Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Holidays from Twist Art Gallery

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Not Hellfire at Twist Gallery

It's Not Hellfire at Twist Gallery
Do the Twist
Joe Nolan for the Nashville Scene

Consistently the best venue on the Crawl, Twist kicks the year off with a mythological menagerie. Jessica C. White's narrative drawings find furry friends like bunnies and deer taking on the role of mythological mouthpieces, speaking deep moral truths to our uncertain times. To her credit, White's animal oracles don't go for cheap laughs or creep-show schlock. Her picture-book renderings provide a believable setting for their asides, which, at their best, are touching and heartfelt. In the Arcade 73 space, Nashville's Matt Christy returns from his well-received show at The University of the South in Sewanee. Recent Christy shows have included everything from baroque, pop-culture collages to porno-inspired paintings. We're not sure what's on for tonight, but a typical Christie show is half eye candy, half creepy juxtapositions…and half sublime insight. You do the math.

Opening reception 6-9 p.m., Jan. 2, as part of First Saturday. also there will be a second opening reception on January 9th from 6-9 pm

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas is installation art

from the journals of Beth Gilmore ... quote.... Christmas is installation art. a great many folks only make art a few times a year easter, christmas and halloween. this is usually done by putting a lot of crazy colorful s#*t in their front yards... and obviously Christmas trees

beth gilmore

Monday, December 21, 2009

Twist Art Gallery presents: Matt Christy... Wrench Rupture Suture... in Twist 58 ... January 2010

Twist Art Gallery presents: Matt Christy ...Wrench Rupture Suture ... in Twist 58 ...January 2010

opening January 2nd from 6-9pm as part of the First Saturday Art Crawl in Nashville's Historic Arcade and the 5th Ave. of the Arts
Show runs January 2nd - 30th, 2010

Matt Christy is a writer and an artist from Nashville. He graduated from Watkins College with a BFA in Fine Arts. He has written criticism for Number: an art's journal. Matt might someday pursue a Master's degree in art criticism and critical theory.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Tennessean: Sarah Shearer's portraits at Twist 58 question feminine ideals

The Tennessean

December 20, 2009

Sarah Shearer's portraits at Twist 58 question feminine ideals

Sarah Shearer: Seven Questions, currently on view at Twist 58, explores the nature of beauty, superficiality, strength, happiness and other ideas in two series of female portraits.

Shearer created a special little world for the show, starting by painting the gallery floors bright pink — a hue somewhere between bubblegum and Pepto Bismol.

The paintings are "pretty feminine and introspective," Shearer says, "so I thought I might as well go with that. It's pretty bold."

Shearer's combinations of texture and pattern are equally bold. In her larger paintings, she positions a woman (or women) staring confidently from the canvas, against striking backgrounds of stripes or elaborate designs rendered in turquoise, gold and other vivid colors. These are made by spraying paint through fabric as a stencil.

Shearer also employed this stenciling technique on the gallery's large windows, creating a white, frosty base over which she painted her name in a flowing script. The resulting signage gives the gallery the appearance of a little boutique. Indeed, it's similar to a hair salon a few doors down.

The smaller paintings in the show are Shearer's newest. They complement the more reserved larger works with harsher, more forceful images and rougher textures built from layers of rubbery, dried latex paint.

Sarah Shearer: Seven Questions remains on view at Twist 58 in the Arcade through Saturday. Gallery hours this week are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. For information, call 1-888-535-5286 or go to">


Monday, December 14, 2009

Family members branch out with Three Ways Different at Twist Art Gallery

December 13, 2009

Family members branch out with Three Ways Different at Twist Art Gallery

By MiChelle Jones

It's not immediately obvious what Dona Berotti's glass and copper sculptures, Cristina Viscu's graphite drawings and Rob McClurg's ceramic pods have in common. Yet Three Ways Different, on view at Twist Art Gallery through Dec. 26, not only works as a cohesive show, it's also one of the most interesting gallery exhibitions of the year.

