Home Leisure & Sports Inaugural Frist Arts Fest Weekend features new art and fun for all

Inaugural Frist Arts Fest Weekend features new art and fun for all

by Cass Teague
Artists Otobong Nkanga, Jeffrey Gibson, and Matthew Ritchie

Celebrating the openings of two new exhibitions, the Frist Art Museum will hold its inaugural weekend-long Frist Arts Fest on Saturday, February 4, and Sunday, February 5, 2023. The event marks the first time in the Frist’s history that the three primary galleries are featuring contemporary art.

Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric and Otobong Nkanga: Gently Basking in Debris open Friday, February 3. The exhibition Matthew Ritchie: A Garden in the Flood will also be on view through March 5.

During the weekend, guests will have the opportunity to join Jeffrey Gibson, Otobong Nkanga, and Matthew Ritchie for a group conversation and take docent-led gallery tours. There will also be art-making activities in the studios and the Martin ArtQuest Gallery, a local artist market, a guided movement program with the Nashville Ballet, and a “Sip and Sketch” activity. The Frist is partnering with WNXP 91.1 to provide music for the weekend, including DJ sets in the auditorium. The weekend offerings will also include food trucks, tabletop games in the lobby, a photobooth, and more.

Featured Programs include Artists’ Conversation: Jeffrey Gibson, Otobong Nkanga, Matthew Ritchie on Saturday, February 4, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. in the Auditorium (Included with admission the Frist Arts Fest; first come, first seated). Join artists Jeffrey Gibson, Otobong Nkanga, and Matthew Ritchie for this special conversation moderated by Frist Art Museum executive director and CEO Seth Feman, PhD.

Two new exhibitions debut on view. Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric (February 3–April 23, 2023 in the Ingram Gallery), is a major exhibition devoted to one of today’s leading artists whose multidisciplinary practice combines aspects of traditional Indigenous art and culture with a modernist visual vocabulary. Born in Colorado in 1972, Jeffrey Gibson is of Cherokee heritage and a member of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw.

Otobong Nkanga: Gently Basking in Debris (February 3–April 23, 2023 in Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery). Nigerian Belgian artist Otobong Nkanga creates tapestries, drawings, videos, sculptures, and performances that feature narratives of wounding and healing, making metaphorical links between the landscape and the traumatized human body. Mapping new paths toward recovery, Nkanga’s work conveys the necessity of acknowledging the violence caused by exploiting natural and human resources if we are to overcome the damaging legacy of extraction under colonialism and global capitalism.

Admission to Frist Arts Fest will be free for Frist members and guests ages 18 and younger. For all other guests, the regular $15 Adult Admission will apply on Saturday; Saturday attendees can return on Sunday for only $5. All normal discounts are suspended during the weekend. For a full schedule of events, visit FristArtMuseum.org/event/frist-arts-fest/

Prior to the Arts Fest, the artists of the new exhibitions will give Artist’s Perspective talks in the Frist Auditorium, free, first come, first seated. In celebration of the opening of The Body Electric, join Jeffrey Gibson in conversation with Frist Art Museum senior curator Katie Delmez to learn more about Gibson’s multidisciplinary artistic practice, on Thursday, February 2, 6:30–7:30 p.m. Join Otobong Nkanga for her lecture about her artistic practice and the exhibition Gently Basking in Debris on Friday, February 3, 4:00–5:00 p.m.

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