University School of Nashville | October 19–21
WORDS Stephanie Stewart-Howard
University School of Nashville again hosts its extraordinary art event and benefit, Artclectic, October 19–21, showcasing and selling remarkable works. Artclectic coordinator Susan Chapman, in her fifth year with the show, says she loved it long before she was a part of it—and for the school’s parents, alumni, and long-term patrons, the same is almost universally true.
The three-day event features something for everyone, as the school’s gym transforms as though by magic into a gallery filled with glorious works of all kinds. As Chapman says, whether you want something wonderful to hang on your wall, a coffee mug or bowl for your kitchen, a garden sculpture, or a delicate and exquisite piece of jewelry, it’s all there. From the door, she says, you can easily see works from a huge percentage of artists; it’s overwhelming until you walk in and can focus on individual pieces that draw your eye.
Chair Lori Fishel says, “Artclectic is more than just an art show; it’s a community party with art and jewelry. Our artists come from all over the country—and we have great representation of different mediums. Our ArtBash community party, Friday night, is a great way to see the show in a party environment. Popclectic, on Saturday, is a fun addition to the juried art in the main gallery. There’s truly something for everyone.”
This year’s featured artists, all Nashville residents, are Caroline Allison, Kit Reuther, and Vadis Turner, and they are working closely with senior Sarah Knight. Knight exemplifies the impact the show has on students; having worked with Artclectic for several years, she plans her own long-term career in art management. Of the three spotlighted artists, Chapman says, “They all have such different work, but it’s also complementary.”
Bryce McCloud will preside over a community art project this year. Additionally, Chapman says they have 25 artists new to Artclectic for 2017, including two recent USN alumni: Bennet LeMaster and Josh Yazdian. Saturday, as always, will feature art activities for kids.
Artclectic provides the kind of experience that brings individuals, couples, and families in for hours—it’s an outing, not a quick visit for most. Many return for multiple days to get in the whole experience, from the lush grown-up Thursday night patrons party to family-friendly Saturday.
The show brings plenty of excitement to the adult art-buying crowd at all levels, but it’s the impact on the children—life-changing in some cases—that helps make it special. Chapman relates the story of seeing a group of 5- and 6-year-olds from USN brought in to see the show. As the doors opened, she heard a 6-year- old boy tell a slightly younger girl, “This is the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see,” with a sense of awe and wonder. Clearly, exposure to events like this one can influence these children for life. And we need more pure joy in the world.
If you haven’t been before, Chapman advises that you be prepared to “be stunned by what you see. You’ll walk into a gym space transformed, magical. You can so easily fall in love with jewelry, paintings, ceramics, sculpture . . . you’ll begin to rethink what art is—touchable, approachable, beautiful things for your home or even to adorn yourself—down to your favorite daily coffee cup.”
Artclectic runs October 19–21 at University School of Nashville. For more information, visit www.Artclectic.org.