Arts News Features

Ukulele Bound – Bright Littlefield Strum a Different Beat

Ukulele Bound – Bright Littlefield Strum a Different Beat

November 26, 2012 at 6:37 am

Nashville musicians Jonathan Bright and Tom Littlefield, both veterans of Music City’s 1980s underground rock scene, recently found they had an unusual interest in common – the ukulele.

Naxos at 25

Naxos at 25

October 8, 2012 at 3:35 am

Miles away from Music Row, one of the biggest classical record labels makes its US headquarters in Franklin. Naxos records recently celebrated a quarter-century of finding success by breaking with industry norms.

Art Provides Income for Autistic Teen

Art Provides Income for Autistic Teen

May 15, 2012 at 2:29 am

New statistics show the odds are against autistic young adults finding any sort of work, but artistic talent is helping one Nashville teenager transition into the working world.

Mrs. King of Nashville

August 30, 2010 at 6:40 am

In 1917, H. L. Mencken, the writer, infamously declared that the South was about as artistically, intellectually, and culturally sterile as the Sahara Desert. Two years later, in 1919, Hazel King was born. And for the past ninety-one years, she has been a living rebuttal to Mencken’s claim. WPLN’s Kevin Bouldin introduces us to King as part of our occasional storytelling series Upon First Meeting.

Chihuly in Nashville

May 21, 2010 at 2:30 am

Glass sculptures by renowned artist Dale Chihuly can be found throughout the grounds and inside Cheekwood’s art museum. As WPLN’s Nina Cardona reports, they’re here in an effort to celebrate the Nashville institutions’ 50th anniversary on a huge scale.

Kids Draw Flood Memories

May 14, 2010 at 2:30 am

The scope of Tennessee’s historic flooding is hard for adults to fully comprehend. This week many school children have taken class time to interpret what they’ve seen on TV and experienced first hand. WPLN’s Anne Marshall has this story from East Nashville’s Lockeland Elementary, where kids are using art to make sense of what’s happened.

Vending Machine Dispenses Art at TPAC

March 16, 2010 at 3:30 am

A trip to see a show at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center often begins with a few purchases in the lobby: a program, maybe a visit to the concession stand. Now, as WPLN’s Nina Cardona reports, visitors will also find a new way to buy art.

Arborist to Artist

February 5, 2010 at 2:30 am

This morning we begin a new series of storytelling focused on the people and places of Middle Tennessee. Upon First Meeting: A Series of Introductions begins with today’s subject: a man who was crushed by a nine hundred pound falling branch. WPLN’s Kevin Bouldin introduces us to Ethan Swiggart, a tree surgeon who possesses the skills of an ax man and the eyes of an artist.

Art For Real: University School Of Nashville

November 9, 2009 at 7:40 am

Painting students at the University School of Nashville spent last month working directly with an artist in New York. WPLN’s Susan Knowles reports.

The Arts Economy – A Tale of Two Galleries

July 23, 2009 at 6:45 am

As the economic recession continues, the always-risky art business has proved particularly vulnerable. In January, art sales were down by half at the Christies and Sotheby’s auction houses in New York. Here in Nashville, WPLN’s Joe Nolan reports on the fortunes of two local galleries trying to attract the difficult art dollar.

Unfinished Units Transform into Galleries

May 12, 2009 at 1:30 am

Getting attention in this economy and saturated market can be hard—especially when what one wants to sell is contemporary art and high end real estate. A Nashville developer and local art gallery are trying for a competitive edge by combining marketing efforts. They’re doing it by hosting cutting edge art exhibits in unfinished lofts of a new downtown high rise. WPLN’s Adrienne Outlaw reports.

“Quote” Inspires Artwork

February 26, 2009 at 6:32 am

When the band “Quote” tours, they don’t just play music, they put on an art show. WPLN’s Adrienne Outlaw reports on a musical experience for the ears and the eyes. A few years ago in California two friends were playing around with their music. One said to the other, “I’m writing a story about your song.”

A River Odyssey – Photographs by John Guider

November 3, 2008 at 6:01 am

Five years ago, John Guider was making a good living as a commercial photographer. But he didn’t feel fulfilled as a man or as an artist. He spent long hours sitting by the creek behind his Franklin farmhouse, dreaming about a journey that might provide answers. The Tennessee State Museum is showcasing photographs from that journey — a canoe trip from Franklin to New Orleans. WPLN’s Kim Green reports.

PhotoVoice and The Kids of J.C. Napier Homes

August 4, 2008 at 6:36 am

Earlier this year, a dozen middle-schoolers spent a couple of months combing South Nashville’s J.C. Napier Public Housing project, armed only with disposable cameras.

Aaron Douglas: Out Of The Shadows

April 3, 2008 at 1:37 am

In the midst of New York’s Harlem Renaissance, Fisk University invited a young African American artist to paint a mural for the library. Aaron Douglas squeezed trips to Nashville in between other big commissions in New York and Chicago. Because his best works were painted on walls, the starmaking machinery of galleries and museums ultimately bypassed him. Now a major traveling exhibition at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts promises Douglas some welcome visibility. WPLN’s Susan Knowles reports.

“Field Guide” at Vanderbilt University Law School

December 21, 2007 at 11:15 am

Two years ago the Frist Center for the Visual Arts put on an exhibit of new artwork made by up-and-coming, Nashville-based artists. That show sparked the Vanderbilt University Law School to exhibit similar work — art that’s anything but traditional, art that’s edgy, contemporary and relevant to today. The law school’s current show, called “Field Guide,” connects the concerns of four young Tennessee artists, as WPLN’s Adrienne Outlaw reports.

Nolensville Road’s New Mural

August 7, 2007 at 1:21 pm

Drive under the railroad trestle on Nolensville Road near the Nashville Zoo and you’­ll pass a ring tailed lemur, a hyacinth macaw and a 13-foot Bengal tiger.

No, the animals aren’t loose. Nashville muralist Michael Cooper painted them on the support columns as part of a project to celebrate the gateway to the Flatrock Community. WPLN’s Adrienne Outlaw reports on what the mural means for the people who commissioned it. – To see more of Michael Cooper’s work, go to

Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks

July 26, 2007 at 1:55 pm

Across the river from lower Broadway, next to the Shelby Street Bridge and in front of LP Field is a new kind of Nashville star – a giant red super nova. A public sculpture that looks like parts of a whirling spiral galaxy come to earth. Fabricated of industrial steel like the barges that used to launch from this part of the riverbank, Its the creation of Alice Aycock, known worldwide for her industrial sculptures. WPLN’s Susan Knowles reports.

Senior Thesis Show At Watkins College of Art

May 4, 2007 at 4:21 pm

This weekend starts graduation season for most colleges and universities. While many liberal arts students receive their diplomas mostly through class time and credit hours, graduating art students must take an extra step – create a body of work and publicly exhibit it. Adrienne Outlaw reports on the work of three soon-to-be-graduates and their Senior Thesis Show at Watkins School of Art.

Fabergé at Cheekwood

April 6, 2007 at 3:59 pm

What is Easter without eggs? Long a symbol of fertility and rebirth, eggs achieved imperial status when Alexander III commissioned a Russian jeweler with a French name to make an Easter present for his wife.” That was 1885, and the Russian tradition of Fabergé eggs was born. Three of those imperial Easter eggs recently arrived in Nashville at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art – but the eggs are not the stars of the show, as WPLN’­s Christine Buttorff reports. More info at