Leu Gallery’s “Le Rayon Vert” features whimsy, asymmetry and the ordinary

Paintings from now Nashville-based artist Mary Addison Hackett are now on view in Leu Art Gallery in the Lila D. Bunch Library.

The exhibition, “Le Rayon Vert,” will remain on view until Thursday, Oct. 17. And Hackett will be on campus Thursday, Sept. 12, from 5-7 p.m. for the exhibition’s artist reception and gallery talk, which will start at 5:30 p.m.

“Le Rayon Vert,” is inspired by “everything and nothing,” Hackett said. “I worked on paintings in the exhibition over a course of a year or so without wanting to wrangle everything into a single theme.”

The images depicted in these works come from many different sources including familial artifacts and found images, Hackett said.

Besides having artwork on view in Leu, she also has work on display in the rear gallery space of Tinney Contemporary in downtown Nashville.

Her exhibition in Tinney, “Shell Game,” will remain on view until Sept. 28.

Hackett, originally from Atlanta, Ga., currently works and maintains a studio in Nashville.

But for the past 25 years, she has lived and made art in Chicago and Los Angeles, while showing in national and international art exhibitions.

Her work has been shown in the John Davis Gallery in Hudson, N.Y., Kristi Engle Gallery in Los Angeles, Calif and in the Marsh Gallery at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Ind.

But she has also shown abroad at the U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, Stichting Kaus Australis in Rotterdam, Netherlands and in the Amelia Museum of Archeology in Umbria, Italy.

Memories play a large part in “Le Rayon Vert.” Translated from French, the exhibition’s title literally means “the green ray” and refers to the last ray of sun as it recedes over the earth’s horizon, Hackett explained.

She recalls seeing this “last flash of sunset” several years ago while visiting Big Sur, Calif. And for Hackett, the creative process that produced “Le Rayon Vert” is something akin to the green ray at the end of a sunset and “the mythology surrounding it.”

Hackett is eager to see her artwork organized outside of her studio and to attend the reception in Leu because it allows for a moment to reflect and appreciate her work, even if only for a brief second, she said.

“Plus, emptying out the studio periodically feels great,” Hackett said.

-Austill Harris 

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