The mission of the Martin ArtQuest® Gallery is to create a fun and engaging learning environment where visitors of all backgrounds, ages, and abilities experience hands-on activities that promote connections, creativity, and critical thinking.
The Frist is open five days per week, Thursdays through Mondays. Martin ArtQuest (MAQ) is open the same hours as the museum, with the exception of Thursdays when the museum is open until 8:00 p.m. and MAQ closes at 5:30 p.m.
MAQ is operating at reduced capacity with first-come, first-served access. There may be a modest wait depending on capacity. Thank you for your patience and flexibility.
Martin ArtQuest (MAQ) has been Nashville’s premier destination for hands-on art experiences since opening in 2001. Visitors of all ages, but especially children, have participated in activities that create delight, wonder, and inspiration. MAQ’s opportunities to explore a range of art-making strategies—drawing, animation, printmaking, and painting—are accessible to all. MAQ helps participants find their unique talents and voices, celebrate their creative energy, and have fun! MAQ makes each individual’s passion possible and serves as a place of inspiration and immersion.
I have traveled a lot but this is by far one of the best art spaces for kids and adults alike.MAQ Visitor
New Multimedia Interactive Artwork in MAQ
The Frist is pleased to feature the interactive artwork of Caribbean artist David Gumbs, currently on view in MAQ. Originally from the Caribbean island of Saint Martin and based in the island of Martinique, Gumbs is an award-winning interdisciplinary artist. He uses video, computer programming, graphic design, and other techniques and media to create his work. As you engage with this interactive video installation, you’ll find your own silhouette emerging within the artwork’s botanical world!
MAQ is consistently ranked as one of the top activities for children and families in the Nashville area. In June 2013, USA Today named the Frist Art Museum as one of two art institutions included among top ten great family museums. The Nashville Scene and Nashville Parent have given accolades to the Frist Art Museum as one of the Best Hands-on Art Encounters and Best Places to Take Kids on a Rainy Day, as well as Favorite Kids’ Art Center. The MAQ-based television series ArtQuest: Art Is All Around You, produced by Nashville Public Television in collaboration with Frist educators, won Emmys for Children’s Programming in 2014 and 2015.
• Draw, paint, and make prints.
• Explore the moving image using a large zoetrope, a shadow theater, and stop-motion animation.
• Create large-scale designs using the full spectrum of colors on a sixteen-foot interactive Everbright wall composed of color-changing dials.
• Contribute to a collaborative textile-weaving installation using a large six-sided art deco grid.
• Transform yourself into colors and shapes on a wall mural with a full-body-animated digital painting experience.
• Manipulate frequencies to create patterns with sand on metal plates at the sound pattern station, based on the study of acoustics.
• Engage with Frist Art Museum exhibitions, artists, and ideas.
MAQ stations will be cleaned regularly. The procedures have been reviewed and approved by the Metro Health Department.
Policies and procedures:
- MAQ capacity is limited.
- All guests must sanitize their hands upon entry.
- We strongly recommend guests wear a mask.
- Some MAQ activities and stations may be modified or closed.
- Hands must be washed and sanitized regularly.
Quotes from MAQ visitors
“[I learned] not to get frustrated when things don’t turn out right.”
“My seven-year-old does not like museums but through MAQ he is starting to like coming to the museum and is taking an interest in the different exhibits.”
“We are here on a monthly basis as part of our homeschooling education as well as pleasure.”
“We love the chance to create, use great quality materials, [and] learn new things, and the cost aspect makes it invaluable for our family.”
“[Today I learned] that I am a creative soul.”
Group visits to MAQ
Group visits to MAQ are by advanced reservation only and have limited availability on Thursday and Friday mornings only.
Schools, camps, community organizations, and homeschool co-ops are invited to include MAQ in their Frist Art Museum visits. Activities change regularly, and connections to art, literacy, history, STEAM, and 21st-century learning skills are ongoing. Our helpful staff and volunteers are always present to facilitate your art-making experience. Learn more or schedule a visit.
Family visitors to MAQ
MAQ activities are designed for multigenerational learning and engagement, so family members can enjoy quality time together. From animation to printmaking to building blocks, there is something for everyone. The Frist welcomes families throughout the museum with family restrooms and baby-changing stations, a quiet family-friendly lobby, and special food options in the café. We know families have many options for entertainment in Music City. We hope that your family creates lasting memories in MAQ and you visit us often.
Adult visitors to MAQ
Spending time in MAQ is a great way to unplug and unwind, especially after visiting our exhibitions. Whether you’re on your own or with friends or loved ones, we invite you to connect with the world around and within you through making art. Artistic skill or experience is not required—just a willingness to explore new, creative ways of expression.
The Frist Art Museum welcomes visitors of all abilities. If you or someone with you needs reasonable accommodations, please see a staff member.
Explore MAQ’s concepts at home by visiting the FristKids page for videos, at-home activities, and lesson plans.
The MAQ team is always looking for helpful hands and smiling faces! Our volunteers enjoy terrific benefits and are treated with gratitude. Learn more about volunteering.
The Frist Art Museum welcomes gifts of any amount to support Martin ArtQuest. Thank you!
The Frist Art Museum is deeply grateful to our generous Martin ArtQuest Gallery Benefactors:
- Ellen H. Martin, Charles N. Martin, and the Martin Foundation
- The Cal Turner Family Foundation
- The William Stamps Farish Fund
Supported in part by