Bag Bag: Ann Moody

May 6 – 26, 2023 | Opening Reception Saturday, May 6th 1–9 PM

COOP Gallery is pleased to present Bag Bag by Ann Moody. Moody’s practice grapples with
the superabundance of material culture by reclaiming and retooling discarded objects from
thrift stores, junk shops, and friends’ homes. Necessarily worn and often dated—single-use
plastics, scratchy acrylic yarns, pilled clothing, stained sheets, and stiff, stifling poly-blend
fabrics foreground Moody’s work. Reworking this archive of waste becomes a framework for apprehending Moody’s past as a material that can be reclaimed, cut up, mended, painted over, and worked into. Bag Bag investigates the ubiquity of plastic, particularly in the domestic space. While living in Buffalo, Moody watched stores transition to compulsory reusable bags.

After returning to Moody’s home, Alabama, during a global pandemic that necessitated
grocery delivery, Moody was struck by the piles of accumulated plastic bags and the ease
with which everyone consumed them. Petroleum spilling from our external environment, into our homes and—once disposed of—back into our environment again. Moody’s mother kept a “bag bag” to hold plastic shopping bags in purgatory before their eventual reuse as garbage can liners. However, the amount of garbage can liners Moody needs is disproportionate to the quantity of plastic bags accumulated. This resourceful, conscientious “bag bag” logic can find its way into the studio, utilizing an excess of free and low-cost materials.

More about the Artist
Currently based in Alabama, Ann Moody (b.1989) is an educator and artist combining
reclaimed materials with painting, soft sculpture, and other craft-based processes to examine how domestic objects entwine with identity, maintenance, waste, and productivity. Moody has exhibited nationally at galleries including The Waiting Room, Little Berlin, and The Overlook. Prior to receiving her MFA from the University at Buffalo, Moody completed their BFA at the University of Montevallo, where she currently teaches studio and lecture courses. Moody leads workshops covering a range of craft and art techniques within educational, community and gallery contexts. Learn more about Moody at

Healing Circle and Art Creation

You’re invited to join COOP member and Indigenous artist Shayna Hobbs, in a relaxed & soothing environment as she guides you through a journey of healing through creation. She will share her own story of healing through art which has helped her process and release heavy emotions, the death of two siblings, trauma, abuse, PTSD, and the identity struggles of growing up as a bi-racial, Indigenous girl. Hobbs has reclaimed her childlike expression by allowing herself to play and create without rules and without judgment.

She will lead you through her method of intuitive healing & playful creation and you’ll make and take home your own art, and hopefully your own healing too 🙂 We look forward to seeing you there.

+ guided meditation & breath
+ healing sounds + music + movement
+ sweetgrass & sage
+ stories of healing
+ Create your own art

* canvases and art materials will be supplied but I ask that you bring a memory, picture, or item that holds symbolism for something you want to heal, release or transmute through art.

*Please bring a yoga mat, sleeping bag, or pillows as we will be working on the floor in a relaxed and childlike way. Wear comfortable clothing.

APRIL 23, 2023
2:30-4:30 PM

Grab your free tickets here!

Samantha Zaruba’s Persistent Ache of Baby Teeth


Take a 4-dimensional dive into your identity at Persistent Ache of Baby Teeth at COOP Gallery April 28-30. Samantha Zaruba’s (Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville, Paint Your Noodz) interactive exhibition features paintings, reflection stations and workshops inviting viewers to engage with these complex themes in a visceral and personal way. This Tennessee Re-pair Triennial show, will be open for public viewing on Saturday, April 29 from 6-9pm.

Prompt-driven reflection stations, workshops, or other interactive parts of the installation, may encourage participants to begin shedding their current identities and consciously create new, perhaps more authentic ones. 

Sliding-scale workshops accompany the work throughout the weekend, pulling viewers deeper into the art. On Friday, Zaruba will lead a special edition of her Paint Your Noodz class for survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence to provide an accessible opportunity to reclaim their bodies. Saturday afternoon, Zaruba will take participants through a mirror and emotion workshop that will leave them with a deeper understanding of themselves and an increased power over their emotional state.

