Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fran Zinder, Joy Mckenzie, and Charlotta Janssen on Living Your Best Life Radio Show

Living Your Best Life Radio Show with Genma Holmes celebrates Artober Nashville with the Frist Center. Tune in as we shine the spotlight on art, culture, community and the Frist Center’s leadership that "inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways." Each week, we will hear from individuals who will share how the Frist Center carries out its mission to present and originate high quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach that have been recognized throughout Middle Tennessee, nationally, and around the world.

Living Your Best Life Radio Show can be heard on 880 AM from 10am-12noon CST in the Nashville-Middle Tennessee Area or on UStream.TV worldwide.







Join us Saturday, October 29, 2011 as we meet two fascinating and adventurous teachers, Fran Zinder and Joy McKenzie, who spent part of their summer vacation teaching students enrolled in SMART Moves (Skills Mastery and Resistance Training), a six-week summer program for kids at risk, designed to broaden their experiences and to help them in decision-making. Fran Zinder, an art teacher at Apollo Junior High School, and Joy McKenzie, a Professor at Watkins College of Art, Design, and Film, will share about their summer adventure with Apollo's teens that included a trip to the Frist Center to examine the work of photographer Vesna Pavlovic'. To learn more about their collaborative work with the teens click here.

Charlotta Janssen

We will also hear from artist Charlotta Janssen. Ms. Janssen's, Threads of a Story: History Inspiring Art, opened in Nashville on June 18, 2011 at the Nashville Public Library. Hear how the Freedom Riders mug shots (normally a sign of shame and criminality) inspired Janssen to work for a year and a half to tell their story of epic courage with paint, rust, and collages. Jannseen work has received great reviews in Nashville and is featured on Oprah.com.



To purchase copies of prints or giclees from this exhibit go here.

On Saturday, November 5, 2011, the Nashville chapter of the NAACP will host its annual Freedom Fund Gala fundraiser. This year, 11 Freedom Riders from the Nashville area will be honored by the NAACP for their bravery and enduring hardships that paved the way for desegregated travel in America.

Five other influential individuals from this time period are also being honored; Mr. George Barrett, Justice A. A. Birch, Jr. (posthumously), Rev. Dr. James Lawson, Mr. John Seigenthaler, Sr., Rev. Dr. Kelly Miller Smith, Sr. (posthumously). For more information about the event, contact 615-414-0618.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Michael McBride and Michael Brechner on Living Your Best Life Radio Show

Living Your Best Life Show with Genma Holmes celebrates Artober Nashville with the Frist Center. Tune in as we shine the spotlight on art, culture, community and the Frist Center’s leadership that "inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways." Each week, we will hear from individuals who will share how the Frist Center carries out its mission to present and originate high quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach that have been recognized throughout Middle Tennessee, nationally, and around the world.

On Saturday, October 22, 2011 we will be joined by renown artist, educator, and a member of the Frist Center Board of Trustees, Michael McBride and Director of Design & Operations for the Frist Center, Michael Brechner. Michael McBride will share how his background as an artist and an educator help guides the vision and mission of the Frist Center. Michael Brechner will take us behind the scenes and share about the implementation of an exhibit at the Frist Center. He will share details about the Frist Center exhibits that are not found in the pages of an exhibition guide.

In the Nashville-Middle Tennessee region, Living Your Best Life Radio can be heard live on 880AM and on Ustream.TV worldwide from 10am-12pm CST.


Michael McBride




Michael J. McBride, a native Tennessean, earned his undergraduate degree in art, from Tennessee State University and his graduate degree in painting from Illinois State University, where he credits Dr. Harold Gregor with providing a world class artistic mentorship. Currently, he is an instructor of art at Tennessee State University. McBride has also taught at Watkins College of Art and Design and Film school. McBride's commitment to the Nashville art world's future has always been at the forefront of his own career.

McBride has been the lead artist on many community-based projects in Nashville like the Sister Cities Mural Projects as well as Nashville International Airport's Arts in the Airport program. In addition to serving as a Trustee for the Frist Center, McBride also serves on the Board of Family and Children Services.

