art | Nashville Public Radio


TPAC group photo Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

About 30 families recently went to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center for the first time. Just stepping into TPAC — soaring windows and balconies and full of dressed-up people — was almost excitement enough for sixth grader Blake Allen.

Carl Van Vechten Gallery
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Fisk University’s famed Alfred Stieglitz Collection has returned to Nashville. After two years hanging in the Crystal Bridges museum in Arkansas, the artwork will get an unveiling here on April 7.


A statue of a boxer by Nashville artist William Edmondson has drawn a record-setting price at auction — $785,000, the highest price ever garnered for what's called "outsider art."

Edmondson did briefly achieve insider status during his lifetime: In 1937, he became the first African-American to have a solo exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. 

Macon St. Hilaire Nashville art
Gallery Luperca

A Nashville gallery has challenged artists to show their love for the city, with one catch. The artwork that debuts this weekend cannot depict the downtown skyline.

Bobby Moresco REAL program Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

An unusual play will be performed Thursday night — for one night only — at TPAC in downtown Nashville. It’s based on the idea of helping troubled teens by getting them to share a stage with successful people.

Porch writers Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Amid Nashville’s storytelling culture — which tends to come out through song — a new experiment has emerged. It’s called “poetry on demand.”

A group of writers hangs out at events, including this weekend’s Southern Festival of Books, and quickly writes poems based on stories shared from passers-by. Whoever wanders up answers a few questions and then the poets go to work.  

Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Keith McLeod Fund

For the first time in more than a decade, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is putting together a major exhibition of Islamic art.

Organizers hope it'll widen Tennesseans' conception of art from the Muslim world.

"Ink, Silk & Gold" has been three years in the making. It includes more than 100 works from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Racial Equity Nashville Arts
Metro Arts

Updated at 4 p.m. Wednesday: This story has been updated for clarity and to link to a revised version of the Metro Arts report.*

Racism and elitism have been found in some of Nashville’s arts and culture organizations. The issues came to light in a series of interviews about whether the arts are accessible to the city’s increasingly diverse population, and now Metro is responding.

Stix Nashville cedar
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville’s most expensive — and tallest — public art piece begins to rise Monday next to the Music City Center. While the project brought criticism on the Metro Arts Commission, officials say they’re now about to be vindicated.

Light Meander Nashville riverfront park
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville’s newest piece of large-scale public art is being erected this week alongside the Cumberland River — a waterway that inspired the sculpture.

There’s nothing that looks quite like it in downtown Nashville — a tall piece of steel, but one that doesn’t include a straight line like the towering buildings nearby. Instead, this artwork, titled “Light Meander,” curves back and forth — mimicking the bends in the Cumberland River — as it rises nearly 45 feet.