“In the rigorous examination of the age-old question “Who am I?” I believe we will begin to repair our relationships to ourselves and by extension, with each other.”


Samantha Zaruba is a mixed media artist and art empowerment teacher interested in how self-constructed narratives and media consumption impact human beings on a cellular and collective level. Zaruba’s latest series examines our relationship to our bodies in the modern era and is a revival of work she started while studying Art at UMass Amherst. Her work has been featured in print (Out Voices Nashville, Winner of Best Visual Artist in Nashville Scene’s Best of Nashville), galleries (Turnip Green Creative Reuse Artist in Residence) and album covers (Ron Gallo, Naked Giants).

Zaruba is the creator of Paint Your Noodz, a personalized and empowering paint & sip art experience. In her role as a business owner and visual artist, she utilizes her platform and passion for community organizing to raise funds for causes that align with her commitments. In 2022, Zaruba raised over $1200 through art donation and benefit classes with funds benefiting Nashville Launch Pad, ARC SouthEast and Abortion Care Tennessee.

Distinct Impressions: Reflections of Culture, Identity and Place

Distinct Impressions: Reflections of Culture, Identity, and Place
New Members Exhibition
April 1–April 22
Opening Reception: April 1, from 1–9 PM

Join us at the gallery on Saturday, April 1, from 1–9 p.m. as we open Distinct Impressions: Reflections of Culture, Identity, and Place featuring works by five of our new members.COOP Gallery is pleased to present Distinct Impressions: Reflections of Culture, Identity, and Place, featuring work by five of our new members. Distinct Impressions: Reflections of Culture, Identity, and Place features five unique voices, cultural identities, and media in an effort to create a conversation around varying journeys, backgrounds, and cultural perspectives.

More About the Artists

Theresa Buffo was born in Ohio and received a BA in Studio Art from The Colorado College with honors in Painting. Growing up, art exploration was her refuge, and sewing, stitching, knitting were talents inherited from her grandmothers and mother. She studied Industrial and Graphic Design at the University of Illinois Chicago, and has held a variety of creative positions, including working in historic textile and rug conservation for a private collector in Chicago; a product designer for a Nepali Adventure Travel company; and is self-taught in leather work, stitching handbags under the label bocUe. She recently moved to Nashville with her husband and two sons. Follow Buffo on Instagram @studiobuffo11.

Sai Clayton is a visual artist and curator in Nashville, TN. Her work is informed by her experience as a Japanese-White American born and raised in the South. She exploits the self-portrait as a vessel for racial representation and as a personification for female sexuality and Asian biraciality. She was the 2021–22 Curatorial Fellow at the Frist Art Museum, and holds a B.A. in Visual Arts and minors in Dance and Japanese from Middle Tennessee State University. Find her at

Cesar Pita is a ceramicist born in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrant parents. This experience has influenced Cesar’s work and has become the motivation for him to advocate for his community with his work and plans for social projects. His work revolves around cultural exploration/ celebration and addressing social issues Cesar has completed his bachelor’s degree at Middle Tennessee State University. He is currently an art handler and a teacher at Buchanan Arts in North Nashville. Follow Pita on Instagram @saysorrywithoutthe_ys.

Evelyn Thoen is a multimedia artist and art teacher based in Nashville, TN. Her work explores time, memory, and place through printmaking, drawing, and film photography. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows and can be seen on her website Evelyn graduated with a B.A. in Art with a minor in Art History from Westmont College in 2021.

