past shows

Paul Collins, Night View, 2013, ink on watercolor stained grounds

Vanishing Act

Alex Blau
Paul Collins
Nick Hay
Rocky Horton
Ron Lambert
Jonathan Rattner
Karen Seapker
Thomas Sturgill

April 11 - 26

Opening Reception Saturday, April 11 / 7-10pm

by appointment only, please contact georgialeee@gmail.com

Heliopolis presents Vanishing Act a group exhibition featuring the work of artists who are a part of Nashville’s curatorial collective, COOP.

A magician’s vanishing act elicits fascination, amazement, and awe over the sudden disappearance of a form. It involves the production of illusion through trickery and deceit, and leaves us with sudden loss and ensuing wonder. This legendary trick is one that we all can recall, whether we have seen it enacted or not.

The works in this exhibition touch upon the various qualities presented in and suggested by this act— spectacle, transformation, loss, invisibility, etc. Some of the works suggest the presence of a form that cannot (or can no longer) be seen. Others seem to exist in mid- transformation. The works (which feature a range of media including video, collage, painting, and sculpture) present a variety of associations spanning from the playful nature of a trick to the gravity of disappearance.

Some of the artists from COOP will be present at the opening on April 11th.

More about the artists:

Alex Blau has an MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Rhode Island School of Design. Alex’s geometric paintings draw from a variety of sources and have unexpected associations. By variously utilizing graphic languages associated with things like disposable consumer goods, computer generated architectures and unfolding mandalas, Blau’s work both points to abstraction’s open-ended possibility and highlights its incorporation into mass culture. She has shown her work internationally, with solo shows at Zeitgeist Gallery in Nashville, Firecat Projects in Chicago, Gallery Seomi in Seoul, Mark Moore Gallery in Santa Monica, Kevin Bruk Gallery in Miami, Barbara Davis Gallery in Houston and the New Britain Museum of American Art. Blau is the recipient of several awards including a Joan Mitchell Grant. Currently, she is teaching art at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film and working in her studio in Nashville, TN.


Paul Collins is a multidisciplinary artist and curator from Nashville, TN. Paul makes drawings, paintings and sculpture that combine humor, tactility and observation to examine the world around us. Paul has an MFA from Yale and has been a resident at Skowhegan, Anderson Ranch Arts Center and the Vermont Studio Center. Paul is an enthusiastic collaborator and has curated shows or organized artist projects for a wide range of artists including James Surls, Gregory Botts, William Pope.L, Dahlia Elsayed, Betty Woodman, Paul Jacobsen, Mala Iqbal, Kenny Scharf, David Humphrey, Charles Long and Michael Kreuger. Paul lives in Nashville, TN.


Nick Hay is a visual artist currently living in Nashville.  His work falls at the intersection of rock and roll music, historical peculiarities, and the furthest reaches of the universe where humankind maintains absolutely no significance.  In the past he has been known to be somewhat humorous, but it can also be pretty hit or miss.  


Rocky Horton was born in Arlington, Tennessee in 1973. He attended college at Harding University, in Searcy, Arkansas. After graduating in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Art, he lived and worked in Italy, first Milan then Naples, for approximately two years. He received an M.F.A. in studio art from West Virginia University in December of 2003. Since that time he has served as a Professor of Art at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.


Working mainly in video and sculpture, Ron Lambert investigates the intersection between psychology and the environment. He received his MFA from the School of Art and Design at Alfred University, and his BFA from the University of Connecticut. Ron is currently an assistant professor at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania. Ron's work has been published in Shaping Space, Third Edition, and Color, Third Edition, both by Paul Zelanski as well as the show catalogue People Doing Strange Things With Electricity. Ron has shown in galleries nationally, including the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Michigan, the Attleboro Arts Museum in Massachusetts, the Center on Contemporary Art in Seattle, the Housatonic Museum of Art in Connecticut, and several college and university galleries around the country. His videos have been screened internationally including the Crosstalk Video Festival in Budapest Hungary, and the Sanluan Yishu project in Beijing China. His work is in the Vascovitz collection, the Swedish Medical Center, and the collection of the Tacoma Art Museum. Ron is a founding member of the COOP collective in Nashville, TN.


Jonathan Rattner is an artist that primarily produces experimental nonfiction films and videos.  He holds an M.F.A in Film and Video Production from the University of Iowa, an M.F.A. in Intermedia Art from the University of Iowa, and a B.F.A. in Film and Television from Tisch School for the Arts, N.Y.U. He has exhibited work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the University of Iowa Museum of Art, the World Social Forum in Brazil, the Society for Cinema and Media Studies, the European Media Arts Festival, L’Alternativa Film Festival, as well as at other colleges, festivals, and galleries in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Rattner is currently an active member of the art collective Wildland Urban Interface and holds the position of Assistant Professor of Cinema & Media Arts and Art at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. 


Karen Seapker received her MFA in Painting from Hunter College in New York City and a BA in Studio Art and Art History from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  She has been in residence at Chashama North in Pine Plains, NY and has exhibited her work in New York, Miami, Pittsburgh, London, Nashville, and Shanghai. Karen has curated shows including the solo work of Peter Krashes and Daniel Luchman and has organized and curated exchange group shows between COOP Gallery and Unsmoke Systems in Braddock, PA and now Heliopolis in Brooklyn. She is currently teaching at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, TN.


Thomas Sturgill was born and raised in Pound, Virginia, a rural company town whose heyday had long passed.   In 2002 he received his undergraduate degree in sculpture from the University of Tennessee, in Knoxville,  Tennessee. Sturgill received and MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in 2006.  He has exhibited domestically and internationally.  He works both solo and collaboratively. Sturgill is a founding member of the artist collective, Pulled Resources. Thomas Sturgill currently lives and works in Nashville, Tennessee and is presently an Assistant Professor in Foundations at Middle Tennessee State University.