Self and System


New Work by Jason Craighead
December 5 - January 23, 2016

Opening Reception: December 5th, 6 to 9 pm

Jason Craighead's exhibition of new work at Tinney Contemporary, Self and System, deals with just that, how the sense of self and individualism fits into the greater system of cultural conformity. When it comes to abstract art, many viewers can think that it is impersonal and a semi-intangible experience. Jason Craighead always erases that feeling through his work. "I make work from my heart and nothing is an accident," says Jason Craighead regarding the pieces for this show. "When we choose to seek our very own personal adventure and find our very own personal voice, the cluttered, static, and misleading ideas of a mostly blind society all fall away and our hearts have room to rise." 

It is this concept, that of finding a personal voice to erase the structures of our homogenized culture in order to truly free ourselves from mental captivity, that Jason focuses on in this exhibition. He sees his works as smaller parts of the whole spectrum of life, parts of a bigger life. Just as politics, religion, vocational and avocational experiences, etc are all smaller pieces that come together to create this physical life that we live, Jason's works, as he finds the small stories within them that create spaces of hope and peace, formulate the life-spirit by which he lives his personal physical life. He stands against these cookie-cutter facets of life that we all simply drone on within, and he continues to find and express his inner "self" through his art while relating to this greater system of life. Through his artistic exploration and expression, we as viewers are called to find our own personal voice. 

Jason's process is one of expressive, emotionally charged mark-making that is raw and honest. Working in mixed media, his exploration of space and line is often compared to the expressionistic, gestural painters of the mid-20th century. Jason Craighead is a recognized leader in the North Carolina art scene and has been an active participant in the Raleigh arts community for many years. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the Southeastern United States, and is included in many private and public collections throughout the United States and internationally. He is a member of the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and serves on the Grants Committee. He is co-founder of Switchhouse, a working studio space and gallery that he and artist Dave Green completed in the spring of 2014. He grew up in Florida where he studied art at Gulf Coast Community College and Florida State University and has been living in downtown Raleigh, NC for sixteen years.


Curated by Jamaal B. Sheats
October 3-November 28, 2015

Closing Reception: November 7th, 6 to 9 pm
Curator's Talk: November 20th, 6 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Topography, curated by Fisk University's Jamaal B. Sheats, MFA from October 3rd to November 28th. Topography is an exhibition that uses art to explore communities across the United States. Within these communities are layers - and Topography focuses on the context of memory, individuality, community cohesion, and characteristics of social and economic (in)equalities that collectively create layers of a conceptual topographical map.

The artists represented in this group exhibition have a unique ability to work with multiple mediums, as seen through the following works:


Jamea Richmond-Edwards' "Cost of Making her Rise" is composed of ink and charcoal on board.

Detroit-born Jamea Richmond-Edwards studied painting and drawing at Jackson State University and began illustrating for The Jackson Free Press and a children's book titled "Grandma's Biscuits" by Robert Little while in college. Since graduating, Jamea has moved on to teach art to elementary, middle, and high school students while developing her own unique style of mixed media portraiture. She primarily paints women and is influenced by childhood memories and the complex lives of the women in her life. She received her MFA from Howard University and is currently an adjunct professor at American University. This work is inspired by the death of her aunt, presenting a holistic and complex subject true to the characteristic of her inspiration.

Alicia Henry's "Untitled:  Analogous" is constructed with leather, dye, acrylic, yarn and thread.

Interested in human interaction and isolation, she consistently places the human image in her works, the human figure both in isolation and in interaction with others. This work explores relationships and social interactions based on the idea of a "Family Tree." Alicia studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and completed her MFA at Yale University in 1991. Her works have been shown in the Whitney Museum in New York, the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, the Drawing Center, The Frist Center for Visual Art, Cheekwood Museum of Art, and Fisk University, among others. 

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Wesley Clark's piece "My Big Black America," is made out of reclaimed wood. 

In this piece, Clark accentuates the cultural effect that Barack Obama has had upon the United States. Whether you agree on political grounds or not, it is hard to say that Obama has not been a positive inspiration for many cultural groups across the nation. The old wood reflects those black men and women from which the foundation of America was created, and the new generation is represented through the newer wood, presenting the new surface of America. Wesley Clark grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland, and currently resides in Hyattsville, Maryland. He received his BFA from Syracuse University in 2001 and his MFA from George Washington University in 2012. Clark has been exhibiting his works since 2003 showing in Washington D.C., Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. His works can be found in collections here in the US as well as Germany and Japan.  


