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Listen: Selected portraits of Nashville’s creative community focus of Curb Center exhibition

by Aug. 31, 2016, 11:15 AM

 

The Curb Center exhibition "Transformations" highlights a selection of portraits of Nashville's creative professionals. Top left, Brett Warren; top middle, Ash Wright; top right, Curb house, (A. Blackman); middle left, Andrea Behrends; middle right, Danielle Atkins; bottom left, Chris Widick Photography; bottom right, Allister Ann.
The Curb Center exhibition “Transformations” highlights a selection of portraits of Nashville’s creative professionals. Top left, Brett Warren; top middle, Ash Wright; top right, Curb house, (A. Blackman); middle left, Andrea Behrends; middle right, Danielle Atkins; bottom left, Chris Widick Photography; bottom right, Allister Ann.

An exhibition of portraits selected from a book on Nashville’s creative professionals is designed to provoke thought about how particular images can shape the narrative about a city that is undergoing significant cultural change.

The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt will host “Transformations: An exhibition inspired by Lily Clayton Hansen’s Word of Mouth: Nashville Conversations” from September through May 2017.

Hansen is a Nashville-based writer who wanted to interview some of the city’s most innovative entrepreneurs to find out what makes them tick and how they helped Nashville become “red-hot” in areas such as the arts, photography, fashion, music and cuisine. Her book, published by Spring House Press in 2015, offers stories and portraits of highly creative professionals who can be an inspiration for others starting their own entrepreneurial ventures.

Each entry is accompanied by a black-and-white image of the spotlighted individual taken by one of four Nashville photographers—Danielle Atkins, Andrea Behrends, Brett Warren or Joshua Black Wilkins—who worked with Hansen on the project.

“In transforming Word of Mouth from a book to an exhibition, Hansen and the four photographers offer insight on their efforts to authentically capture a moment in a creative professional’s life,” said Elizabeth Meadows, assistant director of the Curb Center and senior lecturer in English. “All four chose a small selection from the original shoots and reflected on the choices, techniques and processes they used to collaborate with Hansen on the book.”

For the exhibition, Hansen invited two additional Nashville artists—Carolyn Boutwell and Stephen Watkins—to reinterpret eight original portraits from the book into new media specifically for this show.

A total of 24 highly creative Nashvillians are spotlighted in this exhibition.

Carolyn Boutwell's sculpture of Stephanie Pruitt, an acclaimed poet who graduated from the MFA Program in Creative Writing. (courtesy of Chris Widick Photography)
Carolyn Boutwell’s sculpture of Stephanie Pruitt, an acclaimed poet who graduated from the MFA Program in Creative Writing. (courtesy of Chris Widick Photography)

During the opening reception, which begins at 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, Boutwell will live-sculpt a piece based on Behrends’ portrait of Marleen De Waele-De Bock, a Nashville painter and visual artist who has her own studio/gallery in the historic Arcade downtown. De Waele-De Bock is a native of Belgium who lived in South Africa for more than a decade.

Boutwell has also completed a sculpture based on Atkins’ portrait of Stephanie Pruitt, an acclaimed poet and social practice artist who is a graduate of Vanderbilt’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.

In addition, an artists’ panel that will be moderated by Hansen will take place Sept. 8 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the John Seigenthaler Center, located at 1207 18th Ave. S.

Future programming for the exhibition will include a public conversation, “The Sustainability of Nashville’s Creative Community in the Face of Explosive Growth,” that will be moderated by Dan Cornfield, professor of sociology, Jan. 24, 2017, at the Seigenthaler Center.

The exhibition and opening reception are free and open to the public. For more information, email Heather Rippetoe or call 615-322-2872.

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