CORY BASIL One Night Only at OZ! / by Cory Basil



Singer-Songwriter-Pianist Brooke Waggoner Will Perform Throughout the Evening, With Basil Reading Excerpts from His Novel The Perils of Fishboy: A Tale Split in Two and Selected Poems

For the July iteration of its monthly local spotlight series, TNT, OZ Arts will host Nashville-based, self-taught, multidisciplinary artist Cory Basil, whose work in various mediums will fill the contemporary arts center’s expansive warehouse space. On July 17, OZ will exhibit a series of new, large-scale sculptures as well as illustrations, paintings and animations spanning Basil’s career. Pianist-singer-songwriter Brooke Waggoner, a member of Jack White’s band The Peacocks and a celebrated artist in her own right, will perform throughout the event.

Doors will open, and the Rolling Feast food truck will begin serving, at 5:30pm. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased online at or at the door.

OZ is located at 6172 Cockrill Bend Circle in Nashville, TN.

Since childhood, Cory Basil’s startling art works have told touching love stories in comical and macabre ways. In its grand entrance hallway, OZ has installed over 65 works representing various facets of Basil's technique and voice. Some are whimsical; others are more sentimental; all give insight into the artist, who has been remarkably prolific across multiple art forms in his young professional career. The installation will remain on view through August 30, 2014. The collection The Eternal Embrace is inspired by the Lovers of Valdaro, a pair of 6,000-year-old human skeletons discovered by archaeologists in Italy in 2007. In Where the Ghost Meets the Muse, Basil explores impressionist techniques, allowing color and deliberate brush strokes to tell the story of ghosts from his past. Like so much of Basil’s output, the illustrations comprising The Imagination of Cory Basil leave room for the viewer to imagine his/her own narrative. Six capricious ink drawings are displayed from Skinny Dipping in Daylight, Basil’s first published collection of poetry and prose. Also featured are the original versions of watercolors and pencil illustrations, used for the cover and inside, respectively, of Basil’s young reader novel The Perils of Fishboy: A Tale Split in Two. (The July 17 event will mark the paperback launch of the book. A limited edition print will be available to all who purchase the novel.)

Basil will use much of the 10,000 square feet of OZ’s main interior space, the Grand Salon, for two “cineplexes” that will show four animations, a live-action film and photographs. Each mini-cinema—one at each end of the room—will hold 32 people at a time, and audience members are welcome to come and go as the animations loop. Sculptures representing the characters from The Perils of Fishboy: A Tale Split in Two will frame each entrance to these animation stations and a third sculpture in the series will stand nine-foot high as a focal point in the warehouse. Basil is creating these sculptures with sculptor and OZ resident artist Brian Somerville. Local artists Jonathan Richter, Donny Smutz and Anthony Jastrow will each contribute a piece inspired by Basil’s work and interpreted in their own style.

Celebrated pianist and award-winning singer-songwriter Brooke Waggoner, to whom The Wall Street Journal has attributed “a surprising, unconventional, sophisticated style of pop” with “specificity and emotional range,” will perform live from the Grand Salon. Waggoner will perform original works and will accompany Basil as he reads excerpts from The Perils of Fishboy: A Tale Split in Two and selections from poetry and short stories.


About Cory Basil

Cory Basil is an American painter, filmmaker and author. His aesthetic blends gothic romanticism with the post-impressionists’ trust in emotional honesty. With a renaissance artist’s reverence for color and light, he conjures a world beyond our own—one with the soul of a baroque spectacle. He is a self-taught artist who started experimenting with filmmaking and animation in 2006. He is inspired by stop-motion animation’s embrace of imperfection and its ability to imbue self-contained worlds with mood and tone both alien and familiar. In 2011, he created his paper doll animation style, further exploring the juxtaposition of truth hidden within creations, honesty in fiction, and beauty in error.

Basil first brought his distinct style to the public in a 35-piece watercolor and India ink exhibition “Internal Exposure” (2011), in Nashville, Tennessee. The whimsical worldview of the exhibit captured imaginations, and more than half of the pieces were sold within two weeks. Since then, his work has been the focus of six additional exhibitions, including Poetry is Dead (2012, Nashville), which have sold throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

Paintings feature characters filled with innocence surrounded by an intrinsically unsettling darkness. This innocence of honesty and expression fill his paintings with hope despite darkness, exploration in the face of fear and the lurking danger of true love.

He is the author of poetry and prose books including Skinny Dipping in Daylight (2012), The Perils of Fishboy: A Tale Split in Two (2013) and, most recently, The Shovel & The Hare (2014).

About Brooke Waggoner

Brooke Waggoner has garnered considerable critical praise, and accolades including a 2009 Nashville Music Award for Best Emerging Artist, since the release of her 2007 EP Fresh Pair of Eyes. Her full-length albums include Heal for the Honey (2008), Go Easy Little Doves (2009) and Originator (2013). She was featured on Jack White’s recent album Blunderbuss and toured as part of White’s band throughout 2012 and the first part of 2013. She will return from her debut tour of China just in time for OZ Arts’ TNT event with Cory Basil.

About Brian Somerville

Brian Somerville received his BFA from the University of Evansville and an MFA from Florida Atlantic University. His work consists primarily of entertaining animal figures that carry important social, political and personal meanings. Somerville and Basil collaborate on the concept and fabrication of mixed media sculptures of characters from Basil’s The Perils of Fishboy. Somerville is currently an artist in residence at OZ Arts.

About OZ Arts Nashville

As the first contemporary arts institution in the region, the arrival of OZ Arts has begun to transform 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 inspires curious audiences of all ages. Nashville’s Ozgener family established the non-profit OZ Arts 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 Arts serves as a catalyst for local creativity. Conceived by OZ Artistic Director Lauren Snelling, TNT (Thursday Night Things) is a monthly series of unexpected collaborations with Nashville-based artists from varying creative disciplines. OZ provides a platform for these artists to create, develop and present a one-time-only event that would traditionally not be seen in a visual art gallery or theatre - utilizing the vast expanse of the Grand Salon, entrance gallery and/or surrounding grounds.