Alfred Conteh also used wood along with oxy dough, EPS foam, steel wire, thermo-adhesive fabric, atomized steel dust, atomized bronze dust, urethane plastic, and acrylic to create "Conduit." 

Conteh explores the fact that people posses their power solely within the actions of a group, saying about the piece, "Africans who act solely on the behalf of the interests and concerns of African people are Africans in their most powerful form, bar none." Conteh received his MFA from Georgia Southern University in 2004. He has exhibited and holds a permanent collection at the Harriet Tubman Museum and has also exhibited at the Rosa Parks Museum, among others across the south. 



Jamaal B. Sheats, who is curating the exhibition, will show a piece of Repousse' which is metal relief sculpture.

As the curator, it is fitting that Sheats's work encapsulates the themes of mapping and memory very well. Jamaal B. Sheats is a native of Brentwood, Tennessee. After receiving a bachelor's degree in Art from Fisk University in 2002, Sheats founded Sheats Repousse', where he specializes in metal relief sculpture. While Sheats has a love for art, he has a passion for art education, having been a guest lecturer at many Universities across the nation. In 2011 Sheats received his MFA in Studio Art from Tufts University and the School of the Museum of Fine Art-Boston (SMFA). He was one of five "Artists to Watch" in the Boston Globe and one of the "Shaping the Next Generation of Artist" in the Nashville Scene. He is currently the Director and Curator of the Fisk University Galleries and Assistant Professor in the Fisk University Art Department.

If you think of a topographical map, the dynamic surface helps one navigate the area in which they are even more definitively. The diversity of the medium of the works gives that dynamism to the concepts held within this exhibition and helps the installation "operate like the pieces of a puzzle - with each layered together to create a conceptual topographical map," according to Sheats. 

Observations, Integrations, Pareidolia, and Polysemy


New Work by James Perrin
September 5-September 26, 2015

Opening Reception: September 5th, 6 to 9 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Observations, Integrations, Pareidolia and Polysemy, a solo exhibition by James Perrin. Perrin's paintings can be described as a combination of several painting methods that incorporate different ideas, frameworks, and physical strategies. He considers himself a formalist first and foremost, as he is less interested in his work's ideology and more interested in exploring methods of creativity in order to achieve new visual languages and suggestions. He allows his creative process to be intuitive yet non-linear and at times chaotic, while focusing on the expressiveness and possibilities of paint and pictorial construction. He lets the paintings become their own self-contained realities.

His latest group of paintings incorporates images and ideas derived from shopping mall interiors; Walmart interiors; Caribbean beaches; women's dresses; renderings from paintings by Giotto, Masaccio, Enguerrand Quarton, and Fra Angelico; and finally, segments from his previous work. He amalgamates these pictorial elements with the intention to viscerally communicate what we know about our human state of being as it relates to our past, present, and future environments and experiences.

James Perrin was born in Kenton, Tennessee and earned his BFA degree in painting at Kansas City Art Institute. He studied in Perugia, Italy for a year before obtaining his MFA at Boston University. He has exhibited all across the country, including in a group exhibition at The Frist Center and maintains permanent works at Boston University and in the Grimaldi Collection, Rome, Italy. James currently works and lives in Nashville, TN.

Cuba: Reconstructing Memories


New Work by José Betancourt
August 1 - August 29, 2015

Opening Reception: August 1st, 6 to 9 pm

Collectors Art Night Hosted by Nashville Arts Magazine: July 31st, 5:30 to 8 pm; José Betancourt's talk at 6 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Cuba: reconstructing memories / New Work by José Betancourt. In June of 1971 José Betancourt's life changed forever, literally in a matter of minutes. With his suitcase and a toy plane, Betancourt traveled with his parents from Havana, Cuba to Miami, Florida. The flight was part of the Freedom Flights that carried over 250,000 Cubans to a new life in the United States between 1965 to 1973. Everything was left behind except what Betancourt and his family could carry. As a five-year-old he had no idea what this meant.

