Tinney Contemporary highlighted by Global Travel Agency

posted by – 05/10/18 @ 4:25pm


It is a great compliment when a leading global travel agency features us

as a must see gallery in Nashville.
In a recent blog post called: “72 Hours to Get Lost in Music, Culture,
Food and Drinks in Nashville” the travel agency Flight Network
mentioned Tinney Contemporary. This is what they said about our
gallery in their blog post:
“We promised more than music, and also a look into the great culture and
art scene in Nashville, and the best place to truly experience that is
at Tinney Contemporary. There has been an artistic renaissance over the
last decade in downtown Nashville, and this gallery is a testimony to that.
On Fifth Avenue, this chic gallery space shares work from local and
international talents, and the very best from both established and
emerging contemporary artists. So whether you like photography,

paintings, drawings or something else, you’ll thoroughly enjoy a visit to
Tinney Contemporary Gallery. You will quickly realize that Nashville is a
city packed with spectacular talents!”
Thank you, Flight Network, for these kind words, we are so proud to be
a part of the Nashville art scene.

Cloud Witness

posted by – 12/01/17 @ 12:22pm


Cloud Witness is an exhibition of new works by Andy Harding.  Harding (b. 1974) currently lives and works in Nashville, having studied Chemistry and Physics at Belmont University.  It wasn’t until he enrolled in a 3D design elective in his senior year that he fell in love with art. From that moment forward, Harding dedicated his life to working with wood, metal, and mixed media sculptures and installations.   He never left his background in science behind, as scientific and philosophical subject matter continue to influence his art.


The body of work represented in Cloud Witness grapples with the history of matter and life itself.  Harding’s focus on materiality is inspired by the elements of the natural world around us.  He states “Dust, stone, water, and wood—every material we encounter—contains atoms with a story that extends back to the birth of time.”  The wood and acrylic in the exhibition were once discarded and reclaimed, having previous lives elsewhere.  In the same way, every particle around us, and every component of our own bodies, has a history that extends to the farthest reaches of space and time.  These sculptures represent the ephemerality of here and now, one brief moment in a cycle of flux and transformation.


Harding is drawn to the concept of clouds, citing a scientific theory that every single atom in the universe was once a component of the primordial clouds of gas that formed after the Big Bang.  The geometric loops of the sculptures speak to the energy, age, and elusive nature of matter itself. In the same vein of thought, Harding’s acrylic “ice-clouds” suspended form the ceiling reveal anxieties about global warming, representative of the melting arctic ice caps creating clouds.  Cloud Witness brings visual harmony between our perceived existence, and the deep inner truth of a vast history of the universe.  From an art historical perspective, the cloud serves as a mystical symbol, with a shared global significance.  Clouds are generative, destructive, enigmatic, and cyclic. Harding successfully generates a feeling of the sublime in both his work and his philosophy.



Cloud Witness

New Works by Andy Harding

November 25 – December 23

Opening Reception: December 2nd6 to 9 pm during the First Saturday Art Crawl

Nick Cave Feat. at the Frist

posted by – 11/10/17 @ 12:47pm

Today, Feat. by Nick Cave opens at the Frist.  The exhibition features a wide variety of work, from sculptures, installation, video, fashion, and performance.  Immediately upon entering the exhibition space, viewers are confronted with the show’s title, an abbreviation of the word “featuring,” showcased as a large mirror, invoking the sense of a higher purpose in Cave’s work, which is to involve and feature the local community. In other words, he sees his exhibition as “Nick Cave feat. YOU!”

nick cave painting install

Artist, Nick Cave, was born in Missouri in 1959.  He earned his BFA from the Art Institute of Kansas City and his MFA in fiber arts from the Cranbrook Academy of Art near Detroit.  He has lived and worked in Chicago for the last 20 years, and teaches Fashion, Body, and Garment at SAIC.  His work has been exhibited internationally, in prestigious venues such as MOMA and the Hirshhorn.  He’s received quite a number or awards and grants, among them the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award.


The artist is best known for his soundsuits, which are full body covering garments bursting with color, texture, and whimsicality.  A runway of these soundsuits is presented in the first room of the exhibition space, alongside a short history of their origination.  Cave made his first soundsuit in response to the police killing of Rodney King in Los Angeles.  Feeling particularly vulnerable and emotionally distraught over this event, Cave collected twigs in a nearby Chicago park and created a rustling suit of armor to shield his identity as an African American man in this troubling era.  Thus began a 25+ year journey in creating over 500 wearable sculptures that speak to issues of race, class, gender, violence, and social responsibility.


In the next room of the exhibition, a life-size projected video of a figure moving in a black raffia sound suit mesmerizes viewers and begins to mimic images from a  Rorschach blot test.  On another wall hangs a round work made of beaded scraps from black formal wear, meant to harken back to the days Cave remembers laying in his grandparent’s backyard in the Missouri countryside gazing at a starry night sky.   The exhibit concludes with a floor-to-ceiling installation of an enchanted forest of colored beads, and four large-scale sculptural paintings.

