First Art Saturday program to benefit flood victims

We ART Nashville, a First Art Saturday Downtown Initiative, will benefit the victims of the historic Nashville flood that occurred on the first weekend in May.

On May 21, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., the art galleries on 5th Avenue and throughout downtown will offer an uplifting, artistic evening to show their support for the community. For a suggested donation of $10, visitors will be given wristbands offering 10 percent off all of their purchases, free ticket vouchers to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts (shuttles will be provided free of charge by the Downtown Partnership), and other special gifts given at each venue. All donations from the evening will go to The Community Foundation Disaster Relief Fund.

“Nashville is a wonderful diverse community. Creativity is the pulse of Music City. The initiative is an opportunity for the downtown visual arts community to reach out and help our neighbors,” said the Frist Center’s Ellen Pryor. “This recent flood has been a horrible experience, but it is not going to dampen the indomitable spirit of our city!”

We ART Nashville highlights include:

  • The Arts Company (215 Fifth Ave. North) presents Celebrating the Art of Design: Jane Davis Doggett, Master Design Artist. Though she is known for her distinguished career in creating graphic identities and way-finding systems for massive public spaces—most notably, major airports—this exhibition features her more recent intimate and bold series of colorful geometric images that visually express proverbs, quotations, and sayings from various cultures. Similar work acknowledging her as a distinguished Yale graduate is currently being exhibited at the Yale University Art Gallery.
  • The Rymer Gallery (233 Fifth Ave. North) opens Southern Organic, featuring the works of three southern artists, Michael Brown, Jonathan Ferrara, and Erin Anfinson, professor of painting at Savannah College of Art and Design, Brown creates fantastical paintings of animals and flowers that exist somewhere between Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland and a Southern Gothic picture book. A New Orleans artist and gallery owner, Ferrara describes his work as political and textural with direct intention of replicating the very process of his subject rather than provoking translation. Anfinson rounds out the show with her new series of encaustic drawings, Collapse, based on Colony Collapse Disorder in honeybee populations.
  • Tinney Contemporary (237 Fifth Ave. North) premieres The Spring Collection: New Work by Sisavanh Phouthavong and Jarrod Houghton. Their exhibit is a new collaborative body of work created by sculptor Houghton and painter Phouthavong. The art presents a manifestation of intuitive play embodying a multitude of forms and textures through the use of classical techniques and materials such as bronze, iron, and encaustic. The intent of The Spring Collection is to present evocative juxtapositions and to reveal shared experiences of human anxiety, phobia, taboo, and dreams.
  • Tennessee Art League (808 Broadway) continues The Central South Art Exhibition National (CSAE), a highly competitive juried visual art show featuring 64 pieces chosen from more than 500 entries this year. Diverse genres of artwork eligible for entry include oil, water media, polymer, pastel, pen and ink, mixed media, sculpture, and photography. This year’s Best in Show Award winner will receive $1,500.

Art at the Arcade highlights include:

  • BelArt Gallery (Arcade #56) featuring Spring 2010, work by gallery owner Marleen De Waele De Bock. Davis Art Advisory (Arcade No. 75) presents Paintings, Prints and Couture Scarves, introducing paintings by New York-based artist Stanford Kay, and welcoming for the first time, IVAXA designs-couture scarves by Iveta Simacek.
  • Mir Gallery (Arcade No. 44) opens its new exhibit Lightboxes by Matthew Shelton. A musician and visual artist, Shelton‘s Lightboxes are made from simple materials, but are labor intensive to create. They involve multiple layers of mirror board, color and borrowed and original patterns. A cross somewhere between a Lite-Bright and Zen Meditation, these self-illuminated wonders are a must see!
  • Twist (Arcade No. 73) opens Minor Victory: Chicago and Nashville Printmakers, offering an eclectic mix of irreverent images that lampoon the idea of the traditional print alongside images that push abstraction toward its own ambiguous goal. In addition to the exhibit, prints will be available from local and Chicago printmakers, starting at $20.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts (919 Broadway) will be celebrating its newest traveling exhibition, Chihuly at the Frist. The unsurpassed mastery of the artist Dale Chihuly and his Seattle glass-studio collaborators will be showcased in nine installations drawn from some of Chihuly’s most acclaimed series, designed for the Frist Center galleries. The Frist is free to members with a fee for non-members. For those purchasing a We ART Nashville wristband at one of the participating galleries, free ticket vouchers for the Chihuly exhibit will be given as a reciprocal gift for supporting the victims of the historic Nashville flooding. On May 21, wristband bearers will also receive 10 percent off at the Frist Center gift shop.

First Art Saturday is a monthly visual arts event occurring in the historic entertainment district of downtown Nashville. On the first Saturday of every month, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., an alliance of art galleries and museums collectively invite the public to explore the vibrant Nashville downtown art scene.

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