Betancourt recalls, "I had always wanted to return to this forbidden place but for many reasons it became difficult for me to travel there. The more I thought about going back, the more memories came to me. I remember going to the beach, riding the ferry into Havana, riding the train, and watching crabs walking along the railroad tracks in front of our house. These simple, innocent memories of a child would be altered through time by other stories. I don't remember the soldier that came to inventory everything we owned, or when they forced my father to work in the sugar cane fields- a punishment for deciding to leave the country. I don't remember how the Committee of the Revolution watched my mother's every move because she was against the system, and vocal about it. This group of photographs came from my thoughts and I tried not to create images from stories, even though most have a combination of both. But the initiation was from my mind's eye. It was, at times, a difficult task to distinguish between the two."

For this exhibition, Betancourt chose to assemble a group of photographs that are initiated by memory. Part of his method was to write down what he remembered and apply the photographic technique that best communicated his unclear image. The pictures are usually missing something or manipulated to a surreal state. Sometimes they seem as simple as the artist's memories. One thing Betancourt realized in this process is that he is not nostalgic about what he remembers, expressing "The nostalgia for me came from missing my culture and this is where it becomes emotional. As I was working I sometimes noticed a void of emotion because everything was a calculation or scientific analyzation. I did have a more emotional connection to actual objects and that's why it became important to search for things that survived this time in my life. Since I had no photographs originally taken by me, I would have to shape the images from different sources. My main sources were objects of my youth and old photographs from Cuba, not because they made my memories clearer but because I carried them close to my heart."

The techniques used to create these images would also have roots in the history of photography. Betancourt decided to work with a number of processes from digital to 19th century light sensitive emulsions. The Cyanotype, also known as the blueprint, has been one of his preferred techniques when attempting to take the viewer into an unknown place. The Cyanotype and Argentotype (a relative of his Van Dyke Brown printing) were developed in the 1840s by English scientist, Sir John Herschel. For this exhibit, Betancourt used large digital negatives for the historical techniques, 8x10 silver negatives for traditional darkroom prints, and scanned objects and actual contacted-printed objects to assemble these photographs. The variety of techniques is what makes this journey more exciting for Betancourt to reconstruct.

Romancing Banality

New Work by Lyle Carbajal
June 6-July 18, 2015

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Romancing Banality, a visually arresting installation by multimedia artist Lyle Carbajal. The exhibition kicked off in Seattle, followed by New Orleans and after months of preparation and personal integration into Nashville life and culture by artist/creator Carbajal, will transform for its next phase at Tinney Contemporary. 

Lyle Carbajal is a multimedia artist focusing on the social commentary of cultural and economic perception and their implications in contemporary art. Romancing Banality is his current traveling installation exploring these ideas, in which viewers are fully immersed into the environment of his subjects for a truly distinctive, engaging, multi-sensory experience that challenges perspective and social beliefs. By inhabiting the city of upcoming exhibitions in advance, Carbajal creates a unique audience experience- a manifestation of experiences, people, attitudes, and perception- which is in a constant state of transformation as it evolves with each location simultaneously serving as both subject and muse. 

"It's a city's Zeitgeist that interests me," says Carbajal. "The sights, the sounds, the way its people either cherish or disregard artistic forms, the city's visual connection to the past and whether or not it recognizes its indigenous culture."

Art writer Adam Eisenstat observes,  "It is perhaps his paintings' documentary verve that is most noteworthy; their function as individual dispatches from the artist's travels, which in concert form a consistent style and sensibility (if not any sort of coherent "message" or fixed position). As conduits through which certain elements of a time and place and distinct people are communicated, this work inhabits the precinct of folk art, which also reflects Carbajal's intentions and methodologies, and epitomizes the art peculiar to the heterogeneous mind." 

Carbajal's work has been shown internationally, and associated with such organizations as The British Consulate in Los Angeles; Tennessee Public Television for the Arts, Center on Contemporary Art-Seattle; the Made in New Orleans program; and both a feature film and long-running television drama. He currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee. 



New Work by Anna Jaap
April 25-May 27, 2015

Opening Reception: May 2nd, 6 to 9 pm
Collectors Art Night: May 1st, 5:30 to 8 pm* Anna Jaap's talk at 7:15 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Thicket, an exhibition of new works by Nashville-based painter, Anna Jaap. In Thicket, Jaap invites the viewer into an archetypal landscape of many moods - elevating the familiar forms of leaves, nests, branches, and flowers into animated and often oversized elements suspended on stained substrates. Ranging from delicate drawings layered with collage to dynamic large-scale canvases, the work is dense with color and lively mark-making. Surfaces are wiped and brushed, drawings erased and redrawn. Jaap allows evidence of her explorations to remain and has scattered mechanisms from timepieces along the way to mark a journey made moment by moment - each piece a meditation on seeking the sublime in the familiar.