The show's theme began taking shape four years ago, when husband-and-wife artists McClurg and Berotti became host parents to Viscu, a young artist from Moldova who was at the time an exchange student in Berotti's advanced placement art class at Hillwood High School. Viscu is now a junior at Watkins College of Art and Design, where McClurg is a sixth-year faculty member.

Pieces in an exhibition

"There was kind of a joke in the family that there was a Cris way, a Dona way and a Rob way, because we all thought very differently," Berotti says. For Father's Day, Berotti and Viscu presented McClurg with a card that said "way." "Then Cris came up with the title for the show, Three Ways Different, because we were all living in the same household, but we all perceive and work in different ways."

Close inspection of Berotti's glasswork reveals textures reminiscent of antique tin ceilings. Indeed, she uses ceiling material when constructing her molds. Viscu's snippets of portraits are at once exquisitely rendered and sketch-like.

For the past few years, McClurg has been making ceramic forms inspired by seeds. They vary in size (the largest are about 22 inches long by 11 inches wide) and the finishes range from smooth and shiny to rough and splotchy, painted to resemble natural clay. Some of the pieces resemble chess pieces, others bear a passing resemblance to sperm, and the largest forms are gourd-like and sometimes contain clay beads that rattle when shaken.

Happy accidents

The second room of Three Ways Different has a more spontaneous, experimental feel than the first. This is partly because while the artists had developed a loose plan for the first room, the second space was more of a work-in-progress during installation.

Two works in particular resulted from late-night improvisation: a piece combining elements of all their work and an interactive piece that took shape when they hung another glass sign — reading "What Are You Looking At?" — over a small settee found in the gallery.

"That happened at 2 o'clock in the morning," Berotti says, laughing. "The whole (idea) with that question was to deconstruct the scene. . . . Are you looking at the art? Are you looking at the person sitting on the couch? Is the person sitting on the couch part of the piece, which they do become. Then the piece becomes constantly changing, because someone new is sitting on the couch."

Berotti says the inclusion of the settee makes the piece, which felt incomplete on its own.

"That was just a very fortuitous thing . . . and apart from that, I will do that if I ever show that work again."

Partners in art

In contrast to the subtlety of that piece is the kinetic feel of the installation on the adjacent wall. McClurg's pods march diagonally toward the ceiling from a small heap on the floor. A glass baby bottle by Berotti is inverted over the pile, spilling copper wire intertwined with Berotti's own hair. Tiny snatches of Viscu's drawings are mixed in among the pods.

"We wanted to do a last piece that was all of us together — a collaborative piece," Berotti explains. "And also that happened late at night. That was actually the play part of the piece, the play part of the exhibition."

"Dona is the catalyst on that," McClurg says. "I would have just gladly closed the boxes back up and said, 'Look, I'm tired, I want to go home.' I did actually say that."

But Berotti prevailed, and the three played around with the arrangement. The following morning, just hours before the opening reception, Viscu and her roommate tweaked the pods so the curly ends were angled, creating the illusion of movement.

Though Berotti and McClurg have curated shows as a team and also worked together on pieces, Berotti describes this as their "first big, major collaboration." It is also an artistic expression of the bond they share with their former exchange student.

"We're still a family," Berotti says. "Even though Cris is not with us, she's still a part of our family."

Additional Facts
What: Three Ways Different, ceramics, glass and pencil on paper by Dona Berotti, Rob McClurg and Cristina Viscu
Where: Twist Art Gallery, Arcade No. 73
When: Through Dec. 26
Hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday–Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday
Admission: free

Thursday, December 10, 2009

say it loud!

from the journals of Beth Gilmore....quote...definition of studio vs. gallery .. it cant
even count all the times people confuse these words . they don't even
contain any of the same letters. example to help explain the
difference... a studio is a kitchen, a gallery is a dining room..

