The Frist Center for the Visual Arts opens two amazing exhibitions Friday, November 4, 2016 that run through January 16, 2017. Samurai: The Way of the Warrior is a dramatic and historical exhibition that examines the traditions of this legendary warrior class whose political dominance affected Japanese art and culture for nearly seven hundred years. Also, Harmony Korine: Shadows and Loops opens; with their crude figures, rough surfaces, and distorted patterns, Harmony Korine’s paintings emphasize expression over nuance, instability over clarity.
Samurai: The Way of the Warrior
Samurai: The Way of the Warrior features more than ninety elaborately ornamented functional and decorative objects created between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. This dynamic exhibition provides insight into the life of these warriors and investigates their moral, cultural, and aesthetic codes. The exhibition is drawn from the rich holdings of the Museo Stibbert, a museum primarily devoted to arms and armor in Florence, Italy.
“The Stibbert’s Japanese collection is considered one of the oldest, largest, and most important outside of Japan,” says Frist Center curator Katie Delmez. “In this exhibition, our visitors will have a rare opportunity to see firsthand the fine craftsmanship and remarkable creativity harnessed to make these utilitarian works of art.”
With a selection of nine full suits of armor, twelve expressive helmets (kabuto), and numerous decorated swords (katana) and sword fittings, along with a monumental sixty-foot handscroll, sumptuous standing screens, and lacquer wares, Samurai: The Way of the Warrior showcases the skill of medieval and early modern Japanese artisans.
“While functional in its ability to protect the wearer, armor for the elite samurai was also very visually striking, intricately constructed with materials such as bearskin, buffalo horn, horsehair, ivory, lacquer, and silk,” says Delmez. “The armor was designed to express the individuality and power of the warrior and, when not in use, was often displayed in his home.”
Samurai, a term that roughly translates as “those who serve,” refers to the elite warriors who played an important role in Japanese politics and society from the late twelfth century until the mid-nineteenth century. Shōguns, or supreme military leaders, governed Japan as de facto rulers until 1867 when the military government was abolished and the emperor returned to power. The values emphasized by the samurai included loyalty, courage, honor, and personal cultivation. During prolonged periods of peacetime and stability, the samurai increased their attention to aristocratic pastimes such as poetry, music, and tea ceremonies.
Free Family Festival Sunday November 6
Bring the family Sunday, November 6 for a free Family Festival Day, from 1:00 until 5:30 pm, that will celebrate the cultural and historical aspects of the exhibition Samurai: The Way of the Warrior. Join in the unique gallery experiences, fun art-making activities, and exciting performances. All programs are free, appropriate for all ages.
Wishing Chair Productions Presents: The Stonecutter at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. The Nashville Public Library’s own Wishing Chair Productions brings their award-winning team of puppeteers to present the Asian folk tale The Stonecutter. This mesmerizing production is modeled after a traditional form of Japanese puppet theater called bunraku.
Matsuriza Taiko Drummers at 2:30 and 4:30 p.m. Taiko are traditional Japanese drums that have been used in ceremonies and festivals for centuries to communicate without words. Join the Matsuriza Drummers from Orlando, Florida, to be mesmerized by their rolling, clashing, dramatic sound and choreography.
Artful Tales: The Story of the Peach Boy at 2:00, 3:00, and 4:00 p.m. Momotaro, or the Peach Boy, is a popular hero of Japanese folklore who is celebrated through storytelling, song, film, and festivals. Our story will be presented through a form of Japanese street theater called kamishibai, or paper play, on a miniature stage.
Visit one of the sensory stations in the exhibition Samurai: The Way of the Warrior and be transported to far-off lands through sight, scent, and touch. Pick up a Seek & Find guide at the entrance of the exhibition to see if you and your family can find all of the magical birds, slithering dragons, and other beasts decorating the objects in the exhibition Samurai: The Way of the Warrior.
Origami Samurai Helmets: The kabuto, or helmets, worn by samurai were an important part of their armor and equipment. Not only did these helmets provide protection in battle, they were often decorated with shapes and creatures central to Japanese culture and mythology. Origami, or folding paper, has been a popular form of paper sculpture for centuries. Stop by Studio B to try your hand at creating your own origami samurai helmet.
Nobori Warrior Flags: A nobori is a type of Japanese banner that was used in public processions and on the battlefield in feudal Japan to identify a group of samurai. Today, contemporary versions of nobori are used at sporting events, in political campaigns, and for business advertisements. Visit Studio C to design your warrior identity on a small nobori flag.
Visit the Martin ArtQuest Gallery to experiment with a variety of exciting hands-on art activities, ranging from figure drawing to print making. Create a watercolor painting, take a spin on our printing press, and enjoy additional art-making activities with your family.
Free admission with nonperishable food items on Mondays
The Frist Center for the Visual Arts will offer free admission to guests bringing nonperishable food items for Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee on Mondays through December. The items most needed by Second Harvest this year are peanut butter, canned chicken or tuna, canned vegetables, canned fruit, pasta and cereal. Since 2012, visitors to the Frist Center have donated 20,989 pounds of food, which equates to 17,491 meals.
“It is an unfortunate reality that one in seven people, including one in five children, struggle with hunger in our community,” said Jaynee Day, president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. “We are so thankful for our continued partnership with the Frist Center and the collective generosity of its guests for helping provide food to our neighbors who need it most.”
Organized in 1978, Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee is a private, not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization. Second Harvest’s mission is to feed hungry people and work to solve hunger issues in our community. Second Harvest distributes food and other products to approximately 450 nonprofit partner agencies in 46 counties in Middle and West Tennessee. Partners include food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, childcare facilities, senior centers, group homes, and youth enrichment programs. For more information on Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee and its programs, please visit secondharvestmidtn.org.
Celebrate the End of Prohibition at the Frist!
Repeal Day Party Monday, December 5, 5:32–8:32 p.m.
In November 1933, the cornerstone was laid for the downtown Nashville U.S. post office, now the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Prohibition was repealed on December 5, 1933, at 5:32 p.m. Come celebrate the end of prohibition with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails mixed by renowned Nashville bartenders Jonathan Howard, John Peet, and Riley Perrin. This is a 21-and-over event, and the attire is ‘Speakeasy Casual’ (1920s and 1930s inspired). This event is hosted by Beegie Adair, Amanda and Ryan Blanck, Sara and Andrew Burd,,Tammi Edwards, Heather and Jeff Middleton, Ben Payne, Monica Ramey, Powell Regen, Ken Roberts Jr. and Robin Haney, Cass Teague, and Cassandra Teague-Walker.
Cass Teague’s birthday happens to be December 5, and he and his sister Cassandra encourage you to come celebrate his birthday by supporting the Frist. Proceeds will support the ongoing care of the Frist Center’s historic building. If you have questions, contact Veronica Premdas at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615.744.4917. Old Forester®, Brown-Forman, Athens Distributing Company, Nashville Lifestyles, and the Clean Plate Club are sponsoring this event. Old Forester is the only bourbon continually distilled and marketed by the founding company before, during, and after Prohibition.Tickets are $50 for members, $75 for non-members.