Basketball Bloom (Rawlings) by Brandon Donahue

Art of the Week

As many are hoping to prove in the face of a global pandemic and widespread civil unrest, beautiful things can emerge from whatever is encountered, given the right perspective and ingenuity.

Nashville’s David Lusk Gallery has assembled a group exhibition, “Tactile Response,” that is putting that hope into practice and setting an example for the rest of the world. It consists of work from six artists who have leveraged found material and a handcrafted approach. Materials transformed into pieces for the show range from reclaimed wood and steel to ceramic vases and crocheted yarn.

Featured artists include Maysey Craddock, Tim Crowder, Greely Myatt, Mary K. Van Gieson and Tad Lauritzen Wright. But the transformative beauty wrought by artistic ingenuity and applied skills is no more apparent in the show than through Brandon Donahue’s Basketball Bloom (Rawlings).

“Donahue collects repurposed everyday objects to create assemblages that break down the barriers between traditionally-defined high and low art forms,” explained the gallery in a release. “Comprised of found basketballs and shoelaces, Basketball Bloom (Rawlings) references the sacred geometry of a Mandala through materials loaded with communal history and shared experience.”

By arranging artfully dissected used basketballs into a spiritual bloom, Donahue has imbued the found objects with reverence in a way that should inspire us all to make the most of our surroundings. By elevating objects that are unique and worn with use, Basketball Bloom (Rawlings) may also provoke reflection about the power we impart on even the most everyday objects as we use them.

Donahue is originally from Memphis and received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. His work has been exhibited around the country, as well as in Cuba. He is inspired by street art, pop art and Arte Provera, an Italian contemporary art movement that emphasizes simple objects and the elevation of seemingly commonplace objects.

The David Lusk Gallery is located at 516 Hagan Street in WeHo.

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