About Joe Nolan

Joe Nolan is the visual arts editor. He is a poet, musician, artist and critic who distills the city's gallery scene from Nashville's east side. Find out more about his projects at joenolan.com. (Photo of Joe Nolan by John Rogers)

Downtown Presbyterian Church Celebrates 20 Years in the Arts

Once, art and religion played nice: The Catholic Church underwrote Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel fresco, and its patronage of the arts ensured that religious subjects remain among the most popular in Western art. And even as recently as the 1930s, Nashville artist William Edmondson claimed that a divine voice commanded him to sculpt. But these days, […]

Selvage Opens Tonight at TSU

An exhibition of contemporary, abstract textile art opens tonight at TSU. Nashville Scene Arts Editor, Laura Hutson curated the show with local artist Jodi Hays, and the two have pulled together quite a lineup. In addition to local luminaries like Alex Blau and Courtney Adair Johnson, Selvage includes a selections by a TSU professor and […]

Should Nashville Have Two Art Crawls?

Nashville’s First Saturday Art Crawl came creeping to life eight years ago when a collection of newbie galleries in the Arcade joined forces with the commercial art spaces on Fifth Avenue to create a monthly one-stop art event that shifted the gravity of the city’s art scene. Today, the crawl is as good as it’s […]

Polish Posters Play with Protest at Vanderbilt University

France’s Belle Epoque came to an end with the first rumblings of World War I. The period had lasted for more than a quarter-century, and its peace, optimism and artistic advancements were celebrated in its stylized posters. If World War I ended the Great Poster Period in Paris, World War II prompted another in Poland. […]

See Mystic Truths Saturday Night

While I was at the Arts & Music at Wedgewood/Houston events this past Saturday night, I struck up a conversation with Zack Rafuls about a show of work by Co. H — Rafuls is the art collective’s current chair. Co. H is a student group at Watkins that’s been active since 2011 — fulfilling the […]

The Secret Room at Threesquared

Last Friday night I went to the opening of The Secret Room at Threesquared. The exhibition included videos and paintings by David Hellams, Jaime Raybin and Jenna Maurice — all three of whom work for Watkins as admissions recruiters. The trio all log lots of time on the road, evangelizing talented teens on the value […]

Shana Kohnstamm and Carrie Alter at Rymer

Figuratively Speaking is a new exhibit at Rymer that finds gallery director Natalie Dunham presiding over a show that she juried, choosing a handful of work from a flood of submissions that came in from all over the globe. While Dunham chose all the work without knowing any information about the artists who made the individual […]

Pay-What-You-Want at J. Todd Greene’s Art Sale Tomorrow

Laura Hutson and I have been talking a lot lately about how Nashville’s art scene has evolved over the last three decades. Thinking back on some of the highlights over the years, one of the first things that came to mind for me was artist J. Todd Greene’s Paw Paw Sermons painting series. In 1997, […]

Virtually Real: Ann Catherine Carter at 40AU

Ann Catherine Carter‘s Nothing Never Happens exhibit at 40AU is yet another entry in the big, bold abstractions category in a local spring season that’s been packed with shows of similar work. It’s not a bad thing to be a part of a trend, but I point it out as timely comparisons always inspire a […]

Spend Time with Karen Seapker this Weekend

I was chatting online with Laura Hutson last weekend about her story in the Nashville Scene and the happenings at the Art Crawl and in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. She missed the weekend events — she was busy researching an upcoming Nashville Scene cover story out of town — so I promised to keep my eyes open at the […]

Adrienne Outlaw: Breaking Bread at BNA

As the summer months come into view, many of us have travel on our minds. Whenever I go out of town I always check to see what interesting exhibits might be showing in and around my destination. However, the Metro Nashville Airport Authority’s Arts at the Airport program offers sights worth seeing that don’t even […]

Dark Delights: Megan Kimber at Julia Martin Gallery

A visit to the online galleries at Megan Kimber’s website finds illustrative work that would be right at home in a young adult fantasy and commissioned portraits which feature the artist’s own quirky tweaks. But a visit to Julia Martin Gallery during the month of March reveals a collection of narrative paintings featuring macabre palettes […]

Seed Space Blossoms at Track One

While plenty of folks turned up for the grand opening of the new David Lusk space at the Arts & Music at Wedgewood/Houston event last Saturday night, gallerygoers in the know found even more to like at Track One where Seed Space’s brand new digs hosted a light art installation that was the most fun […]

Vids in the Hall

One of the biggest surprises of February’s First Saturday event was Zack Hall’s video installation at 444 Humphreys Street. It was the artist’s very first show in a gallery – sort of. The Humphreys space is a porch with a lot of windows in the same Wedgewood/Houston neighborhood building that houses both the Julia Martin […]

Once Upon a Time in Nashville: Casey Pierce’s New West

This review was originally published by Nashville Arts Magazine. That piece was edited for length. The following version restores the review to its original word count.  Nashville painter Casey Pierce’s new series of large narrative paintings depicts scenes from the Old West. But, while these canvases are loaded with badmen, bullets and buttes, they’re also […]

Abstract Boundaries and Big Black Birds at Tinney Contemporary

The 5th Avenue galleries are the centerpiece of the First Saturday Art Crawl and Tinney Contemporary consistently sets the pace for the busy block when it comes to smart art. The space is closing the year with a bang, hosting a show that reintroduces a new Nashville favorite alongside an exhibition that finds an art […]

Cumberland Gallery’s Small & Large Packages is Full of Surprises

A bustling group of gallery-goers braved the beginnings of this weekend’s bad weather on Thursday night to participate in a Nashville art scene holiday tradition: the opening reception for the 19th Annual Holiday Exhibition: Small & Large Packages at Cumberland Gallery. It was a friendly hang that found artists, collectors, dealers and designers looking back on 2013 […]

Tony Youngblood Debuts His BYOB Short Film

Man-about-town Tony Youngblood is constantly stirring up Nashville’s art and experimental music scenes with his Theatre Intangible blog and podcast, and his hosting of the Noa Noa experimental music house concert series. For the September Art Crawl, Youngblood put together a Bring Your Own Beamer show at Track One for the Art & Music @ […]

Homeless Portraits Focus on People, not Poverty

Samuel Lester’s Nostos art gallery debuted at November’s First Saturday Art Crawl, hosting a grand opening exhibition of photography by Contributor founder Tasha French Lemley. Lemley’s portraits of Nashville’s homeless reach beyond her seven years of heading the street newspaper to include more than a decade of documenting our neighbors on Nashville’s streets. The photographs […]

30 Americans Recalls Dark History While Celebrating Black Identity

  30 Americans at the Frist is a massive exhibition of painting, sculpture, photography and video celebrating three decades of contemporary art by African-Americans. Easily the highlight of Nashville’s fall art season, this show demands multiple visits. I’ve only been once so far, but here are my first impressions. With “A Bull, a Rose, a […]