Local artists are featured in several exhibitions opening this month in the Music City. Some are still living with us, like Michael McBride, while sadly some, like Greg Ridley have transitioned into the afterlife. They are among the many whose visual art works will be on public display this month in various exhibitions in galleries and other facilities throughout the city.
Michael McBride’s current art exhibit “Artistic Diversity” opened Jan. 4 at the TSU Avon Williams Library downtown campus, and closes Feb. 28th. There will be an opening reception at 12 Noon Friday, January 20. “This exhibiton is about the different media that I enjoy using to create art,” says McBride. “There are many styles that will be exhibited in the show. I select my medium by what idea or image that I want to protray. There is not a common theme in the exhibit, but the one characteristic that is noticable is the use of color, which is one of the signatures of my work.”
McBride, a native Tennessean, earned his undergraduate degree in art from Tennessee State University and his graduate degree in painting from Illinois State University. Currently, as an instructor of art at TSU and former adjunct faculty at Watkins College, his commitment to the Nashville art world’s future has always been at the forefront of his own career. McBride was featured in Visions of My People, sixty years of African American art in Tennessee. His current body of work titled “Too Black Too Fast” is a traveling exhibition of art about African- American jockeys and trainers. McBride’s work is included in both private and corporate collections in the US and abroad. His work has been featured on television sitcoms, such as “Living Single,” “The Wayans Bros. Show,” and “The Jamie Foxx Show.” Michael has also illustrated children’s books and book covers for several publishing groups.
Woodcuts Gallery is exhibiting the work of Greg Ridley, including a number of pieces on loan from collectors of his work. They will be featured in an open and public reception January 28 as part of this month’s Jefferson Street Art Crawl, held on the fourth Saturday of each month. Ridley, born in 1925 in Smyrna, Tennessee, died in 2004. He was beloved for his engaging personality and known for his art work in figure, history, landscape, and sculpture.
Also during the Jefferson Street Art Crawl Jan. 28, Art History Class will be in the Susie Brannon McJimpsey Center at 2506 Jefferson St. Downstairs the “Soul Cinema Room” will loop 45 minutes of footage from Solomon Sir Jones, who documented African-American communities in Tulsa, Mound Bayou, and Nashville in the 1920s. Upstairs a “Community Canvas” led by a local artist will help crawlers contribute to the large canvas or to create a painting of their own. The Garden Brunch Cafe, One Drop Ink, Harambe House, Jefferson Street Sound, Alkebu lan Images and Green Fleet are also participating. Immediately following the crawl, Art History Class will host the second installment of “The Parlour” series, dedicated to sharing stories and historical moments in a Harlem Renaissance salon setting.
Centennial Art Center celebrates Metro Parks’ own Hazel King with a homecoming exhibit and sale for one its originals. An artist’s opening reception will be held on Friday, January 20th from 5-7 p.m. This exhibit celebrates Hazel’s 50 plus years of artistic achievement with a wide variety of watercolor and acrylic paintings on display from January 20-30th, 2017.