The Nature of Wood

When: Tuesdays-Saturdays. Continues through Jan. 23 2010

Organic Art

If you check out Olen Bryant’s wood sculptures, it’s easy to see why the Cottontown, Tenn., resident won the 2007 Tennessee Governor’s Award in the Arts. Works such as “Gesture” and “A Box” showcase Bryant’s knack for creating exceptionally delicate human faces in pieces of wood, using only the subtlest hints of features to suggest living spirits within his creations. His sculptures are featured in The Nature of Wood, a new exhibit at LeQuire Gallery, alongside several other artists whose collective range shows the exceptional breadth of the medium. William Kooienga’s love for wood—expressed in his thoughtful sculptural explorations of the naked human form—seems only natural for a guy who lives in a hand-built solar-powered log home in a secluded hollow of Middle Tennessee. Woodturner Brenda Stein uses only salvaged Tennessee hardwoods to create gorgeous bowls, vases and decorative artworks that highlight the wood’s natural characteristics. Nashvillians are familiar with Jim Sherraden as the manager and curator of Hatch Show Print, so it should come as no surprise that he’s also an accomplished artist, creating woodblock prints that often reference the rich history of country music. And gallery owner Alan LeQuire will be presenting the first Nashville showing of 16 woodcut prints he created to accompany his massive Dream Forest project, a series of nine 12-foot-tall sculptures that were recently on view at Clarksville’s Customs House Museum. The exhibit’s opening will be celebrated with a two-day Thanksgiving open house, which will also feature the unveiling of the gallery’s first annual holiday tree, decorated with ornaments from several artists, Somers Randolph and Ben Caldwell among them.

Jack Silverman



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