by Karen Parr-Moody
Now in its 20th year, the University School of Nashville’s lively and inviting Artclectic has become an annual tradition. It elicits excitement for all involved, while raising funds for USN’s Artclectic Endowment Fund for Innovative Teaching.
USN is a private coed school comprised of students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade, who receive art instruction as part of the curriculum. Artclectic is a juried art show that brings together more than 50 artists from across the country to show their work, which includes painting, sculpture, photography, ceramics, mixed media, jewelry, glass, and more.
This year’s Artclectic takes place from October 27 to 29 at the school’s campus at 2000 Edgehill Avenue. It is organized by chairs Angie Howard, Loraine Lippolis, and Dana Strupp.
The atmosphere at this three-day event is typically informal and friendly, no matter how prestigious its participants. Thirty percent of the artists’ sales go toward a fundraising effort that generates about $70,000 each year.
The show launches on Thursday evening with the Patron’s Party, a passed-appetizers event during which about 600 guests will hobnob with two “anniversary” artists, Nashville’s Ed Nash and Charlotte Terrell. Tickets are $125.
“It’s a room full of energy and excitement,” Artclectic coordinator Susan Chapman says of the party. “I love seeing people walk out with huge pieces of art at the end of the night, carrying it to their cars.”
This elevated party that kicks off the event has been sold out for three years in a row. “It’s been very successful for us,” Chapman says.
More Artclectic events will unfold on Friday, as students from USN tour the gallery, meeting the artists and viewing demonstrations. The excitement will continue Friday night with ARTBash, a gallery party and art sale that is open to the public for $10 per person and offers light fare and a cash bar. It will include a pop-up gallery hosted by David Lusk Gallery.
“That’s new and fresh,” Chapman says of the pop-up gallery. “It’s going to be spectacular.”
About 60 people serve on the Artclectic committee, bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the event. One of the more dramatic aspects of Artclectic is the “gallery”—the school’s gym, which is transformed into a black backdrop for the artists’ work, complete with high ceilings and gorgeous lighting.
“We impress the kindergarteners and the adults,” Chapman says. “It’s such a different-looking show. The art just really glows. We bring in a professional lighting company and it’s just stunning.”
While it isn’t unheard of for a school to produce an art show as a fundraiser, Artclectic is certainly different in its look and feel. “It’s a gallery feel in the school gym, where most of the events are held; it doesn’t look like a school gym,” Chapman says. “And our Patron’s Party is $125 to attend, so that is a bit more unusual.”
On Saturday, October 29, the Artclectic gallery is open to the public, with free admission, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nashville sculptor Alex Lockwood will demonstrate his process during Family Art Activities from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Also on Saturday, POPclectic Market will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is a curated artisan market that features crafts and goods priced at $75 or less, as well as food vendors for lunch.
Loraine Lippolis organizes POPclectic Market and says, “It just provides some diversity to what’s available, and it provides an opportunity for the kids to shop.” Lower-priced items are available at POPclectic, including T-shirts, small ceramics, bracelets, and headbands.
For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit www.artclectic.org.