Houston Station

A Sneak Peak at Inaugural Modular Art Pods Event

It’s countdown time for the inaugural Modular Art Pods event, and 32 artists and artist-teams scramble to finish their pods. As I write, a lighted pod sits behind me in the kitchen. If I want to go to the fridge, I have to carefully inch it over. The cats don’t know what to do.

But it will all be worth it Saturday night when the first ever MAPs event will kick off at abrasiveMedia during the art crawl. That’s in Houston Station at 438 Houston Street, in the same building as Sherrick & Paul (which is running a beautiful solo exhibition of paintings by Damian Stamer).

MAPs will present 32 unique 4′ by 4′ pods that will act as mini galleries showing work by artists of all stripes: visual, sound, music, performance, wood, light, textile..they’ll run the gamut. To experience all pods, you can crawl through the tunnel or walk around in the “back lot tour.” Creator Tony Youngblood says that you can’t do both though, drawing attention to accessibility options: some of us can’t or don’t want to crawl through, so those of us who can crawl also get only one option. See the beautiful graphic made by podsters Stacey Irvin and Andee Rudloff for the full roster of artists. Keep scrolling for some snapshots and a video of pods-in-the-making.

modularartpods-printposternavy1

First in the crawl: cleanse your palate from the world with Tony Youngblood’s own pod. 

Sarah McDonald and Tyler Blankenship’s tiny landscape pod will be viewed head-level, like the viewing pod in the meerkat exhibition at the zoo.

10830492_820665751335039_4068332807325907089_o

Sarah McDonald and Tyler Blankenship

Sarah McDonald and Tyler Blankenship.

Sarah McDonald and Tyler Blankenship.

From Becky Fox Matthews and Alison Rinner: “Our pod is an educational jellyfish protecting endangered sea creatures, and is programmed using Scratch software and Makey Makey’s.”

10943691_10205315209387363_4037667397569753573_o

Becky Fox Matthews and Alison Rinner

10929068_10205352084789225_9107262133405874267_n

Becky Fox Matthews and Alison Rinner

Courtney Adair Johnson’s zero waste pod is made from 100% found materials, as is all of the artist’s work. The interactive pod will open for discussion and reflection on other inanimate objects for non-artists to connect and create awareness of a need for redesign.

Courtney Adair Johnson

Courtney Adair Johnson

IMG_1540

Courtney Adair Johnson

IMG_1545

Courtney Adair Johnson

This tactile fabric pod by Lauren Kussro is so gorgeous and cozy, I won’t want to keep crawling.

10830938_10153084178383875_4745349829445711983_o

Lauren Kussro

Lauren Kussro

Lauren Kussro

We hope to see you Saturday night! You can crawl from 6 pm to 10 pm. We’re hoping all the galleriests who usually can’t make the rounds during the crawl will be able to head over in the last hour. I’ll keep you posted with more sneak peaks as the week goes on!

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.

Image

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. 

Image

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.”

Image

Image

 

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. 

Image