After chaotic holiday events that saw the seasonal revelry stifled by canceled flights, disrupted events and a spate of hospitalizations due to the latest peak in COVID cases, Nashville’s visual arts community could host the inaugural events of Art Crawl of 2022 less rested and recharged than they did. foreseen. A persistent pandemic is a bummer to start a new year – again – but as the U.S. health emergency nears its second anniversary in March, I have high hopes, due to the resilience, ingenuity, and responsibility I see in looking back. The Nashville gallery scene has proven to be incredibly adaptable, and while we may see reduced receptions and continued interior masking in art spaces, Nashville’s winter arts calendar is in full swing. And this Saturday’s January Art Crawl is a good start to the season.
Nashville native Mika agari turned out to be one of our most inventive emerging local artists before graduating from Watkins College of Art in 2016, creating a pair of stimulating local shows and moving to New York City. Agari staged a mobile sculpture installation in his Nissan Sentra (Car showComm. 2017) using materials such as felt, rice, stickers from Kroger’s hosts and dead wasps. She also embedded digital tablets in black sand in artist David Onri Anderson’s former conservation space, the Bijan Ferdowsi Gallery, and encouraged viewers to lounge on a mattress as they watched her performances in video (Friction fruits, 2017). In January, Agari is back in Nashville for an exhibition in Anderson’s new DIY gallery, Electric shed. Agari is in her element when she responds to specific spaces, combining natural and manufactured materials and found objects in sometimes unexpected combinations of arrangements. Agari’s installations can seem laden with ritualistic intent, imbued with erotic messages, or just splashed with charming, silly humor. Therefore, we cannot predict exactly what the artist has in mind for her. I bend a branch show, but I know it will be worth the short trip to South Nashville. Follow @electricshedtn on Instagram for updates and information.
Cooperative is literally going to make some moves this month as he moves to a bigger space at The Packing Plant. The inaugural exhibit of these new excavations – which housed Channel to Channel before the gallery moved to Chattanooga – will be an exhibit by an artist based in Louisville, Ky. Shohei Katayama. I love art over art, but it’s always refreshing when artists move beyond historical ouroboros of art to use aesthetics to examine and combine elements and strategies in other distant realms. Katayama’s practice is primarily about how people view themselves and the world through the prism of nature, technology, and science. As a result, Katayama’s work touches on everything from physics and sustainability to sociology and cultural history. Coop specializes in hosting guest artists in Nashville, and as an artist who has created ambitious exhibitions in venues all over the world, Katayama makes an excellent choice to start that next chapter for this local arts institution.
News of Coop’s move comes with a wave of mobile galleries at The Packing Plant: Coop will take over the former large Channel to Channel space, which includes the two side galleries that Channel to Channel sublet. Open gallery will continue to sublet space, and Risology club will move into the other side gallery. Risology Club is a full-service risography printing and binder, and they are already regular guests at the Nashville Poetry Library’s Show and sell events on most First Saturdays. It’s great to see the club making a permanent home at The Packing Plant and to weave more closely than ever the visual and enlightened art communities that come together at The Packing Plant.
Former Coop Space to Become New Satellite Showcase for South Nashville’s Modfellows Art Gallery starting in February. This Saturday, the gallery will welcome Art can’t love you, a pop-up of new works by Colombian designers organized by Zieher Smith. Participating artists include: Esteban Ocampo Giraldo, Juan Uribe, Nicolas Bonilla Maldonado and Julien Burgos.
Julia Martin Gallery will welcome the artist Andy ness Saturday evening. Ness’s abstract paintings feature colorful combinations of circles and lines – the overall effect reads like a lackluster design drawing, and perhaps that is the point. There is something inherently irreverent about these compositions of repetitive shapes and marks rendered with a loose but never lazy hand. Ness’ the satellite The exhibit is a perfect fit for the Wedgewood-Houston gallery scene, and I predict it won’t be the last time we see Ness’s playful and unmistakable work.
Interior Exterior is a group exhibition at The Red Arrow Gallery which features the work of half a dozen artists who all identify as women, but create diverse expressions of gender identity and feminism. These themes can be compelling, but the reason I read Ashanté’s KindleThe artist’s statement on beauty standards and “hair culture” is due to the fact that her magnificent monochrome-blue abstract paintings are lavish feasts of texture and hue. The pervasiveness of the art of political, racial and gender identity makes programming all the rage, but many artists are losing the trees for the forest, creating large works with big messages, but without intense individual signatures. Work on identity that always manages to be unique to an individual always stands out. See Lauren Gregorythe animated video “Ol ‘Splashy”, or Tess Davies‘Airtight interiors with a delightfully flat surface as examples. This show at Red Arrow also includes work by Dana old father, Reneesha McCoy, and Annie brito hodgin.