Come take a trip with me to experience all the art that Nashville has to offer!
This spring we’ve been hosting live concerts at the Fargo Airport through ArtWORKS – a real source of so much entertainment for me – so it was fun to finally be able to jump on a plane and head out on my own adventure headed to the live music capitol of the world.
I’m currently working on a super secret video for TAP that comes out next week featuring some incredible art and hosts of ArtWORKS, and so I’ve been hyper focused on the public art that Fargo-Moorhead has to offer.
Although I was traveling to a much larger city, I kept this focus on local art top of mind, and even had a fun reminder at the airport as we headed out.
Last week I wrote about one of our donors and avid choir singer, Carl Wichman, for our newsletter. He was scheduled to work his job at the airport around the time I was leaving so he agreed to wear his shirt for this fun moment. If you paid attention to the newsletter last week you may have noticed a nod to his church choir, which I’d like to correct to First Lutheran Church.
It’s fun to think about all the people who may have seen this message on the way to or back from all over the place. A great reminder to #supportlocalart.
Upon arriving in Nashville I was immediately greeted by various country music stars over the intercom saying, “welcome to the music city.” I later learned that this phrase has nothing to do with country music, and is said to have originated with the Fisk Jubilee singers, who put Nashville on the music map while breaking racial barriers after the Civil War.
Out of the airport, I pulled down my mask for a quick breath of fresh air and was struck by the smell of hot chicken and the sound of cowboy boots click clacking all over.
Our first evening we took it pretty easy and enjoyed some wine at a quiet restaurant. But the next day we really got to work hitting all the spots that people had recommended.
I especially enjoyed visiting the Johnny Cash museum. When you first walk in there’s a string of very large headshots of him blown up larger than life. You can almost see the fame wash over his face and leave him lost.
Since the weather was nice we ended up walking to almost everywhere we need to go and stumbled across a bunch of colorful public art.
I will say, Nashville is one of the prettiest river cities I’ve ever seen and the charm of all the old bars lined up adds to the city skyline. The Cumberland River is slowly winding and there’s a walking and biking path that conveniently connects the city-center to a huge stadium across the river.
One of the highlights of my trip was waiting for four hours in line to drive some golf balls into a net.
Just joking, we decided to forego the long line and ditch Top Golf, although I did get a photo of this cool mural (above) with the lady standing in it before we hopped on some electric scooters.
What I meant to say is that one of the highlights of our trip was visiting the Frist Art Museum.
I think at this point I had ditched my denim jacket but I was wearing it in spirit while standing in front of this masterpiece by Thomas Moran entitled “A Snowy Mountain Range (Path of Souls, Idaho), 1896. It was part of the “Creating the American West in Art” exhibit on display until June 27.
Having just traveled to Yellowstone and hearing a bunch about Moran, this was a rare museum moment where the connection to one’s own life and the timeless piece on the wall overlap and the experience becomes a great memory to cherish.
The museum itself was a masterpiece, walking down the art deco hallways and gazing up at the clean white ceilings lit by sky lights added to the surreal experience of being in a city with such a high standard for art. The museum opened in April 2001 and currently occupies the old main post office facility in downtown Nashville.
The Picasso exhibit was a lot to take in but I particularly enjoyed his statues and bronze sculptures since those seem to be less known.
One of the descriptions included the phrase “ostensibly sexual” towards Picasso’s later years and that certainly rings true to some of the “figures” that I saw.
Overall, the staff were incredibly kind and helpful and it was a museum experience I won’t soon forget.
Now that I’m looking back at the photos I took while I was visiting Nashville, I’m remembering how my phone was somehow always consistently running low on battery. But I didn’t mind much, in fact, it helped me unplug and enjoy the sunshine.
Here’s one bonus public art experience I did have (not my photo below) while waking along the river.
There’s a giant sculpture of what looks like a roller coaster right as you cross the pedestrian bridge.
I actually thought it was just an old theme park or something until I looked it up and found out that the 100 feet high, 100 feet wide, and 60 feet deep design is actually an award-winning steel sculpture called the Ghost Ballet.
The sculpture brought national attention to the City of Nashville, Tennessee, when it was completed in 2007.
What do you think about the sculpture?
Drop a Nashville art recommendation in the comments.