Back to School

posted by – 07/28/17 @ 4:24pm

Just like that the summer is over! I’m writing this on my very last day as a summer intern here at the Tinney Contemporary. It’s crazy to me that I already have to leave! I feel like I just started yesterday but i guess time flies when you’re having fun (or working with some of the best people around)! I’ve learned so much during my time here and have had an absolute blast!! I’m so grateful to Susan and Sarah for giving me the opportunity!!

Now that I’ve said my goodbyes, I have to pack up my things and move back to Memphis to start my senior year of college…something that I don’t think has truly set in because I’m not freaking out yet.  Thankfully the semester doesn’t start for a few more weeks so I have a little more time to prepare. However, these next few weeks of summer that I will not be spending working here I will be doing more than just binge watching Netflix and playing with my dog. On August 6th I will head out to Aspen, CO where I will be attending a week long painting workshop at Anderson Ranch! Anderson Ranch is is an arts center that hosts artists from all over to participate in artists residencies as well as week-long intensive workshops in various media led by well renowned artists! I was lucky enough to receive a scholarship to attend the workshop titled “Abstraction & Figuration: The Perfect Union” that will be taught by Jennifer Coates. Coates is a well known artist who’s abstracted images of food are filled with often bright colors and various textures that add a grotesqueness to the subject matter (I’ll add some images of her work at the end!). I picked this workshop in particular because my own body of work (see some images of my work in my last blog post!) includes a lot of abstracted figures. I’ve recently begun experimenting heavily with different ways of applying paint to create different finishes and textures something I am drawn to in Jennifer Coates’ work. I’m so excited for this week of experimentation and can’t wait to see what work comes out if it! As someone who is somewhat of a procrastinator when it comes to school work sometimes I’m glad that I will have this intensive week of making work to start me off on the right foot for my Senior Seminar in studio art.

As sad as I am to leave I know the gallery is only a ways away from Memphis! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here at the Tinney Contemporary and cant’ wait to come back to visit!

 

 

Jennifer Coates

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“Ice Cream Sundae II”

SMORE

“Large S’more”

Meet Jan!

posted by – 07/19/17 @ 1:50pm

This summer is full of (somewhat) new faces at the Tinney Contemporary! We are thrilled to welcome back Jan DeLozier who interned with us in 2013 who will now be working as our gallery assistant! We are so excited to be working with her again and want you to get to know a little bit about her! Here’s a little bit about Jan written by Jan herself!

“Hello hello ciao hello.

My name is Jan DeLozier & it feels good to be back at Tinney Contemporary. Susan and Sarah were just the sweetest to have me as an intern here at the gallery, alongside my good friend Alex Penn (hi, Alex!), back in 2013. We sometimes had to beg people to come to the Art Crawls, but oh man did we have fun shows! Through the years, I’ve always kept up with the crew here and now I am back in Nashville helping do the gallery-thing!

In between then and now, I graduated from Sewanee: The University of the South where I studied Art History and Women’s and Gender Studies. Upon graduation, I moved in with my fabulous Godmother and helped take care of her adorable dogs. Later that summer, things got serious and I attended a Scholars program at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business where I studied Finance, Accounting, and Marketing. Just before Chicago’s wind became too bitter, I moved to Venice, Italy where I worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. My work there was dynamic as I  gave presentations, sold tickets, completed condition reports, assisted in education courses, and repeated the lines “please, don’t touch” in as many languages I could remember. From the city on the water, I then moved to the high prairie desert of Marfa, Texas, where I worked at the Chinati Foundation. I worked alongside some rock stars within the Development office, also giving tours and assisting with conservation 😉 and education 🙂

When I am not at Tinney Contemporary, you can probably find me barefoot in a yard somewhere. Happy to be here and happy to help- come by and say hi y’all!”

