Facebook Live Event

Martin ArtQuest Grand Reopening and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

Thursday, May 24

11:00 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Ribbon cutting and members-only preview

3:00–9:00 p.m.
Community opening (free to the public)

Please join us to celebrate the reopening of our beloved art-making gallery. A members-only ribbon-cutting and preview will be held from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with Ellen H. Martin, who has championed MAQ as a special place for children and families. MAQ will open to the community at 3:00 p.m., with free admission to all galleries through 9 p.m. We also thank the Frist Foundation, the James Stephen Turner Family Foundation, the Hearst Foundation, Corner Partners, the William Stamps Farish Fund, and visitors of all ages for their financial support of the renovation.


The New MAQ
Dynamic new activities as well as old favorites are housed in an inviting and refreshed space.

• Drawing, painting, printmaking, and other popular stations return, with improved functionality and variety.
• The exploration of the moving image includes a large zoetrope, a shadow theater, and stop-motion animation.
• A 16-foot interactive wall composed of color-changing dials allows visitors to create large-scale designs using the full spectrum of colors.
• Visitors are invited to contribute to a collaborative textile-weaving installation using a large six-sided grid.
• A full-body digital experience transforms visitors into colors and shapes.
• Activities that explore Frist Art Museum exhibitions, artists, and ideas include new opportunities for visitor participation, dialogue, and response.
• In coming years, contemporary artists will be invited to design new interactive stations and to keep the space fresh and engaging.

The design responds to the prevalent cultural interest in hands-on learning as well as the increased popularity of shared learning and social media across generations. The changes also incorporate research findings from the four-year Family Learning in Interactive Galleries (FLING) research study funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, co-led by the Frist Art Museum, the Speed Museum (Louisville), and the High Museum of Art (Atlanta). “Conversations with Frist Art Museum families revealed the value they placed on interactive galleries as safe places to relax and unwind while engaging in rich sensory activities that foster a love and understanding of art,” says Henderson. “We have based our approach on visitor feedback. MAQ’s fundamental concepts will remain consistent. Art-making stations will continue to emphasize fundamental principles of art, and activities will be based on original works of art that correspond with current exhibitions on view in our galleries.”

While MAQ’s physical footprint stays the same, the renovation greatly expands the functionality and flexibility of the existing space, allowing for clear sight lines. Accessibility for all visitors remains a core commitment in the renovation. To address environmental issues that may affect visitors, sound baffling has been added to reduce noise, and light is increased throughout the gallery to enhance visibility.


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