The Necessity of Summer Fresh Art: Commentary by Anne Brown

And now we come to the middle of a long hot summer. After a week in Texas in 100 degree heat, Tennessee feels like Alaska. Though I grew up in Texas, I had forgotten that Texas heat is very hot heat. Nevertheless, I dragged my mother, now approaching her 97th year, out in it every day, taking her for lunch, supper, and shopping. She is frail, of course, but still ready to go when the going is good. It was sheer pleasure just to walk beside her, knowing that she is well cared for and still has spunk.

Judy Nebhut, Raspberries in Silver, archival photograph

At best, I have a hard time with summertime. It's not my favorite time of year. The heat is unforgiving. I'm always looking for something fresh to divert my attention, some kind of adventure that can take my mind off how hot it is. That's how the July show of SUMMER FRESH ART came to be.

We could call the artists the Summer Four, a group showing of artists who have never met each other and apparently don't have a lot in common, except...their emerging passion for making art.

Chris Beck, Kellie, painted metal

The artists and their artwork being presented are all over the map in variety of mediums, materials, and subjects - from outside materials and self-taught aesthetic to mosaics in glass; from photography in the tradition of modern still life paintings to paintings that explore the space/time continuum through ordinary objects and images.

Altogether, this is a group of artists that offer different flavors of art, each distinctive and passionately pursued. There is laughter and great pleasure for guests who see this exhibit. Check out the front and backside of Chris Beck's sculptural clothes hanging on the wall. Check out the elegance of Judy Nebhut's photography. You don't often get to see such elegant and calming work. Don't miss Deborah Wait's glass mosaic concoctions that continue to grow more ambitious in the sense of movement and shapes she creates. Tony Breuer is in the midst of making a transition from a long and successful career as a neurologist into life now as a trained and skilled artist taking on the ambitious challenge of making time and space stand still so we can contemplate them through regular objects.

Deborah Wait, mosaic

This exhibit calls for chilled wine or ice cold lemonade and a cool state of mind. The work of the Summer Four will make a believer out of you - that life can have freshness and that artistic enterprise offers relief from the harsh heat of summer. Artists have a way of turning the harshness and static nature of materials and the ordinariness of life into refreshing insights, into new ways of seeing and thinking. It's all about well-made work delivered personally by people who truly love to make the art they make and are eager to have others see their work.

Tony Breuer, Space Magnolias #6, oil on canvas

Artists often begin their work in a maze of sorts. Sometimes working on an idea or a technique without a clue in advance as to why and where it might lead them. In the early part of an artist's career, an artist is often simply driven to test certain materials and ideas that attract them. Typically, they have a hard time verbalizing what or why. Without exception, the four artists in this exhibit are driven by an almost blind passion for the materials and subjects of their work. Upfront, they kind of know where they want to go. They have a direction, but also lots of questions and no answers. That's part of what makes this exhibit presentation summertime fresh. There is a sense of discovery in the work of each of the artists, and they hook the viewer into their journey. We get to see where they started and sense of where they are going. And there is a lot of joy in the going. Joy is not exactly an art word, but it fits. Artistic discovery is a joyful thing. When you engage in the new worlds these artists have created for you, some of it inevitably rubs off on you. That's a lot of what this exhibit is about - encountering new work you haven't seen before and wondering how and why it all came about, and what makes it appealing.

So, psych yourself up to come to this particular exhibit prepared to see four worldviews that you haven't seen before. If you come prepared to have an adventure, you will have one cool summer evening.

We ART Nashville Wristbands

At The Arts Company, we will continue to provide a commemorative wristband to every person contributing $10 to the Community Foundation Flood Relief. As a thank you, we will offer each person wearing the wristband a 10% discount on any purchase in the gallery through the month of July. All of us have many friends whose lives have been impacted seriously by the recent flood. We ae proud to have sent several thousand dollars from our gallery alone to date to the Community Foundation. With your help, we can do more. Our gallery discount is our way of saying thanks back to our customers for their help.

The Art of Brother Mel Continues...

The Art of Brother Mel exhibit continues though July, with lots of new work by this popular gallery artist whose work ethic and new ideas never waver and never cease. We have already set to work on a documentary on Brother Mel's life and thoughts as an artist, one who lives and works in a community of religious brothers, but whose work is totally modern. He is truly one of a kind. His views about the art world and his work merit documentation, and The Arts Company Press has set out on this new journey.
Spirit of Nashville and Art & Soul of America

The Arts Company introduces Joel Anderson's signature poster collections, Spirit of Nashville and the newest one, Art & Soul of America. The gallery will be the only venue featuring limited-edition signed prints of images from both of these collections. The Spirit of Nashville series are well-known to Nashvillians, but now the Art & Soul of America is giving a new iconic personality to major American cities and national parks, all places familiar to travelers.

So don't forget your wristband - which is to say, don't forget our many friends who are still working their way out of the Nashville flood - and come on down to The Arts Company on Fifth Avenue of the Arts for First Art Saturday, July 3, 6-9 pm.