April 2018

Gordon Jewish Community Center | April 21–22

WORDS Peter Chawaga

Peggy Bilbro, The Conversation, 2016, Photo print on metal, 16” x 20”

East Nashville may have a reputation as the city’s haven for eclectic, urban creatives. And midtown may boast some of Nashville’s best academically minded exhibitions. But for the last five years, Art on the West Side has been the creative hub to the left side of town.

This year’s event will open on April 21 with a cocktail reception and continue through April 22. As always, it will be held at the Gordon Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Belle Meade, which hosts art exhibits year-round. The JCC will receive 30 percent of artists’ sales from the event to further its youth programming and art instruction.

Beyond serving local West Side artists and patrons, the event will draw a national collection of works for sale.

“Art on the West Side hosts artists representing a variety of mediums from all over the United States,” says Abby White, a chair for the event and development director at Middle Tennessee State University’s College of Media and Entertainment. “We hope our attendees will see and purchase art from artists they know and support and from artists they’ve never seen before. Every year, we look for new artists our attendees will appreciate and want to make part of their home or wardrobe.”

Among the more than 50 participating creatives will be Harold Krauss, this year’s “featured artist.” Krauss has received national accolades for his colorist approach to painting, and his work has been exhibited at Fisk University and Nashville’s Parthenon.

Melissa Payne Baker, Climbing Roses, 2017, Acrylic on canvas, 36” x 36”

Cathy Moberg, featured artist from last year’s event, will return with her signature trompe l’oeil sculptural work. Clifford Bailey, who has an early history in Nashville, will be showcasing his modern-inspired paintings after 18 years of focusing his career in Los Angeles. The Florida-based Craig Watts will introduce his award-winning neo-colored wildlife and landscape work to Nashville for the first time.

Finally, for the first time ever, the second day of Art on the West Side will feature a jazz brunch, a chance to peruse the displays along with some smooth jazz, mimosas, and breakfast foods.

All told, it should be another year that shifts Nashville’s art focus to the west. “By showing work that represents a variety of mediums and in different price ranges, we hope to attract anyone who is interested in appreciating art close to home,” White said.

Art on the West Side will be held at the Gordon Jewish Community Center from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 21 and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on April 22. The Jazz Brunch will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on April 22. For more information, please visit www.artonthewestside.org

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