February in Nashville is full of promise for anyone who enjoys thoughtful visual art. You may notice a focus from Nashville artists and galleries on portraiture. The process of capturing an individual in such a way that other individuals somehow recognize themselves is an incredible artful experience. When you stop and look for yourself, you may be surprised at what you see.
- Opening Feb. 3, is a long-awaited solo exhibition in the East Gallery at the Parthenon. The show will remain on display until April 14. The Quiet World consists of roughly 40 color photographs from Northwestern China and Montana from Stacey Irvin. In this exhibit, she explores the people and landscapes of two seemingly different places: Beaverhead County, Montana and the Xinjiang Province in Northwestern China. Rather than emphasizing cultural differences, Irvin’s photographs underscore the similarities that make us all human. In a time when the world seems more divided than ever, Irvin’s photographs offer a means to contemplate what unites us.
- Evolution The Unofficial MTSU Alumni Show also opens on Feb. 3, at Daniel Lai’s gallery, Dangenart at The Arcade. Through the duration of this exhibition, artists will indulge in the process of change and manipulation. This evolution of works will be revealed in the closing reception on Feb. 24. On your way to the gallery, look for Lai’s six iconic arcade personality portraits on burnt canvas as a launch of the debut of public art in the historic space.
- While you are on your first Saturday art crawl, be sure to visit Estel Gallery, 115 8th Ave. N., to take in The Geography of Space, New Works by Bendel Hydes. His work is inspired by simplicity, such as the duration of a passing sound vibration or the feeling of the wind by the ocean. Within his work the color and movement of a particular shape may produce a new imaginary paradigm. This collection will be on display until March 10.
- Opening at the end of the month, Feb. 23, at The Galley At The Belcourt Theatre, look for my own (Nancy VanReece) solo show titled Oklahoma Memories. You will see several colorful abstract portraits of family members set in the 1970s. The works will be on display through April.
- With all the buzz about the downtown gallery growth and the sweat of east Nashvillian artist grunt work, a gallery you might not know about continues to inspire me. Gallery One is just before the 70/100 split. If you don’t know about this gallery, please visit! It reminds me of Blue Spiral One in Asheville, North Carolina. Now in their third year in business, Gallery One is located at 5133 Harding Pike, suite 1A. It is always ongoing and has fantastic works of art. Owner Shelly McBurney is currently featuring mixed media, figurative works of Chicago painter Susan Hall. www.galleryone.biz.
- Ongoing: 22nd Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Series: Harold Lowe Jr. Photographs, images of civil rights activities in Nashville, Tenn. 1960-1964 at The Sarratt Gallery at Vanderbilt. A gallery talk and closing reception will be held Feb. 15, from 5:00 -7:00 p.m. Also, through Feb. 18, Mel Davenport’s Pop Art at East Nashville’s Plowhaus and Franne Lee’s 15 portraits of East Nashvillians Attitudes at The Family Wash.
Nancy VanReece is the resident artist in the Provence location in the Roundabout Plaza on Music Row, open M-F 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Mention Nancy’s art and get 10% off your food order on your next visit. Nancy serves on the board of drectors of the Nashville Film Festival and the community advisory committee for the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at Vanderbilt University. She and her partner Joan live in Madison. For more information visit her Web site at www.nancyvanreece.com.