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“The Prophet’s Library” by Wesley Clark

posted by – 06/16/17 @ 11:23am

Wesley Clark’s show “The Prophet’s Library” is deeply engrained with symbolism, metaphor, and his experience as an African American male in this country. He began this body of work by making a stream of consciousness list of words that came to him when he thought about his experience which culminated in “Table of Contents”. He created this list of words that now make up the top of the crossword before writing out the clues which allowed him to expand what could be a clue for each word. The words are also grouped together in order to create links and imagery that can be tracked throughout the rest of the show. He invites our imaginations to move piece to piece stitching together the narrative of this prophet. With the series of books that inspired the show title he presents the audience with four cases designed to hold books yet to be written. The exterior of each of these books has been carved, painted, and stained to be representative of the made up titles on the front. What is exciting about these titles, and subsequently these carvings, is that these can be seen as revisions of the current history or simply retellings of those narratives from perhaps a more accurate perspective. This is especially true with “Master Sowers” as it is analyzing the creation of civilization. One side contains an image of Lake Tana which is the source of the Nile river in Egypt which many can argue was the seedbed for civilization and technology as we know it. While the other side depicts two hands holding a mound of dirt with fists erupting from that dirt surrounded by a few symbols including an arrow and some stars. The idea behind this is that once you can defend yourself you can start to think about stars, science, etc. Another piece that spurs our imaginations is the “My Beautiful Black Unicorn(s)”. Which once agains plays with our imagination as well as historical references. Each horn is engraved with the name of slave revolt leaders including: Nat Turner, Denmark Vessey, and Toussaint L’Overture. In theory, these people are unicorns in that they should never have existed in the world in the role of revolutionist. Many people believe that the unicorn was the East Indian Rhino but through word of mouth that narrative was skewed leaving us with the mysterious unicorn we know today. This degradation of the truth can also be tracked onto the experience of the African American as they are often portrayed in the media in a negative light. Each piece in this show has layers and layers of meaning that require the viewer to approach the work with a willingness to spend time with the work. Time spent looking at this show is extremely rewarding as there are so many hidden gems of powerful text, image, or symbol that are lost with a superficial viewing. Wesley has created a show and a body of work that is imaginative, powerful, and truly meaningful within the social and political climate of today.

New Summer Intern

posted by – 06/07/17 @ 3:53pm

Allow me to introduce myself! My name is Mattie Boyd and I’m going to be interning here at the Tinney Contemporary for the summer! I’m a Studio Art major and a rising senior at Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. I flip between painting and sculpture depending on what or who I’m looking at and inspired by. My biggest inspiration and the person who’s work I cant keep myself from going back to is Louise Bourgeois. Her work has influenced both my paintings and my sculptures over the years and no doubt will continue to do so in the future. Other than that similarity, my paintings and sculptures have become increasingly different from one another. My paintings generally use a variety of color palettes as well as a combination of graphic and painterly marks to depict an abstracted figure(s) existing in a world created for them. My sculptures, on the other hand, are much more visceral and bodily ranging from wearable sculptures to installations. I’ve inserted a few images of some of my work at the bottom of this post so you can get a sense of what I’m up to! I’m also a Center for the Outreach and Development of the Arts (CODA) Fellow which allows me to get out into Memphis and do my own projects! In the past I’ve worked with elementary aged kids in an after school art program as well as getting involved with the Brooks Museum. Some fun facts about me are: I love dogs (and miss mine back home terribly), ice cream is my favorite food, I’m an avid reader, singing in the shower is my 7th best skill, and I once threw myself a Chopped themed birthday party. I’m beyond excited to be interning here as I became interested in working in a gallery or museum post grad last fall! You may be wondering what I had intended to do before that switch and I was going to go to medical school to become a surgeon. Ever since my freshman year of high school that was the plan. Then when deciding on colleges I was attracted to the liberal arts schools because they all told me I could major in Art AND be pre-med. I thought that was the coolest thing I’d ever heard of because i could combine the two things I loved. However, last fall, as I was drowning in organic chemistry and cell biology I found myself dreading the thought of the next 4+ years of my life being nothing but those things. I decided that very day that I was not going to medical school and that i wanted to pursue a career in the Arts. The next thing I know I was talking with a friend of mine who interned at the Tinney last summer and that’s all she wrote! Looking forward to all that this opportunity and this city have to offer me before I have to head back to the 901 in the fall!IMG_6469 IMG_6798 IMG_6411

The Nashville Walls Project: An Interview with Eva Boros

posted by – 05/05/17 @ 12:28pm

The Nashville Walls Project is rapidly expanding, with Chris Zidek and Nathan Brown collaborating on a painting in the Gulch, right now!  We sat down with Co-Founder, Eva Boros, to ask a few questions about the Nashville Walls Project.
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Currently Under Construction

Nathan Brown and Chris Zidek Nashville Walls Collaboration

Nathan Brown and Chris Zidek Nashville Walls Collaboration

 

