With 8 commissioned, site-specific pieces, Nashville’s new Music City Center stands just as impressive on the interior as it does on the exterior. Everything from color, form, and light inspire these artists to create extraordinary works that reflect the spirit of Nashville.
Benjamin Ball and Gaston Nogues lead the Ball-Nogues Studio in the creation of Euphony. Catenary stainless steel ball chains descend dramatically from a suspended elliptical ring beam and then return skyward on a new path forming two shells of pattern and color. Stretching 140 feet high, this matrix-forming geometric composition amplifies the aesthetics of light, reflection, and color creating a visual spectacle and physical sensation in the vast space of the Music City Center.
Beth Galston takes inspiration from the five bars of a musical staff and the undulating shape of a sound wave to create her interactive sculpture entitled Sound Wave. Using LED lights that dance along serpentine ribbons of suspended metal, Galston creates a visual melody that harmonizes the architectural design of Music City Center and the buzzing music scene in Nashville.
Nashville artist Alicia Henry, creates Intimacy and Peace to reflect both the human figure in isolation and the figure interacting with others. With twenty-one distinctive panels, texture and color appear only in close proximity. Henry invites the exploration and conversation of how culture, gender, race and societal differences affect individuals and group interactions.
Another local artist, Jamaal Sheats, presents Eight Octaves. The series of eight panels form the shape of an abstract guitar, complementing the architecture of the Music City Center. Sheats works in repousse and divides the series into four themes: the Rhythm, the Beat, the Pulse, and the Measure. Collectively, the artist documents the cultural heartbeat of the Nashville community.
Artist Phillip K. Smith, III creates two pieces for the Music City Center, both vibrant in color and three-stories tall. Chladni is based on the sound vibration patterns discovered by German physicist and musician, Ernst Chladni. Expressive components of music found in harmony, brightness, and fluidity are all celebrated his wall installation. Layers of color form bilaterally symmetrical shapes, revealing frequencies of reverberation through sand-covered metal plates. The overlapping colors found in the celebrated neon signs of Lower Broad and Hatch Show Print’s overprinting/layering process provided inspiration to the artist.
In his second piece, Spectrum II, Phillip K. Smith, III crafts an interpretation of resonance, rhythm, and musical vibration revealed through topography, color, and reflection. Complimenting the movement of sound and the Music City Center’s roofline, the musical motif continues as tones and intensities of reflection fluctuate with one’s movement within the space.
Composition by Aaron Stephan takes inspiration from the molded plastic tree holding parts in model car kits. Instead of car parts, plane wings, and ship rudders, Stephan’s unique work consists of a variety of over a hundred life-sized musical instruments that reflect Nashville’s embrace of all musical styles. The stark white instruments are organized in a similar grid-like form and create a rhythmic dynamic with the surrounding architecture.
Artist Bob Zoell creates a 165-foot-long ceramic mural, entitled “Happy Notes,”using birds as characters through all four seasons. By doing so, Zoell combines a poetic harmony with a playful celebration of music and the city where it is created.