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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Art in Nashville – what’s fun?

So many artists, so little time. So much to see. I wanted to share some of my favorites from Saturday’s Art Crawl in Nashville. I apologize to everyone I am neglecting tonight. I’ll try to do better next month.

Studio83 managed by Daniel Hawks fills quickly because they offer such a variety of work, some intriguing, maybe controversial enough, to inspire arguing among friends, others not, so I usually make it a priority first stop. This month seemed relatively without controversy but I still found enough "uniqueness" to enjoy the entire gallery.  

Norman Urmy (pictured in blue) took time to talk about his handcrafted guitars with me and even allowed a visitor to play. 

Copyright Jack Seraphine too

This month I was most intrigued by the works of Jack Seraphine. I raced around the gallery three times trying to be sure I’d seen all of his work on display. There are two photos here to give a taste of his work. 

I haven’t seen much of him on the internet, so Daniel Hawks stole a moment to chat with me and assured me he had more Seraphine to display. I cannot wait. 

Copyright Jack Seraphine
Do you have a short list of artists whose work you’d like to collect? Jack Seraphine is on mine, along with John Hung Ha, Shana Kohnstamm, Marlene De Waele – De Bock, and Niso Maman. 

On to the Twist Gallery. I stay current via email so I know who’s new each month and what’s happening between openings. Even though I will walk into 20-plus Galleries in one night of art crawling, the Twist remains one of my favorites. There is a professionalism of display in all their work which makes walking into their galleries a visual delight. 

In gallery 73 Twist hosted Shana Kohnstamm this month. 

Shana’s work tends toward the fantastic neo-biomorphic with sensual organic forms. I thoroughly enjoyed the captions under many of her works, but my camera didn’t capture them. Looks like I’ll be heading back for more shots.

When I chatted with Shana she admitted the captions were her husband’s idea because people liked to get in the minds of the artist to see what they were thinking and why they did certain things. Shana admitted that she preferred to simply paint and let that express her feelings and emotions rather than having to write an explanation. 

I asked her to stand near one of my favorites for mood and captions. She mentioned the web site has a much better image than my little camera with its flash and you can learn more about many of these pieces. This work stood out because she said it helped her rediscover her "white." How many artists talk about their white?

The piece that really stood out from the Shan Kohnstamm Eidolons Lostbiomorphs had to have a wall to itself. Eidolons Lost began as a bright piece, but Shana admitted it kept drawing her back to it and becoming darker and darker. 

Looking at this piece made me want to create science fiction and fantasy novels. I felt lost and was glad I hadn’t stayed home alone on a Saturday night to match the mood of this piece.

I snapped a quick shot of snacks at the Twist, but I forgot to eat anything. When you race around from gallery to gallery, chat with artists and are often handed beverages to quench your thirst, you should take time to nibble the snacks. I’m noting that for next month. I may have to put a Google Calendar reminder to tell me to eat. 

Did I mention that Twist has expanded? They have space for their resident artist Duncan McDonald to create his tannic masterpieces. Rats! I meant to catch a shot for you, but the crowds were too thick. Daniel and I chatted about his love for wine’s beauty at the microscopic level which resulted in many of these works’ creations.

Because I am a huge John Hung Ha fan, I always stop in his gallery to see what’s on display. John, you are going to have to come back from New York and bring more work. Your pieces are selling too quickly. I spied one of my favorite koi as a tiny print in the window so I quickly bought it before the crowds beat me to it. Eventually I will have large canvases of koi throughout my house to help the feng shui positive energy flow with creativity. I’m always interested in "what else" John is working on and "what’s new?" I wish I lived near the Seigel Studios in NYC to visit.

A newer gallery on the Arcade is Gallery BelArt, Arcade #56 that features the creations of Marleen De Waele – De Bock.

Marlene is an interesting artist and gallery owner. She and her husband had been very active in Belgium and South Africa, but with her new gallery in Nashville she has expanded to showcase her new material here each month. This painting entitled Still Waters Run Deep was much different from her vividly colored works throughout the gallery. She said this was inspired by the waters of Cape Town. After you view more of her collection, you realize that the title of this piece describes the artist herself.

The Rymer is a popular stop for art lovers all month long. Recently while walking with friends downtown, they suddenly abandoned us and rushed inside. Good thing for them that they could wander in leisure because this was a crowded gallery Saturday night. Goodnatured lines of people waited to mount the stairs. This is a very large gallery. Throughout the night I heard people talking about and texting each other about the sculptures, the crayons, and the unique ingredients that compose some of the paintings.  

This work of Jordan Eagles was composed of blood, copper, preserved on Plexiglas with a UV resin. This collection is a must-see on the second floor.  

My favorite scultpures of the night were the creations of Niso Maman. These works stood out for me as some of the most elegant and classical of the evening. I hope you have the opportunity to visit The Rymer to see these.

I couldn’t resist getting close and photographing some of the hip details. Can you see how the blue washers are individually bent to shape this sculpture and direct light? I caught several people touching his sculptures as if they couldn’t help themselves. There is simply such grace in each work and I admire Niso Maman’s creations.

Catherine Forster Rymer’s exhibit of inkjet prints mounted on aluminum was beautifully hung. (It’s the photo of the set of greenish-yellow prints. While I poured over the details up-close, it took standing back to photograph this  to see the larger picture.

James Pearson’s work was on display at The Rymer Gallery. James’ statement mentions that "Quite often, my paintings are influenced by children’s art and indigenous art from around the world: particularly aboriginal Australian creation paintings, Japanese woodcuts, Peruvian weavings and Tibetan sand paintings. 

Immediately after I left The Rymer, I popped in to see the ArtEmbrace exhibit of children’s work created during an Afterschool Creative Arts program sponsored by the YMCA and led by artist Richard Heinsohn. There were many patrons purchasing these student works for $50 donations to the YMCA’s We Build People campaign. 

Interesting note to artists. Sera Davis of the Davis Art Advisory and THE SHOWROOM offers Artist-Career Workshop consultations with professional critique, portfolio presentation & pricing, gallery rental for one-night private exhibitions/receptions, professional photography for documentation, and logo & web design. For collectors, Sera Davis provides Art Acquisition Assistance. 

This month the SHOWROOM featured The Paper Trail, a group exhibition featuring works on paper by 9 local artists. 

Don’t you wish you had been among the crowds in Nashville Saturday night? Perhaps you’ll join me in April. 

Even better, there is another event upcoming: Untitled Artists’ presents Barely Legal’s 18th birthday celebration. Come join the Nashville Untitled Artist’s Group for its 18th birthday at ICON in the Gulch. That’s right – the groundbreaking artists’ collective is all grown up!  The party happens on March 13th, 2009, from 6 – 10PM. Enjoy great art, cold cocktails, and fascinating people in a relaxed non-traditional environment. A wide variety of artists (125) are participating and most of the works are for sale. Street art, traditional art, sculpture, photography… if you can dream it up, it’s probably been at one of our shows. Free show! Hope to see you there.

*Note artists maintain all copyrights to works photographed.