Drink ‘n Draw Wednesdays at Channel to Channel

drink n draw

Drink ‘n Draw action last week at Channel to Channel.

Experienced and aspiring artists are invited to Channel to Channel Wednesday for uninstructed life drawing with a nude model. Dustin Hedrick, who opened up his studio space to show contemporary art last year, hosts the weekly “Drink ‘n Draw.” Artists can get their draw on, as well as their drink and munch, in the company of each other for two hours. If you’re thinking bare white walls and stodgy art-speak, you’re barking up the wrong tree. Channel to Channel is on the second floor of the old Hosiery Mill at 427 Chestnut Street, and you can expect it to be casual. It runs 6-8 pm.

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Cynthia Sukowatey will show “All in One” at Channel to Channel April 4-23. 

Also, you’ll be the first to peep the new show going up. Channel to Channel will present silkscreens by Cynthia Sukowatey in a solo show she’s titled “All in One.” Dig her profesh website. Sukowatey is a recent grad of APSU, so it’s a great opportunity for newbie art collectors to take home some beautiful work for less and support a young artist. “All in One” officially opens Saturday during the art crawl, but Hedrick will likely be putting it up sooner.

If you head to the Drink ‘n Draw, bring your own drawing materials; chairs and stands are first come, first served; and the cost is $10, which helps Hedrick pay the rent for this awesome gallery. Stay tuned to the Facebook page for more events. The gallery now has official Saturday hours from 11-2.

Art by Nashville’s Janet Decker Yanez in Dumbo Tonight + Thoughts on the Scene

Tonight during Dumbo’s first Thursday gallery walk, A.I.R. Gallery opens Transformed Viewpoints. Curated by Brooklyn Museum’s Emerita Charlotta Kotik, the exhibition features eighteen A.I.R. artists from around the country, including Nashville’s Janet Decker Yanez, owner of Ground Floor Gallery + Studios.

Janet Decker Yanez. "Your Heiness." On view in A.I.R. Gallery's Transformed Viewpoints, opening tonight in Dumbo.

Janet Decker Yanez. “Your Heiness.” On view in A.I.R. Gallery’s Transformed Viewpoints, opening tonight in Dumbo.

A.I.R. opened in1972 in SoHo as the U.S.’s first all female artist cooperative. I interviewed Yanez for Country Life last summer and reviewed Ground Floor’s juried A.I.R. exhibition in BURNAWAY in October. It’s exciting whenever the work of local artists ventures out of state, but Yanez’s inclusion in the exhibition seems especially poignant. Yanez opened the studio and gallery space in the Chestnut Square building in 2012 at the urging of other local artists. While Chestnut has its charms, it doesn’t have heat or air conditioning, and some parts of the building are exposed to the elements. In addition, no one’s ever sure if it’s been bought out by developers; its fate seems always to hang in the balance. Last summer, Yanez moved everything to a 3,250 square foot space at 942 Fourth Avenue, and nine artists now work out of the space.

There are few places in Nashville where so many artists are drawn together in a common workspace. It satisfies a need for connection in the often solitary practice of art making. The GRG artists frequently hold open studios, and I love poking my nose into their spaces and talking with them about their work. It’s a space with vitality and camaraderie that seems emblematic of Nashville’s arts boom.

However, lately, I wonder if we’re in the midst of a fairy tale. While artists and patrons soar on the collective energy of a dozen new galleries, as well as art crawls, stellar programming at the Frist, and an unprecedented number of arts events, artists aren’t selling their work to outside buyers nearly as much as they should be. Part of this stems from Nashville’s outward-facing model, muchly controlled by the Convention Center Visitors Bureau that’s hell bent on keeping the city trapped in its Music City chokehold. Part of it stems from our lack of an M.F.A. program that would surely bring in outside artists, investors, and patrons. National art fairs also get thrown into the mix; collectors are increasingly flocking to Miami and elsewhere to purchase art, instead of supporting local galleries. Many other factors complete the corner we’re painting ourselves into, and I am no expert. I do think that we need to start having frank conversations about the sustainability of our arts community if we want to continue riding this wave.

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.


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.


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.”


Becky Fox Matthews and Alison Rinner


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


Courtney Adair Johnson


Courtney Adair Johnson

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


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!

John Perry at SNAP Gallery Saturday

johnperryAdding to the list of reasons-stay-in-town-this-weekend (AKA why-am-I-leaving-town-this-weekend?), SNAP Gallery is bringing an artist to WeHo in conjunction with SONA Fest. SNAP (South Nashville Action People) is located at the 1224 Martin St. (corner of Humphreys). SNAP opened up for the first Arts & Music at Wedgewood/Houston art crawl for On/Off Electronic Art Exhibition, and I’m delighted to see they’re involved again.

