Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery undergoes major renovation

(Courtesy: Frist Center)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville is known for its creativity, from the music community to the arts, and the Frist Center has always been a popular spot for tourists and locals.

Since opening in 2001, more than 1.5 million people have visited the Frist Center’s Martin ArtQuest Gallery.

“You can see we have been well loved by many visitors who have come into the space,” said Anne Henderson with the Frist Center.

The center is currently in the middle of a major renovation.

“We are taking it down to the studs and bringing it back,” Henderson said.

The Frist Center is a place with many different purposes. There are art exhibits, public programs and an interactive gallery. All of it, though, is aimed to educate and inspire

Artists will still team up with the gallery, like current exhibitor Nick Cave, whose work is incorporated into classes.

(Photo: WKRN)

“We do the same thing at the Frist Center. We are going to do our own version of that,” said Erich Hils, a Martin ArtQuest facilitator.

Hils continued, “Whenever we have different exhibitions here we like to modify our projects. We like to give any of the people who come into the Frist of all ages a chance to make a project similar to the project we have across the hall.”

The partnerships will be a part of the new and improved facility, as well as a focus on technology and its influence on art.

“Now people use smartphones, which weren’t even around then, so we needed to accommodate for that,” explained Henderson.

There will even be a 16-foot interactive wall composed of color-changing dials.

“It’s an opportunity to create designs and patterns using color,” Henderson said.

There will also be a shadow theater, exhibits with stop-motion animation and a full-body digital painting experience.

Some of the old favorites will still be around, like drawing, painting and printmaking, but will come back improved.

(Photo: WKRN)

“We are changing many things and we are keeping many of the favorite stations so those guests and visitors that love print making, painting, drawing stations, those will still be there but we are adding some things we are really excited about,” said Henderson.

The renovations are being paid for by supporters in the community and private donations.

The grand re-opening is May 24, with a ribbon cutting. Until then, art-making activities will be moved to the adjacent classrooms on the upper level.

During the renovations, the rest of the Frist Center will remain open.

Children under 18 are always free. For more information about the renovations, click here.