NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 17, 2023)—Celebrating the openings of new exhibitions, the Frist Art Museum will hold its inaugural weekend-long Frist Arts Fest on February 4–5. 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 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 DJ sets by Dan Digs and Aaron Monty in the auditorium.

“We are thrilled to work with established and new partners to kick off these new incredible exhibitions in a fun, dynamic way,” says Interpretation Director Meagan Rust. “As we did with our old Frist Fridays and Family Festival events, we love connecting the creative dots in our community and hosting cross-discipline collaborations.” The weekend offerings will also include food trucks, tabletop games in the lobby, a photobooth, and more. “This new Frist Arts Fest series format will allow us to offer something for everyone and spread it out over a weekend so guests can come and go as their schedule allows.”

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

Featured Program

Saturday, February 4                                                  
Artists’ Conversation: Jeffrey Gibson and Matthew Ritchie
11:00 a.m.                                                                     

Included with admission the Frist Arts Fest
First come, first seated

Join artists Jeffrey Gibson and Matthew Ritchie for this special conversation moderated by Frist Art Museum executive director and CEO Seth Feman, PhD.

On View

Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric
February 3–April 23, 2023
Ingram Gallery

This major exhibition is 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. His vibrant work, which is represented in more than 20 permanent collections across the United States, is a call for Indigenous empowerment as well as queer visibility and environmental sustainability. The Body Electric includes Gibson’s recent paintings, sculpture, video, and installations, along with a large site-specific mural THE LAND IS SPEAKING | ARE YOU LISTENING. The exhibition’s title is inspired by a song written for the 1980 musical Fame, which itself drew from Walt Whitman’s poem “I Sing the Body Electric” from his 1855 collection, Leaves of Grass. The lyrics reverently acknowledge our place in the natural world, while honoring the universality of endings and beginnings.

Jeffrey Gibson holds an MA at the Royal College of Art in London and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gibson is currently a visiting artist at Bard College in New York. He is represented in the permanent collections of museums such as the Denver Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Portland Museum of Art, High Museum of Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Seattle Art Museum, and Smithsonian American Art Museum. Gibson is a 2019 MacArthur Fellow.

Jeffrey Gibson: The Body Electric is part of the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art, a program of Tri-Star Arts.

Organized by SITE Santa Fe and curated by Brandee Caoba

Otobong Nkanga: Gently Basking in Debris
February 3–April 23, 2023
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. This selection of work is part of the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art, a statewide series of exhibitions and performances coordinated by consulting curator María Magdalena Campos-Pons that explores the theme of “Re-Pair,” particularly with regards to the Global South and its colonial history.

Nkanga has exhibited in such venues as Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Centre Pompidou, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Moderna Museet, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Tate Modern, Tate St Ives, and Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa. Her work has been included in such group exhibitions as the 58th Venice Biennale, documenta 14, 13th Biennale de Lyon, 31st Bienal de São Paulo, and 8th Berlin Biennale.

Otobong Nkanga: Gently Basking in Debris is part of the Tennessee Triennial for Contemporary Art, a program of Tri-Star Arts.

Organized by the Frist Art Museum

Matthew Ritchie: A Garden in the Flood
November 11, 2022–March 5, 2023
Upper-Level Galleries

Renowned transmedia artist Matthew Ritchie invites viewers to experience the richness and complexity of the world by connecting such fields as philosophy and mythology, epic poetry and music, and history and physics. Interweaving dualities of harmony and chaos, the exhibition offers a meditation on art’s capacity to help overcome social fragmentation—to be a connective tissue that is healing and beautiful.

A Garden in the Flood features dramatic paintings, an architectural structure, and hallucinatory animations, some made through artificial intelligence. At its heart is a new video work with a sound bed specially commissioned from renowned composer Hanna Benn in collaboration with the Grammy Award–winning Fisk Jubilee Singers and their late music director, Dr. Paul T. Kwami.

At once visually stunning and intellectually engaging, Ritchie’s work is appropriately presented in Nashville, a city where interdisciplinary collaborations are increasingly defining the creative community.

Organized by the Frist Art Museum

Supporter Acknowledgment

The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by The Frist Foundation, Metro Arts, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Connect with us @FristArtMuseum #TheFrist #FristArtsFest

Buddy Kite: 615.744.3351,
Ellen Jones Pryor: 615.243.1311,

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