How did you get involved with/ start this project? And what role do you play in it?
      Years ago, Brian and I would drive around and take photos of blank Walls…we would then track down its owner and beg them to let us paint on it. This started in 2014, and it wasn’t until 2016 that we finally started painting. 
       The Nashville Walls Project has been Brian Greif’s dream. He came to Nashville because he wanted to bring street art to music city. I’ve just helped in its facilitation, and am co-founder. My involvement is with local and international artists, property owners, marketing, all of it. I’m still trying to define my job title. 
How are artists selected? 
     When we first start working with a property owner or developer, we expose them to a variety of street art and styles from which they decide what they like and would want on their walls.  
Are NWP artists paid?
     Yes, all local and visiting NWP artists are paid. Cost of materials and travel is also accounted for when establishing a budget with a sponsor or developer. Getting artists paid is of the utmost importance because in the creative industry, a lot of the time, artists are expected to work for free…which is unethical. 
How is content approved or denied?
     Content isn’t approved or denied. Street artists paint with a specific style they have cultivated and perfected through years of graffiti and studio work. Sometimes the artist will have a concept sketch to show the building owner, but the murals typically happen organically. Their signature style stays consistent, but the murals always look different. 
Is the NWP environmentally friendly? 
     We definitely recycle, and reuse. But when it comes to spray paint, we use mtn, a very high quality paint which has little to no cfc’s (ozone friendly paint).
What is the difference between graffiti and street art? 
         Graffiti is done illegally, street art is commissioned by property owners. Street art is usually larger and more elaborate than graffiti. This is due to the temporary nature of illegal art in the streets. 
How do you feel about the commercialization of street art?
      Commercialization of anything will always be slightly heart wrenching, but graffiti will always be illegal, so that’s good. 
Is the control of street art content harmful to what street art has historically been? (unfiltered public forum, although illegal)
   Some graffiti writers will paint a tag just to see how long it lasts, or if it gets tagged over. It’s not done for the public, but for other graffiti writers. Graffiti can’t be controlled…if someone wants to paint illegally, they’ll do it. 

Artist Spotlight: Adam Shulman

posted by – 03/24/17 @ 2:56pm

Screen Shot 2017-03-24 at 2.53.35 PMAdam and Adama Shulman are fresh faces in fashion photography.  They live inspired lives, constantly creating photographic experiences that build upon their various cultural influences, having lived in New York City, West Africa, and the Middle East.

Adam Shulman is a self taught photographer specializing in both digital and medium format film. He has photographed everything from Arizona landscapes to fashion photography. His Senegalese wife, Adama, is a makeup artist, stylist, and model.  She has worked in Africa, Paris, and New York City, and acquired a background in editorial fashion.

Adam Shulman was born and raised in Nashville, TN. He is a board-certified medical physicist as well as a medical philanthropist, receiving his education at Vanderbilt University.  He has spent years working in and out of Africa training local doctors on modern cancer treatments as well as donating medical equipment. Living in Dakar, Senegal with his wife, Adam spent his time training medical staff, and just recently completed a year of medical training in Accra, Ghana. He has been immersed in African culture for nearly a decade, which serves as inspiration for his most recent body of work: Gold of Africa.

The title of the exhibition, Gold of Africa, equates Africa’s inhabitants to precious, stunning Gold. Shot with 6×7 film on a Mamiya RZ67 manual camera, African bodies are covered in gold, cracked earth, and bared in front of a dark background, creating narratives of overwhelming power and beauty.

Adam spent over a year working on this series, and in doing so, he managed to “capture the mass of an entire continent behind his models eyes or under the contours of each muscle and shadow.” The gold serves as a means of suffocation at times, yet also serves as an extension of each model’s body and soul.

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http://adamaphotographynyc.com

Sisavanh Phouthavong: Legacies of War

posted by – 03/22/17 @ 9:24am

legaciesofwar_300_7x3new-400x263Sisavanh Phouthavong is one of the first professional Lao American visual artists of her generation and a professor at MTSU. Characterized by bold colors and dynamic lines, her work in our show Legacies of War pays tribute to her Laotian roots.

