Kevin Gordon: Folk Art Collector & Musician
Riverwood Mansion • June 18
by Rebecca Pierce
For Kevin Gordon, music and collecting art have been intersecting and overlapping worlds in his career for nearly two decades. His show at Riverwood Mansion offers a rare opportunity to experience both art forms at the same time, to learn about his personal journey into art collecting, how it ties into the music he makes, and why he’s written songs about a couple of the artists whose work he has collected.
As a successful musician, the singer/songwriter is known for his roots music sounds on albums such as Gloryland, O Come Look at the Burning, Down to the Well, and Cadillac Jack’s #1 Son. His songs have been recorded by Keith Richards, Levon Helm, Irma Thomas, and more.
His appreciation of contemporary folk art was ignited by an exhibition catalog he stumbled upon at Davis-Kidd Booksellers. “It was for a traveling show, a survey of folk art from the South from 1930 to 1980, and I was fascinated. There were short biographies of all the artists, and I just got eaten up,” Gordon recounted. “It occurred to me that you could actually go visit these people. So I started going to visit Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Joe Light, and Mose Toliver and his daughter Annie, and it was the start of a collecting obsession.” Gordon was meticulous about keeping journals after he visited with an artist, and he plans to present some of that material alongside the work.
Selections from Kevin Gordon’s collection will be on view at Riverwood Mansion from June 16 to 18. As part of Unbound Art’s Third Thursdays at Riverwood Mansion, Nashville Arts Magazine publisher Paul Polycarpou will lead a conversation with Gordon about his music and art collection on June 18 at 7 p.m. Gordon will also perform a few numbers.