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Centennial Art Center’s summer exhibit InterACTive invites exploration


Metro Parks Centennial Art Center Gallery will launch its summer exhibit InterACTive presenting new works for the community to explore. These interactive artworks will include a range of materials both tangible and digital. Some works will invite hands-on engagement. Local artists will explore sensitive topics including civil rights, objectification of women, social justice and mental health, as well as other expressions using light and reflection. This exhibit is unlike anything the Art Center has presented to the public before, and staff is excited for the exhibit to begin.

InterACTive features Amy K. Sterling (interactive/kinetic sculpture), Nadine Shillingford Wondem (charcoal drawing with QR codes), Samantha Drapeaux (interactive sculpture), Angel Iwanowski (video installation), Henry L. Jones (interactive sculpture), and Joshua Wagner (kinetic sculpture). The exhibit opens with an artist reception on Friday, June 7, 2019 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Gallery visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artists. The exhibit will remain on display through July 24, 2019.

kaleidoscopeAmy K. Sterling strives to capture otherwise ephemeral elements of daily life through visual art. These handbuilt kaleidoscopes are an extension of her fascination with people and perception. Knowing that each person is unique and she will never understand the vastness of their inner world. She has built a large-scale kaleidoscope that invites both artist and viewer to consider the ways in which forces both seen and unseen manifest themselves in unique and often unpredictable ways.

charcoalWith Art in a Bathhouse artist Nadine Shillingford Wondem explores the history of the Centennial Art Center complex. Built as a swimming complex in the 1930s, the pool played a pivotal role in the Nashville Civil Rights movement, when on July 19, 1961, six young men entered the Centennial Park pool complex, peacefully requested tickets and were refused. Two days after the incident, the Parks Board decided to close all of the city's 23 swimming pools. The pool was never reopened. Instead it remained derelict until the building was converted into Centennial Art Center in the 1970s. Nadine’s beautifully rendered charcoal drawings on toned grey paper highlight the history of building during the 1960s. Users scan QR codes located around the exhibit to view further information about the building's history including newspaper clippings from the 1960s and photos from the archives of the Tennessean.

debilitatingSamantha Drapeaux tackles the subject of mental illness in her artwork and the stigma that surrounds it. Previously her work dealt with other people's stories about their mental health journeys; her new work with mirrors reflects her own experiences with mental illness. Illnesses like depression and anxiety are still different to each person. Samantha states, “I may have a better idea than someone who doesn't experience those feelings daily, but I can only know what a panic attack feels like to me. To end the stigma, we must all become more self-aware and more empathetic towards ourselves and each other. You can never know yourself too much.” By exploring these topics, her hope is that by bringing some of these issues into the open will bring more awareness and empathy towards ourselves and each other.

video installationThe latest artwork of Angel Iwanowski examines the visual commodification of woman's image in society. Short looping videos are displayed on the wall and installed in a plexiglass box with a plastic lid and sides, reminiscent of an incubator. Clinically atmospheric, the work aims to feel like an interactive viewing space into something otherworldly and private.

interactive sculptureHenry L. Jones creates abstract art people interact with internally using their eyes and minds to see interesting colors or shapes, that perhaps connects them with something they’ve seen or felt. They’re reaching inwardly. Now, in this InterACTive exhibit, viewers can bridge the inner and outer links by actually touching his sculpture entitled 3D 4U. They can physically connect with what they are seeing. The nearly 8 feet high steel, wood and wire structure will enable gallery guests to use their hands to transform the sculpture and make it their own.

kinetic sculptureLocal artist and Art Center Director, Joshua Wagner, reclaims and recycles used materials and presents them in a new and elevated manner. These kinetic sculptures invite the viewer to touch and experience the artwork. His aim is to create sense and order from disorder. He understands that hoarding is a means to buffer from a perceived violation, and he personally struggles with a tendency to hoard. His artwork seeks to combat those tendencies and redeem those behaviors.

Centennial Art Center’s exhibit, InterACTive, will present gallery visitors with an experience that ranges from fun exploration with hands-on and kinetic work to sensitive social topics such as civil rights, social justice and mental health. In addition, expressions using light and reflection provide opportunities for introspection and youthful wonder. The exhibit is open June 7–July 24, 2019. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Centennial Art Center is a visual arts community center located in the northeast corner of Nashville’s Centennial Park. Centennial Art Center Gallery is free and open to the public. The exhibit is open April 12–May 30, 2019. Gallery hours are Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call Centennial Art Center at 615-862-8442, visit online: or find them on facebook.