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Jessica White at Twist Art Gallery January 2010

Jessica C. White at Twist Art Gallery #73 : January 2010

Similar to the way animals were used in folktales and ancient mythologies to explain the mysterious world of the past, I create images with animals that attempt to make sense of uncertainties in our world today. Children’s book images, medieval bestiaries, and folk tales inspire my investigations both visually and textually. Much of my exploration revolves around good versus evil, right and wrong, justice, and wonder.

I relocated to Asheville, NC after graduating in the spring of 2009 from University of Iowa with an MFA in printmaking and a Graduate Certificate in Book Studies. There, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I established Heroes & Criminals Press, a fine press following in the tradition of artisans in the crafts of printing and bookbinding, but with the driving principle that “small animals make first paths” - ordinary people can make a big impact on the world through simple, everyday actions. Through the press, my goal is to create my own work as well as to act as a vehicle for emerging writers. Along with printing and binding, I continue to explore ideas through painting and drawing.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Nashville Gallery Examiner: Everyone can use a good church'n up

Nashville Arts and Entertainment Nashville Galleries Examiner

Everyone can use a good church'n up
December 1, 8:55 AM Nashville Galleries Examiner Chuck Beard

Waffle Shop
Nashville's Downtown Presbyterian Church
I’d say by now that the after effects of last weekend’s turkey debacle have begun to subside your hunger as it has mine for birds, fresh-oven rolls, and homemade pies. I think my stomach is now growling out of relief instead of anger. I figure why not celebrate this newfound relief by treating myself with and telling all of my closest friends (you) about a great deal on waffles!

Pause as my stomach giggles.

Yep, I said it! This Thursday, December 3, from 11am-2pm, the Downtown Presbyterian Church is opening its Waffle Shop for the 84th time. Begun in 1926, the Downtown Presbyterian Church is continuing its bread and butter fundraiser event by inviting you to come over and visit with them and waffles, turkey hash/sausage, grits, coffee/spiced tea, baked goods, craft items, and their ever elusive cheese wafer for the mere price of $6 per person. All of the money raised from the event goes towards the church building fund and church ministries, like feeding the homeless every Wednesday and Sunday.

As you may or may not already know, the Downtown Presbyterian Church has not only become an immense help for the local homeless by providing food, shelter, support and positive direction, it has also developed into quite the central hub for many local artists to hone their own talents within the church’s artist-in-residency program. In exchange for studio space, chosen artists are more than happy to lend helping hands within a variety of church functions and donate their artistic knowledge to others wanting to create something more for themselves. One such artist that has participated in this program and is opening a solo show this Saturday, December 5th at the Twist 58 Gallery is local talent Sarah Shearer.

Shearer, always creating work that permeates deeper than whatever the canvas reveals, has carried on along her artist statement by attempting to do work that reflects her ideas that have stemmed from countless questions flying around her own head. This show, appropriately called Sarah Shearer: Seven Questions is built around the foundation of the following questions:
What is meaningful?
What is superficial?
What makes me happy?
Why do those things make me happy?
What is beauty?
Why are some things that are beautiful labeled superficial?
Does beauty equal weakness in your eyes?

So come out to Twist and Twist 58 Gallery this Saturday, December 5th, from 6-9pm and check out the best of Shearer’s (as well as the exhibit Three Ways Different: works by Dona Berotti, Rob McClurg and Cristina Viscu too) latest efforts. Maybe you can ask the artist for some of the answers she found within her work regarding to her introspective questions. Maybe, if you’re not scared to look deeper, you will find answers to some of your own questions as well!

More About: Art Gallery · Public Opening Reception · Art Gallery Opening


Sacred Space: Sounds of the Present in a Place from the Past

WPLN News Feature Transcripts View All

Sacred Space: Sounds of the Present in a Place from the Past (transcript)
Tuesday, December 01st, 2009
By Joe Nolan

In Nashville, great musicians record in great rooms – Elvis Presley at RCA Studio B, Jack White at Blackbird Studio. Now, artists and engineers are discovering a space for music-making that isn’t a studio at all. It’s a 150-year-old church sanctuary inspired by the architecture of ancient Egypt. WPLN’s Joe Nolan reports.

