The Jackie Robinson biopic, 42, won the box office race last weekend, opening in the #1 spot and earning $27.3 million. 42 also scored the largest ever debut on record for a baseball film. The movie was a favorite of critics and audiences alike, earning a very rare “A+” CinemaScore grade from polled audiences.
42, the biopic feature film based on baseball great Jackie Robinson, has a strong Tennessee connection. The movie filmed scenes at Chattanooga’s historic Engel Stadium, which doubled as Brooklyn’s iconic Ebbets Field, and other locations in Chattanooga. The production spent an estimated $5 million in Tennessee and helped with revitalization efforts for the landmark Engel Stadium.
Chadwick Boseman stars as Robinson, the heroic and courageous African American who was the first man to break the color line in the big leagues and whose uniform number is the only one to be retired by Major League Baseball. Harrison Ford stars as legendary Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey, the MLB executive who first signed Robinson to the team.
“42″ was written and directed by Academy Award winner Brian Helgeland.
Nashville’s Frist Arts Center is enjoying a brisk response to its Rembrandt-The Dutch Golden Age art exhibit. As visitors pass through the parking lot entrance hall, they are treated to another treasure exhibit a bit less celebrated. The hallway is dressed with several displays of Tennessee student artworks which speak quite positively to the value to art education in schools.
As undeniably justified is the praise for the Rembrandt exhibit pieces, these art works by Tennessee students are indeed also displays of fine quality. The talents portrayed are every bit as deserving of recognition as the main gallery masterpieces. The stunning diversity and skill presented in the over twenty works is very impressive and praiseworthy.
While planning your next daytrip to do the ‘Nashville Thing,’ make room on your agenda to stop by The Frist and at the very least stroll along its parking lot entrance hallway and enjoy the views of young Tennesseans who have something to say.
[Photos by Turner McCullough Jr./JazzWaves Imaging Solutions]
Finally, it’s beginning to feel like Spring! And just in time as Saturday night was near perfect for the Nashville Art Crawl and the opening of the new housing of the Tennessee Art League. 5th Avenue North was busy with people roaming and moving along through the many art houses what with the Bernie Taupin exhibit at Rymer Gallery four doors down from the T. A. L. gala at 219 5th Avenue North. Kress Gallery had live music on the sidewalk and The Arcade was its own entertainment with its distinct attractions.
While the Tennessee Art League is the new kid on the block, 5th Avenue-wise, they were by no means the novice in attracting guests. The new venue is spacious, with a bright, open and welcoming feel that saw visitors flowing through the doors the entire night. The atmosphere was cheery and conversation was lively and brisk. New member-artists provided more than a little stimulation for the impulse to become a supporter of the arts as guests became enamoured of diverse works and made purchases as the night moved along. Smiles and the joy of ownership were readily visible on many faces that filled The Gift Shop.
Newcomer artist-member Bernie Wilson has several motion statuettes on display in The Gift Shop. Though modest in scale, the motion sculptures are captivating in concept and form. Each piece is indeed a working piece of art reflecting culture, simplicity and elegance in approach. Wilson himself is a warm and affable man with lively eyes, a ready smile and easy personality. He is eager to share his art and most appreciative of compliments.
The exhibit hall arena was awash in visual stimulation of every type. Paintings, photography, woodturning, sculpture, 3-D paintings, mixed media, it is all there, in delightful numbers and wondrous style. Some familiar names from the T.A.L.’s more senior members mixed easily alongside the newer kids just come to the block, so to speak. Clarksville artist Tess Lankovich eagerly pointed out her two works of water color paintings.
