Art and sports converge at the fourth annual Family Day at OZ Arts Nashville.  Curated to spark creativity, fun and interaction, this year’s popular festival offers up food, a slew of sports-themed art-making activities and performances, and sculptures and interactive installations by featured Nashville artist and TSU assistant art professor Brandon Donahue.

“Creating artworks with your hands and interacting with artists opens up a whole new dimension for young adults and children,” said OZ Arts CEO Tim Ozgener.  “Nowadays, families are on the go so much that creating a compelling occasion that brings families together to interact with some of the region’s standout artists was a goal of ours.”

Over a dozen local artists and community organizations will set up indoor and outdoor art-making activity stations, and several performances will punctuate the day, including a Tai Chi Demo by The Chinese Arts Alliance of Nashville and stunts by BMX bikers and skateboarders in the front parking lot-turned BMX course and skate park.  

In addition to a selection of his elegant “Basketball Bloom,” sculptures, Donahue will create an outdoor volleyball court made from used volleyballs and rope and a full-size, back-lit indoor basketball court with backboards made from bamboo and toilet seats.  

“To me, sports and art bring together culture, creativity and active participation in a healthy way,” Donahue said.   

Sports equipment and other everyday street objects, like traffic cones, fallen street signs or hubcaps, are integral to Donahue’s work.  He transforms the objects using airbrushing, spray painting, vacuum forming or by simply slicing them up and reassembling.  

“I enjoy knowing that (a ball) has been touched, passed and used by multiple people. The weathering and tear of the object reveals the passage of time,” he said.  “I’m really into object transformation, and for the basketball blooms sculptures, I deconstruct the basketballs and reassemble using only shoe strings. The meaning of the object changes because it is out of context and because it is no longer functional.”

Anchored in street and folk art traditions, Donahue’s work summons our community spaces and objects, the social participation inherent in sharing them, and ultimately, our own capacity to transcend the mundane and transform.  “I hope the viewer sees the ordinary in a new and innovative way,” he said.  

Donahue has several more art projects planned for the community in the coming months.  Nashville Walls Project has commissioned him to paint a public mural in Nashville, and through the Metro Arts and Hastings Architectural Project, he will contribute a mural he created with kids to the Madison Community Center as well as an interactive video game installation.  

If you go 

What: Family Day at OZ featuring art by Brandon Donahue

Where: 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle

When: 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday

Admission: $25, free for children 12 and under

 

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