About Time: You Discovered Nashville’s Art SceneBy Alicia Grimshaw
So much more than a destination just for music lovers, the city of Nashville boasts a rich and diverse art and culture scene that captivates visitors and locals alike. From world-class museums and galleries to eclectic street art and immersive art exhibitions, Nashville offers a rich tapestry of artistic expression. With its deep-rooted history, innovative spirit, and a community that cherishes creativity, Nashville has become a haven for artists, creatives and cultural enthusiasts.
Nashville Art Guide: Galleries and Museums
One of America’s oldest working letterpress poster shops, Hatch Show Print has been an integral part of the city’s musical legacy since operations began in 1879. Generating original works of show posters for entertainers ranging from Grand Ole Opry stars, to Elvis, to today’s most popular artists, the shop’s distinct artwork has become instantly recognisable to those in the music scene. Just a few short steps away from the original shop, visitors can find contemporary interpretations and tributes to Hatch Show Print’s classic style in the Hatch Show Print’s Haley Gallery.
Nashville‘s premier contemporary art destination, Zeitgeist Gallery, is a haven for art lovers seeking innovative and thought-provoking works. From vibrant paintings to intricate sculptures, each piece pushes boundaries and sparks conversation on political, social and human issues. With a commitment to supporting both emerging and established artists, Zeitgeist Gallery offers a safe space for artists to experiment and grow, bridging the gap between collectors and creators.
A wonderful place to experience the pulse of Nashville‘s art scene, Red Arrow Gallery showcases an array of innovative works by local and international artists. With striking paintings and immersive installations, art lovers will find unique perspectives and narratives throughout the gallery. Female-owned and run with a commitment to developing creativity and community, Red Arrow Gallery allows for freedom in artistic exploration and cultural exchange.
Frist Art Museum opened its doors in April 2001, and has since hosted a spectacular array of art from the region and across the world. Situated in a repurposed art deco post office building, Frist Art Museum is dedicated to fostering an appreciation for visual arts, culture and creativity, offering a new exhibition every six to eight weeks. Beyond the exhibitions, visitors are offered exclusive opportunities to meet the creators behind the artwork and participate in insightful interviews and workshops, nurturing a love for art and fostering creativity in people of all ages and backgrounds.
With over 500 pieces of artwork and exhibits, the LeQuire Gallery and Studio has showcased some of Nashville’s most popular local artists, as well as nationally recognised contemporary painters and sculptors. The gallery and studio celebrates the profound impact of one of Nashville’s most iconic sculptors, Alan Lequire, who is best known for ‘Athena Parthenos’, the largest indoor sculpture in the western hemisphere, and ‘Musica’. Offering the opportunity to witness the sculpting of a portrait, a small study, or the building of a major new monument, LeQuire Gallery & Studio provides an insight for the public into the daily life of a sculptor.
Founded in 1995 in Memphis, the David Lusk Gallery, later opened its second location in Music City. It is now a leading contemporary art gallery in the southeastern region of the U.S. With new shows every five weeks, there is always something new and exciting to see. While the main attraction is the artwork itself, its surroundings are frequently considered to be works of art as well. The gallery has a magnificent openness with four distinct exhibition spaces, spacious rooms, and high ceilings. Located within the Wedgwood-Houston district, the David Lusk Gallery is within walking distance to a number of other popular galleries, making it the perfect addition to any cultural day out.
After spending many years hosting pop-up exhibitions across Nashville, Susan Tinney founded Tinney Contemporary in 2006. Since then, the gallery has helped to grow a buzzing art scene across Nashville, including establishing the First Saturday Art Crawl, which now draws hundreds of art enthusiasts and collectors. Tinney Contemporary focuses on contemporary paintings, photography, drawing, sculpture and installation-based art, and exhibits artists from across the globe, as well as providing a full range of art consulting services to collectors and businesses.
With the aim to inspire the world with art, Chauvet Arts helps contemporary artists to succeed. The gallery represents top local and regional artists, focusing on the stories, styles and characters of the region. As such, it is the premier source of distinctive artwork in the American South. Chauvet Arts is located in the heart of Downtown Nashville with two historic buildings that have been converted into creative spaces, whilst maintaining as many original features as possible. This has allowed the gallery to preserve its history whilst looking to the future, creating an inspiring environment for all its visitors.
