12th & Broad

May. 14, 2014 5:37 PM

Ziegfeld Girls Perform Variety Show at Oz

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead (cropped) Hunter Armistead

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead Hunter Armistead

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead is prepared for life-size projection at OZ Hunter Armistead

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead (cropped) Hunter Armistead

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead Hunter Armistead

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead (cropped) Hunter Armistead

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead Hunter Armistead

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    A Ziegfeld-inspired portrait by Hunter Armistead Hunter Armistead

A Nashville native, artist Hunter Armistead will present his newest photography series, "Ziegfeld Girls," at OZ's "Thursday Night Things" series on May 15. The event draws on Armistead's dual background in the performing and visual arts to celebrate the beauty and talent of fellow local artists.

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Variety Show

An immersive exhibition of Armistead's 1920s-style portraits of Nashvillians, the subjects of his images will also perform in a Variety Show. Models performing are Katelyn Epperly, Heather LeRoy, Elle Long, Rosemary Fossee, Jenna DeNuys, Molly Cherryholmes and 12th & Broad's Meagan Rhodes.

A few of the performances include stand-up comedy, Mozart, several 1920s numbers, a Wowee Dance routine and an escape artist! The set and the performers' dress will be '20s-inspired and the Variety Show will be emceed by Armistead. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the reception and photography exhibit, where the images will be displayed on 4 x 6 life-size projections on screens. The Variety Show performance begins at 7 p.m.

Oz elle long Portrait by Hunter Armistead, cropped, for his Ziegfeld-inspired photography series. Hunter Armistead

Photography Exhibition

Armistead's Ziegfeld series takes its inspiration from the portraits by Alfred Cheney Johnston of the Ziegfeld Follies showgirls in the 1920s and '30s, among the most famous beauties of that era. Armistead, whose first foray into the arts was jazz dancing in college, is captivated by the graceful, almost balletic nature of the Johnston images.

"The women's poses, particularly the positioning of their hands, are very precise. They look almost mid-dance," said Armistead in a press release. "The style of the photographs, including their brilliant use of props, captures the look and feel of the '20s in an unparalleled way. In my own photographs I have tried to recreate that aesthetic with a contemporary twist or two, with talented local women as my models."

In addition to the Variety Show, the Ziegfeld motif will come to life as Armistead's life-size photographs are projected in rotation on four screens within OZ's elegantly minimal warehouse space.


Doors will open, and the Riff's Fine Street Food food truck will begin serving, at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at www.oznashville.com or at the door. OZ is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville.

hunter Hunter Armistead Pierre Vreyen

Hunter Armistead

Hunter Armistead began practicing photography shortly after graduating from college due to a recommendation made by a vocational test. He completed a series on Beersheba Springs before setting his camera aside to pursue a 15-year career as a rock singer in rock band Mel and the Party Hats, which in the late '90s was one of the most successful unsigned bands in the South. In 2006 he began practicing photography full-time. In 2008 he moved to Berlin, now his second home, for a year. There he completed a number of projects, showed his work, and performed.

Armistead has been published in The New York Times, Southern Living, and Nashville Arts, among other magazines and newspapers. His first book, "The Nashville 100," a series of 100 strangers he photographed on Lower Broadway in one day, was released in December 2013. Read more about his new book, "The Nashville 100," in this 12th & Broad interview.

He has shown his images in Berlin and in Nashville at The Parthenon Museum, Project A and the Froelich Gallery and has work in private collections as well as the Tennessee State Museum. He considers AKTION — a popup live performance in front of a 90-foot-long installation of his images at a park in Berlin — the high point of his career to date.

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OZ: Brave New Art

As the first contemporary arts institution in the region, the arrival of OZ transforms the cultural landscape of Nashville. Through a year-round program of performing and visual arts events, OZ supports the creative explorations of leading artists from around the world and inspire curious audiences of all ages. Nashville's Ozgener family established the non-profit OZ in the building that once housed their cigar company, C.A.O. Under their leadership, OZ has been transformed into a column-free, 10,000 square-foot performance and installation venue nestled amidst artfully landscaped grounds.

In addition to presenting celebrated national and international artists, OZ serves as a catalyst for local creativity. The organization provides a platform for local artists through the monthly TNT ("Thursday Night Things") series, which asks artists to create an event that would traditionally not be seen in a visual art gallery or theatre — and that involves a collaboration of creative disciplines.

oznashville.com, 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle


Related story:

Hunter Armistead Captures 100 Faces of Notorious Lower Broadway