Jazz Music artist Ev Niewoehner was on hand to witness the gala crowds and has several of his colorful music infused panels displayed throughout the gallery hall. Neiwoehner is also the featured exhibition artist of the month as the T.A.L. celebrates its new digs. Born in rural Iowa, at age ten, his family moved to Colorado where he graduated from Fort Collins High School. He earned history degrees from Colorado State University and the University of Northern Colorado. He also studied art at several universities. After teaching at the high school level, he owned and operated an art gallery in Los Angeles. Teaching opportunities brought him to Tennessee, where he taught for 21 years. Retiring from teaching 1999 has allowed him to commit to his first love, oil painting, full time. Although he has painted in several genres, the theme of music has dominated the bulk of his work, with quite impressive results. These works evoke an undeniable sense of jazz and the atmosphere in which one enjoys that uniquely American music art form. From Cuban drums to alto trumpets, to a small combo group bathed in cinnamon lights, the viewer is made part and parcel of the work.
Bob Jones has some of his astounding pen and ink hand drawings on the walls and it must be noted that the detail he achieves by hand is breathtaking. His, “Lost in Thought” is one such example. Those who were fortunate to see his “Miles Davis” will attest to the unbelievable skill and effect this artist can produce. Noriko Register was also spotted in the gallery hall with smiles for the new visitors. Barry Werner has another woodturning piece on display this month as well. While he gives Mother Nature credit for doing the really hard work, his skill at bringing out the beauty hidden within the wood pieces is beguiling.
Nashville newcomer John Cranshaw has found himself a comfortable base with The T.A.L. Music City has indeed influenced his artistic perspective. From his evocative beach and waterfront vistas of late 2012, Nashville’s music scene has taken hold of his most prolific brush strokes and rendered him a avid portraitist of his new muse, the music of Nashville. This new skin fits him well. Vibrant, lively and evocative, he and his new muse are a good match.
Clarksville has another artist included in this exhibition. The Customs House Cultural Museum’s own Terri Jordan features works from her ‘Spanish Lady’ series of paintings. Sculpture has a place and plenty of it to shine at 219 5th Avenue North. There modest clay creations as well as near full-scale human form works throughout the gallery. “African Boy” and “Torso # 2 are examples of the variety displayed within the gallery.
A treasured carryover from the Broadway location is the T.A.L.’s Poston Gallery. This gallery space, now known as ‘The Poston’ is given over to Open Arms Care Corporation’s unique art program- Artistic Realization Technologies A.R.T), and the YMCA’s artEmbrace program.
Open Arms is an organization that provides intermediate care facility services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Nashville. Its A.R.T. program allows clients, many of whom are unable to speak, walk or hold a paint brush, to control the creative process via a laser pointer that is secured to their head. The pointer allows the client to direct a tracker, (the person painting) as to how they would like their canvas to look. The tracker works directly with a client, asking an infinite series of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions. Trackers use a board of colors and a canvas. They continue asking questions until the painting is exactly how the client wants it. A variety of different sized frames and artists are presented in this month’s exhibition.
artEMBRACE is a comprehensive multi-cultural arts education after-school art program in the YMCA’s line-up of after-school programs in five counties throughout Middle Tennessee. Currently in its seventh year, local professional teaching artists travel to over 100 after-school programs each semester to share their talents in a wide variety of visual and performing arts with hundreds of kids all over Middle Tennessee. The mission of artEMBRACE is to use art education to positively affect the lives of students, improving their chances to lead successful lives by developing creativity, improving learning skills and building self-confidence.
The artEMBRACE after School Artwork Exhibit consists of matted and framed prints from workshops taught by local artist and T.A.L. vice-president Maylynd Augelli and hand sculpted clay creations from workshops taught by local artist Sophia Stevenson. All of these works are original creations, made by the students. There is no computer generated design among these works. These are the students own creations. The images are impressive.
While The Nashville Scene rightly tauted the Bernie Taupin exhibit at The Rymer Gallery, the grand unveiling of The Tennessee Art League’s new digs on 5th Avenue North was no less a spectacular success. Well attended with a steady flow of eager viewers, warm and friendly conversation, good vibes and ready refreshment, and more than a few pieces moved off the walls.
Here’s wishing them a long and happy residence on 5th.
[Photos by Turner McCullough Jr./JazzWaves Imaging Solutions]
The Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Austin Peay State University announces the two-day performance of Eve Ensler’s famed theatrical work, “The Vagina Monologues.” The performance is open to the public. The play will be staged at Clement Auditorium on the APSU main campus. Admission is $5 at the door.
