Art Works Blog

#BlueStarMuseums in Music City

Want to visit ancient Greece, Australia, or the paleolithic era? Then Music City has a museum that's just right for you! From the history-focused Tennessee State Museum to the hands-on exhibits at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts to an awe-inspiring look at ancient Greek architecture, this trio of Nashville-based Blue Star Museums will please your budding artist, archaeologist, architect, historian, or world explorer! Don't forget to browse the Blue Star Museums map to find other participating museums in Nashville, in Tennessee, and across the U.S.

Founded in 2001, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts is a relative newcomer to Nashville's cultural scene, with a lot to offer both kids and kids-at-heart. Through September 10, State of the Art: Discovering American Art is, per the museum's website, a "national selfie" of contemporary artmaking in the U.S. with works by John Douglas Powers, Carl Joe Williams, Celestia Morgan, Nathalie Meibach, Jawshing Arthur Liou, and many more. Ancestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art looks at contemporary interpretations of traditional aboriginal artistic forms. Try your own hand at watercolors, printmaking, sculpture, and more at the 30 interactive stations in the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, which seven days/week, like the museum itself, is "alive with the sounds of learning through making art!"

Step out of contemporary Nashville and into ancient Greece at The Parthenon, the centerpiece of the city's Centennial Park. Originally built for the state's 1897 Centennial Exposition, this replica of one of the most famous structures of ancient times boasts its own 42-foot-high replica of the Greek goddess Athena, as well as replicas of the Parthenon Marbles, cast from the original sculptures. The museum also boasts a collection of 19th- and 20th-century fine art paintings by American artists representing the Hudson River School, the Luminists, the Symbolists, and other artistic influences of the time. Through August 27, visit an exhibit of Jerry Atnip's evocative sepia-toned photographic landscapes of Florida, Texas, Georgia, and, of course, Tennessee.

Given that the Tennessee State Museum is home to the bones of a mastodon that roamed the state 10,000 years ago, it's clear that they're not kidding about their mission to spotlight the history of Tennessee and Tennesseans. The museum comprises permanent exhibits devoted to the area's history from the pre-historic to post-Civil War eras as well as changing exhibits highlighting contemporary Tennessee culture. Through October Alan Shuptrine: Appalachian Watercolors of the Serpentine Chain celebrates Appalachian and Celtic culture. Browse exquisite watercolors in handcrafted frames while pondering this statement from the artist: "Without knowledge or appreciation of your past, and with no sense of place, how can you look to the future?" The Yanks are Coming, part of the national commemoration of the U.S. entry into World War I, is a focused look at some of the items in the museum's military collection. On the museum's website, you can also check out a complementary online exhibit highlighting how each county in Tennessee played a part in the Great War. 

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