NASHVILLE -- Nashville now has a world class visual art exhibition
facility with the opening of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
The $50 million, 125,000-square-foot center is located on the
site of downtown's historic former post office, now restored.
It opened this spring with ceremonies and activities that
included a performance by the Nashville Orchestra.
Its first exhibition in the main gallery, "European Masterworks:
Paintings from the Collection of the Art Gallery of Ontario," runs
through July 8.
Organized with Toronto's Art Gallery of Ontario, it features 95
paintings by European masters, including Tintoretto, Rembrandt,
Monet, Degas and Picasso.
The center expects to be popular with visitors as well as
"For visitors who return to Nashville, with our traveling
exhibitions we'll always have something new," a spokesman said.
The three-story art deco building includes four other exhibition
galleries, with the following now on display:Art of the Americas from Nashville Collections, with more than
140 works, on view through March 10.An exhibition on the post office from its opening in 1934, on
view through Feb. 24.Sculptures of local artist and fine arts professor Michael
Aurbach, through Aug. 19.A touring exhibition, "Modernism & Abstraction," from the
Smithsonian American Art Museum, through Sept. 9.
There also is an orientation gallery to acquaint visitors with
Frist's exhibitions and programs and the ArtQuest Gallery, with
hands-on activities and interactive computer programs to help in
the understanding of art.
The center also has a media and technology resource center for
those wanting to learn more about the works in the exhibitions.
Other features are classrooms and a computer lab, a 250-seat
auditorium, a retail store and a cafe.
Funding for the Frist center included $19.9 million from the
city of Nashville and $25 million from the Frist Foundation and the
The post office moved to another location in 1986. The building
and adjacent land for parking were purchased in 1998, and work
began on the restoration in 1999.
The center is open daily.
Admission is $6.50, with discounts for senior citizens, college
students and groups.
Those ages 18 and under are admitted free.
For more information, call the center at (615) 244-3340 or visit
its Web site at www.fristcenter.org.