Category: Exhibition

Patricia Bellan-Gillen

posted by – 07/12/13 @ 1:14pm

Disorderly Notions
Patricia Bellan-Gillen
Tinney Contemporary, July 6-August 17

After years of studying cultural, dream, mythological and religious symbols, I am beginning to believe that the most important signs are the images that appear and keep pressing on one’s mind with no explanation—unexpected but oddly recognizable visions that flash across the brain when words and phrases like “doubt,” “reality TV,” “turn to salt” or “separation of church and state” are heard…or the nascent compositions that appear while revisiting the pages of vintage Mad Magazine or hearing the memorable Da-Da-DaDa-DaDa theme song from the Rocky and Bullwinkel Show.   Honoring these puzzling visages maps the direction that I have begun to follow. This new body of work combines ideas and imagery generated through study and research with ideas and imagery that are felt, intuitive and enigmatic.

The work also celebrates a return to the fundamental act of drawing.

I welcome provocation and puzzles. I would like my work to confront the viewer simultaneously with beauty and awkwardness and to mediate grace with humor. I want to achieve a weird elegance.

Above all, I place great trust in the viewer.
{artist statement provided by the artist}

The new show is up! Patricia Bellan-Gillen, a teacher at Carnegie Mellon, is showing her work here through August. Come take a look and get lost in her large and impressive works

Artist Jaq Belcher

posted by – 06/15/13 @ 2:48pm

Among all of the artists we have in the space currently for Shadow and Light, Jaq Belcher is the only one whom we officially represent. Her work, much like her colleague Reni Gower, is focused around the mediative state driven by the act of working with paper in this reductive and repetitive way. To add to this process, Jaq also numbers each and every cut she makes as she cuts them, so that the finished product includes the markers of time within it’s folds. This aspect of her work fits in to her exploration of meditative conscious states. Read more about her on our artist page, linked above. And watch this short clip where Jaq gives a brief tour of her studio and talks about her process.

Artist Lauren Scanlon

posted by – 06/12/13 @ 11:31am

While most of the work in Shadow and Light depicts a narrative or the labors of a repetitive motif, artist Lauren Scanlon takes the use of paper-cuts in a different direction. Using pages from vintage Harlequin romance novels she read at a young age, passed down to her by her grandmother, Scanlon transforms the pages of the erotic fiction by hand sewing their pages together to create a quilt of text and reductive imagery–she uses motifs from floral bedspreads to censor the content and bring a new dimension to the pages. This dichotomy is a reference to her grandmother’s two-fold nature of conservative and taboo.

The Music City Center’s Commissioned Collection

posted by – 06/11/13 @ 3:18pm

With 8 commissioned, site-specific pieces, Nashville’s new Music City Center stands just as impressive on the interior as it does on the exterior. Everything from color, form, and light inspire these artists to create extraordinary works that reflect the spirit of Nashville.

Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues lead the Ball-Nogues Studio in the creation of Euphony. Catenary stainless steel ball chains descend dramatically from a suspended elliptical ring beam and then return skyward on a new path forming two shells of pattern and color. Stretching 140 feet high, this matrix-forming geometric composition amplifies the aesthetics of light, reflection, and color creating a visual spectacle and physical sensation in the vast space of the Music City Center.


Beth Galston takes inspiration from the five bars of a musical staff and the undulating shape of a sound wave to create her interactive sculpture entitled Sound Wave. Using LED lights that dance along serpentine ribbons of suspended metal, Galston creates a visual melody that harmonizes the architectural design of Music City Center and the buzzing music scene in Nashville.


Nashville artist Alicia Henry, creates Intimacy and Peace to reflect both the human figure in isolation and the figure interacting with others. With twenty-one distinctive panels, texture and color appear only in close proximity. Henry invites the exploration and conversation of how culture, gender, race and societal differences affect individuals and group interactions.


Another local artist, Jamaal Sheats, presents Eight Octaves. The series of eight panels form the shape of an abstract guitar, complementing the architecture of the Music City Center. Sheats works in repousse and divides the series into four themes: the Rhythm, the Beat, the Pulse, and the Measure. Collectively, the artist documents the cultural heartbeat of the Nashville community.


