The monthly Nashville Art Crawls will be held on Saturday, January 3, 2015, both downtown on the Avenue of the Arts and in the Wedgewood/Houston area near the Adventure Science Center and Negley Park. Get out and enjoy viewing art by some of the finest artists in the region and the world, all for free, with refreshments and live music from 6-9 pm. This month, let’s look at two phenomenal exhibitions at the ground zero of the downtown Nashville Art Crawl, The Arts Company, at 215 5th Avenue of the Arts since 1996.
With ‘InstrumentHead/Nashville,’ Michael Weintrob has captured uniquely intimate expressions of artists’ identities without ever showing their faces. In this exhibit, his subjects include InstrumentHead portraits of approximately 50 Nashville musicians, including Jim Lauderdale, Jeff Coffin (Dave Mathews Band), Victor Wooten (Bela Fleck and Flecktones), Bobby Keys (Rolling Stones), Peter Keys (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Crystal Taliefero (Billy Joel), Tim O’Brien (Hot Rize), Fats Kaplan (Jack White), Alison Brown, Bucky Baxter (Bob Dylan), Jim Oblon (Paul Simon), Shannon and Ashley Campbell, and Kenny Olson (Kid Rock).
Weintrob has been shooting artist portraits and live music professionally since 1998. His InstrumentHead concept evolved by chance when, during a typical portrait photo shoot, Weintrob began suggesting artists put their instruments down their shirts, “just to spice things up a bit and get creative.” His subjects responded so positively to the idea that the series took on a life of its own. Now more than 250 artists from around the world have been invited to participate in the project.
“The first thing I tell the artist is that I’d like to tell their story through the photo, and include what makes them special as a musician,” said Weintrob. “I also ask, ‘How are your fans going to know that it’s you without seeing your face?’ So people show up with all the stuff that distinguishes them, and together we figure out how to incorporate it all into the portrait.”
The Arts Company partners with the Nashville Opera to present a visual art exhibition as a preview for ‘Florencia en el Amazonas,’ the first opera in Spanish to be presented in Nashville. The opera, by Daniel Catán, is a voyage down the Amazon River toward an unexplored jungle paradise that dares to venture deep into the mysteries of the human heart. The audience will take a journey of discovery through the sensual world of magical realism, overflowing with a vibrant orchestral score inspired by the romanticism of Puccini and Debussy.
In a limited-engagement exhibition through January 17, featured artists will display new artwork using the concept of magical realism and incorporating their experience as part of the Latino community in Nashville. The artwork will then be presented during the opera’s run in the lobby spaces at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, January 23, 25, and 27—continuing at the Noah Liff Opera Center, and complete its run in April and May at Casa Azafran, with dates to be announced.