March is Women’s History Month and this renown theater piece offers much in terms of women voicing truths usually only voiced among close friends. Blatant truths, insight, sincerity and humor are main stays of this world traveled theater play.
For more information, contact the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at 931-221-6314, or email@example.com.
The Tennessee Art League is a unique organization of artists come together to support each other’s pursuit of artistic development and growth and provide the viewing public with an opportunity to enjoy artistic expressions on all levels.
For many years, T.A.L. has held sway at 808 Broadway in Downtown Nashville. It has been a stable fixture of the Nashville ‘Art Crawl’s First Saturday’ of the month free city-wide art exhibits gala.With the city of Nashville providing a free shuttle service from 6 to 10 p.m.that transported guests around the loop of downtown art galleries which opened their doors to visitors for the night to view their latest offerings, the Art Crawl has grown to become a fixture of Nashville’s social nightlife scene.
The Tennessee Art League now looks to relocate to a new location more in keeping with the city’s burgeoning chic and hip status as a major metropolitan city. As the ‘Red Doors’ on Broadway prepare for transition to their new home, perhaps a look back at what wonders have been hosted beyond their entrance will grace further interest in the next phase of T.A.L.’s ongoing evolution.
The Tennessee Art League, first and foremost, has given visual artists a showplace to present their work. In a co-op type setting, artists, not just of Nashville, but from across the state have found a nurturing and exciting environment in which they are encouraged to develop their talents and tune their skills to perfection. The term ‘sweat equity‘ is not unfamiliar here as artists find there is more than one way to meet support obligations to the cooperative. However, the main advantage is that all members have opportunity to display their works in the exhibit halls.
Another gift of the group to the community is its support of ‘after-school‘ art programs which give ‘at-risk‘ students an opportunity to explore and develop visual art talent they may not have been aware of, or not had the means to pursue previously. One such program, artEMBRACE, is a comprehensive, multi-cultural arts education program implemented in YMCA after-school programs in five counties throughout Middle TN.
Currently entering into its 7th year, local professional teaching artists are hired to travel to 100+ after school programs each semester to share their talents ranging in a wide variety of visual and performing arts with hundreds of kids all over Middle Tennessee.
The artEMBRACE mission: To use art education to positively affect the lives of students, improving their chances to lead constructive and successful lives by developing creativity, improving learning skills and building self-confidence.
Many wonderful and surprising works have resulted from these programs. Art Embrace has enjoyed exhibit space at T.A.L’s Poston3 Gallery. with many of the finished artworks having been purchased by Art Crawl visitors.
Support of community after-school arts programs notwithstanding, the Tennessee Art League has earned a reputation for fostering artists that extends far beyond the limits of Metro-Davidson County. It regularly hosts the South Central Art Exhibition where works from national artists are displayed in a juried exhibit. TAL has hosted a special exhibit of Japanese Doll Artwork which brought renewed focus to Nashville art scene. The proximity to the Frist Art Center has meant that shows at each facility have tended to draw attention to the other facility and enhance the public’s awareness and appreciation of exhibits staged at both centers.
TAL has created a legacy of which it can rightly boast is worthy of emulation. Artists find a welcoming, nurturing setting in which to grow their talents, exhibit their work and develop public support and appreciation for their endeavors. Nashville and Tennessee along with the world of art are all the better for it.
[Photos by Turner McCullough Jr./JazzWaves Imaging Solutions]
Austin Peay State University and the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts are pleased to announce the annual Guitar Festival will be held this February. The festival will feature guest artists concerts and master classes.
The concerts are freely open to the public. It is hope that guitar lovers from all areas will take this opportunity to hear the music of guitar masters. All of the concertrs will be held Feb. 18-20 , at 7:30 p.m., in the Music/Mass Communication Building’s Mabry Concert Hall.
