Meet Me Under the Giant Wino: 'Laughing Bacchus' at Saturday's Art Crawl


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  • "Laughing Bacchus," by Brian Somerville

In this week's Scene, Joe Nolan writes that Saturday's art crawl will be one of the biggest of the year. The press release that just arrived in my inbox seals the deal.

"Laughing Bacchus" is an 18-foot-tall Styrofoam statue of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, debauchery and drunken orgies. I can't think of a better way to celebrate the mixture of innovation, spectacle and free wine that's made Fifth Avenue such an important part of the local art scene.

The sculpture was created by Brian Somerville as part of his residency at OZ, a fairly new institution that NFocus has already named Nashville's best new venue. Somerville is also new to Nashville, but he's hardly new to art-making. Check out his website,, for a primer on his steampunky, Frank Oz-meets-Kenny Scharf flying monkeys and teapots covered in aboriginal tattoos.

Full press release is after the jump.

Launches First Saturday - June 1, 2013


Nashville, TN — A Summer of Art on 5th Avenue of the Arts presents an expanded First Saturday Art Crawl on June 1, featuring Laughing Bacchus, an 18’x 20’x 20’ sculpture created at OZ in Nashville - to be featured outdoors on the 5th Avenue block during the expanded one-night-only event, 4PM-9PM. One of the first major art events of the summer will showcase 5th Avenue of the Arts unveiling its new Streetscape between Church and Union featuring aesthetic and technological improvements; First Saturday Art Crawl will be expanded with more artistic experiences and more venues participating; and Mayor Karl Dean will be on hand to unveil the newly designed art block by turning on the street’s innovative one-of-a-kind draped lights (approximately 5:15PM)! Illuminating the street’s visionary influence, 5th Avenue of the Arts is moving forward in the 21st Century.


Laughing Bacchus is one of many original artworks created at OZ in Nashville, TN. Tucked away in West Nashville, OZ is an exciting, new art space dedicated to the creation and presentation of world-class contemporary visual and performing arts, and is a destination for the city’s most elite events. Inspired by Meerschaum sculptures and pipes in the Ozgener family collection, Laughing Bacchus is constructed from over 1,100 pounds of Styrofoam. This piece will eventually be finished and permanently installed in the OZ sculpture garden along with two other Bacchus heads, sculpted by OZ Artist-in-Residence Brian Somerville. Located in the former headquarters of CAO Cigars and owned by brand founders, the Ozgener family has created OZ as a way to give back and share their passion for art with Nashville. Already named “Best New Venue” by NFocus magazine, they are excited to bring a variety of new and exciting art to this city. New artistic programming will be announced later this year.


Brian Somerville is new to the Nashville area and is currently the Artist-in-Residence at OZ. Along with collaborating, fabricating and installing in-house OZ art projects, Brian also continues the evolution of his own clay sculptures. Brian received his BFA from the University of Evansville in Indiana and an MFA from Florida Atlantic University in south Florida. He has taught classes and workshops in art and worked as a commercial artist for a number of years. To see more of Brian’s work please

Laughing Bacchus
18’x 20’x 20’, Polystyrene foam (in-progress)
Created at OZ in Nashville, TN
Sculpted by Artist-in-Residence Brian Somerville


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