5 Must-See Summer Downtown Art Exhibits


Art Exhibits of Nashville

505 Nashville will be ready for move-in day before you know it, and Nashville’s most elegant downtown living will be right at your fingertips. When you experience the joy of living downtown, you also get to experience all the exciting happenings, which foster that joy. Good food, great music, and terrific theatre are all things downtown Nashville has become world-famous for, but did you know that Nashville’s art scene is alive and more vibrant than ever?


Nashville was recently ranked the #2 Most Vibrant Arts Community by the SMU Center for Arts Research… and we can see why. With more than 20 galleries in the downtown area alone, and countless exhibits to choose from, there is no shortage of brilliant, contemporary art right at your doorstep. The choices can be overwhelming, so we’ve compiled the five must-see-exhibits you shouldn’t miss this summer:


1) Irving Penn—Beyond Beauty

Open until May 29, 2017 at The Frist


Art Gallery

This image first appeared in Vogue Magazine. Sourced from highlowvintage.com


Though classically schooled in painting and design, Irving Penn became one the twentieth century’s most prolific and influential photographers. He rose to fame by photographing fashion and the famous, but his approach to the photograph is what really sets his work apart from other artists at the time. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts brings the first museum collective retrospective of his work since the artist’s death. A full arc of his images will be on display from his early work in surrealism to his high-fashion photography. You can find more information here, and be sure to check out this powerful collection before it’s gone!


2) Daryl Thetford – Understanding Contemporary Relationships

May-June 2017 at The Arts Company

Art Gallery
“The Waiting Room,” image originally appeared on: http://www.darylthetford.com




Daryl Thetford’s exciting solo exhibition opens this May at The Arts Company. Thetford’s collection is bold and unmistakable. As far as process goes, Thetford uses raw digital files, alters them, and then uses a process of digital cutting and pasting with multiple, other photographs (of close-ups of paint, signs, and sidewalks) to render a new image completely. This creates a new, vibrant white noise from what the original image actually held, and will make you rethink what tone is capable of through his flawless stitch work. Receptions will be held on the first Saturdays of May and June at The Arts Company, and in conjunction with First Saturday Art Crawl from 6-9. You can find more information on the exhibit here, and believe us when we say you do not want to pass up on stumbling over to view these exciting images.



3) Vadis Turner: Tempest

May 26–September 10, 2017

Art Gallery
Photo taken and originally appeared on Fristcenter.org


Nashville born artist, Vadis Turner, has returned to her home state with new and powerful work. In her new exhibit this summer, she transforms commonplace objects often associated with women (ribbons, bedding, etc.) into bold, textured assemblages that shed light on the value of female experiences, particularly young women’s rites of passage. These powerful pieces challenge conventional gender roles and are absolutely breathtaking. The exhibit opens at The Frist Center for the Visual Arts the end of May, and will run throughout the summer. See one of Nashville’s hometown artists in Nashville’s hometown art museum. Find more information on this exciting exhibit here.



4) The Rymer Gallery – opening, closing, and continuing

(All summer long)

Art Gallery
Photo originally appears on therymergallery.com



When we think of exciting, rotating exhibits downtown, The Rymer Gallery is one of the first on our minds. They are one of downtown’s most contemporary and creative galleries, and their dedication to curating art from a diverse group of artists really shows. From emerging to established, local to international, The Rymer Gallery consistently brings enormous talent to downtown. Catch a newly curated exhibit opening every month this summer at the First Saturday Art Crawl, or catch the exhibit during the week, as they keep their doors open Tuesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm. You can find more information on The Rymer Gallery here.


5) First Saturday Art Crawl

(All summer long)

Art Gallery
Photo first appeared on nashvilledowntown.com



There is no shortage of fantastic art in downtown Nashville, and it probably goes without saying that the First Saturday Art Crawl is the place to be each month to see all things new and exciting when it comes to art. The first Saturday of every month, galleries present their latest exhibit, in what becomes a truly amazing and immersive experience. Our very own, 505, will be exhibited at the May Art Crawl (May 6th) at the Fifth Third center lobby. Come see, “505: The Building, The Builders,” to see how 505 has grown, shaped, and become Nashville’s tallest residential skyscraper through the eyes of photographer, William Hobbs. The Art Crawl spans the majority of downtown, so each exhibit is just a short walk away from another, making downtown the perfect place to call home for a lover of all things art. You can find a great map of all the exciting downtown art galleries and make your own Art Crawl map here.