Screen Shot 2017-11-10 at 12.24.57 PM


At the center of Cave’s work is a passion to connect and engage the community.  He often extends his work beyond gallery and museum walls and reaches out to include populations that may not experience culture in such a formal way as the art world often prescribes.  In addition to his exhibition at the Frist, Cave is directing a community engagement project throughout Nashville, the apex of which will be two free, public performances through the Shermerhorn Symphony Center on April 6th, 2018.  The performances will feature live dance, poetry, music and more from the citizens of Nashville itself, as well as the appearance of his famous sound suits.  The title of Cave’s exhibition “Feat.” invokes the sense of a higher purpose in Cave’s work, which is to involve and feature the local community in his artistic performance.  Together, the artist and the city will explore themes of identity and social justice through an explosion of beautiful sound, vibrant colors, and celebratory energy.


Reserve tickets here. 

The exhibition will be up from

November 10, 2017–June 24, 2018

*All photos courtesy of the Frist Center for Visual Arts



posted by – 10/27/17 @ 2:39pm


"Fictions" at the Studio Museum. Photo Courtesy of the Studio Museum.

“Fictions” at the Studio Museum. Photo Courtesy of the Studio Museum. Click to Enlarge.

Recently, as a Senior Art Major at Vanderbilt University, I had the great honor of taking an educational trip to New York City with my classmates, courtesy of the Hamblet Family Endowment. One of the most influential exhibitions I got to see was Fictions, at the Studio Museum in Harlem.   Fictions is a survey of recent artwork by a group of young artists of African descent living and working in the United States. The show was curated by Associate Curator, Connie H. Choi,  and Assistant Curator, Hallie Ringle.  In an interview with artsy.net, Connie Choi reveals that they didn’t approach this show with a particular theme in mind. Instead, they found that certain themes kept coming up in their search through artists and their studio visits.  These young artists consistently engage in creating alternative narratives that harken back to personal experiences, historical references, and the deep roots of racism in America. Honestly, every single artwork in this show is remarkable. The focus of this week’s blog will be on one particularly inspirational artist/Wonder Woman: Amy Sherald.

The Make Believer (Monet's Garden) by Amy Sherald

The Make Believer (Monet’s Garden) by Amy Sherald

The Boy with No Past by Amy Sherald

The Boy with No Past by Amy Sherald












On display in the exhibition, are two of Amy Sherald’s paintings. Acutely aware of the scarcity of black faces in art history, Ms. Sherald exclusively paints African Americans.  Her characters are painted in a stylized realistic portrait format, with a grayish skin tone contrasted by vibrant patterned clothing on a flat plane.  Her subjects stand firm and calm, but there is no denying that there’s something powerful and evocative about their spirit.  Although the color palette and attire reflect contemporary choices, her figures stand in a timeless world.  They muster up conversations about both history and the future.

Ms. Sherald’s art has recently catapulted her toward phenomenal success.  Her career was interrupted quite a few times, having been diagnosed with congestive heart failure as she was finishing up her master’s degree.  Later, she took a break from school to care for ill family members back home in Georgia.  Having also lost her father and brother to illness, Sherald serves as nothing less than an inspiration to everyone around her, continuing to push through adversity and maintain compassion for those less fortunate in her community.  According to an interview for the New York Times, Ms. Sherald is not very far at all from the days of waiting tables to pay for a studio with no heat or air conditioning.  Nevertheless, she plans to financially support those in need within her region once she pays off her school loans and medical bills.

Having recently entered the world of international distinction in art, her paintings have been acquired by museums such as the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.  It is with incredible honor that Ms. Sherald has recently been commissioned to paint former First Lady, Michelle Obama’s official portrait.  This is the first time that black artists have been chosen to paint presidential portraits, and this commission certainly has profound historical significance for the Nation. Amy Sherald is an artist who proudly paints African Americans, and Ms. Obama has momentously chosen to break away from the conventional portrait tradition and declare pride in such a rich and beautiful culture.

Artist Spotlight: Joel Daniel Phillips

posted by – 09/29/17 @ 12:47pm


Joel Daniel Phillips began his career as a graphic designer, slowly shifting toward fine art.  He earned his BFA at Westmont in Santa Barbara with a focus on graphics. Although he entered the workforce as a designer, he spent his nights and weekends drawing until he could quit his job and make his own art for a living. Since then, his work has been exhibited across the United States and abroad.  He was a 3rd prize  winner of a National Portrait Gallery Competition, has shown work in the Tacoma Art Museum, the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, the Mesa Contemporary Arts Museum, and the Art Museum of South Texas.   He is represented by galleries in San Francisco, Norway, and now Nashville!