Her current pieces are inspired by Legacies of War, an organization that endeavors to raise awareness about the Vietnam War-era bombings and advocates for the clearance of unexploded bombs in Laos. For Phouthavong, art has always been about exploring and understanding identity. Over 5,400 Lao refugees resettled in Kansas in the aftermath of the Laotian Civil War that ended in 1975. Phouthavong was a child when her family resettled in the U.S., and her current work not only addresses the cultural and socioeconomic challenges of being a refugee but also the feelings of displacement, confusion, and struggle to understand identity.

agentorange_300_8x8_web-800x778Phouthavong’s feelings of chaos are paralleled in both her process and final image. Her works start with an image of the Vietnam War and destruction using india ink and alcohol to achieve visual texture and effects. The images are often manipulated and photoshopped together and are then used as a reference but changes as she works. Phouthavong starts with spray paint and then goes into it with acrylic and adapts as she goes. Her process parallels her experiences as a refugee because she connects with photographic images to break them apart and reconstruct them, just as memories are fragmented and experiences are fleeting. Furthermore, the unpredictable painting process demands adaptability from the artist, reflecting assimilation into another culture. Thus, Phouthavong’s pieces both convey her experiences throughout the process and reflect her feelings of those personal memories through strong contrasting colors, dynamic lines, and disorienting composition.

It is important for Phouthavong as an artist to advocate for a cause and to open up a dialogue. “It is important for me to contribute as an artist, but more importantly to have a conversation about what is going on in the word – to not be ignorant, but open to all ideas.” Moreover, what Phouthavong loves most is when she is lost for hours just creating and being in the moment just making. She says, “I don’t ever want to completely figure it out technically or conceptually. The beauty of making is the seeking. I enjoy the challenge.”

Artist Spotlight: Anna Jaap

posted by – 02/28/17 @ 3:16pm

deep_blue_sea_48x48_acrylic_and_graphite_on_canvas_2016_jaap_copy_web-800x800 Anna Jaap received her BFA from Lipscomb and began as a printmaker before turning to painting and drawing. Today she employs a combination of these disciplines as she lives and works in Nashville. Although her work is fluid and constantly changing, they are all united by their reflection of the natural world and element of beauty.

Jaap’s newest series, Graffito, reflects intimacy of hand-written text. Each work is layered with repetitive writing to create woven environments akin to nests and forest floors. Inspiration for the series was drawn from the intimacy and connection that is inherent within hand-written texts. She explains, “I cherish letters and know the handwriting of people close to me as well as I know their faces. I’d been exploring ways of creating pattern in my work, and one day it came to me – this idea of layering script into organic color fields. So intimate and universal, all at once. It took my breath away.”

Each painting typically begins with a word, phrase, or poem fragment relating to nature. Color plays off of the text and Jaap graffito_series__snowfall_and_moonlight_48x48_acrylic_and_graphite_on_canvas_2016_jaap_web-800x800achieves a visual balance of color, forms and gestures by way of conversation with the canvas. Because each layer is thin and transparent, every mark and gesture is pivotal to the final piece. Whereas her previous series have dealt with botanical and organic forms in a literal representative form, Graffito explores pure emotion and pure beauty.

When Jaap is creating art, time slows down and she is able to step outside herself. She describes the time in her studio when everything comes together as “pure magic”. Ultimately, Jaap loves sending something beautiful and nurturing out into the world and wants the viewer to be able to wrap themselves in something precious and simply be. Her work is a fearless tribute to all things beautiful, and viewers are reminded that beauty is not only an enjoyable element in our lives but also a fundamental necessity.

Claire Morgan: Stop Me Feeling

posted by – 02/24/17 @ 2:54pm

Stop Me Feeling is Claire Morgan’s inaugural solo show in the United States. Frist Center curator Trinita Kennedy discovered her work at Art Basel Miami and organized an exhibition of six recent works by Morgan, showcasing an intricate installation, cabinet sculptures, and works on paper and canvas.

This Is Breaking My Heart, 2015

This Is Breaking My Heart, 2015

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and currently living and working in Newcastle, England, Morgan has lived in many urban areas and developed a curiosity as to how animals adapt to our own manufactured world.  Her work ruminates on our complex relationship with the natural world.  She is able to create breathtaking encounters between humans and animals, and life and death.  Refusing to prescribe a precise message about her artwork, Morgan invites viewers to contemplate these ideas of beauty and destruction, environmentalism, artificiality, and transience.

Appropriate for Music City, Morgan often borrows titles and lyrics from songs and poems for her artwork. The Exhibition’s title Stop Me Feeling finds its roots in a song made famous by Johnny Cash.