Shayna Hobbs creates art under the name VONALISA. The name honors her late brother, Garrett, and his band, Vonagarden. The word “vona” is Icelandic for “hope”. “Lisa” is Hebrew for “God’s Promise;” VONALISA means “Hope of God’s Promise.” As a biracial Indigenous woman from the Stockbridge-Munsee Mohican Nation, VONALISA combines pieces of her native heritage with themes of life, death, sexuality, spirituality, identity, the divine feminine, power, healing, and transformation. Hobbs loves creating layers of mystery and meaning. Every aspect of creation is reminiscent of what she created when she was young, which is another theme she embodies: to always stay childlike and playful. Learn more about VONALISA at

See you on Saturday, April 1! 


Espejos: Renata Cassiano Alvarez

March 4 – 26 | Opening Reception Saturday, March 4th, 1-9 PM

Left: Renata Cassiano Alvarez, Right: Altar con Icono y Espejo

COOP Gallery is pleased to present Espejos by Renata Cassiano Alvarez, the winner of COOP Gallery’s 2022 Open Call to artists. Espejos follows Cassiano Alvarez’s obsession with material and color language, physicality and reflections, in this case mirrors, especially the ones attached to Tezcatlipoca, the Mexica god of transformation and change. These artifacts are the result of ideas and experiences around language, identity and self-reflection. As a transnational artist, the ability to move from one language to another is crucial to Cassiano Alvarez and illuminates the centrality of change within the human experience. Espejos comprises a series of glaze and obsidian mirrors inspired by the original Smoking Mirror dedicated to Tezcatlipoca, together with a group of oversized clay and obsidian knives and artifacts. Resting on tiled structures, these objects speak of a connection with architectural details from Cassiano Alvarez’s home in México and the tile as another flat plane that functions as reflection. 

More about the Artist
Renata Cassiano Alvarez is a Mexican-Italian artist born in Mexico City and is currently the Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at the University of Arkansas School of Art. Cassiano Alvarez’s artistic practice is based on a constant search for developing an intimate collaborative relationship with material and material language. Influenced by archeology and history, she is interested in the power of the object as survival – objects with a sense of permanence and timelessness, and language as transformation; specially how adopting a different language can affect the physicality of the human body, and how this translates into material. Her work has been exhibited internationally and can be found in public and private collections around the world. She works between her studio in Veracruz, Mexico and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

More about COOP
COOP is a curatorial collective made up of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville’s dialogue with contemporary art by presenting challenging new or under-represented artists/artworks to our community. COOP is committed to exhibiting art of diverse media and content, with a goal to provide an alternative venue for artists free from the constraints of the retail market. COOP seeks to initiate a discourse between Nashville and art scenes across the country by inviting artists to show, develop projects and interact with the Nashville community.


For questions contact:, Mandy Rogers Horton

Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces)

Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces) : TC + Michael Mucker 

February 4 – 25, 2023 | Opening Reception Saturday, February 4 6-9pm

TC, Friday, collage, 32” x 40”, 2021

Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces) creates space for dialogue between two Southern artists working at the intersection of fine art and human scale design. 

TC says, “I go back in time to the present, when many black people have returned to the South from the North after realizing that they receive the same treatment everywhere. As we take in our surroundings, we realize that perhaps it is time to examine our own communities and address some of the issues that exist there. Community is where it all begins.”

Communities have a story of their existence. Some stories have been lost in travel, while others were taken away through atrocities of suffrage. Generations of history have been passed through the story telling of the griot, the oral historian. These stories illustrate the greatness of human resilience, our will to thrive through the suffering towards our greatness. Through these stories and historical documentation, we pick up those lost pieces until our story is complete.” 

Back to the South Side (Pick Up the Pieces) is a response to the Tennessee Triennial prompt of Re/Pair, drawing inspiration from Jacob Lawrence’s The Migration Series, a body of work that centers on the Great Migration, during which around six million Black Americans moved from the American South to the Northern, Midwestern, and Western states between the 1910s and the 1970s. 

This exhibition is presented in partnership with the Tennessee Triennial. The artists will be present at the opening reception on Saturday, February 4 from 6-9pm. 

