In a city recognized for creativity, Music City’s booming art scene speaks loudly. Despite the nickname, there are many forms of artistic expression to be found around every corner. From the transformation of ordinary spaces to activating predominant art museums and galleries, the visual arts play a major role in community culture. Whether it’s the perfect picture to Snapchat your friends or an appreciation of art history and culture, there are many ways to explore the visual arts during your time in Nashville.
Locals and visitors alike enjoy hunting for some of Nashville’s most Instagram-worthy murals, so ensure you’ve got enough memory on your camera or phone for some killer shots.
Debatably one of the most well-known is the I Believe in Nashville, created in 2012 by Adrien Saporiti. The original piece can be found in 12th South across from Reese Witherspoon’s store, Draper James. Saporiti has completed multiple others across the city including Stay Tuned off of Main Street in East Nashville and Hieroglitches at Grimey’s. Be sure to make a stop to see What Lifts You in the Gulch, or Hillsboro Village’s dragon mural, before that battery of yours dies, too.
Located in downtown Nashville, is The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, a nonprofit art-exhibit with 24,000 square feet of gallery space. Rotating art from local, regional and international artists, you can find an array of art ranging from ancient history to present day.
The Carl Van Vechten Gallery of Fisk University is housed in a late 19th-century building. Along with rotations of renowned artists, you will find an extraordinary group of paintings donated by Georgia O’Keeffe’s husband after she passed away.
In Centennial Park, steps from Loews Vanderbilt, is Nashville’s Parthenon, the world’s only full-scale replica of the famous Greek Temple. It’s a work of art in itself, but step inside to find a permanent gallery and a 42-foot sculpture of Athena Parthenos, the tallest indoor sculpture in the western world.
The First Saturday Art Crawl takes place on the first Saturday of each month in Nashville at 5th Avenue of the Arts, off of Broadway. On this evening, local art galleries and museums open their doors to the public to allow the community the opportunity to appreciate Music City’s vibrant art scene. Attendees can view or purchase artwork while sampling hors d’oeuvres and occasionally wine. With complimentary admission, the event is wildly popular, welcoming approximately 2,000 attendees monthly.
Although commonly known for some honky-tonkin’, for an ultimate Nashville experience, don’t forget to carve out time to explore the local art scene when planning your next trip to Music City.