Art by Women to View in Nashville

One thing I love about Nashville is the variety of art experiences I’m exposed to just by walking around outside!

I’m not an aficionado. I like what speaks to me, be it music, movement or visual art.

Tinney Contemporary is quickly becoming my favorite gallery. The large windows allow me the opportunity to see the work without having to enter the building. The current exhibition is entitled, “Willful Wondering and Disorderly Notions,” recent work by Patricia Bellan-Gillen.

Mediated Orthodoxies/ New Wonderland by Patricia Bellan-Gillen

The large work that captures my eye is Mediated Orthodoxies/ New Wonderland. This work speaks to me about the reality of life. On the left is the cute, enchanting rabbit. It’s what I want life to be: perfect and appealing to all. To the right, what my life really is: a vortex through which I adventure forth, and it’s not always so pretty to look at.

Then there’s this:

Your Cruel Tears 3 by Patricia Bellen-Gillen

I’ve not seen the actual piece, only this online representation. But oh, that is me. I’m a bear in a dress trying to look cute and hide the hurt I still feel from Florida. If I had $3000 to spare, I’d buy it.

But there is much more available in downtown to feast on. There is this statue in the War Memorial by Belle Kinney that always catches my eye.

Women of the Confederacy, by Belle Kinney (photo from

This sculpture leaves me with conflicted feelings. On the one hand, it memorializes actions taken by people against our country. I don’t care that they were once Americans and were later again Americans. Memorializing their actions should not be a thing.

And yet, it’s a wonderful piece. To think it was created by a woman in the 1920s enthralls me. Belle Kinney also created Victory, a more prominent sculpture at War Memorial commemorating the sacrifices of Tennesseans during WWI, but had to share credit with her husband and fellow sculptor Leopold Scholz and wasn’t allowed to see the model without her husband being present.

Victory, sculpture by Belle Kinney (photo by Jason Lye)

I think the Women of the Confederacy piece allows me to focus my thoughts about the South today. On the one hand, the bigotry and misogyny prevalent within our society disgusts me. And yet, it comes from people who are not bad people. Misguided. Blind to their ignorance. Intolerant. But not necessarily bad.

So there. A bit of history and whimsy thanks to a couple of talented and creative women.

Have you an art story to share today?

6 thoughts on “Art by Women to View in Nashville

  1. These are ‘eye-opening.’ I like the bear also, and love the title of the exhibition: Willful Wondering and Disorderly Notions.” The only art story I have to share is how in my granddaughter’s art class in school, they’ve created a website for anyone who signs up to view their loved ones latest art work, and to leave remarks about the child’s use of paint/brush/imagination, etc. What a wonderful way to encourage art in the young, which hopefully will inspire them to continue to ‘make art, not war,’ throughout their lives.

    1. I certainly hope so! The Frist Museum here in town displays art works by students in Tennessee. I have seen some very captivating pieces from those young hearts and minds. Encourage her to keep it up!

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