Phillips’ work utilizes classical draftsmanship techniques in a large-scale format.  Phillips is probably best known for his monumental, hyperrealistic portraiture that aims to expose societal histories through examining the people around him.  In an article for the Huffington Post, Phillips describes, “My drawings are an attempt to play with our voyeuristic tendencies toward the indigence surrounding us, hiding in plain sight. In the portraits, the subjects cease to be dark matter in our communal space and instead are revealed to be the main characters in their own narrative.” Phillips often elevates the homeless to a protagonistic, almost heroic elevation through the tip of his pencil.  His attention to detail and intricate care in rendering not only the physical appearance of these people, but also an sentimental appearance, he successfully reveals moments of transparent human emotion.


Joel states, “A true portrait is far more than a rendering of physical form—it is the capturing of the vulnerable, un-invented narratives that make us human. Seeing and understanding these is my ultimate goal.”

In his upcoming exhibition at Tinney Contemporary, Joel takes a different direction with his work. This time, instead of creating portraiture, he has created a new body of work since relocating from San Francisco to Tulsa, OK.  Welcome to the Orange West is an exploration of abandoned signage along Route 66 that harkens back to ideas of Manifest Destiny.  These signs are contrasted with images of historical moments that identify Americas relationship with Westward Expansion and the search for power. These new drawings juxtapose the nostalgic idea of the west with a current historical and cultural examination of America’s glamorization of the past.


6 This Land Was Not Your Land


More images and information on Joel Daniel Phillips’ work can be found on his website: http://www.joeldanielphillips.com


New Works by Joel Daniel Phillips

October 7 – November 11

Opening Reception: October 7th6 to 9 pm during the First Saturday Art Crawl

Jeff Scott

posted by – 09/22/17 @ 2:12pm

The gallery is excited to be working with Jeff Scott, who was recently featured on the front of the September issue of the Nashville Arts Magazine.

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 1.46.15 PM

Jeff Scott is a prolific artist, showcasing paintings, photographs, films, and books on his website.  Scott’s work has been shown across the United States, at the Dallas Museum of Art, The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, The Smithsonian Institution, and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Some of his photographs hang in the permanent collections of Ralph Lauren, Elvis Presley Enterprises, President Bill Clinton, and Disney! He has published three acclaimed photography books, including the most recent Elvis: The Personal Archives.

This book catalogues Scott’s photographs taken in the early 2000’s.  He sought permission from the Presley estate to access and photogrpah Elvis’ personal belongings. As expected, the King of Rock and Roll’s material possessions reveal a lot about his character.  Scott notes that he owned far less than what he gave to other people, and characterizes Elvis as a “generous man.”  His well-loved items showcase a lot of wear and tear. Scott says he “really loved and used his things.” He often ornamented his possessions with gold, like the telephone in his bedroom, revealing a preciousness with material objects probably gleaned from growing up poor. Scott’s photographs also reveal other curiosities: Elvis’ driver’s license expired the same year he died.

Jeff Scott’s project truly reveals the humanity behind a cultural idol.  The beautiful photographs revive Elvis through his valuables, creating a complex portrait of a legendary rock icon.

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 1.46.26 PM

My Summer at the Sandhills Institute

posted by – 09/15/17 @ 12:18pm

It’s so wonderful to finally be back in the gallery after a long summer of travel.  For a majority of the summer, I had the pleasure of interning with Mel Ziegler at his Sandhills Institute, an artist residency program.

Having grown up on a dairy farm, artist Mel Ziegler did not leave agricultural life behind.  His career has taken him all over the world, from New York to Brazil, but he prefers his newfound home in the Sandhills of Nebraska…


Ziegler recently purchased the Historic Davis Pine Creek Ranch in Rushville, Nebraska and launched the Sandhills Institute. This organization focuses on the creation of community engaging art in and around the community of Rushville.  Ziegler invites artists to a residency program that encourages the creation of civically engaged artwork.  The fellows are required to visit the institute a minimum of three times in order to become acquainted with the community before proposing a project. They are then encouraged to utilize the vast skillset of Rushville’s population and work together to produce artwork.  The program truly forges strong bonds between leading artists from around the world and the community of local ranchers.

As an intern for the summer 2017 Artist Residency program, I had the privilege to work with returning artists Russell Bauer, David Brooks, and Kayla Meyer, and the first international artist, Jorge Menna Barreto.  Russell is the furthest along in his fellowship, already working with a local rancher/self-taught engineer to create a kinetic sculpture. I’ve included an article I wrote for the Sheridan County Journal Star below, featuring a photo of Russell and Bob planning their project.


