Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

What's on View at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts

Nashville, Tennessee

Frist Museum - Nashville courtesy of flickr user ktylerconk

It’s been a busy summer at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, and the museum shows no signs of slowing down as temperatures begin to cool off. Located in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, the museum is less than an hour drive from Fort Campbell on the Tennessee/Kentucky border. The stunning building---a mix of Art Deco and classical styles---first opened in 1934 as a post office, and since its revival in April 2001 as the Frist Center, has been the proud host of a magnificent and diverse array of art. The exhibition space changes often---visit several times, and you’ll see something new each trip. Andy Warhol, the Shakers, and an intriguing photography exhibit highlight just a few of the fun things to see and do at the Frist this summer.

The museum has also been busy with its Blue Star program. On Monday, July 18, the Frist turned its regular “Senior Monday” event into a celebration of the true Blue Star spirit. Museum admission was free not only for all active duty military and their families, but also for veterans, reservists, National Guard members, and retired military. The crowd of more than 600 listened to live music from Snappy Pappy, whose leader is a member of the Coast Guard Reserve. Also on hand was Woody McMillin, who signed copies of his book, In the Presence of Soldiers: The 2nd Army Maneuvers & Other World War II Activity in Tennessee, and shared artifacts from his WWII collection.

Whether you’re a local or are just passing through, the Frist Center is a must-see museum with something for everyone. From Andy Warhol to the Andrews family, here’s a look at a what you’ll find at the Frist this summer.

Andy Warhol. Self-Portrait, 1986. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 108 x 108 in. The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Founding Collection, Contribution The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.815. © 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Andy Warhol. Dolly Parton, 1985. Acrylic and silkscreen ink on linen, 42 x 42 in. The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc., 1998.1.625. (c) 2011 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts,Inc. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

“The world fascinates me,” mused Andy Warhol, and I can think of no better word to describe this exhibit: fascinating. Warhol Live, which includes almost 300 works, uses a variety of mediums to explore Warhol’s fascination with music and dance. The exhibit includes everything from Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup cans and self-portraits to smaller illustrations and sound recordings. Throughout his career, Warhol had his hand in just about every artistic discipline imaginable: he was a painter, photographer, printmaker, and producer. The artist also had an uncanny knack for mixing life and art: he was a writer who started a magazine, a music fan who designed album covers, and an admirer of pop culture and fame who became a pop icon himself. Catch a glimpse of Dolly Parton’s portrait---a famous face in Nashville long before she got the pop-art treatment from Andy Warhol in 1985---before the exhibit closes on September 11, 2011.

Vesna Pavlović, Herzlich Willkommen Im Hotel Hyatt, Belgrad, April, 1999, 1999 Color print, 30 x 45 in. Courtesy of the artist and G Fine Art Gallery, Washington, DC.

Photographer and Vanderbilt professor Vesna Pavlović has spent the last two decades documenting important historical and cultural events both in the United States and her native Serbia, a selection of which are on display at the Frist in Projected Histories, on view through September 11, 2011. The first half of the exhibit explores the social and political unrest in Serbia during the 1990s, and the show closes with an examination of contemporary American life. At first glance, the image above seems to be simply of a man relaxing poolside, checking his phone. The second part of the title---Belgrad, April 1999---is more instructive, as it grounds the viewer with thoughts of the war-torn city in which this man was able to find an apparent respite. The contrast between the two meanings---one surface, the other more hidden---is quite thought-provoking; prepare to be challenged throughout this exhibit.

Wooden Pail, Mount Lebanon, NY, 19th Century. Andrews Collection, Hancock Shaker Village.

Gather Up The Fragments presents an extensive collection of household and everyday objects used by the Shakers, a religious group that originated in England in the 18th century. Faith and Edward Deming Andrews spent nearly 40 years (1920s-1960s) collecting Shaker objects and promoting the study of Shaker culture. The exhibition title comes from John 6:12, “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost,” a verse that was popular among the Shakers and a driving principle for the Andrews. The simplicity of this pail---and the design of many objects in this exhibit---is indicative of the underlying principles of Shaker culture: equality, hard work, communal living, and high-quality craftsmanship.

Finally, Connecting Cultures: Children’s Stories from Across the World (showing through March 27, 2012) is the result of the Frist’s 2010 initiative in which they partnered with ten Nashville organizations representing cultures from across the globe. The artwork in this exhibition was created through a series of workshops with more than 200 total participants and aims to “give voice to the city’s growing and diverse population with the strong belief that we can, through art, look at our world in new ways.”

Inspired by what you’ve seen at the Frist? Stop by the Martin ArtQuest Gallery---a room of 30 interactive, educational, creative stations---on the upper floor of the museum before you leave and create a masterpiece of your own.

The Frist Center for the Visual Arts
919 Broadway
Nashville, Tennessee 37203

Please visit the Blue Star Museums website for more information about the program and to find participating museums.


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