John Perry will be showing his abstract works in a solo show. His work has everything I look for in abstract paintings: careful groupings of color, varied textures, an almost musical narrative. From the artist:

“My process is action-oriented, although not necessarily a register of my physical movement.  I use lots of solvent (water, turp, etc), and will often begin paintings on their backs.  I’m searching all the while, and as elements begin to move (or I direct them to move), I start to find the moments I want to protect.  My mark making varies from using the palette knife to scrape or wipe paint onto the surface, to using a leaf blower or water hose to blast large movements from one end of the work to the other.”

John Perry, untitled, 2013; ink on paper, 16 by 22 inches.

John Perry, untitled, 2013; ink on paper.


John Perry, untitled, 2013; oil on canvas.

John Perry, untitled, 2014; acrylic on board.

John Perry, untitled, 2014; acrylic on board.

The gallery will be open from 5:30 to 11:00, so if you find yourself short on time during the crawls (of course you will!), head over after the Gong Orchestra that’s happening at Track One at 9:00.

SONA Fest this Saturday

Logo by John Munn.

Logo by John Perry.

This Saturday, NYCnash will be at Atlanta Maker Faire in the Make Nashville booth while a party happens in its own back yard! Neighboring hoods Chestnut Hill and Wedgewood-Houston unite to put on a festival that highlights community and sustainability. It kicks off at 2:30 and runs through Arts and Music at Wedgewood-Houston, so crawl your way over Dudley Park, located on Chestnut and 3rd, right by Track One. I talked to Adrianna Silver, the executive director of WeHo’s community board SNAP.  There will be live music, local art vendors, a petting zoo for the kiddies (NYnash is terrified of llamas), food trucks, a beer garden, and more! What makes this fest different from the rest is its focus on gardens and sustainability. Chestnut Hill is dotted with urban gardens, which you can tour. Riding your bike to the fest? They’ll have valet bike parking, too!

Artist Reconstructs Art History at Threesquared: Melissa Wilkinson

Threesquared hosts an opening reception for “Le Petite Mort,” a show that the artist Melissa Wilkinson promises will “irritate and seduce.” The Arkansas-based artist says in her statement, “I choose to dismantle epic narratives from the past to create a schizophrenic perspective.” Painting in watercolor, she deconstructs traditional subjects to “dismantle the elitism with which they are often associated,” and produces a meditation on gender, the body, and the male gaze.

Liquid Venus by

Liquid Venus by Melissa Wilkinson

From the gallery:

Threesquared is excited to present recent works from Melissa Wilkinson, Assistant Professor of Art at Arkansas State University. In this new series of watercolor paintings, Wilkinson confronts the image of the body, and exposes its inherent contradiction as a passive object of desire in both traditional representation and contemporary painting. These works incorporate appropriated imagery from art history, subjects suggestive of consumption and wealth, and are deconstructed to recontextualize and agitate. Here, Wilkinson seeks to create a new narrative using an old.


Coiffure by Melissa Wilkinson

Threesquared is located in the Chestnut Square building at 427 Chestnut Street. Opening reception Thursday, September 25, 6-9 p.m. The show will stay up for Arts and Music at Wedgewood-Houston on October 4.

From the Modern Quilt Show, Nashville

On Saturday, September 5, Wedgewood/Houston was bustling with the first Saturday art crawl, and Nancy Conger of the Fabric Studio had something new to add to the mix. Conger solicited modern quilts on her blog and at her awesome fabric store and strung them up on impromptu clotheslines. She received some truly gorgeous quilts and included some of her own beauties. Take a look!

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So I was a bad reporter and didn’t get the names of all of the artists, but you can find some of them here! Devin Lott, Nancy Conger, Lindsay Connor, and Jennifer Haston. If you were featured in the quilt show and have a website I can check out, please leave it in the comments below! (P.S. I made the fox quilt!)

David Lusk Show Explores Paradox of the Southeast

DSC00642David Lusk Gallery in Nashville shows the magical realist paintings of Jared Small with “Stately Abandonment.” I checked out the exhibit this evening at the gallery’s Arts and Non-craft Beer Fridays. I love how the gallery is opening its doors on evenings throughout the month. DSC00636
Like a town in a Southern Gothic novel, the show strikes a mood of imminent trouble masked by a polite disposition. According to his website, the Memphis-born painter Jared Small has always been fascinated by the dilapidated homes and structures found in the Southeast. He paints houses under ominous skies in a realistic style with impeccable detail that start to dissolve around the edges, the paint dripping to pool at the bottom of the canvas. It’s evocative of Victorian houses of the Southeast U.S., prone to the weathering of years but with solid, unshakable foundations, much like the region itself.
Catch it through October 4. Read Stephen Trageser’s excellent Country Life review of the show here.