Nashville Art Guide: Historic Landmarks and Estates
Built in 1897 as part of the Tennessee Centennial Exposition, this full-size replica of the original Parthenon in Athens is Nashville’s architectural gem. Now home to The Cowan Collection of American Art and a 42-foot statue of Athena, the exhibition features 63 19th and 20th-century oil-on-canvas masterpieces created by American artists.
Discover the enchanting blend of art and nature at Nashville‘s Cheekwood Estate and Gardens. Hidden away in vast botanical gardens, the Cheekwood Estate houses a collection of art and sculptures that will mesmerise art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. Diverse exhibitions housed within historic mansions and contemporary galleries, showcase a range of artistic styles.
Nashville Art Guide: Neighbourhoods
Immerse yourself in the vibrant art scene of downtown Nashville, a community where creativity thrives. From the moment you step onto the lively streets, you’ll be greeted by artistic expression from all angles. Explore an array of galleries, including the Tinney Contemporary and Chauvet Arts, studios, and public art installations that dot the city’s landscape, showcasing the talent of local and international artists. Wander through the bustling arts districts, where colourful murals and graffiti paint the streets and experience Broadway, which showcases live music performances, theatrical productions, and film festivals that celebrate the arts. Downtown Nashville puts you right in the centre of the action, with countless honky tonks, restaurants and bars to be explored.
Experience the vibrant artistic hub of Wedgewood-Houston, known more colloquially as WeHo. This dynamic neighbourhood, transformed from abandoned warehouses to contemporary art spaces, houses an array of galleries and artist studios like Zeitgeist, The Packing Plant, and Julia Martin Gallery. Explore diverse exhibitions featuring a range of mediums and styles by established and emerging artists. WeHo’s thriving artistic community fosters engaging conversations between artists and gallery owners, and during art crawls and events, the streets come alive with live performances, interactive installations, and pop-up exhibitions, weaving innovation and creativity together.
Take a stroll through the vibrant neighbourhood of East Nashville, home to many creative luminaries who shape the culture and feel of the community with their artistic spirit. Discover boutique shops and craft markets and while you’re there, stay at the Waymore’s Guest House and Casual Club, an ode to the area’s locally-beloved creatives, characters, artists and musicians-behind-the-
Nashville Art Guide: Trendy Hangouts
Pinewood Social houses a coffee shop, bar, restaurant, and bowling alley within a stylish converted industrial warehouse. This multifaceted destination has become a popular choice for locals and visitors alike, seeking a cool and artsy atmosphere. Inside, the modern-industrial aesthetic welcomes you, with a spacious layout offering various seating options and an outdoor patio for soaking up the sun. Expertly crafted specialty coffees are served at the coffee bar, while the bar boasts an impressive selection of craft cocktails, local beers, and a curated wine list. When hunger strikes, Pinewood Social’s menu features Southern comfort food and inventive twists on classics. Whether you desire a cosy coffee spot or a lively setting for happy hour, complete with bowling and dining, Pinewood Social offers something for everyone.
Housed in a renovated industrial space in the Germantown neighbourhood, Rolf and Daughters is celebrated for its inventive cuisine and stylish setting. Upon entering, guests are greeted by exposed brick walls adorned with captivating artwork, and a bustling open kitchen that sets the stage for an exceptional dining experience. Led by acclaimed chefs, the culinary team takes inspiration from Italian and Mediterranean cuisines, crafting dishes that are both rustic and refined. From homemade pasta to succulent meats and fresh seafood, Rolf and Daughters’ passion for food is evident throughout the whole dining experience.
Just a short walk from Nashville’s Lower Broadway, locals and visitors alike flock to Adele’s, where a passion for food meets warm hospitality. Once an auto repair shop, Adele’s has been converted into an elegant space with a lively open kitchen, chef’s counter and heated outdoor patio. The menu focuses on quality, sustainable ingredients sourced from local artisans and purveyors, with the aim to support the local community and minimise the impact on the environment. It is a prime destination for those seeking elevated farm-to-table American food and a legendary breakfast buffet. Adele’s also specialises in handcrafted, bespoke cocktails, hard-to-find whiskeys, and wine to please every palate.