McBride's work was featured in Visions of My People: Sixty-years of African American art in Tennessee, an exhibit organized by the Tennessee State Museum. One of his pieces is part of their permanent collection. He was one of twelve Nashville artists selected by The Tennessean newspaper for inclusion in the Millennium 2000 Collection, a signal honor. McBride was was also chosen for Side by Side Sister Cities exhibition with Belfast, Northern Ireland. This exhibition featured 17 artists from Nashville and 17 artists from Ireland. In the summer of 2005, McBride completed a ten weeks artist in residence program in Bermuda with the Master Works Museum of Bermuda Art. His current body of work titled “Too Black Too Fast” is a traveling exhibition of art about African-American jockeys and trainers. McBride’s work is included in both private and corporate collections in the US and abroad. His work has been featured on television sitcoms, such as "Living Single", "The Wayans Bros. Show", and "The Jamie Foxx Show". McBride has also illustrated children's books and book covers for several publishing groups. To see more of Michael McBride's work click here and here .

Michael Brechner



Michael Brechner is the Director of Design & Operations at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. Mr. Brechner joined the Frist Center staff in 2004 as the Exhibition Designer. He has over 30 years of museum exhibition design experience. Before coming to Nashville, he was employed as the Chief Designer of the Cincinnati Art Museum. He has also served as the head of the design and installation departments at The Speed Art Museum (Louisville, KY), and the University of Kentucky Art Museum (Lexington, KY).


A Divine Light: Northern Renaissance Paintings from Bob Jones University Museum & Gallery; Tracey Snelling: Woman on the Run; Maria Magdalena Compos-Pons: Journeys; The Quest for Immortality: Treasures of Ancient Egypt; Lyrical Traditions: Chinese Paintings from the Papp Collection; and The Golden Age of Couture: Paris and London 1947-1957
are among the many exhibitions that Mr. Brechner has designed for the Frist Center.

Photo Credits: Frist Center for Visual Arts, Michael McBride and Genma Holmes

Other stories and radio interviews:
Dr. Tommy Frist, Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville and Professor William Luis

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Neil Leonard, and Emily Harper Beard

Dr. Susan Edwards Knighted By Consul General of France

Susan Edwards


My Very Special Frist Center Adventure

Friday, October 14, 2011

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Neil Leonard, and Emily Haper Beard on Living Your Best Life Radio Show

Living Your Best Life Radio Show with Genma Holmes celebrates Artober Nashville with the Frist Center. Tune in as we continue to shine the spotlight on art, culture, community and the Frist Center’s leadership that "inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways."




On Saturday, October 15, 2011 we will be joined by world renown artist, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, one of the most significant artists to emerge from the Cuban post-revolutionary era, and her husband, Neil Leonard, an internationally recognized composer. The powerful artistic team and founders of G.A.S.P Gallery of Boston will share about their week-long residency at Vanderbilt which has included dual exhibits of Campos-Pons work at the Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery and the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, panel discussions, receptions, and a family collaborate intimate performance art piece. The individual lectures by the artistic duo and residency are sponsored by the Vanderbilt University Department of Art, Center for Latin American Studies, Department of History of Art, Vanderbilt Fine Arts Gallery, Program in African American and Diaspora Studies, Atlantic World Seminar, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy, Neil Leonard, and the College of Arts and Science.

We will also hear from the Frist Center’s go too, hands on, out and about, Community Relations Manager, Emily Harper Beard. Emily will share how she and the Frist Center’s Education outreach team, Shaun Giles and Rosemary Swain Brunton, take the vision and mission of the Frist Center beyond its Broadway address to classrooms, non-profits, groups and organizations, and to various events throughout the Middle Tennessee region.

Living Your Best Life Radio Show can be heard on 880 AM in the Nashville-Middle Tennessee area and on Ustream.TV worldwide from 10am-12pm CST.

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons



Born in 1959, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons was raised in the Cuban province of Matanzas. Campos-Pons was educated in Cuba at the National School of Art (1976-1979) and Instituto Superior de Arte (1980-1985). She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art in 1988 and now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, Neil Leonard and their son.

Campos-Pons creates photographs, video, and multimedia installations that tell the story of the survival of African cultures by evoking rites, myths, and narratives that have evolved through generations. Her work symbolically follows the history of the slave trade from her family’s origin in Nigeria to Cuba, where they worked in the sugar industry, to present-day Boston, where Campos-Pons now works and teaches.

Her works have been exhibited in the United States, Canada, Japan, Norway, France, Italy, and Cuba. She was represented in the Johannesburg Biennial and has had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Campos-Pons’ powerful attachment to her cultural African heritage is one that she has never experienced directly but its presence in the rites and myths of her childhood make her a Cuban transplanted in the United States, an exile twice over.

Most recently, the Guangzhou Triennial in China hosted her work. A 20-year retrospective of Campos-Pons’ work, Everything is Separated by Water: María Magdalena Campos-Pons, opened in Indianapolis in 2006 and traveled to the Bass Museum in Miami.