Her signature works include organic and inorganic elements, such as taxidermied animals, insects, bits of plastic, and dandelion seeds.  She then creates a three-dimensional geometric shapes of varying scales utilizing nylon thread.  Within these complex and colorful geometries, Morgan creates a narrative with animals wandering in and out of these etherial forms.

Within You, Without You, 2015

Within You, Without You, 2015

A self-taught taxidermist, Morgan finds animals after they have been killed or died from natural causes. Curator Trinita Kennedy takes note of “The reverence with which she preserves the dead animals through taxidermy,” and how it “sharply contrasts with the carelessness of other humans toward them while they were alive.”

Within You, Without You is a cabinet sculpture displaying a small dunnock bird hidden among a jungle of brightly colored polythene. This foraging bird that often depends on camouflaging itself within trees is left feeling oddly vulnerable amidst this safely dense, yet threateningly colorful environment.  The sculpture’s title is borrowed from George Harrison’s song on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album

If You Go Down To The Woods Today occupies its own entire room at the Frist, featuring a muntjack (a tiny deer native to the UK) following three butterflies into an overwhelming geometric cloud of orange polythene suspended on nylon thread.  The massive installation’s title features borrowed lyrics from “Teddy Bears’ Picnic,” an ominous children’s song that warns “If you go down to the woods today, you better not go alone…It’s safer to stay at home.” Morgan refuses to tell viewers how to think, but successfully introduces a new perspective on ourselves and the world around us.

Claire Morgan’s exhibit Stop Me Feeling will be on display at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts from February 10 through May 7.  See more of Morgan’s work at www.claire- morgan.co.uk.

If You Go Down To The Woods Today, 2015

If You Go Down To The Woods Today, 2015

Marilyn Murphy – Realism Subverted

posted by – 02/17/17 @ 3:49pm

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In honor of Marilyn Murphy‘s 37 years of service to the Vanderbilt Department of Art, The Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery is currently exhibiting Realism Subverted – a collection of drawings and paintings featuring dreamlike scenes in which reality and fantasy are cleverly fused together.

Marilyn_Murphy_Oasis Oasis, 2009      Cumulus-Clouds-web In the Clouds, 2016

Hailing from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Murphy draws great influence from the action of wind and clouds.  This, alongside the unforgettable image of sugar cane fires in Queensland, Australia present themselves again and again in Murphy’s artwork.   Both muses are beautifully depicted in Oasis and In the Clouds, pictured above.

The Observers, 2006

The Observers, 2006

Her interest in film noir is also made apparent in the content of her artwork.  Her figures are rendered with the utmost attention paid to light and shadow, creating a mysterious atmosphere. She presents her characters in curious, investigative situations, emphasizing the acts of seeing, discovery, and creative processes.  More often than not, Marilyn enjoys creating narrative images reminiscent of film stills, often playing up an air of mystique and an aura of fascination.

As a child, her mother often took her on factory tours, of which the machinery and images of power and industrialization infiltrate her work.  She also draws inspiration from art deco architecture, and dessert cookbooks! A prolific artist, Murphy has done series upon series of dangerous desserts, floating objects, fluffy clouds, inverted architecture, complex machines, 1940’s era figures, maps, floating paper, and the looming danger of natural disasters. Wielding quite the formidable intellect and a propensity for dreaming, Marilyn is able to collage these images into spectacular works of art, utilizing everything from graphite, to colored pencils, and oil paint.

The Dunker, 2011

The Dunker, 2011

 

Murphy displays a healthy sense of humor blended together with an intense work ethic and unmatchable creative talent.  Her artwork has been shown in over 300 exhibitions internationally. It has been featured in many public and private collections, such as the Kemper Collection in St Louis, the Boston Museum School, the Siena Art Institute in Siena, Italy, and the Oklahoma Museum of Art. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, Tennessee, featured a survey of her work in 2004, and she participated in a two-person exhibition at the Huntsville Museum of Art with Bob Trotman. She is represented by Cumberland Gallery in Nashville, Adler and Co. in San Francisco, Carl Hammer Gallery in Chicago, and Blue Spiral Gallery in Asheville, North Carolina.

Realism Subverted will be on display through March 3rd, 2017. The Fine Arts Gallery is located in Cohen Memorial Hall, 1220 21st Ave. S., on the western edge of the Peabody College campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m.