November “Down a Country Road” Showcase Features Williamson Artists

By Justin Stokes

West Harpeth Road Anne Goetze
West Harpeth Road by Anne Goetze

During the pandemic, Leiper’s Fork visual artist Anne Goetze’s whole world froze. With COVID guaranteeing that almost every public art show was canceled, the creative was without a means to showcase her art.

“It was a dark time for a lot of us,” Anne tells the Williamson Source. “As a professional artist, I rely on formal art shows and in-person events to expose my art to a new audience.”

She knew that she had to keep making and showing her art, but Anne’s usual avenues of doing so were shut down. Looking to spaces outside of her usual roster of locations, Anne reached out to the historic Theta General Store in Columbia.

Anne says, “When I made that call, I realized that the Theta General Store had just about everything that I needed. It’s old, beautiful, and has more than enough wall space for multiple artists.” The space was also useful for being a frequent spot for music shows, which allowed for both live performances if Anne so chose as well as food and beverage sales. Being in the country, Theta also gave people a means to get in their car and go for a scenic drive to a location that allowed social distancing. She adds, “It was like a godsend.”

This was the start of a new showcase series, entitled “Down a Country Road” back in August 2020. Now, after several successful iterations of the series, Anne brings “Down a Country Road IV” back to Columbia’s Theta General Store on Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14.

The first three shows allowed Anne to pull from the very best artists in Middle Tennessee. She was able to show some of her own work as well, including the landscape paintings and photographs for which she’s known as well as her “Pray to Love” series which explores the lives of the Contemplative Nuns.

For this latest show, Anne will be featuring several artists familiar to the Franklin area.

“It wasn’t my intent to be so Franklin-focused,” Anne says. “Even though this is the most diverse show we’ve done so far, there’s so much artistic talent in Williamson County that it makes sense to have several artists from the area.

There are several artists that Franklin residents will recognize. Master woodcarver Ken Means is the star attraction of The Factory at Franklin. In the front of the mall is his carousel workshop, where visitors can see him hard at work carving or painting his latest carousel animals. This is actually Ken’s first Tennessee art show not exclusively featuring his carousel animals.

Though based in Davidson County, reclaimed metal sculpture artist Val Adams is responsible for the prominent “Relax and Unwind” bench installation at the Brentwood Public Library. This bench was installed in 2019 at the library to commemorate the library’s 40th anniversary. Like Anne, Val is an advocate for sustainability and reuse practices, and his metal sculpture art incorporates pieces from old cars, broken farm equipment, and other junkyard scraps.

Bird photographer and videographer Nathan Collie will be displaying a new ornithological series of images. An admirer of nature, Nathan has been working on a book over the last year that highlights the different birds native to the Volunteer State. In his work for this book, —which is due for release in 2022—Nathan has been producing some of his best work yet.

Anne will also be showing new oil painting landscapes that were produced during the pandemic.

Rounding out the lineup is figurative visual artist Buddy Jackson, space and sky photographer Steve Confer, nature photographer Robin Conover, and portraiture photographer Stacey Zaferes Alger.

A portion of the sales for this event will be donated to the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville’s Artist Relief Fund.

“Down a Country Road IV” will take place Saturday, November 13 and Sunday, November 14, from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. The Theta General Store is located at 2278 Les Robinson Rd, Columbia, Tennessee.