Every Thursday in February from 6:00–8:00 p.m., we are excited to celebrate Black arts and culture with special programming in the Frist Café. Join us for live music, poetry, local contemporary art, food trucks, and good vibes!

On February 16, enjoy poetry by Guru, a musical performance by Quez Cantrell, and visual art by Jamaal Sheats.


Guru standing at a micGurumic pulls the strings from different walks of his life to mold his artistic craft. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, he earned his degree in biology from Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee and set his poetry career ablaze in Nashville. An up-and-coming young Thespis, he shares his worldly perspectives with a vulnerable twist unlike any other poet today.

Gurumic is also the humble visionary of Y.C.R.E.W., a newly formed artist collective. 

Quez Cantrell

Quez Cantrell singing into a microphoneQuez Cantrell is an independent artist from Nashville, Tennessee—more specifically, “Out East.” Quez has long been a face in the homegrown music scene in Nashville. Whether as a show regular in the crowd for the last decade, a web designer for Nashville artists and businesses, a street team member, or even a proclaimed “Unofficial A&R” of the city, he has worn many hats in the culture. Now, Quez is ready to set out on a new path as an artist himself.

In January 2020, Quez released his first body of work, an EP entitled 9. The EP was received well, being featured on platforms from NPR and the Nashville Scene, with the latter recognizing Quez as 2020’s “Best Hip-Hop Newcomer.” In his short time as an artist, he has sold out shows at the National Museum of African American Music in downtown Nashville, sold out three shows in one night at Slim & Husky’s NKA Gallery, and appeared at numerous notable events in the Nashville community. He has drawn comparisons to artists like Tupac, Nipsey Hussle, Big KRIT, J. Cole, Starlito, and more because of his realism and lyrical prowess.

Jamaal Sheats

Jamaal Sheats headshotJamaal B. Sheats was born and raised in Brentwood, Tennessee. He is the director and curator at Fisk University Galleries. Sheats founded Sheats’ Repoussé, which specializes in metal relief art, after receiving a bachelor’s degree in art from Fisk. Sheats holds an MFA in studio art from Tufts University and an SMFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University. He was also awarded an SMFA postgraduate teaching fellowship. A few of his numerous awards and accolades include, being named as one of five “Artists to Watch” by the Boston Globe and as someone “Shaping the Next Generation of Artists” by the Nashville Scene. Many galleries and museums in the United States and Asia have exhibited Sheats’s work, and he is one of eight artists commissioned by the Music City Center. Sheats has given lectures and seminars in Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee.  

Sheats’s love of art goes back to elementary school. It was Greg Ridley, a Fisk professor and mentor, who introduced him to the ancient art form of repoussé. Ridley taught him skills such as patience, fine detail, and precision that are required for metal relief. Sheats also credits Ridley for connecting him to the works of the famed Harlem Renaissance and Fisk art professor Aaron Douglas. Sheats’s art ranges from metal relief sculpture and painting to mixed media. He has gone on three fact-finding tours of Africa to study African culture, historic monuments, and artifacts.  

Final date in the series:

February 23: Poetry by Mama, a musical performance by Raemi, and visual art by Megpie

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