Featuring Shabazz Larkin

This year’s Art in the Atrium project is devoted to the work of Nashville-based artist Shabazz Larkin. In association with the exhibition Monuments and Myths: The America of Sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Daniel Chester French (on view March 1–May 27, 2024) a large-scale adorned pillar made from a salvaged tree is installed in the Upper-Level bridgeway. The pillar is Larkin’s interpretation of the Nkisi Nkondi statuette tradition developed by the Kongo people of Central Africa. Typically carved of wood and covered with nails, Nkondi are believed to be powerful spirit-filled objects that protected villagers.

About the Artist

Shabazz Larkin is a figurative artist, poet, sculptor, bookmaker, author, and ambassador for mindfulness meditation. He is the founder of the Museum of Presence, an institution without walls taking the form of a newspaper and podcast led by a cohort of BIPOC artists, curators, and other professionals that spotlights the creative community of Nashville and the greater American South with mindfulness and creativity at its heart. Larkin had a successful twenty-year career in the commercial creative industry working with such notable entities as the Obama Foundation, Google, Sony, Bill Gates, and Maya Angelou before leaving to follow his passion to make meditation and mindfulness teachings accessible to BIPOC communities.

For more information, please visit:

Presented in part by

Frist Foundation, Metro Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and National Endowment for the Arts logos

Please consider supporting the Frist Art Museum with a donation. Your gift is essential to our mission of serving the community through the arts and art access in particular. We truly appreciate your generosity.