The first concert on Feb. 18 will feature award-winning APSU alumnus Gary Stewart and his duo partner Candice Mowbray in a recital of 19th century guitar music. The Feb. 19 concert will feature past National Fingerstyle Champion Richard Smith. The final concert on Feb. 20 will feature award-winning Tennessee State University professor of Guitar Richard Todd.
APSU alumnus Stewart has been a top prizewinner in several national guitar competitions, and his recent recording with the group Apollo’s Fire debuted on the Billboard Classical Top 10. Mowbray performs in a number of classical, jazz and world music ensembles and has been listed as one of the “Top Five People to Watch” by Hagerstown Magazine. Their program will include little-heard 19th century works for two guitars by Mozart, Beethoven, Vidal, Carulli and American turn-of-the-century guitarist William Foden.
British-born, Nashville virtuoso guitarist Smith, protégé of Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed and a past National Fingerstyle champion, will present a program of fingerstyle guitar music in his inimitable entertaining style.
Widely traveled TSU professor of guitar Todd received prizes in several national performance competitions and will present a mixed program of classical guitar music featuring works by Bach, Paganini, Legnani and the Spanish composers Federico Mompou and Regino Sainz de la Maza.
For more information about the guitar festival, contact APSU professor of music Dr. Stanley Yates at 221-7351.
Sylvia is a dog. A labradoodle to be exact. Sometimes on walks she speaks English, discussing philosophy and the universe with her human companion, Greg. More often, she runs excitedly around a New York City apartment, doing dog things such as chewing up books and annoying Greg’s wife, Kate.
“The dog becomes a bone of contention. “It becomes a problem between the husband and the wife, and it’s taken to a ludicrous extreme,” Dr. Sara Gotcher, Austin Peay State University associate professor of theater, said.
Gotcher was referring to A.R. Gurney’s popular play, “Sylvia,” which the APSU Area of Theatre and Dance will present at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13 – 16 and at 2 p.m. on Feb. 17 in the Trahern Theatre. Tickets, which go on sale Feb. 4, are $5 for students and $10 for adults. The local performance will feature APSU students Nina LaRocca, Josh Webb, Christian Jasper and Anne Winters.
The play was a bit of a sensation when it premiered in 1995 with Sarah Jessica Parker in the title role as the labradoodle. Gurney, known for his Pulitzer Prize-nominated drama “Love Letters” and the comedy of manners “The Dining Room,” surprised audiences with the comedic absurdity of “Sylvia.”
“It really is like A.R. Gurney meets ‘Saturday Night Live. “It’s such a wild and wacky play, and it all comes together in the end and resolves itself. It’s really funny,” Gotcher, the play’s director, said.
The play may be funny and about a dog, but Gotcher also warns that it includes adult language and may not be suitable for young audiences.
For more information, contact the APSU Area of Theatre and Dance at 221-6767. To purchase tickets online, visit www.austinpeaytickets.com.
The 55th Annual Grammy Awards Nomination concert on December 5 held a special moment for the Austin Peay State University Music Department. After the concert performances, nominations were announced for the various categories. The nominations list was available online at www.grammy.com/nominees, and that is were the APSU connection was to be found. Near the end of the listing was the category for “Producer of the Year, Classical,” and the name Blanton Alspaugh.
Alspaugh’s Grammy nomination is the result of several superb classical albums he helped usher into existence this year, including “Chamber Symphonies,” by Clarksville’s own Gateway Chamber Orchestra. That album, released last spring by Summit Records, features chamber symphonies by Romanian composer George Enescu and Austrian composers Franz Schreker and Arnold Schoenberg.
“The players may be university faculty members augmented by practicing musicians from the outside community, but in every way these are top notch, professional performances that match or outclass the competition,” music critic Jerry Dubins wrote in his review of the album for Fanfare magazine.
The orchestra, which formed in 2007 and is made up of Austin Peay State University music faculty and other professional musicians, released its debut CD in 2010, “Wind Serenades.” That CD was also put forward for Grammy nominations by leaders in the music industry who recognized the high quality of the music.
