the End of the World lose their flavor quickly, trading in the familiar aesthetics of paintings with one foot in the digital realm. See the show at the Frist Center's CAP Gallery for its epic, animated title piece and for Alfred's portrait Lumumba, which features the hyper-stylized exhibition's only expressionistic element: a blood-red smear.
Tributaries, Collaborative origami boat installation
www.tennesseecrafts.org www.belmont.edu/art/leu_art_gallery/ www.fristcenter.org NashvilleArts.com
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