During her life, she has received many awards and recognitions like the "Mention of Honor", in 1986 in the XVIIIème Festival International de la Peinture, Château Musée, Cagnes Sur Mer, Francia. In 1990 Painting Fellowship, The Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta, Canada, in 1992 Foreign Visiting Artist Grant, Media Arts, Canada Council, Canada, in 1994 Bunting Fellowship. Mary Ingraham Bunting Institute, Radcliffe Research and Study Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A and in 1995 Art Reach 95 Award, National Congress of Art & Design, Salt Lake City, Utah, EE.UU.

While in Nashville, the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce recognized Campos-Pons for her contributions to international cultural with an award for "Outstanding Hispanic Professional Achievement Award in Art" at its 7th Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration and Awards Ceremony held on Thursday, October 13, 2011.

For more info on her dual exhibits at the Frist Center and Vanderbilt go here. A list of exhibitions can be found here.

Neil Leonard


Leonard is one of the most inventive and adventuresome artist in new music today. Leonard's work has ranged from traditional jazz performance, solo concerts for saxophone and electronics, collaborations with top Cuban musicians, works for orchestra as well as sound and music for dance, theater, performance and installation.

Leonard's collaborative work with visual artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons was featured by the 49th Venice Biennial, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), purchased by the National Gallery of Canada and presented by the U.S. State Department at Dakar Biennial. Leonard composed the music for Relatives, by Tony Oursler and Constance DeJong that was featured by the Whitney Biennial and the ICA (Boston).

His ensemble and collective projects featured Marshall Allen, Bruce Barth, Don Byron, Uri Caine, Kenwood Dennard, Robin Eubanks, Frank Lacy, Oriente Lopez, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Badal Roy, Jamaaladeen Tacuma. Leonard’s "Dreaming of an Island", (for orchestra, electronics and live-video) was premiered by the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra. Leonard's composition Totems was premiered at Carnegie Hall by Byron and Caine. Leonard's "Echoes and Footsteps" was featured by the Tel Aviv Biennial for New Music, Issue Project Room (NYC) and the Auditorium di Roma. To learn more about the composer click here and here.

Emily Harper Beard




Emily Harper Beard, formerly Communications Coordinator at the Frist Center, recently moved into the Community Relations Manager position where she works with a variety of community groups and audiences to help promote the Frist Center’s mission. Prior to working at the Frist Center, she received her B.A. in graphic design from Middle Tennessee State University and worked at Animax Design—a puppet shop in Nashville which creates characters for live shows, film, and television. She continues to be an active artist in and supporter of Nashville’s growing arts scene.

To learn more about community partners, educational programs, and affinity days at the Frist Center click here and here.

Photos: Neil Leonard,Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Susan Edwards, and Katie Delmez;Joesph Mella and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons; and Emily Harper Beard courtesy of Genma Holmes

CD cover, art, and photo of Campos-Pons and Leonard courtesy of Campos-Pons and Leonard

Article written by: Chuck Beard
Chuck Beard is an active volunteer in the Nashville community. He works tirelessly to bring attention to those in need by bringing the music and art community together to raise funds and awareness to causes near and dear to his heart.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Dr. Tommy Frist, Chinese Arts Alliance Nashville, and Professor William Luis on Living Your Best Life Radio Show

Living Your Best Life Show with Genma Holmes celebrates Artober Nashville with the Frist Center. Tune in as we shine the spotlight on art, culture, community and the Frist Center’s leadership that "inspire people through art to look at their world in new ways." Each week, we will hear from individuals who will share how the Frist Center carries out its mission to present and originate high quality exhibitions with related educational programs and community outreach that have been recognized throughout Middle Tennessee, nationally, and around the world.

On Saturday, October 8, 2011, we will be joined by Dr. Tommy Frist, Jr., Chairman of the boards for The Frist Center and The Frist Foundation and Chairman Emeritus of Hospital Corporation of America; Jen-Jen Lin, Director of Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville; and Dr. William Luis Professor of Spanish at Vanderbilt University and Editor of Afro Hispanic Review. In the Nashville-Middle Tennessee region, Living Your Best Life Radio can be heard live on 880AM and on Ustream.TV worldwide from 10am-12pm CST.

Dr. Tommy Frist, Jr.

Dr. Tommy Frist will share from the annals of Nashville’s history about the Frist Center's early years. Hear how his family and the Frist Foundation embarked on a venture to transform an old post office into an art museum that started in the 1990s. They implemented an interesting public/private venture between the Frist Foundation, the U.S. Postal Service, and the city of Nashville. The Frist Center opened its doors as a non-collecting museum to the public in April, 2001.

