Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final…
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
–Rainer Maria Rilke
Watkins presents Let Everything Happen, with work by artists of Healing Arts Project, Inc. (HAPI), at its downtown gallery WAG during the May 7 edition of the First Saturday Art Crawl. Curated by Watkins alumnae Sharon Stewart and Sharyn Bachleda, the multi-media exhibition offers pieces that give visual language to the often unspeakable experiences of the inner human landscape.
HAPI (healingartsprojectinc.org) is a Middle Tennessee 501(c)3 whose mission is to provide “an avenue for persons in mental health and addiction recovery to express their creativity through a wide range of artistic endeavors…promoting understanding, acceptance, and success.”
Stewart and Bachleda are HAPI art instructors at the Tennessee Mental Health Consumers’ Association. The works on display have been selected from those submitted by Nashville-based HAPI artists at TMHCA, Park Center South, and Centerstone’s ReConnect Peer Support Center.
Let Everything Happen emphasizes that it is an inherent part of life to struggle for internal equilibrium; and at times to find oneself standing with one foot in a place of beauty and the other in terror, and, even so, to remain standing. In making visible their individual experiences of these line-blurring states of being, the HAPI artists offer viewers a place to consider their own, and to remember that no one has to be alone in any of this, that many things are better when shared.
A 2015 Watkins graduate with a BFA in Photography, Sharon Stewart has been involved with the Healing Arts Project, Inc. since 2013. Her work, collaborations and curatorial projects have been exhibited at Carlos Gallery, COOP, OZ, the Tennessee Board of Regents, and WAG, and have been featured in Hyperallergic, Nashville Arts Magazine blog, The Nashville Scene, The Contributor and on WTVF/NewsChannel 5. She is passionate about participating in work that creates opportunities for connection and transformation in the lives of individuals and communities.
Sharyn Bachleda was born in Deerfield Beach, Florida and moved to Nashville in 2012, graduating with a BFA in Fine Art from Watkins in 2015. She has participated in numerous exhibitions throughout Tennessee including at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Knoxville Museum of Art, the Tipton Gallery, Tthe Bijou Theater, Track One, Lipscomb’s Gallery OPEN, and the Bagwell Gallery. Bachleda has worked as a pre-school teacher’s aid, works as a freelance photographer, and aspires to continue educating and inspiring individuals of all ages through art therapy, photography and fashion.
WAG–an acronym for Watkins Arcade Gallery–is located in suite 77 upstairs in the historic Arcade and is open the first Saturday evening of the month during each Art Crawl (from 6-9 p.m.), and by appointment.
WAG joins approximately 20 participating Art Crawl galleries along Fifth Avenue of the Arts and upstairs in the Historic Arcade. Admission is free, and the Nashville Downtown Partnership provides two free shuttles traveling among the venues. For more information on the First Saturday Art Crawl, visit nashvilledowntown.com/play/first-saturday-art-crawl