Artist Phillip K. Smith, III creates two pieces for the Music City Center, both vibrant in color and three-stories tall. Chladni is based on the sound vibration patterns discovered by German physicist and musician, Ernst Chladni. Expressive components of music found in harmony, brightness, and fluidity are all celebrated his wall installation. Layers of color form bilaterally symmetrical shapes, revealing frequencies of reverberation through sand-covered metal plates. The overlapping colors found in the celebrated neon signs of Lower Broad and Hatch Show Print’s overprinting/layering process provided inspiration to the artist.


In his second piece, Spectrum II, Phillip K. Smith, III crafts an interpretation of resonance, rhythm, and musical vibration revealed through topography, color, and reflection. Complimenting the movement of sound and the Music City Center’s roofline, the musical motif continues as tones and intensities of reflection fluctuate with one’s movement within the space.


Composition by Aaron Stephan takes inspiration from the molded plastic tree holding parts in model car kits. Instead of car parts, plane wings, and ship rudders, Stephan’s unique work consists of a variety of over a hundred life-sized musical instruments that reflect Nashville’s embrace of all musical styles. The stark white instruments are organized in a similar grid-like form and create a rhythmic dynamic with the surrounding architecture.


Artist Bob Zoell creates a 165-foot-long ceramic mural, entitled “Happy Notes,”using birds as characters through all four seasons. By doing so, Zoell combines a poetic harmony with a playful celebration of music and the city where it is created.

Artist Michelle Forsyth

posted by – 06/07/13 @ 1:42pm

In stark contrast to the monochrome works of the other artists in our current exhibit, Michelle Forsyth uses a wide range of hand cut colored paper pins to create grids that are representational of the banal moments found at recovering disaster sites, a nice complement to the work of Lenka Konopasek. The final product is a beautiful testament to the art of optical mixing and a memorial to the sites she depicts. Together these individualized and painstakingly put together pins create a whole image.

“The images in these paintings are willingly unresolved and are partially obscured with surface embellishments that include thousands of tiny, sinuous brush strokes, and colorful hand-stitches that hold beads and sequins to the paper. Part requiem and part cathartic obsession, I work to simultaneously test the imprint of my own presence while using mark making to record the passage of time. A meticulous attention to detail stimulates viewers to get close to the work. It is at this range where I provide a space for poetic engagement and evoke sentiments of loss and grief.”

Here, we have April 5, 1958 a homage disastrous oil spill from a lare freighter and it’s aftermath at the location where flowers bloom from the still existing wreckage. Pictured is the full piece and a few details.

Artists of Music City Center

posted by – 06/06/13 @ 3:29pm

Three artists from Tinney Contemporary were chosen to adorn the walls of Nashville’s new Music City Center.

Anna Jaap, John Folsom, and Pam Longobardi help fill the 1.2 million square foot space of the new convention center.

Anna Jaap

“This work is part of the SKYFIELD series—sixteen works on canvas created over a two year period with a focus on the intersections of physical and spiritual reality.

The descriptive title phrase “when the hours of daylight are few and the hours of darkness many” is taken from a book entitled Botany for Gardeners by Harold William Rickett, published in 1957.  It speaks eloquently of the period of dormancy in the life cycle that is necessary to foster new beginnings.”

John Folsom

This work is part of Anodyne Frontiers. Folsom’s first encounter with Shaker Village was at a family reunion back in October 2011. Immediately struck by the severe symmetry of the dwellings, Folsom found that the austere nature of the architecture seemed to reflect back onto the landscape, which itself possessed a formalism usually reserved for manicured estates.  In thinking about the direction for this work, Folsom also discovered the word “Anodyne” and its relationship to the pharmacopeia of antiquated medicine. Though the word itself relates more specifically to any kind of analgesic that will numb pain, these days it is used more acutely to describe anything unlikely to cause offense or debate.

Folsom became increasingly interested in that idea, relating it visually to the way images rendered in a more liminal palette can inhabit interior spaces almost imperceptibly.  Using large swaths of cool color that upon closer inspection reveal a frontier land slowly coming into focus, Folsom presents the structures and landscape of Shaker Village as a living museum, hovering on the edge of perception. Through the use of color and mixed media, Folsom’s Anodyne Frontiers, exemplifies this fascinating “in-between” quality.

