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August Art News

by Cass Teague
Meet artist Elise Kendrick and curator Jonathan Diggs at the Frist Art Museum for the free Opening Soiree for Elise Kendrick: Salon Noir at 6pm on Thursday, August 18

The Frist Art Museum is presenting “Elise Kendrick: Salon Noir,” opening August 12 and running through December 31, 2022. Come out to the “Salon Noir” Opening Soirée 6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, in the Frist Grand Lobby. Free. Celebrate the opening and learn more about the exhibition from artist Elise Kendrick and student curator Jonathan Diggs, with live music and more. 

This micro-exhibition celebrates the beauty of African American women, their unique hairstyles, and the Black salon experience through the works of Nashville artist Elise Kendrick. The exhibition offers an immersive experience within a common, accessible space. Installed in the elevator just inside the museum’s Ninth Avenue entrance adjacent to the Grand Lobby, “Salon Noir” takes advantage of a never-before utilized location to display art at the Frist. The elevator’s interior walls will feature vinyl prints derived from five of Kendrick’s portraits. Guests entering the space will find themselves immersed in depictions of Black hairstyles and haircare products. 

Under the direction of student curator Jonathan Diggs, “Salon Noir” is the first micro-exhibition conceived through Project Uplift, an internship designed to offer a student or recent graduate from a historically Black college or university in Nashville an opportunity to curate, design, market, and develop a program for a micro-exhibition featuring a local artist of color. 

Kendrick hopes that her work will start conversations about common perceptions and misconceptions surrounding Black hair: “With this series, my intent is to allow my subjects to feel seen, to take up space, and to show that women of color are not monolithic.” 

Diggs adds, “Hairstyles and hair salons hold a significant place within Black culture. ‘Salon Noir’ showcases the various ways that Black women maintain their hair with pride and elegance.” 

Elise Kendrick. April, 2021. Mixed media; 20 x 20 in. Courtesy of the artist. © Elise Kendrick

The Project Uplift internship was conceived to distill the curatorial process into a short period of time so students can gain exposure to all aspects of exhibition planning. While typical museum exhibitions may take years of planning, a Project Uplift micro-exhibition is condensed into three months. 

“Working with all of the departments at the Frist and receiving their guidance and advice along the way has given me a great appreciation for the work of museum professionals,” says Diggs. “As a graphic designer, I see how important communication is when translating the curator’s ideas to an actual exhibition. Fortunately, I have been able to do both with this internship. Project Uplift truly has reshaped my thought process for the better around design and teamwork.”

The Leftovers Show at Elephant Gallery

Elephant art gallery and studio space in North Nashville is presenting a special group exhibition entitled “The Leftovers Show” through August 26. An artist’s practice often generates residue beyond the final exhibited artwork, a byproduct of the studio process that isn’t intended for the gallery wall. Most often it is discarded, but sometimes these remnants remain and become cherished either for their inherent interest or as placeholders for the experiments and ideas they helped bring into existence. These are the material ghosts of our practice. Leftovers is a show of these unintended, and surprisingly beautiful marks, tools, palettes and objects. 

See works by Alissa Alfonso, Alex Blau, Amelia Briggs, Paul Collins,  Chalet Comellas, Jennifer Crescuillo, Brandon Donahue, Marlos E’van, Sam Fein, Jody Hays, Alex Kimball, Alex Lockwood, Ryan Mitchell, Billy Renkl, Andee Rudloff, Yanira Vissepo, Morgan Westerbeck, Ripley Whiteside, Kelly Williams, Aaron Worley, and Bryan Zimmerman. Elephant Gallery is located at 1411 Buchanan Street 37208 Nashville, Tennessee Hours: By Appointment or Friday + Saturday 3-6pm.

What is Respect? at the Red Arrow Gallery for one week only

Red Arrow Gallery presents “What is Respect?”fromtextile artist Kelly Chuning for one week only, through Saturday, August 27, 2022. It opens with an Artist reception + special performance on August 20, beginning at 6pm, through 9 pm. Kelly Chuning is a biracial, interdisciplinary artist born in Southern California and raised in rural southern Utah. Chuning’s work explores rhetoric, imagery, and media as a tool of constructing various modes of female identity. Red Arrow Gallery is located at 919 Gallatin Ave Suite #4, Nashville, TN  37206. OPEN Tues-Sat 11-4pm.

“What is Respect? takes place two months after the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade, guaranteeing a womxn’s right to an abortion,” says Chuning. “With this body of work, I am giving the responsibility to the viewer to decide what the term “respect” implies, given the current political climate; and asking the audience to consider how we can utilize language as a tool for change going forward. Growing up in a fiercely religious household, the people of Tennessee weighed heavy on my mind as I heard the news of the state’s trigger law (“The Human Life Protection Act”) banning abortion with no exceptions for rape or incest. As a victim of sexual assault, the implications the implications of this law influenced me to act immediately.  What is Respect? contains ten pieces from the series It’s All Just Talk, investigating the impact of the rhetoric surrounding womxn, and exploring the political and personal dynamics of language in forming identity. Between backhanded compliments and societal pressures to conform, the female body and psyche are constantly critiqued and commented on—frequently without permission.”

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