More on the artists: 

Ol Skool Mike

Michael “Ol Skool” Mucker (he/him/his) knew from an early age that he wanted to create. Growing up during the Golden Age of Hip Hop, graffiti provided an outlet for creative freedom. At age 17, Ol Skool leveraged his prowess with a spray can to begin making work in airbrush. Completely self-taught, Ol Skool continued honing his craft and eventually founded several airbrush shops. 

After completing an overseas tour of duty, Ol Skool relocated from Kentucky to Tennessee in 1995 and continued to diversify his experience in mediums including graphic design, animation, automotive painting, murals, works on canvas, and, most recently, tattooing. Ol Skool’s work has been shown in galleries, museums, and cultural centers throughout Tennessee, Kentucky, and Indiana. Most days, Ol Skool can be found in his studio or at One Drop Ink Tattoo Studio and Gallery.


Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, TC (they/them/theirs)  has valued and created art since childhood, using collage to explore their experiences as a black, queer adolescent in the South. TC says, “You don’t really see or hear about people having dreams where I’m from. Many people just simply forget about their dreams because they have families to support. Growing up, I knew that I was different. I didn’t know what different meant at the time, but I was aware that I didn’t want to mirror the people around me.” 

An innovator, fashion designer, artist, and lifelong learner, TC works to create space for all kinds of people. TC’s garments and collages are modes that illustrate the typical lives of African Americans in the South, giving equal attention to both the highs and lows.

More on COOP:
COOP is a curatorial collective made up of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville’s dialogue with contemporary art by presenting challenging new or under-represented artists/artworks to our community. COOP is committed to exhibiting art of diverse media and content, with a goal to provide an alternative venue for artists free from the constraints of the retail market. COOP seeks to initiate a discourse between Nashville and art scenes across the country by inviting artists to show, develop projects and interact with the Nashville community.

For questions contact: Sara Lederach & Jay Sanchez,, 



January 7 – 28 | Opening Reception Saturday, January 7 6–9PM

COOP Gallery is pleased to present GARDENING, NOT ARCHITECTURE (SARAH SATURDAY) as the artist-in-residence for the month of January. The residency will include an installation in the gallery with artwork, props, costumes, and footage from the upcoming new release, plus chances to attend a private rehearsal of the new live show ahead of its world premiere in 2023. Voyage is the latest multimedia project from Nashville-based music artist Gardening, Not Architecture, featuring a mix of live performance with innovative short films and vibrant original songs. This live visual album explores the shifting relationship we have with our complex and layered identities – those parts of ourselves both positive and negative that are always trying to protect us, sometimes to our detriment. 

Gardening, Not Architecture will have private rehearsal performances on January 14, 15*, 19, 20, 21, 22*, 26, 27, 28. Each rehearsal starts at 7:00 with the exception of the Sunday rehearsals on January 15 & 22, which start at 5:00. Doors open 1 hour prior to showtime. Performances are free to attend, with multiple opportunities to make donations at the show. Visit to reserve your tickets. 

More about the Artist
Sarah Saturday is an interdisciplinary musician, producer, writer, and performance artist known by her stage name, Gardening, Not Architecture. She has released several albums, singles, remixes, videos, films, and multimedia performances since 2007, and played over 200 shows in the U.S. and Canada since 2009. She has scored music for film and TV, including creating the original score for the feature film Superpowerless. Since relocating to Nashville in 2012, Sarah has made a name for herself in the Nashville performance art community with her deeply vulnerable, complex, visually stunning performances. Website:

More about COOP
COOP is a curatorial collective made up of artists, curators, thinkers and professors who are committed to expanding Nashville’s dialogue with contemporary art by presenting challenging new or under-represented artists/artworks to our community. COOP is committed to exhibiting art of diverse media and content, with a goal to provide an alternative venue for artists free from the constraints of the retail market. COOP seeks to initiate a discourse between Nashville and art scenes across the country by inviting artists to show, develop projects and interact with the Nashville community. Website:

For questions contact: Clayton