Audio for this feature is available here.

In the Sanctuary of Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church, a small audience gathers in the front pews for a live concert. After fiddling with his tuning pegs and shaking the bangs from his eyes – singer/songwriter Terry Price eases into his first song…

(SOUND: Terry Price “No Ice” live)

The Sanctuary is bigger than a professional basketball court, but Price’s tentative finger-picking fills the room. Nearby, an audio engineer turns up the input knob on an old-school tape machine. The uniquely named Welcome to 1979 is a Nashville music studio that prides itself on its vintage gear and its commitment to recording on reel-to-reel tape instead of on computers. The first time audio engineer Neil Anderson and his partners toured the church they knew they wanted to record there.

ANDERSON – “We just fell in love with the rooms. We’ve always wanted to record in rooms that were this large and this monumental. The walls are very reflective which means the sound will bounce around quite a bit, and the ceilings are extremely tall which lend themselves to monstrous sounding recordings.”

Although they fell for the space’s sound, the engineers had been invited on a tour to see the church’s stunning architecture. Exotic birds, colorful flowers and Egyptian motifs fill the Sanctuary’s walls, while palm trees bend above a cracked desert in the huge stained glass windows.

JIM HOOBLER: “At the front of the Sanctuary, it looks like a stage setting from Aida. Like you could perform Opera up there.”

Jim Hoobler is a curator at Tennessee State Museum and a member of the Downtown Presbyterian Church.

HOOBLER: “There are frescoes on the walls that have a perspective painting of a hall of columns. Amun Ra, the Sun God of Egypt is carved at the top.”

Painted versions of the winged disc symbol of Amun Ra repeat throughout the Sanctuary, which is one of the few surviving examples of Egyptian Revival architecture in America.

The style was inspired by Napoleon’s survey of Egypt in the late 1700’s. Designed in 1851 by William Strickland – the architect of the Tennessee State Capitol – the room is built for music. Hardwood and plaster materials reflect sound throughout the space. The coffered ceiling with it’s crisscrossing beams and inset canvas panels creates a grid of boxes that capture music and redirect it back down into the audience.

(SOUND: John Francis “Johnny Cash On the Radio” live)

Strickland’s design allows a songwriter like John Francis to sing and play guitar – with no amplification – and make what the engineers call a “monstrous sounding recording”.

(SOUND: John Francis “Johnny Cash On the Radio” live)

While the Sanctuary’s sound may be a new discovery for Welcome to 1979, the space has already hosted recording artists like old-timey chanteuse Julie Lee and Patty Griffin, who’s new gospel CD was recorded in the Sanctuary and is set for release in early 2010. While gospel music is a natural fit for a church, unplugging for an acoustic show was an unusual twist for hard rock band Orange Willard and their lead singer Rusty Paquay.

(SOUND: Orange Willard’s “Angels” live)

RUSTY PAQUAY: “We try to be the loudest band around and most powerful. This is like one of those very rare moments for us especially because we’re so used to playing clubs and loud venues… nice change of pace.”

The engineers from Welcome to 1979 return to the Downtown Presbyterian Church for another live recording during the Gallery Crawl this Saturday. The monthly art event provides a built in audience for the shows. While the concerts are a promotional opportunity, all the recordings are done for free. Chris Mara – the studio’s owner – sees the series as a creative project, not just a marketing ploy.

CHRIS MARA: “I think art inspires art. You know when I’m down here I feel more creative and same with the artists we bring down here to record they just love the space. I mean artists made this.”

It’s been said when it comes to good music, it’s the singer not the song that counts. Sometimes, it is the singer. Sometimes, it’s the song. But, sometimes, it’s the space that makes all the difference.

For Nashville Public Radio, I’m Joe Nolan

(SOUND: John Francis “People On The Edge Of The World” live)