Nashville has a fantastic and eclectic mix of art galleries and ideas, each with their own vision and purpose. There are more on the way and we need to patron them with visits and purchases.
I’ve mentioned several times that The Frist Center For the Visual Arts should be on your calendar every month as a place to visit. However, there are other galleries in this city that consistently feed me as an artist, and I want to hi-lite some of them this month. I frequent their Web sites, look to them for inspiration and hope that you will patron them as well.
Gallery One – 5133 Harding Road
“In Mind’s Eye” – This not-to-miss show will feature the ceramic sculpture of Nashville native Debra Fritts, now of Atlanta; the photo-encaustic works of Maggie Hasbrouck; and Boston artist Laura Schiff Bean.
Ruby Green – 514 Fifth Avenue South
“The Axe and The Spade” Artists Jonathan Bouknight, Adam Davis, and John Trobaugh take different approaches toward an exploration of the disconnect between idealized masculinities and the reality of human nature. Through the appropriation of gender signifiers and the creation of alternate spaces, these artists attempt to reshape the cultural context in which they exist. The artworks are intended catalyst for a change in perception, imbued with the artists’ own yearning and discontent with waiting.
The title "The Axe & The Spade" originates from a test done to young children by some Native American Indian tribes to determine the role of the child in the tribe: as a male, female, or a third gender (often called a "Two-Spirit" or "Berdache"). The child was tested to see if they preferred the man’s tools, the bow and arrow, or the woman’s tools, the axe and the spade.
Estel Gallery – corner of Broadway and Rosa L. Parks Blvd (8th Ave North)
"The Beautiful Project " – New paintings by Pamela Sukhum and artwork by Sudanese refugee children April 16 – May 24. Reception with the Artist: Saturday, May 3, 6-9pm.
Beauty can be found where hope almost ceases to exist. Many artists comment on the ills of the world through their work. Artist Pamela Sukhum remedies those wrongs with action and paints the beauty she finds. In her latest paintings Sukhum finds inspiration from working with children in Sudanese refugee camps in Chad.
Art & Invention Gallery – 1106 Woodland Street
“Position East: Resurrection” – Jan Bell, James Bowman, Bill Brimm, Marla Faith, Jane Fleishman, Jeff Hand, Kristi Hargrove, Sherri Warner Hunter, Charles Laurence Nelson, Thurman Rivers, Diane Sesler, Meryl Truett
Founded in 1992, Position East was a collective of artists who made their homes in East Nashville. Position East’s goals were threefold: first, to provide a social and professional support group for artists in East Nashville; second, to develop new opportunities for art exhibition and sales; and third, to promote a positive awareness of the East Nashville community.
Since 1992, biennial shows in alternative spaces solidified Position East and helped determine its direction. Position East worked with local real estate companies to arrange for the use of homes on the market in historic East Nashville as temporary gallery spaces, also providing an open house arrangement for the realtor. A Position East show typically opened on a Friday night and ran through the weekend. Position East shows were a one-of-a-kind Nashville event. In what other neighborhood could residents enjoy a movable gallery of contemporary fine art within walking distance of home?
Position East’s shows were unified by various themes: Red Velvet Motel, Let There Be Light, Mirror Image, Figuratively Speaking, and The Flying Feather Review were all themes around which member artists produced work and mounted shows. Each Position East show was staged completely by member artists, from publicity to installation to sales.
As Position East shows have always had a theme, so does this one. Fittingly, the theme is RESURRECTION, a salute to the revival of Position East, and the continuing revival of East Nashville, which in the last 100 years has survived two tornadoes, a major fire and years of devastating urban blight—and has come back, alive and vibrant, each time.