Watercolor mountains on a blazer and shining porcelain designs on a purse are just two examples of the work at “Wearable Surfaces,” an exhibition running from August 5th-26th at Zeitgeist art gallery.
Zeitgeist and Fashion Happening Nashville have brought wearable art to life, featuring seven pairs of local fashion designers and artists, including Project Runway star Amanda Valentine, painter Kelly Williams of David Lusk Gallery, menswear designer Eric Adler, and many more. Some of the artists painted directly onto the fabric, while others created art pieces and had fabric made from them. Displaying the creative process from inspiration to execution, the exhibit features both the completed design and the original art piece.
While the gallery has previously shown applied design exhibitions intertwining graphic design and furniture, “Wearable Surfaces” is Zeitgeist’s first exhibit exploring the art of fashion.
Curator Anna Zeitlin is a hat maker, creating designer hats through her label Fanny & June. After witnessing Nashville’s growing fashion scene and reading that Nashville is taking the position of third most emerging fashion brands in the U.S. after New York and L.A, Zeitlin thought it would be interesting to see a collaboration between art and fashion in Nashville.
“This is the first one we’ve done as an art show. It puts the work in a different context. It makes you think about more of the craftsmanship that’s involved,” Zeitlin explained. “A lot of the time when you look at clothes, you’re thinking about shopping or ‘would I wear this?’ This way, you’re looking at it and thinking of it in the terms you think of art.”
Zeitgeist is German for “spirit of the times.” According to Zeitlin, the art in their gallery is constantly changing to represent what’s going on now, and it’s inclusive of visual art, music performances, theater, and dance. She said, “Ideas and art are always changing, and there’s always a place for that voice. It never feels old; there are always new voices, which is exciting to share with the city.”
The gallery provides a cultivation ground for local, up-and-coming artists and also serves as an experimental exhibition space for established artists.
Zeitlin’s mother started Zeitgeist in 1994. “Back then, there weren’t as many art galleries, so she saw it as a way to support the arts in the city and to help bring more culture,” Zeitlin said. “I think she saw it as something the city needed, and she brought a strong curatorial eye to it. She’s collected art for a long time, so it was a way for her to share her love of art with Nashville.”
It was originally opened in Cummins Station, moved to Hillsboro Village for about 15 years, and finally brought to its current location at 516 Hagan Street.
“This neighborhood was industrial for a very long time. There were always a lot of artists’ studios because the rent was so cheap here,” Zeitlin said, “but moving here when we did, a lot of new galleries opened up, and it’s become more of an arts district. So we were excited about the potential with this neighborhood.”
Arts & Music at Wedgewood/Houston is the neighborhood art crawl. Every first Saturday for the past four years, there are over a dozen different spaces that include art and live bands to showcase new art spaces and artist studios.
Zeitgeist’s upcoming exhibitions include the works of two local artists. The first, titled “Night Swimming,” features Alex Blau, whose work is very graffiti-like and incorporates a lot of bright colors with spray paint. The second, “Ghost,” showcases the works of Lain York, who has produced an environmental series based on bees using correct tape on wood.
For more information about “Wearable Surfaces” or Zeitgeist art gallery, visit http://zeitgeist-art.com/.