Before heading upstairs to gaze at the 42-foot-tall statue of Athena, visitors to the Nashville Parthenon will see what is one of the city’s premier art galleries.
“Show Up,” on view in the museum’s East Gallery through June 5, features a variety of works by 24 contemporary artists, many of them Nashville-based, represented by the Red Arrow Gallery in East Nashville. The exhibition celebrates Red Arrow’s eighth anniversary and offers visitors a taste of how a small, off-the-beaten-path gallery can be a great champion of contemporary art in Nashville and beyond.
“The title embodies our mission and values,” says Katie Shaw, owner of Red Arrow Gallery. “To ‘show’ oneself is to testify to the joy, pain and emotion of others. “Showing up” strengthens relationships and builds community. »
Curated by former Parthenon curator Mark Medley, ‘Show Up’ signals the museum’s interest in showcasing contemporary art, especially the work of local artists, alongside its permanent collection of historical artifacts , photographs and American art of the 19th and 20th centuries. As a remnant of when Nashville was considered the “Athens of the South” and one of Nashville’s most visited landmarks, the Parthenon is an ideal place to promote the city’s deep but often overlooked relationship with visual art, both past and present.
“Nashville is collecting like never before,” says Shaw. “I’m tired of the narrative that Nashville doesn’t collect, because it’s not true.”
The Red Arrow Gallery was founded by one of Shaw’s friends in 2007 in Joshua Tree, California. When that friend moved to Spain, Shaw took over and ran the high desert art space for several years before bringing the concept to Nashville in 2014. Over the past eight years, she and her all-female team have transformed the gallery into an esteemed must-see. of the Nashville art scene, presenting, as its mission statement puts it, “museum-caliber exhibitions of significant contemporary artists” in a manner that is both “risk-taking” and “welcoming” to artists, collectors and art lovers.
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“We strive to always present ourselves for our artists, each other, our collectors and the community at large,” says Shaw. “We’re also showing up in an area of town that historically hasn’t had access to museum-quality contemporary art.”
While most contemporary art galleries in Nashville are concentrated in Wedgewood Houston and downtown Nashville, Red Arrow is the only contemporary art gallery in East Nashville. Shaw admits that standing out from the artistic neighborhoods of the city has been a challenge at times, but that hasn’t stopped her and her team from achieving ambitious goals.
“The sales targets and metrics we have now are just amazing to me. We’ve struggled for so long, but we’ve come so far,” she says. “I think what’s helped us the most, it’s about maintaining our core principles of accessibility and being passionately positive about what we’re doing and where we’re going.”
“I wish more people knew that Nashville has a thriving contemporary art scene that not only influences the city and the South, but also the broader contemporary art world,” adds Ashley Layendecker, Director of Media Relations. collectors and artists at Red. Arrows gallery. “There’s a lot going on under the radar here that I’d like to introduce to our artists as well as other artists and galleries.”
“Show Up” features paintings, photography and sculpture by emerging and established artists, a mix that Shaw says is integral to Red Arrow’s mission to expand its collector base while helping artists grow. in their career.
“We work hard for our artists. We’re not just like ‘the month you have a show is when you count.’ Our artists matter all year round,” she says. “We’re always talking about you and trying to sell your work, whether you’re just starting out or you’re more prominent. The artists we work with, as well as our collectors, are like family to us.
Artists in the exhibition include Aaron Worley, Annie Brito-Hodgin, Ashanté Kindle, Bethany Carlson-Coffin, Dana Oldfather, Daniel Holland, Danielle Winger, Desmond Lewis, Duncan McDaniel, Emily Weiner, Georganna Greene, Johnson Ocheja, John Paul Kesling , Julian Rogers, Lauren Gregory, Lindsy Davis, Matt Christy, Marcus Maddox, Marlos E’van, Nuveen Barwari, Pam Marlene-Taylor, Paul Collins, Reneesha McCoy and Ripley Whiteside.
A closing reception for “Show Up” will be held at 6 p.m. on May 26 in the East Gallery of the Parthenon. Free entry.
Be sure to also check out Red Arrow Gallery’s other exhibition showing this month: “Mundus Inversus,” through May 29 at the East Nashville location at 919 Gallatin Ave. Curated by Emily Weiner, the exhibition features sculptures, paintings and installations by five American artists: Donté Hayes, Kimia Kline, Sara Mejia Kriendler, Linda Lopez and Weiner herself. The show explores the relationship between mundane and dominant notions of material value and symbolic forms. The show was organized with the support of a grant from the Tri Star Arts 2021 Current Art Fund.
If you are going to
When: until June 5
Or: Nashville Parthenon, 2500 West End Ave.
Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-4.30pm; Sunday 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Admission: $10; $8 for young people aged 4 to 17 and seniors aged 62 and over; free for members and children under 4 years old.
More information: www.theredarrowgallery.com or www.nashvilleparthenon.com/exhibits