Month: May 2014

Ground Floor Gallery’s New Digs

Next month, Ground Floor Gallery + Studios will reopen at 942 4th Ave. South. From the press release:

Announcing Ground Floor Gallery’s Grand Reopening featuring “Utopia: Can it Stay Dream” in the gallery’s new home located at 942 4th Avenue South in Nashville. The show opening and artist talk with the Culture Laboratory Collective and members of the international group–Brian JobeRyder Richards and Ian F. Thomas will coincide with the monthly Arts & Music @Wedgewood/Houston Saturday July 5th from 7- 10pm.  

For the past two years Ground Floor Gallery + Studios has been located in the old Mays’ hosiery mill on Chestnut Avenue. The charm of the gallery’s former space with its original windows and hardwood floors, that feature yellow stripes from the mill’s operating days ran across the floor of the gallery, will be greatly missed by the artists of the Ground Floor. Having said that, the new, larger space with heating and air conditioning will be welcomed as summer comes to Nashville. 

As she was packing up her studio to move, Janet Decker Yanez, artist and director of GfG+S stated, “I am so excited about our new space on 4th Ave S. which will allow for year round studio production, more gallery programming and special events. We’ll miss the other artists in the building but the spirit of the Chestnut will forever give us a certain strength knowing that it is our old stompin’ ground!”

Ground Floor features the open studios of Janet Decker Yanez, Mandy Brown, Heidi Martin Kuster, and Anne Daigh. I love visiting Ground Floor because their work is as different as their personalities. Martin Kuster‘s geological impressions are as elemental as her down to earth personality. Mandy Brown‘s crowd paintings show the same openness and dynamism you’ll find in a conversation with the artist. Janet Decker Yanez‘s work is intense and personal—sometimes playful, sometimes dark—and always distinctive.

The artists present a not-to-be-missed opening show,  Utopia: Can it Stay Dream? by Culture Laboratory Collective. The Collective offers reflections on Utopia, where “there remains a dream of the perfect place or person, a possible nostalgic future designed outside of cynicism with intellectual optimism.” 

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Robert H. Goddard, The Ultimate Migration, 1918. Showing at Ground Floor Gallery + Studio, July 5th, 2014.

Decker Yanez bills the new studio as a perfect stop between the art crawls downtown and in We-Ho. Regardless of where you’ll be Saturday, July 5th, do not miss this!

 

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Eat Like an Italian (in Nashville!)

There is no shortage of traditional Italian fare in the Big Apple, and when I’m homesick, it’s what I find myself craving. Happily, Cafe Coco’s Italian Market can transport me back with the comfort of a thin slice and a gelato.

Italian Market sits in West Nashville—an area I admittedly haven’t explored much! This is definitely a “look no further” type of joint.  In addition to it being a dine-in (or sit outside in the courtyard) restaurant, the market is just as enticing. With handmade pastas, panettonnes, an olive bar, and several flavors of gelato, it is in fact a bona fide Italian Market, and it’s no surprise—the owner’s family is from New York and has owned several restaurants over past fifty years.

411 51st Ave. N at Charlotte Pike

411 51st Ave. N at Charlotte Pike

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The pizza only compares to my other local fave, Bella Napoli. But, you have to know what you’re getting into. It’s thin and floppy and you might need a knife and fork. Ingredients are fresh. Sauce is dynamite. It’s a great spot for a date. The dining room follows a farmhouse motif and is lamplit and romantic. The big screen television might show a “football” match or silently take you on a tour of Italy. I’ve found the service to be wonderful–friendly, discreet, and super helpful.

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The giant Nutella jar.

The giant Nutella jar 

 

 

 

 

 

The big bonus? A bocce ball court outside! What more could a displaced New Yorker want?

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Shop Local: Nashville Farmers’ Market

New Yorkers pining for the Union Square Green Market, Eagle Street Rooftop Farm, or the Park Slope Farmer’s Market will find solace in Nashville’s Farmers’ Market. Open seven days a week, Nashvillians can find everything from local honey to an assortment of succulents. Plus lunch! The market includes an enclosed food court, featuring Indian, Jamaican, Mexican, and Southern cuisine.

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Shoppers can root through bins of veggies to their hearts’ content. The strawberries are especially sweet right now, and at $4 a quart, take a few! Check out this handy seasonality calendar to know what’s good.  (May is all about the greens.)

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On the north end, Gardens of Babylon supplies the herbs for your window box garden and then some, with funky lawn furniture and these crazy stone faces as well.

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At the south end, check out the flea market on Fridays and Saturdays for bargain socks, hand blended soaps, and African fabrics.

Third Friday of every month you can do it all at the Night Market with music and booze.