Pam Longobardi


From Discontinuity Continuum. Longobardi shows new work in paintings on copper, collage-cyanotype works on paper.  The paintings create self-contained universes where Longobardi visualizes a future point where unprecedented changes wrought by humans may be clearly read through the paintings’ materiality.  She uses a combination of naturally occurring materials (copper and chemical patinas) and industrially created materials  (plastics, acrylic and lacquers) that are mixed to create that cracks, craters and stratigraphic layers on the copper panel.  These works reveal large, connected energy systems punctuated by the minutia of a microscopic lens, continuing her investigation of the problematic psychological relationship between humans and the natural world while simultaneously suggesting an interconnected fate.

Interview with Daniella Woolf

posted by – 06/05/13 @ 12:03pm

In this enlightening interview with our artist Daniella Woolf, she talks about the history in encaustic, her own reasons for being drawn to this uniquely versatile medium, and how she has used encaustic to further her explorations in multi-media art.

An artist with an exceptionally wide range, the works exhibited in Shadow and Light are installations of origami boats crafted from old journals, notes, and school yearbook pages.

To get a closer look at her installations and the rest of the show, come by the gallery!

The Munro Experience

posted by – 06/04/13 @ 2:51pm

What is it about Bruce Munro that has everyone talking? Frankly, there are countless reasons why Munro’s “Light” at Cheekwood has caused such a buzz in newspapers, art forums, and even Vogue Magazine.

160 miles of fiber-optic cable in his “Field of Light” attest the immensity of Munro’s installation and transcend the viewer into an alternative reality. The abstract bulbs of color recreate the rolling, lush grounds of Cheekwood. Illuminating the darkness of the night, the colored lights immerse and involve you, creating a playful interaction.

With 20,000 lights in total, Munro transports the viewer far beyond Nashville, into the realm of light and wanderlust. In his “Water-Towers” Munro even provokes the ability to visualize sound as color, mesmerizing and infiltrating your senses.

The use of innovative technology creates a complex, yet engaging experience. Inside the mansion, “Pop Princess” focuses on the negative connotations of light and its impact on Princess Diana. Munro quite literally makes a statement on the horror of overexposure.

As Cheekwood holds Bruce Munro’s second-ever North American installation, a sense of rarity and wonder attracts viewers like moths to his effervescent lights.

“Light Reservation” by Bruce Munro Exemplifies the Munro Experience

Making the Cut: The Artists of Shadow and Light

posted by – 05/23/13 @ 1:57pm

As Guest Curator Reni Gower amalgamates the international works of seven diverse artists, concision and precision perform in the ancient art of paper cutting. With new and exciting twists, the laborious processes employed by these artists permeate a meditative and reflective quality. Such focus charges each piece with a narrative and metaphorical beauty.

In the exhibition, opening June 1st, Tinney Contemporary’s own Jaq Belcher reduces and repeats a single expanse of white paper. Through her contemplative cuts, Belcher gives texture to the smooth and shadows to the light with tags, or lifted areas.

Guest Curator Reni Gower evolves precision into intricate patterns, overlapping and interlocking motifs. Inspired by Celtic knotwork, Gower’s stencils float off the wall to expose the shadowing color of pink and blue, adding dimension and beauty to the exquisite design.

Next, in Lenka Konopasek’s Indoor Tornado II, an imposing tornado suspends from the ceiling, whirling down and impacting the neighborhood below it. The black and white cut paper emit an abstract chaos, while the details of cars and homes add to the destructive reality of a tornado.

As Michelle Forsyth continues with the motif of realistic disasters, May 5, 1958 presents the thistles that grow near a plaque that commemorates the planned explosion of Ripple Rock, an underground twin-peaked mountain in British Columbia. Her second piece, Edwin (Eyewitness) stands as a poetic passage she has found in old newspaper articles. The punched out text on a single sheet of white paper leaves “a lacey absence,” playing on the voided paper and chilling events.

Lauren Scanlon merges pages from paperback romance novels and floral bed sheet designs in work that was influenced by her grandmother’s fondness for both. The delicate handwork and veils of text suggest an intimate, yet innocent mood.

In contrast, Daniella Woolf takes mundane, utilitarian aspects of an ordered life and expresses them as a repetitive, streaming boats made of photographs and personal anecdotes. On a pedestal, an anonymous Japanese artist handcrafted a larger paper boat that holds the continuing motif of paper boats within.

Béatrice Coron uses Italo Calvino’s book Invisible Cities to portray his themes from his fictional world in her three black Tyvek squares. The stark contrast of the black cut Tyvek against the white wall creates a dynamic, if two-dimensional, shadow realm.