Anna Jaap was born in Arlintgon, TX in 1966. She earned her BFA Magna Cum Laude from Lipscomb University with an emphasis in classical painting and French. Since then, she has continually maintained a working studio and championed beauty as a key component of the human experience. 

Jaap's artwork is collected internationally and has been exhibited in museums and in galleries across the United States. Selected clients include Avon, Agricultural Bank of China, BentleyForbes, Paramount Pictures, Ralph Lauren Home, The National Aquarium, and Tiffany.

Hidden Light

New Work by Jaq Belcher
March 7-April 18, 2015

Opening Reception: March 7th, 6 to 9 pm

Closing Reception: April 4th, 6 to 9 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present Hidden Light - a solo exhibition of new works by Australian born New York-based artist, Jaq Belcher. A follow up to Belcher's 2011 solo exhibition with Tinney Contemporary, Hidden Light features works that are founded in a contemplative process of reduction and repetition. Each unique work begins with an unblemished sheet of white paper, a pencil, and countless x-acto blades. Belcher then proceeds to rupture the surface of the paper slicing thousands of "seeds," a pointed oval shape based on the intersection of two spheres, commonly known as a vesica piscis.  The cuts are often in the tens of thousands and counted prior to the forms being raised. The play of light and shadow create geometric and dynamic compositions in a singular medium, the paper itself. 

Complex patterns emerge. Varying scale and alternating the style of cut, up to six in each form, Belcher investigates her own personal and spiritual understanding of frequency, consciously placing importance on the effect of every individual amendment to the surface of her paper. Belcher creates a three-dimensional landscape of sacred geometry through the symbolism of the vesica piscis as a mantra and the power of concentration.

New Abstractions

New Work by Martica Griffin, Jeanie Gooden, Jason Craighead, and Mildred Jarrett
January 24-February 25, 2015

Opening Reception: February 7th, 6-9 pm

Tinney Contemporary is pleased to present New Abstractions, a group painting show featuring works by Martica Griffin, Jeanie Gooden, Jason Craighead, and Mildred Jarrett. Anchored in the visually objective subject, New Abstractions allows for a both lively and meditative experience. Nashville-based Martica Griffin's oeuvre comprises kaleidoscopic paintings, deeply rooted in geometrical and bright, colorful forms. Complementing Griffin's work are Jeanie Gooden's large-scale paintings, which explore the interaction of colors and incorporate a variety of mixed media including handmade paper, metal, and hand stitching. Jason Craighead, a recognized leader in the North Carolina art scene, employs expressive, emotionally charged mark-making that is raw and honest, resulting in comparatively alluvial canvases. And, entering her seventh decade as a practicing artist, Nashville-native Mildred Jarrett layers and manipulates paint in her canvases, concealing and revealing delicate forms. Related through a common conceptual approach, the works encompassing this exhibition will demonstrate the enduring relevance of abstraction in American visual art.

A native of Valdosta, Georgia, Martica Griffin graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting. She has done post-graduate work at the School for Visual Arts in New York and studied with other painters including Steve Aimone and David Guidera. Her work resides in various public and private collections.


Jeanie Gooden is an American painter who lives and works between the United States and Central Mexico. In recent years, most of her paintings have been created in the colonial city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a city known for its history as a "creative home" for artists from all over the world. Gooden has works in numerous public and private collections in the United States as well as internationally.

A resident of downtown Raleigh for 16 years, Jason Craighead grew up in Florida where he studied art at Gulf Coast Community College and Florida State University. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the Southeastern United States. He has received numerous awards, and his work has been featured in a number of publications, including Artists & Art Galleries of the Southeast (July 2006).

Mildred Jarrett began in art classes at age 15, and continued her education at The University of Tennessee, Middle Tennessee State University and Volunteer State Community College, then graduated with an associate of fine arts from Watkins College of Art and Design. Notable solo exhibitions include the State of Tennessee Bicentennial Celebration in Nashville (2012); Leu Gallery, Belmont University in Nashville (2011); the Parthenon Museum in Nashville (1994-2005); Tennessee State Museum, Performing Arts Center, Nashville; Gordon Jewish Community Center; and many more.