Chinese Arts Alliance Nashville, Director Jen-Jen Lin



The Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville (CAAN), a Frist Center community partner organization, was organized to promote the awareness, understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment of Chinese visual arts and performing arts by presenting fine Chinese visual arts, crafts, performing artists and culture to the public. Their activities include seminars, art exhibitions, classroom teaching, educational workshops, and public programs for children and adults.

Jen-Jen will share about her involvement with the Frist Center’s Connecting Cultures Exhibit and the upcoming show at the Nashville Public Library, We Are One. We Are One celebrates the diverse ethnic groups in Chinese culture with various dances. This presentation includes dances representing Han people, Manchu people, Mogols, Chinese Muslims, and Tibetans.

To learn more about CAAN click here


Afro-Cuban Chinese Heritage


William Luis is the Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of Spanish at Vanderbilt University. He has held teaching positions at Dartmouth College, Yale University, Washington University in St. Louis, and Binghamton University. Luis has published thirteen books and more than one hundred articles. His authored books include Literary Bondage: Slavery in Cuban Narrative (1990), Dance Between Two Cultures: Latino Caribbean Literature Written in the United States (1997), Culture and Customs of Cuba (2001), Lunes de Revolución: Literatura y cultura en los primeros años de la Revolución Cubana (2003), Juan Francisco Manzano: Autobiografía del esclavo poeta y otros escritos (2007), and Bibliografía y antología crítica de las vanguardias del Caribe: Cuba, Puerto Rico y República Dominicana (2010). Also, Luis is Editor of the Afro-Hispanic Review. Born and raised in New York City of a Chinese father and a Cuban mother, Luis is widely regarded as a leading authority on Latin American, Caribbean, Afro-Hispanic, and Latino U.S. literatures.
Read William Luis Curriculum VITe here

Photo Credits: Dr.Tommy Frist with Genma Holmes and Terriance Moody, CEO of Dream Systems, LLC courtesy of the Frist Center
We Are One-CAAN
Professor William Luis and Mayor Karl Dean-Vanderbilt Press

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Dr. Susan Edwards Knighted By Consul General of France


The Frist Center's Executive Director, Dr. Susan H. Edwards, was decorated as a Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters) in a ceremony at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts. The medal was presented by the Consul General of France, Pascal Le Deunff.

Dr. Edwards was recognized for her significant contributions to the art and the culture of France.

Consul General Pascal Le Deunff remarks to Dr. Susan Edwards at Chevalier Award ceremony held at the Frist Center on September 23, 2011:

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,
Dear Susan,

It is both a pleasure and a privilege to be here in Nashville with you today to honor a truly exceptional woman, visionary, ambassador of the arts, and precious friend of France, Dr. Susan Edwards.

Susan, your passion for art has been a driving force in every step of your professional career, which is clearly reflected on your curriculum vitae, but even more so in your community. Before arriving in Nashville, you spent a considerable amount of time in New York where you received your PhD in Art History from City University of New York in 1995. During your time as Curator at Hunter College of the City University of New York from 1987 to 1998, your drive and artistic vision was exemplified by the over twenty art exhibitions that you originated, and was affirmed in 1997 when you were named a Founding Fellow at the Liguria Study Center for the Arts and Humanities in Genoa, Italy.

You further honed your skills as Executive Director of the Katonah Museum in Katonah, New York from 1998 to 2004. But of course, your exemplary commitment to the arts spread far beyond the walls of museums. In addition to your book, Ben Shahn and the Task of Photography in Thirties America, you have also published numerous articles on modern and contemporary artists, material, culture, and photography-- of which you are a specialist -- as well as several exhibition catalogues, further establishing yourself as a known expert in the world of visual arts in the United States. You have also brought your knowledge and expertise to many schools and universities, including New York University, Queens College/CUNY, School of Visual Arts, New York, and Vanderbilt, where you are currently Adjunct Associate Professor.

As a recognized member of the art community, you continue to make contributions, serving on the advisory boards of the Bogliasco Foundation, Harvard University Art Museums and Collection Committee, and the Stephen Taller Archive at Harvard University. And all of these eminent accomplishments and contributions to the art community are only the half of it.

