Month: July 2013

The First Saturday Art Crawl Turns 7!

posted by – 07/31/13 @ 3:37pm

Seventeen years ago, Anne Brown’s The Arts Company opened its doors, making it the first gallery on Fifth Avenue North. Since then, the street has expanded to encompass a vibrant art community. This Saturday marks the seventh year that 5th Avenue of the Arts will host the First Saturday Art Crawl. Pioneered by Anne Brown and Susan Tinney, this event has been integral in engaging the community and facilitating Nashville’s growing art scene.  First Saturday Art Crawl continues to offer more artistic experiences and venues participating, including The Arts Company, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, The Rymer Gallery, Tennessee Art League, Tinney Contemporary, Art at the Arcade, Puckett’s Restaurant, among other major institutions. The Art Crawl, free and open to the public, welcomes 1,500+ visitors each month, retaining its position as an enduring thread in Nashville’s cultural fabric.

Coincidentally, this Saturday also marks our gallery’s seventh consecutive year of operation. With origins as a space for outsider art, Tinney Contemporary has undergone an astonishing metamorphosis. Now boasting a collection of national and international cutting-edge artwork, Tinney Contemporary maintains a prominent position in the Southeastern region.

Here’s to seven wonderful years with many more to follow!


A special Anniversary event will be held during First Saturday Art Crawl on August 3, 4PM to 9PM.




How Guerilla Art and Grassroots initiatives have moved to change the icon of Accessibility

posted by – 07/24/13 @ 11:08am

In 2009, Brian Glenney and Sarah Hendren kicked off an art prokect to generate discussion on the ubiquitous international symbol of access. Now their revised design is rolling out in New York City.

Initially, Glenney and Hendren’s aim was to generate conversation. Though the ISA symbol had generally been a huge boon to disabled individuals over the years, it’s easy to see how the symbol itself was less than ideal. Compared to the bathroom sign stick figures we’re used to, the one on the ISA looks frail and immobile—more an outgrowth of the chair it’s sitting in than its own distinct entity. So as they put things in motion in the early months of 2010, Glenney and Hendren’s main concern was drawing attention to some of these visual attributes that they found problematic.

Here’s how the changes affect the way we view the icon:

Head Position

1) Head is forward to indicate the forward motion of the person through space. Here the person is the “driver” or decision maker about her mobility.

Arm Angle

2) Arm is pointing backward to suggest the dynamic mobility of a chair user, regardless of whether or not she uses her arms. Depicting the body in motion represents the symbolically active status of navigating the world.

Wheel Cutouts

3) By including white angled knockouts the symbol presents the wheel as being in motion. These knockouts also work for creating stencils used in spray paint application of the icon. Having just one version of the logo keeps things more consistent and allows viewers to more clearly understand intended message.

Limb Rendition

4) The human depiction in this icon is consistent with other body representations found in the ISO 7001 – DOT Pictograms. Using a different portrayal of the human body would clash with these established and widely used icons and could lead to confusion.

Leg Position

5) The leg has been moved forward to allow for more space between it and the wheel which allows for better readability and cleaner application of icon as a stencil.

(Learn more on the Accesible Icon Project’s website)

And read the rest of the article on the innovation behind the icon’s design here.



posted by – 07/23/13 @ 3:44pm



Wanderlust: |ˈwändərˌləst| noun, a strong desire to travel.

The term bonds Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s “Disorderly Notions” to the upcoming fashion seen in fall 2013 collections. Designers and our featured artist use hues of magenta and aqua to carry us into the fall, not letting us forget the majestic shades that summer leaves behind. The upcoming season also holds onto patterns of rich flora, much like the captivating environment Patricia Bellan- Gillen presents in her over-life-size pieces. The spirit of travel along with the ability to recall a memorable place are crucial to Bellan- Gillen’s show. Wanderlust inspires an affection to continually move. However, with each journey, a time of recollection and an awareness to such memories allows each “wanderluster” to create their own ideas of what is before them. Wilderness and travel inspire fashion, much like Bellan- Gillen’s attraction to adventure and the great outdoors. This lifestyle trend combines modern functionality with traditional fashion styles.


“Somewhere in the Brain”

posted by – 07/16/13 @ 2:13pm

Artists, critics, curators, gallerists, auctioneers, and collectors analyze contemporary art to bring forth its relevance and expose its fundamental nature, such as the medium or symbolism. On the other hand, the general public’s reaction to contemporary art provides a socially conscious response that incorporates contemporaneity with time, place, and ethics. Both viewers engage, but which is the “right” way to perceive contemporary art?

Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s “Disorderly Notions,” on display now here at Tinney Contemporary, employs the art of perception itself. The artist relies on all viewers to narrate her works, pulling from their own anecdotal memories. I overheard many art crawlers at the July Art Crawl ask, “what does this mean?” or “why does she use this specific motif?” The analytical essay spelling out the symbolic truths and answering such fundamental questions does not exist in this case.

“Somewhere in the brain” begins the artist’s exhibition write-up, enhancing the elusive and ambiguous scenes. The scale of Patricia Bellan- Gillen’s work demands attention and her use of mixed media compliment the multi-layered function of her work.

I recently read, “Any art that relies on an essay to explain it is not art,” holding true to Patricia’s theory of thriving on the inexplicable, the intuitive, and the enigmatic. The artist calls welcomes such provocation and puzzlement, placing trust in the viewer to simply react. Therefore, it is fitting that “Disorderly Notions” will remain on display for the August Art Crawl, inviting all contemporaries to not ask, but tell.

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