Celebrate Black History Month with fine art on Jefferson Street

Clemmie Greenlee in Mó Eyewear from Chart Optical. (Artwork from Drafts by Olasubomi)

The Jefferson Street Art Crawl is back, just in time for Black History Month, on Saturday, February 24, 2018, with most venues open from 6-9pm. A tradition since 2016, the Jefferson Street Art Crawl is a vibrant addition and essential part of the Nashville art scene. Best of all it is free to attend, and your purchases of art support some of America’s, and indeed the world’s, finest artists. Here’s a rundown of some places to visit on historic Jefferson Street, both during the crawl and during regular business hours.

Chart Optical’s gallery, The Optical Inclusion, will be highlighting two artists for Black History Month, Jalisa Sullivan showing a photography series commemorating historic Jefferson Street and TSU alumnus Alam Khan featuring a series on canvas called “Rooted in Love.” Also, lovingly known as Nashville’s Mother Teresa, Clemmie Greenlee is beautiful inside and out with the work that she does at Nashville Peacemakers. A portion of proceeds from February sales at Chart Optical and Optical Illusions including the Jefferson Street Art Crawl will go to help raise funds for Clemmie who is on the waitlist for a heart transplant. The exhibition is curated by May Hwen, proprietor of Chart Optical, located at 1037 Jefferson St., Suite E. Call (615) 833-8225 for hours and appointments.

The Garden Brunch Café will show new selections from resident artists James Threalkill and Jordan Carpenter. They will also have a selection from other local artists on view through February. The Garden Brunch Café is located at 924 Jefferson St., Nashville’s premier brunch venue is now open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9am – 2pm. Call (615) 891-1217 or (615) 891-1217.

Woodcuts Framing and Gallery will have a group show titled “Remember” with originals and prints that focus on the African American experience. Come see works by Ludie Amos, Terry and Jerry Lynn (Twin), Greg Ridley, Charley Palmer, Omari Booker, and Thaxton Waters, and maybe meet some of the artists. Woodcuts Framing and Gallery is located at 1613 Jefferson St., open 10 -5 daily and 10-3 on Saturdays.

One Drop Ink, Marvel, Fellavision, and Norf Art Collective present the Black Panther Art Immersion featuring local artists illustrating Heroes, Legends and Queens inspired by the Black Panther Series, a continuation of the Nashville Black Panther Black Geek Week events and celebration of Black History Month by Black Antiquity. During the crawl, visit One Drop Ink Gallery to step into Wakanda and follow the journey of T’challa to the Throne. Come in royal attire or cosplay. They will be open late, from 6-11pm. One Drop Ink Tattoo Parlour and Gallery is located at 1106 Ed Temple Blvd., one block over from 28th and Jefferson.

Cultural Visions Art is delighted to present beautiful diverse art featuring talented artists from the US and around the world. For February, their continuing theme “Diversity Through Art” includes artists Ephraim Urevbu, Nigeria; Essud Funcap, Haiti; H.C. Porter and Eric Jones; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Sir Shadow, Harlem, New York; and Alice Gatewood Waddell, Bowling Green, Kentucky, at 624A Jefferson Street, during the crawl.

Also of interest at local educational institutions on Jefferson Street:
Art Corner at the Tennessee State University Main Campus Library has featured Artist Glenda Alvin. Art Works at Avon Williams Library has featured Artist Billy Martinez. The Hiram Van Gordon Memorial Gallery on the Main Campus of TSU current exhibition is Where in the World is Joel Batey? featuring artwork by Joel Lamar Batey from notable Nashville collectors on view through February 26th. Next up is a Student Show: A Retrospective: March 2018 – April 2018

At Fisk University, the John Hope and Aurelia Franklin Library has a Special Collections exhibition entitled “The Julius Rosenwald Fund: A Retrospective” which opened on February 8 and continues through May 7, 2018.