Gallery Visit: Heidi Martin Kuster at Ground Floor Gallery

2012-01-01 03.32.22Thursday, Ground Floor Gallery opened its doors for its very own Heidi Martin Kuster. In her exhibit Rock, Paper, Plastic, she looks back and forward, anchored in her geological interest. This is a great exhibit on a conceptual and aesthetic level that you should definitely check out. It will be up all month. Ground Floor is also an open studio, and the artists renting space from owner Janet Decker Yanez are multiplying. (I think they’re up to seven, and the huge space buzzes with great vibes.) They’ll be open Saturday night and keep regular hours, so drop by. 

2012-01-01 03.52.16The show’s title, Rock, Paper, Plastic, reveals the artist’s conceptual framework. Kuster borrows the phrasing from the popular childhood game in order to “step back, be present and look forward.” But unlike the game, paper doesn’t beat rock et cetera, but all three coexist on the walls and floor of the new gallery. The Past is seen in the rocks themselves; rocks are evidence of the past. They also exist without human intervention. For the artist, rocks seem to evoke the sacred: “A pebble in my hand holds the memory of a hike, a conversation with my son, a breathtaking, time stopping vista.”

Paper is the Present. It is human made. We use it to record and remember, but it will not last. Kuster writes in her show’s statement, “In the scheme of earth’s historic changes it will be an instant, quickly disappearing into the fertile compost of time.”

2012-01-01 03.32.46It really gets interesting with the Future, represented by plastic. Kuster told me that after years of trying to avoid and reuse plastic bags, she just started collecting them, taking as many as the world would throw at her. “They become, for me,” she writes, “the perfect admission of how my choices will inevitably impact the rock I live on for my children and their future.” She began layering them into her work and bunching them into bumpy balls that are collected on the floor of the gallery. 

2012-01-01 03.52.05It was interesting to watch people interact with the work during the opening. Some moved easily among the “rocks” as they viewed the paintings, barely acknowledging their presence. Others tiptoed carefully around them. I noticed Kuster nonchalantly kick one aside as she spoke to a guest. My favorite moment was definitely when a friend’s daughter began almost frantically moving them into mounds and shapes, darting from one end of the room to the other, carefully setting them in her own little installation. Kuster encouraged her behavior and snapped pictures of the new creations. I thought, how fitting. In a piece about what we will leave to the next generation, an artsy member of our lineage reconstructs the installation herself.
2012-01-01 03.29.05Side note: How delighted was I that the gals at GFG+S went ahead and planned this opening for Thursday, rather than during Saturday’s art crawls. In the great debate regarding the monthly crawls, I air on the side of splitting up downtown’s and WeHo’s simply because I want to see everything. Joe Nolan has an article in this week’s issue of the the Scene that explores both points of view. It seems like some galleries are wizening up to the fact that Nashvillians will come out to support the arts on nights other than the first Saturday of the month, which allowed me a full hour to chat with friends and artists at Ground Floor this evening. 2012-01-01 03.28.13

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It’s a Quilt Show, Ya’ll!

I’m so excited about the Modern Quilt Show at The Fabric Studio happening this Saturday, I’m throwing “ya’ll’s” into the world! I’ve posted about this awesome sewing store in WeHo before. I attended the Washi Dress class here with Miss Make’s Devon lott, and it’s one of my go-to shops for fabric, even if it’s just a pack of owner Nancy Conger’s scraps (the girl has an unbelievable sense of color!) She’ll be pulling out all the stops this weekend with her first ever quilt show, which will be right in the neighborhood of Arts and Music @ Wedgewood-Houston. Please stop by to see some striking quilts, including one of my own! 

Owner Nancy Conger was inspired by other cities organizing outdoor quilt shows, like this one on Mass Ave in Indianapolis.

Owner Nancy Conger was inspired by other cities organizing outdoor quilt shows, like this one on Mass Ave in Indianapolis.

Other Sewing Stuff

Nancy just posted a host of fall classes, sewing labs, and stitching socials. I had never made a garment prior to taking the Washi dress class, and I found instructor Devon lott to be patient, sharp, and very fun. She explained the “why” behind every stitch, so I can repeat the skills I learned.  The Fabric Studio is also now selling fat quarters! I think my next project is going to be a wall quilt with the new Cotton + Steele collection. Or, I can use one of the tons of fabric I already have…err…

The Fancy Fox quilt is not quite complete, but I’m working on it! I promise it will be done by Saturday. 

Watching Star Trek while I quilt with the 3D printed phone stand Tony Youngblood designed!

Watching Star Trek while I quilt with the 3D printed phone stand Tony Youngblood designed!

fox quilt data