Here, in Nashville, there's a muted silence in the air these chilly, crisp pre-spring days. I'm calling it in between time. The few intermittent days of warm, glorious sunshine brought the buzz of activity. Now, there's a hush in the air again. A slight heart-tugging anticipation.
It's spring break here. Kinda. Officially so for the next county over. Yet, Metro schools forced "intercession" and then took away three days of the break for snow make-up. I sent Grace on to her camp anyway. Next week she joins her father while I journey to the sweet respite of Hot Springs, NC, before treking back over the hills a way and presenting at my alma mater. More about that in a few.
Spring here in Nashville is presenting some going-quick opportunities for marvelous art:
Charles Brindley's third and largest exhibition yet at Cheekwood is a do not miss. Charles Brindley: Trees of Myth and Legend, through April 19. I always pen his shows as must go's on the calendar and the graphite drawings and oil paintings of this master gentleman artist never, ever disappoint. I count this up there alongside a couple of my other favorite shows in the stately former mansion of the Maxwell House coffee founders, which would be the exhibitions of Andrew Wyeth. Brindley is genius and a true Tennessee treasure. And, an incredibly nice man. Bravo. I think my feature on him was my second ever story for NashvilleArts Magazine in my two years on staff of the original publication. Here's a blog post blurb I published on the artist more recently in 2011: Artist Brindley Distills Soul of Trees.
Hurry downtown to that grand main branch of Nashville's Public Library for the brilliant public-curated exhibition of printmaker Bryce McCloud. For a year the artist set up small self-portrait-rubber-stamp printmaking stands around town. Old, young, homeless, refined, individuals with developmental disAbilities, and one Jack White, all got their visual art groove on. The result hanging in the large, open second-floor atrium is a spectrum of Nashville humanity, some shown holding their portraits, and also captured on moving and still film, and a 3-D mimicry of the stations where passerbys created their likes. The exhibition ends on April 12, and while there, step into the library's first floor gallery for a clever and somewhat disturbing commentary on our disposable culture in the exhibition “Paper, Thread and Trash: A Collection of Art Books Made From Reuse.” The show features some local heavy-hitters in paper arts, such as Lesley Patterson-Marx, plus three delightful large photographs and more of intriguing artist Kit Kite's commentaries on domestic life. Show ends March 29.
While I haven't yet made it to the Partnenon's unassuming gallery tucked beneath Alan LeQuire's grand Athena, I will before Dane Carder's War Wounds ends May 31. Carder is another gentleman artist. Quiet, soulful and expressing his artistry in an uncommon way as he paints, large-scale, slightly disturbing yet alluring interpretations of very old photographs. Included in this exhibition, are 13 paintings depicting the loss endured by Civil War soldiers and their families.
I'll visit and patronize the wares of local artisans in Hot Springs and over in the wacky neighboring town of Marshall while I'll be embedded in the natural artistry of Western North Carolina's mountains next week. And, I'll conclude my own spring break with a presention at Carson Newman University's William Blevins Institute for Spirituality & Mental Health. Blevins, a former professor of mine three-plus decades back, invited me to speak Saturday morning, March 28, 10-11:30 on "The Grief Journey with Grace: Autism, Divorce, Death of Loved Ones, and Other Life Challenges."
In my presentation description, I write: Life happens, and none of us are immune to some variation of challenge that requires us to move through grief to heal and live fully. Art and nature are two ways in which my spirit replenishes and heals. To travel and partake of good art in many of its forms~that's my definition of living fully. May you enjoy these exhibits if you are in Nashville, or embrace beauty wherever you are out and about on spring break or travel or daily living. Namaste.