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Where To Learn More About The Visual Art Scene In Nashville
by TJ Anderson
High praise from New York’s Observer: They just listed Nashville among “The 5 Best Cities in the World With Up-and-Coming Art Scenes,” alongside Vienna, Austria, Beijing, China, and others.
We’re the one U.S. city getting the nod there, and the piece isn’t understated about the potential in its included burgs:
“Not only do these worldwide sites offer unique art experiences, but they are also being credited with pushing the international contemporary art scene in exciting new directions,” the publication says.
The Nashville blurb in there offers solid suggestions of where to go to explore, gallery-wise, from the obvious (The Frist Center downtown) to the more tucked-away (Art & Invention Gallery in East Nashville), so if you’re just starting to dig into the art scene in Nashville, you’ll find worse advice.
If you’re inspired to dig deeper, and get a broader sense of what’s happening on the visual-art front here in Music City, here are a few of the avenues I’d encourage you to walk down:
A monthly deep dive into Nashville’s vibrant community of artists, from painters to sculptors to performers, Nashville Arts gives you free access to what’s bubbling up on the art scene, and to what’s long been part of its foundation. You can find print copies all around Middle Tennessee, from East Nashville to Franklin, and you can read coverage online at nashvillearts.com too. If you’re new to Nashville, or want to ensure that you have a steady finger on the pulse, there are few better places to turn.
Explore some Nashville Art Crawls
Getting to know art in person, on the ground, tends to be the best way to get an intimate understanding. And in Nashville, there are regular, easy ways to make your way through our collection of great galleries, in the form of art crawls in various neighborhoods, nearly every weekend.
The First Saturday Art Crawl is a downtown standard, held on the first Saturday of every month at a mix of galleries along Fifth Avenue of the Arts and in the Historic Arcade.
On the south side of Nashville, we have monthly art walk Arts & Music at Wedgewood-Houston, also on the first Saturday, with galleries, studios, maker spaces and more taking part.
In East Nashville, the East Side Art Stumble runs on the second Saturday of the month, mixing together galleries, studios and other East Nashville businesses, all hosting openings and events that celebrate the art scene and local artists.
The fourth Saturday of the month, head up north for the Jefferson Street Art Crawl, where a crew of galleries and cafes show off rising local art, from painters to illustrators.
Those are just a few of my favorites — lots of Nashville-area neighborhoods have art crawls and walks that spotlight what’s been building here for a good long while.
Extra handy if you’re out and about and feel inclined to find some art nearby, Metro Arts’ Explore Nashville Art app (just point your browser to explorenashvilleart.com) can direct you to galleries, tours, street art, places of cultural importance and so much more. GeoAlerts can do the finding for you, popping up suggestions if you’re near something cool, or you can search for stuff, broken down how you like: by neighborhood, type of art or type of activity.
Every year, Nashville overflows with art during the month of October, as venues across town take part in Artober Nashville, a “celebration of the arts in Nashville and Middle Tennessee.” You’ll be able to catch films, festivals, exhibits and performances, all highlighting our city’s creativity. More specifics will pop up closer to October, but if you’re intrigued, bookmark Now Playing Nashville’s Artober Nashville page. They’ll have your Artober marching orders.
New in 2018: Art fair Art Nashville is in the works downtown, aimed at being “akin to the CMA Music Festival of the arts,” with exhibits from more than 100 local and international galleries and dealers. The first event is due to coincide with Artober, running October 17 through 21, 2018, and they’re expecting to see some 35,000 attendees. It’s an exciting addition to the art landscape here, and I have high hopes — keep up with the latest at art-nashville.com.
Are there outlets/events you think are musts for folks getting to know the Nashville art scene? Please share — I’d love to read your thoughts.
If you’re planning on moving to our “up-and-coming” global art epicenter, please let me know if I can help you find the right place. Check out some Nashville homes on the market now, and call or email TJ Anderson Homes to get your househunting process started.
TJ Anderson is a Nashville Realtor with Benchmark Realty who's helped countless clients both buy a home and sell a home in Nashville, Tennessee. He blogs about Nashville regularly, from Nashville-area....
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