My boyfriend and I were approached by a camera crew and asked to sign a little girl’s gigantic card for her mom. It’ll be on Kid President, the adorable web special that’s all about doing good, so look for us! Happy marketing!

abrasiveMedia Opens in Houston Station

It’s not just the pews and stained glass. abrasiveMedia’s new space has a holiness about it—a grandness. At their opening in early May, trapeze artists and arial dancers hung from the ceiling beams; painters worked in the hallway, unhindered by the prying eyes of passersby; the curious circled the perimeter, checking out the local art. abrasiveMedia was founded in 2004, and a decade later, it finds a rightful new home in Houston Station.

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According to abrasiveMedia’s mission statement, the organization “exists to help artists grow, connect, and produce. We facilitate and advocate for artists in Nashville, while building relationships within the artistic community and making excellent art more accessible for our city.” It hosts four dance companies and various visual artists, as well as writers, photographers, musicians, and web designers. Tony Youngblood interviews exec director Audra Almond-Harvey in Nashville Arts here. 

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The org offers classes in ballet, ariel fabric, trapeze, and kickboxing, among others. It’s cooking up fantastic programming for kids, including pop-up Super Squad camps. And their prices are reasonable for studios and desk rentals.

Right now, they’re showing a fun series: David Landry’s Kickstarter-funded, giant graphic novel “The Anomaly.” “Imagine walking inside a steampunk comic book;” he writes, “that is how big this is going to be.”

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With its prime location, abrasiveMedia will be a sure stop on future We-Ho art crawls.

Houston Station is too gorgeous. It’s refurbished and renovated—an urban loft space with unfinished wooden beams, slick hard wood floors, and exposed brick, and even random vintage furniture sitting in rooms that are otherwise uninhabited. It’s even got a freight train that barrels past the back door. It touts itself as the new center for events, art, and music in Nashville.” I’m curious how much it costs to rent a space; the web site doesn’t list prices. It also calls itself “Nashville’s one-stop shop for event, art, and music needs.” To me, the little pockets of creativity and artistic presence in Nashville are wonderful; I wouldn’t want them all in one place. That said, aside from its swaggering website, the space makes a beautiful new home for abrasiveMedia. 

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Shop Local: New Fabric Store in We-Ho

If you couldn’t tell from my post about Quilt Week, I am addicted to textiles. The Fabric Studio, a new shop in Wedgewood-Houston that offers unique and modern fabrics, hard-to-find patterns, and sewing classes, is sure to enable my obsession.  It opened last month and couldn’t come at a better time or be in a better place. Located at 221 Chestnut Street, it’s just a hop away from Chestnut Studios and Fort Houston. As soon as we walked in, my partner and I both envisioned the studio as a stop on the First Saturday Art Crawl.

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Owner Nancy Conger’s taste is impeccable. Her stock holds fabrics that resist the ordinary from designers like Nani Iro, Robert Kaufman, and Cloud 9. Most go for $11-$13/yd., but unlike other fabric stores in the area, they feel exquisite and sew like a dream. They’re truly worth your hard-earned cash. While the prices may make me think twice before cutting, I can’t find modern prints like these anywhere else in Nashville.

You’ll also find notions, a wonderful embroidery corner, and patterns by independent makers like Colette and By Hand London.

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The Fabric Studio will soon be hosting sewing classes and labs as well. Nancy herself is easy to talk to, friendly, and down to earth. She sews and quilts, and she works out of the studio. Wedgewood-Houston is bursting with creativity, and I’m so excited that textiles are getting thrown into the mix.

 

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Follow on Instagram @thefabricstudio.

Like on Facebook.

 

Finding Vivian Maier: Through Thursday Only

If you haven’t made it over to the Belcourt to see Finding Vivian Maier yet–and it’s been tough with NaFF, the craft fair, Quilt Week, and so many other amazing spring art things to do around here–please GO. It’s playing through Thursday only, and then it’s gone!  It’s delightful, moving, and complex, and it might make you think about your own perceptions about art, artists, and the people who carry on in the background of your life each day.

My friend Laura Hutson wrote this great article about the film for the Scene.

And here’s the preview.

It’s hard to choose a favorite, but this one ranks pretty high with me. Find you own here.

Photo by Vivian Maier. Get the full story in "Finding Vivian Maier."

Photo by Vivian Maier. Get the full story in “Finding Vivian Maier.”

Weekend: Prepare to be rocketed into the fourth dimension of craftiness. 

This weekend, Tennessee’s craft men and craft women will convene for what looks to be an all out celebration of things crafty.  Two hundred vendors will set up shop in Centennial Park for three days. Enjoy kid-friendly activities, watch artisans practice their trade, and hit the food trucks. This is my kind of weekend!

Friday and Saturday 10-6, Sunday 10-5.