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Inside the blossoming Nashville art scene

By: Margaret Littman

October 21, 2015

A city ruled by its creative class, art and culture is at the heart of life in Nashville. And though it’s often the musicians that steal the spotlight, there’s also a growing community of artists that are pushing the Nashville art scene to new heights.

Inside the blossoming Nashville art scene | Tinney Contemporary
Tinney Contemporary has an eye for the dramatic © Leslee Mitchell

To get the full effect of Nashville’s growing arts scene, just lace up your walking boots and open your eyes, as there is art at coffee shops and boutiques, not to mention in galleries and museums, all over town. Favourites include Hillsboro Village’s Fido and East Nashville’s Hey Rooster General Store.

Inside the blossoming Nashville art scene | Hatch Haley Gallery
Hatch Haley Gallery is a few blocks from the Arts district © Donn Jones/Courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Many of the Nashville’s arts attractions are clustered together downtown. This area is always interesting, but on the first Saturday of each month it’s teaming with activity. Visiting the First Saturday Art Crawl is easy thanks to free shuttles that take you from gallery to gallery (so you can partake of the wine samples that most galleries offer).

 

Since 1996 The Arts Company has offered a more eclectic mix than the typical gallery. Come here for contemporary art including sculpture and painting, as well as smaller items that make perfect gifts for folks back home.

Inside the blossoming Nashville art scene | The Arts Company
There’s always something new to see at The Arts Company © Bob Schatz

Hatch Show Print’s Haley Gallery sells restrikes of the famous letterpress house’s posters, as well as original works in a similar aesthetic. The gallery is a few blocks from the main downtown Fifth Avenue of the Arts district, in the same building as the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and the Omni Hotel.

 

With 3,000 sq. ft. The Rymer Gallery is known as one of the city’s most cutting edge contemporary galleries. Just down the block is Tinney Contemporary, a favourite of collectors of works by local and regional artists.

Inside the blossoming Nashville art scene | Hatch Haley Gallery
Hatch Show Print is Nashville’s signature look © Donn Jones/Courtesy of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

But it isn’t just downtown that illuminates Music City’s art scene.

 

The East Side Art Stumble is held on the second Saturday of the month, and gives a glimpse into the growing East Nashville art scene. Galleries may be less well known than those situated downtown, but the works of art on display may be more experimental and affordable. Among the city’s must-see galleries are Gallery Luperca, Main Street Gallery and Red Arrow Gallery.

Inside the blossoming Nashville art scene | Tinney Contemporary

Tinney Contemporary features work by artists from across the country © John Schweikert

A relative newcomer to the Nashville art scene, Wedgewood/Houston (known locally as WeHo) also host a popular art night. The artists who live and exhibit in this South Nashville neighbourhood have been perfecting their craft for decades. Get ready to explore on the first Saturday of each month.

 

Our partnership with Delta means we can connect you to and from a wide range of destinations across the United States and Canada. Book a flight to Nashville and experience the local art scene for yourself.

 

Have you explored the Nashville art scene? Tell us about your favourite galleries in the comments section below.

 

Written by Margaret Littman

Margaret Littman

Margaret Littman [www.littmanwrites.com] is a Nashville-based journalist who covers small businesses, travel and all manner of other topics. She is the author of many travel guidebooks, including Moon Tennessee and the Moon Nashville, which will be updated for 2016. Since moving to Music City she has acquired a 1967 Ford pickup and a lot of pairs of boots, but still not the ability to carry a tune.

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