David spent his time exploring the community, meeting new people, and conducting research.  David actually spent a day with just the interns, where we all took a road trip up to South Dakota.  Our first stop was the site of the Wounded Knee Massacre at the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.  There, we visited the grave site and met a woman who directed us to visit an informational sign on the historic event.  More information can be found HERE.  After our history lesson, we piled back in the car and watched the landscape change from rolling grasslands to breathtaking layered rock formations, spires, and canyons. We found the badlands!  The interns hiked to the tallest peak, while David wandered off on a bird-watching mission.  After we ran out of water, we decided it was a good time to get back in the car and head to our next stop: Mount Rushmore.  On the way, we drove through the Black Hills National forest, surrounded by massive pine trees. Suddenly, Mount Rushmore was no longer a legend from my third grade history textbook – it was a real sculpture in the side of a mountain standing before me! David even brought binoculars so we could examine the fine lines and details of the rock monument.  After a long drive home, we marveled at all of the potential adventures around the Sandhills, and our newly fostered friendship with a professional artist.

We were afforded many opportunities to explore the “wild west” with the artists.  We saw national monuments, natural wonders, and even Car Henge!


Kayla Meyer, a landscape architect, was working on a design for the empty lots next to the Main St. Grocery Store in Rushville.  Mel actually purchased the old grocery store with the intention of creating a cultural arts center for the city of Rushville! Kayla spent her time this summer exploring a local greenhouse. Russ Finch created a greenhouse that relies solely on geothermal energy that allows the growth of tropical plants in harsh climates at a low cost.  Kayla also attended Chamber of Commerce meetings and intends on helping to design new welcome signs for the city of Rushville.  Having spent most of the summer with male artists, the female interns especially appreciated having “girl time” with Kayla.  She even taught me how to use Adobe Illustrator, which gave me opportunities to create graphic designs for later projects in the summer!


Brazilian artist, Jorge Menna Barreto, immediately showed an interest in food ecology at the Institute.  He initially hoped to create a Sandhills smoothie, utilizing the local grasses, but instead produced a Stinging Nettle Powder.  Inspired by a Robert Smithson quote, Jorge said he “would let the site determine what [he] would build,” and focused on the abundant Nettle surrounding the institute.  Stinging Nettle is an abundant local plant that has been used to treat joint pain, eczema, urinary issues, anemia, and more. With the help of the interns and the Ziegler family, Jorge dried the nettle, blended and powdered it in order to make it edible, and bottled and labeled the product.  I helped design a label for the project, and was inspired by Jorge’s desire for hand drawn and intimate packaging, and how that echoed his connection with the landscape.  He intends for this project, titled Urtica Dioica, to conceptualized wild edible food to teach our bodies how to reconnect with nature around us through our digestive systems.



Between learning how to operate a ranch, fixing barbed wire fence, paperwork, cooking, cleaning, and designing, I also had the wonderful opportunity of living and working alongside Mel’s family.  They work tirelessly to operate the Sandhills Institute. Both his wife and his sons lend a helping hand to both artists and interns with day to day tasks, and they make sure everyone feels like they’re part of the family.  It was truly a unique experience, having all of the interns, artists, and family living under the same roof and sitting down together for dinner at the end of each day. I will forever be thankful for such an incredible experience.


I even made the front page of the website – Check it out!


Nano.Stasis Cosmic Garden

posted by – 09/01/17 @ 1:02pm

Nano.Stasis Cosmic Garden is the culmination of Carla Ciuffo’s two year residency at Harvard University.  In collaboration with the Disease and Biophysics Group, Ciuffo has developed a new project flaunting groundbreaking nanofiber technology in an effort to highlight a symbiosis between art and science.


Ciuffo worked closely with Kevin K it Parker, Ph. D., a Professor of Bioengineering and Applied Physics.  He has pioneered research involving a rotary jet spinning production of nanofibers and fabrics. These nanofibers are a significant step forward in the realm of biomedical engineering, having the potential to be integrated into a broad spectrum of radical new applications, from tissue regeneration to advanced performance fibers in fashion.


Ciuffo had the honor of being the first “layperson” to work in Parker’s lab.  Ciuffo has developed tiny nanofiber canvases to be imprinted with her own artwork.  Using a Scanning Electron Microscope, Ciuffo was able to create large acrylic composites to showcase the delicate and whimsical side of these fibers.


The work in Nano.Stasis Cosmic Garden lies somewhere between photography and collage.  She creates fanciful narratives that capture the fiber’s unique, delicate details and whimsical beauty.


“As we bridge the divide between art and science, my endeavor is to show how artists use science to make their fantasies real and palpable; and how science uses the arts in the same way.” -Carla Ciuffo

Her art challenges science to consider the role of its own narrative, as well as the visual impact of scientific images.  Science often prescribes a systematic way of thought and communication, while the arts promote nontraditional and creative critical thought.  These processes prove useful in scientific research. The combination of the two subjects is a symbiotic relationship, allowing the production of creative research and impactful work.

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


“Ice Cream Sundae II”


“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!”