Nashville native, artist, and community leader Carlton Wilkinson has opened his amazing exhibition entitled In The Gallery, Looking at the Past, Present, and Future at Zeitgeist Gallery. The exhibition pays homage to the gallery he curated and ran in north Nashville, In the Gallery, from 1987 to 2007. Wilkinson is a founding figure of North Nashville’s contemporary art scene, and his decades of work as an artist, curator and educator give him an insider’s perspective on what the Jefferson Street art scene has been, and where it might be going
This show began with Wilkinson commissioning the artist and art educator Samuel Dunson to create a new artwork about the In The Gallery experience. That special artwork serves as the centerpiece of the exhibition. Wilkinson asked other former associates of In the Gallery to create artwork to complement this theme. In The Gallery was located at 624 Jefferson Street, in the historic Onyx Building from 1987 through 2007. Dunson’s artwork serves as a commemoration of this era. The building, most recently home to Music City Cleaners, the Onyx Room event space, and a co-working space, was utterly destroyed during the March, 2020 tornado.
Wilkinson invited a variety of artists, many foundational to the Nashville and Jefferson Street creative scene, to comment through their work on their vision of the past, present, and future of the Nashville art scene. Participating artists represent both In The Gallery and Wilkinson Art, which is Carlton’s current art brokerage business. This special collection includes work by renowned artists Barbara Bullock, David Driskell, Sammie Nicely, Sam Gilliam. along with special selections from the African diaspora, also on display. The show also includes a display of works representing the broader spectrum of the art of the African diaspora — a thoughtful addition that brings clarity and context to Wilkinson’s visual storytelling.
In addition to the opening reception with talks and poetry on Saturday, July 10, other programs are being planned, including one tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 24 at 4 p.m., with Sam Dunson, Katie Delmez, and Carlton Wilkinson, moderated by Thaxton Waters. Anna Zeitlin, owner of Zeitgeist, says video will be available for anyone who doesn’t get to attend in person. And she wants you to know that the gallery is open by appointment, and invites you to visit zeitgeist-art.com to schedule your appointment to visit the gallery, located at 516 Hagan Street, #100, in the Wedgewood / Houston district, for free. Masks are required.
Participating artists include (alphabetically): Noris Binet, Craig Brabson, William Buffett, Barbara Bullock, Bill Capshaw, David Cassidy, Gail Clemons, Susan DeMay, David Driskell, Samuel Dunson, Donald Earley, Barbara Hodges, Leroy Hodges, Henry L. Jones, Ted Jones, Gediyon Kifle, Myles Maillie, Drew Morrison, Fred Mutebi, Sammie Nicely, Jairo Prado, Somers Randolph, Ashley Seay, Nii Narku Thompson, Mary Elizabeth Townsel, Thaxton Waters, Kevin Wurm, Carlton Wilkinson, and Lain York. The special collections features work by Vincent Farley, Nancy Hall, Charles Nelson and Larry Owens.
About the painting by Sam Dunson
“The Onyx Building was destroyed by a tornado but its history and spirit live on!,” says Carlton Wilkinson. “On Saturday, July 10 amazing artist Samuel Dunson, unveiled a painting for the show. The painting is entitled, “Reclamation Gathering.” The triptych covers many of the artists who exhibited during the In The Gallery’s 1987 – 2007 history in North / Germantown Nashville. Dunson unveiled the painting during the opening of my show, “In The Gallery: Looking to the Past, Present and Future” at Zeitgeist Gallery. (http://zeitgeist-art.com/in-the-gallery).