CONNECT THE DOTS Forget pencil and paperruby green Contemporary Art Center presents new works by six Atlanta artists that turn the definition of drawing on its ear. New interpretations employ mousetraps, textiles, computer animation, clay and charcoal. The exhibit is on view through Sept. 28. For details, call 244-7179.
THE GEORGE AND HELEN SPELVIN FOLK ART COLLECTION Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery presents an art show that’s a big fake. The Spelvin collection is actually the creation of artist and UT Knoxville professor Beauvais Lyons, who is also the “curator” for the show. Lyons created the velvet bride paintings, cereal box art and tin can sculptures in the show to provoke questions about folk and outsider artspecifically how we, the viewing public, are influenced by what museums and galleries tout as important or valuable art. The exhibit is up through Oct. 12. For information, call 322-0605.
THE 4TH ANNUAL RENAISSANCE REGIONAL ART EXHIBIT The Renaissance Center’s Visual Arts Gallery presents a juried show with works in all media by artists from Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. The exhibit is on view Sept. 14-Oct. 31. An opening reception with the featured artists is 4-7 p.m. Sept. 14. For information, call 446-4450.
KEVIN TITZER AND THE GRIFFIN BROTHERS TAG Art Gallery in Hillsboro Village presents new works by three emerging young artists who are pushing the outsider art envelope. Wood sculptures by Indiana artist Kevin Titzer are paired with mixed media paintings by Clint and Scott Griffin, two brothers from Canada. The exhibit is on view Sept. 21-Oct. 26, with an opening reception 6-9 p.m. Sept. 21. For information, call 298-2803.
FARRELL MORRIS Local Color Gallery presents a show of wall, table and floor sculptures by well-known Nashville percussionist Farrell Morris. Not too surprisingly, Morris’ sculptures have a musical themethough the abstract instruments he creates in polished and painted wood and brushed aluminum don’t look like any you’d see in an orchestra. The show is Nov. 29-Jan. 15, with an opening reception 2-4 p.m., Nov. 30. For details, call 321-3141.
ARTRAGEOUS Ten Nashville galleries join in this annual art tour and party benefiting Nashville Cares. Patrons are free to take whatever route they like as they gallery-hop around town. You might start at American Artisan and admire Tomas Savrda’s handcrafted metal works and then slip over to Cumberland Gallery for a look at James Lavadour’s paintings. Head toward downtown and stop at Midtown Gallery to smile at Jann Harrison’s whimsical paintings detailing the adventures of Francois, a well-heeled frog. Peek in at Local Color Gallery right next door and follow the art trail to The Arts Company, Zeitgeist, Finer Things and other galleries, 6-9 p.m., Sept. 28. Finally, head to the Gaylord Entertainment Center for the grand finalea late night party that takes its cue from the film Moulin Rouge and lasts 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Unlike past parties, this year’s will offer more than just a headline act and a lot of dance music. Organizers promise, instead, that the whole arena will be transformed into the fabled Paris nightclub and the entire evening will be one very big show. For tickets, call 259-4866.
WHISTLER, SARGENT AND STEER: IMPRESSIONISTS IN LONDON The Frist Center is the only venue for this exhibit of paintings from the Tate Museum in London. Included are works by American expatriates James Whistler (best known for that portrait of his mother) and John Singer Sargent, whose style included brushwork so bold that it earned the artist and his followers the nickname of “the Slashing School.” English artist Philip Wilson Steer, the least well known of the trio, painted landscapes in oil and watercolor, with an emphasis on great expanses of sky. A companion exhibition, “James McNeill Whistler: Prosaic Views, Poetic Vision” runs concurrently. The exhibit is Oct. 11-Jan. 5. For information, call 244-3340.
ANDREW WYETH’S HELGA PICTURES The Cheekwood Museum of Art is one of only a handful of museums selected as a venue for this nationally acclaimed exhibition of over 70 paintings, watercolors and drawings by Wyeth. In the series, painted 1971-1985, the artist focuses on a single model-neighbor Helga Testorf. Helga is presented clothed and nude, indoors and out-of-doors, and in all seasons and times of the day. The story behind how Wyeth created the works, hiding them from everyone including his wife, captured the country’s imagination when they were first made public in 1986. The paintings represent a fascinating study of a woman who evolved as a model from stranger to acquaintance to friend. Still very private, Testorf continues her connection with the Wyeths today, acting as a caregiver for the aging artist. The exhibition is Oct. 27-Jan. 5. For information, call 356-8000.
ANTON WEISS Anton Weiss is the dean of Nashville’s abstract artists and this is his first show at Stanford Fine Art, a gallery on Highway 100 that secured exclusive representation of the artist this summer. Weiss was born in Yugoslavia 67 years ago but immigrated with his parents to Tennessee in 1951. After studying at Watkins Institute, he headed for New York in 1959 and trained with eminent abstract painter Hans Hofmann, a colleague of Matisse, Braque and Picasso. Since that time, Weiss’ fascination for conveying emotions in pure color and shape has never wavered. “It’s the complete reversal of objective art where you get the emotions from concrete images,” he says. “In non-objective art the artist transmits emotions directly to viewersand lets them interpret what they want to see.” The exhibit of Weiss’ latest works is Nov. 1-23. For information, call 352-5050.
FELIX MAXWELL: BEYOND BLACK AND WHITE The Parthenon presents Felix Maxwell, a photo-realist working in pastels from Lewisburg, Tenn. Maxwell is self-taught and has been working in this medium for 30 years, concentrating on gray to white landscapes and portraits. The exhibit is Nov. 9- Jan. 11. For information, call 862-8431.