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FRIST Art Museum (Nashville, Tennessee)

If you are looking to plan a trip where the music is loud, the locals say "y'all" and the food is deep-fried I suggest hopping on the road to Nashville, TN. Known as the home of country music, Nashville at times can be a melting pot of all sorts of people. Personally, I have noticed that most tourists come here simply for the honky-tonk bars off the main strip - known as Broadway. There is nothing wrong with the tourist trap of Broadway, but Nashville has so much more to offer. Before you decide to get white girl wasted in Nash-Vegas take the time to culture yourself in one of my favorite art museums, The Frist. Opening in 2001, this museum has been the host to works of arts by Van Gogh all the way to local artists. Parents, this is a cheap experience for your pockets. Kids are free, and you will only have to pay for those over the age of 18. There is an art gallery specifically for children to have the opportunity to create their own art. For my broke college kids, your admission is only $10 unless you go on a Thursday or Friday when they offer free admission with a valid college ID. Do not leave without stopping in their cafe for a quick bite to eat and live music. Be sure to check out their list of exhibitions on their website before going, since the exhibits are constantly changing.

During my last visit, I had the opportunity to see an exhibit that covered Mexican Modernism in the 20th century featuring works by Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, among many other artists. Throughout the exhibit, each piece tells the story of the lives of these artists. The effects they wrought on the history of art and how it tied in with the Civil War of Mexico. Even though this was the exhibit I specifically came to see due to Frida Kahlo being an artist I was already familiar with, it was not this exhibit that gripped at my soul.

Upon entering the doors of the Frist "Murals of North Nashville Now" is the first exhibit you see. I ask that you please take a moment to stop, absorb what you see in the piece as well as reading the descriptions that go with them. Each piece depicts a vision, a narrative- of the gentrification to the once primarily African American neighborhoods all the way to victims of gun violence. These artists put their voices into art to share with us the issues and hope that they have for their community. For me, it is beautiful to see people of color having the courage to put their thoughts into art so that others may understand.

Though I loved every artist's vision, my favorite was The Writing on the Walls by Omari Booker. Mr. Booker showcases the family home of a North Nashville resident where gentrification currently has its grasp. Her home is surrounded by paper belonging to the HomeGuard company to represent the "tall skinny" homes that are replacing the historical homes that originally stood there. The painting also features a small white dog in a sweater walking down the sidewalk attached to an owner who is not depicted. This suggests the new residents moving in, while the old are forced to watch their neighborhood change. Being a Nashville native, though not to the Northside, I have also seen the change that gentrification, gun violence, and a corrupt justice system has not only done to the residents but more so people of color. I applaud these artists for touching on the current social issues we are having here in Nashville. I hope to see more.


Until my next adventure,


Anastasia

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