“It’s important to understand that we only submit recordings which we believe merit Grammy consideration. “That means that they represent excellence in performance and in production values. Any nomination for Producer of the Year ultimately rests on the artistry on display in these recordings,” Alspaugh said previously.
Dr. Gregory Wolynec, APSU professor of music and the orchestra’s conductor, met Alspaugh several years ago when the producer was on campus recording an album in what is today the Mabry Concert Hall in the APSU Music/Mass Communication Building.
“I just said, ‘Let me send you something. “He listened to it, and he’s the one who called Summit Records and said, ‘You need to make this happen.’ Summit Records got behind it, and then we were able to do the ‘Wind Serenades’ disc,” Wolynec recalled.
That first album was also praised by several music critics and classical music publications, garnering a Grammy nomination for Producer of the Year. The new CD, “Chamber Symphonies,” continues with that trend while building upon the orchestra’s reputation for delivering top-notch performances.
The American Record Guide called the “Chamber Symphonies” disc “bold, powerful, American,” and said the orchestra’s rendition of Schreker’s work is “the most extroverted and bold, with rich, intense colors, a big sound and fine integration of the work’s episodic nature.”
“The main credit has to go to Gregory Wolynec and his outstanding Gateway Chamber Orchestra players for their fantastic achievement,” Dubins wrote in his Fanfare review. “I commend this release to you with my strongest recommendation.”
The “Chamber Symphonies” album was considered for nominations in several Grammy categories – including producer of the year, engineered sound and small ensemble.
The Grammy Award winners will be announced on Feb. 10.
For more information, visit the orchestra’s website, www.gatewaychamberorchestra.com.
Dig out your fishnet stockings and sharpen your stilettos … that sweet transvestite and his motley crew are back! Here by popular demand, the Roxy Regional Theatre’s revival of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW opens Friday, October 19, at 8pm.
Richard O’Brien’s cult favorite tells the story of Brad Majors and his fiancée Janet Weiss (played by Rob Rodems and Kaitlin Doughty), two clean-cut young people on the way to visit an old college professor. When they run into trouble and seek help at the freaky Frankenstein mansion, little do they know that Dr. Frank N. Furter (played by Matt Varelia) is in the midst of one of his maniacal experiments!
Directed and choreographed by Tom Thayer, THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW also features Ryan Bowie and Emily Eden as Riff Raff and Magenta, Michelle Foletta as Columbia, Colin Ryan as Eddie, Matt Casey as Rocky, Humberto Figueroa and Nicole Powell as phantoms, and John McDonald as Dr. Scott. Audiences will be doing the “Time Warp” to live music provided by Tom Thayer on piano, Jarrod Jackson on guitar, Bruce Ervin on bass, Thad Wallus on drums, and Johnny Tubbs on saxophone.
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW is made possible in part through the generous support of Fort Campbell MWR.
This production is rated “M” for Mature. Audience participation is encouraged, and patrons are invited to dress up in their favorite ROCKY HORROR attire. Bags of props will also be for sale in the lobby one hour prior to every performance. The following items, however, will not be permitted: rice, confetti, glitter, toilet paper, squirt guns, lighters, matches, candles, silly spray string, or any other objects which may damage the theatre or injure actors and/or audience members.
THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW runs October 19 through November 10, playing Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, with a special midnight showing on Saturday, October 27, and a 2pm matinee on Saturday, November 3. Tickets are $25 and may be purchased online at www.roxyregionaltheatre.org, by phone at (931)645-7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9am to 2pm, Monday through Friday). Military and APSU students with a current ID can enjoy two-for-one-tickets to Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening performances during the run.
Friday, October 19, is our traditional pay-what-you-can preview of THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW. All tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price will go on sale at 7:30pm that evening for whatever amount patrons are able to pay.
A special midnight showing will be held on Saturday, October 27. Tickets are $25.
Saturday, November 3, is the Roxy’s “Wine & Theatre Night,” during which patrons can enjoy the best of Beachaven Winery and light comestibles along with the 8pm performance. Tickets are $40.