nashville public art

Nashville murals, street art, graffiti, signs, sculptures and more




Sitting in one corner of Centennial Park is a small, playful kinetic sculpture with a little plaque that reads simply, “Ariel 1979 Lin Emery.”  Lin Emery is a 93-year-old artist from New Orleans who since 1972 has specialized in kinetic, moving sculpture. He art today is found in museums and galleries around the country and the world, including the National Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Foreign Art in Sofia, Bulgaria; and the Flint Institute of Art in Michigan. 64 Parishes has a nice write up about her and her approach to art. That such a significant artist would have a piece sitting in front of Metro Parks’ Centennial Art Center is probably because she did not have quite the stature in 1979 that she does now. Art auction sites are coy about values, but one auction site suggests starting prices for her pieces from a few thousand dollars for smaller pieces to up to $50,000 for the larger ones. It’s a shame to show this piece in still pictures, as it does move in the wind. This video includes some of Emery’s pieces in motion, including one that resembles the Nashville piece. There’s a bonus in the pictures below – my red Honda Fit!

A side note about the Centennial Art Center. The Metro Parks website indicates it was a swimming complex that closed in 1959. But, this article says that in 1961, two young African American men tried to swim at the pool in Centennial Park, housed in a building with Doric columns (which the art center has) and a few days later all public pools in Nashville were closed. I think someone has their dates wrong.

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Located at 301 25th Ave North. The museum and the sculpture are north of the lake in Centennial Park, more-or-less across the street (25th) from the Sarah Cannon Research Center (i.e., the Minnie Pearl Center). When the museum is closed, you can park out front – otherwise, use other nearby park parking.


These women came to vote!

Scenes from dedication of suffragists memorial

A new statue by Alan LeQuire was unveiled today at Centennial Park honoring the women of Tennessee who fought for women’s right to vote. From The Tennessean, the women depicted are:

Anne Dallas Dudley of Nashville; Abby Crawford Milton of Chattanooga; J. Frankie Pierce of Nashville; Sue Shelton White of Jackson; and Carrie Chapman Catt, national suffrage leader who came to Tennessee to direct the pro-suffrage forces from the Hermitage Hotel.

LeQuire, of course, is responsible for perhaps the most famous piece of public art in Nashville, the Musica statue on the traffic circle at the north end of Music Row. This newest work is likely to attract a lot less controversy and probably fewer dress-up pranks! No doubt though this statue will probably feature in political rallies in the future. The site itself was chosen because Centennial Park was frequently used by Nashville suffragists for rallies and marches in their quest for the vote.

I’ll add a clean view of the statue to this post later – obviously I wasn’t going to get one in the midst of the unveiling. (And speeches – way too many speeches.)

Located on the other side of a roughly circular green space from the front (east) side of the Parthenon.  There is plenty of parking in and around Centennial Park, particularly if you are willing to walk a bit, and given how nice the park is, why not?

UPDATE: Here’s an unobstructed view.

suffragists statue public art Nashville

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