Anna Jaap Interview

posted by – 05/04/13 @ 4:41am

Nashville-based artist Anna Jaap discusses her current body of work. The Resonance of Beauty will be on display at Tinney Contemporary until May 11, 2013. We will be hosting a closing reception on May 4 from 6-9 pm.

Whitney: What is a saral transfer and can you explain the process?

Anna Jaap: Saral transfer is a thin paper coated with graphite or a chalky color on one side. It’s typically used to transfer a design or drawing to another surface before being erased or painted over. I use it to create final drawing elements in the work. It removes the hand slightly from the work while still maintaining a physical connection to the surface. The line quality is delicate, but also purposeful. It has a wonderful elusiveness.

W: Where did you find the vintage wallpaper? Where did it come from?

A: I found it online, and thought I might use for collage. Vintage textiles and wallpapers have been a point of reference in my work for years, but I’ve always drawn and painted the patterns into the work. I love that art and life intersect there in an intimate way—in the clothes we choose to put on our bodies, and how we surround ourselves in personal spaces. It echoes my belief that beauty, however we each experience it, is vital to our well-being.

When the sample book arrived, I had no idea how I could use it. It sat for a long time. Then the idea for the drawings came, and they enchanted me— roses framed like specimens under a microscope, layering complex negative spaces on top of block-printed patterns, sending the paper forward with gentle irony as something new.  And, of course, there was the connection to The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, a landmark piece of feminist literature. One of the things I’ve enjoyed most about these pieces is that they stir memories for viewers.

The paper is thick, but extremely fragile. I use one razor per cut when trimming the pages down for drawings. I’ve been parceling them out.

W:  I noticed this recent work has a more subdued cold palette than previous. Can you please speak to the color choices and how it influences the subject matter?

A: I think it’s probably the reverse, that the subject matter influenced the color palette. In this case, I wanted associations with beauty as the focus. Vibrant colors could have easily taken center stage. A toned-down tertiary color selection creates a platform in a minor key that allows the viewer space to engage, and continues the idea of subjective relationships throughout the palette itself. There are subtle color shifts and balances in this body of work that unify a number of differing elements —very large and relatively small scale works, a variety of surface textures, painting and drawing, and some collage.

W: What are you exploring in this body of work? What ideas of beauty are you dealing with?

A: Beauty can be defined as “the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind.” It’s completely subjective. I choose forms, patterns, and themes in the work in large part because I find them to be beautiful. I wanted to bring that to the forefront, make it a focus, and explore it in a conscious way—like I would push the limits of a physical material like paint or charcoal.

I worked from a nature-based perspective of beauty (cultural ideas of beauty have been inspired by nature until fairly recently in history), and I turned up the volumes on the themes, pushing them as far as I felt could and still maintain an integrity in the work. So there are roses scattered in abandon across canvases and drawings, really luscious washes of color that reference the sky and water and land, elegant marks, and multiple layers of elements selected for their beauty. It’s an immersion, certainly—one that I hope sends the viewer away thinking about their own concept of beauty, and how it impacts their experiences.

W: How does the imagery of the rose play into the works?

A: Initially, I was drawn to the structure of it. Not only is it an iconic symbol of beauty, it has a powerful, spiraling symmetry that mirrors galaxies and tornadoes and any number of structures in the natural world. It’s also ambiguous— lovely and fragile, but wickedly thorny and notoriously difficult to grow. It’s the stuff of love and folklore, equally at home in a suitor’s bouquet or an arrangement to honor the dead. When I got beyond my concerns about roses being sentimental and overused, I found it a rich subject.

W: Can you explain the process of how you begin a piece? On average, how long does it take to complete a piece?

A: Sometimes I start with a concept, sometimes a material, sometimes with a color relationship upon which I want to elaborate.  The drawing series began with an idea of continuing the narrative in the wallpaper. Two large-scale canvases ready to go now will begin with pouring and charcoal dust. Once the substrate is finished, then the composition and color palette will emerge as a response to the surface.

Completion times vary widely in the work. On average, I would say two or three months. I keep a number of works in process at once.

W: What is coming up next for you in your work? More of this same body of work or a new idea?

A: This body of work will segue into something new in short order. I have some ideas percolating about incorporating dry pigment, and pushing the scale more in the drawings on canvas. There’s always something new to explore in the work…I love that.