Your work at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts here in Nashville, Tennessee has been in a league of its own. From the very onset of your career as Executive Director in 2004, you’ve offered Nashville and beyond an ambitious, diverse, and multicultural program that has truly lived up to the vision of the Frist Center of “inspiring people through art to look at the world in new ways.” In addition to the spectacular array of art exhibited, your programming has demonstrated and reinforced an exceptional friendship with France. In only six years, you’ve consecrated more than ten expositions to French culture and artists. From “Les Chemins de l’Impressionisme, paysages français et américains du Worchester Art Museumto Matisse, Picasso and the School of Paris Masterpieces from the Baltimore Museum of Art, Rodin, A Magnificent Obsession, sculpture from the Iris and B Gerald Cantor Foundation to Twilight Visions : Surrealisme, Photography and Paris”, your high, your high quality exhibitions have been both multi-disciplinary and extremely tangible, offering educational programs and community outreach activities that have brought French culture closer to the Southeast.

Most recently, it is thanks to your efforts that the Frist Center became one of only two institutions in the United States – making Nashville one of three cities in the world to present the exhibition "The Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay”. Displaying 100 paintings from the permanent collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, you’ve provided the Southeast with an unparalleled cultural experience. This further demonstrates your excellent intuition and entrepreneurial sensitivity. Indeed, the echoes from exhibitions and events have reached far beyond the boundaries of Nashville and Tennessee. Your leadership has brought the Frist Center to new heights, giving it national visibility and recognition and turning it into one of the premier art centers in the Southeast.

Your remarkable contributions to advancing cultural relations between France and the United States are commendable and worthy of the distinction that you are receiving today. It is a great honour partnering with you and we look forward to strengthening this relationship with you and with the Frist Center for the Arts in the years and projects to come.

Dear Susan, to render homage to your commitment to artistic efforts and actions, au nom de la République, nous vous faisons Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.




Dr.Susan Edwards Acceptance Speech



"Consul General Pascal Le Deunff, Honorarie Consul Madame Amelie De Gaulle, Madame Chevalier Hazel Joyner-Smith, et invités distingués. C'est mon honeur d’ accepter la medaille de Chevalier de l’ordre des arts et lettres de le part du comité administrateur et du personnel du Frist Center. Merci beaucoup. Maintenant, je voudrais continuer in anglais, s’il vous plait"

Consul General Le Deunff, Honorary Consul Amelie De Gaulle, fellow Chevalier Hazel Joyner-Smith and distinguished guests, I am deeply honored to accept the medal of the Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters on behalf of the Board of Trustees and the staff of the Frist Center. I am grateful to M. Frederic Mitterrand, the French Minister of Culture and Communication and the people of France. I thank Consul General Le Deunff and Carole Scipion, the French Cultural Attache in Atlanta, for placing my name in nomination, and Ellen Pryor and Angela Butler for keeping my nomination secret -- even from me – for the past year.

I am pleased to receive a Chevalier at this point in my life and career, after youthful arrogance has mellowed. It is not false modesty to acknowledge the role of many others in this award. Great accomplishments are rarely the result of one person’s endeavors, rather they come about through the combined efforts of visionaries such as Tommy Frist, the relentless promotion of a Ken Roberts, the steady direction and leadership of Billy Frist, as well as the assistance and professionalism of colleagues, co-workers, and friends.

The Chevalier acknowledges my passion for all things French and a twenty-year history of working on exhibitions, film series, and literary projects that promote French arts and culture. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that the pinnacle of my visibility was our 2010 exhibition "The Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay."

I am grateful to Guy Cogeval, President of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, for allowing their extraordinary 19th-century paintings to be presented in Nashville. The exhibition would not have come to Nashville without the support of Tommy and Trish Frist, Janet and Jim Ayers and Marlene and Spencer Hays, who made the lead gifts that gave us the courage to move forward with the project. Mark Scala, Chief Curator at the Frist Center, worked closely with Stéfane Guegan at the Musée d’Orsay to refine the checklist for our venue. For considerable efforts on « The Birth of Impressionism » and their devotion to our mission, I remain eternally grateful to our founders, trustees, members of our advisory councils, and the entire staff at the Frist Center.

For assistance on previous projects devoted to French culture, I should like to acknowledge colleagues and collaborators here at the Frist Center and from New York: Thérèse Lichtenstein, Jane Roos, Catherine Bernard, Laura Schor, Alice Zimet, Annette Blaugrund, Jeanine Plottel, Philippe Lalliot and Annie Cohen-Solal.

I want to thank Ellen Pryor, Kathy Demonbreun, Angela Butler, Brandon Gnetz, and Karen Gwaltney for planning this day for us. Thank you for being here. Please stay and join us for some refreshments.

Once again, I thank Cultural Attache Carole Scipion, Consul General Pascal Le Deunff, and the French government for this great honor.