Grab your camera and immerse yourself in Nashville’s Public Art Collection made up of 178 permanent public artworks found throughout the city. It includes artworks found in libraries, murals, parks, and more.
A native of Tennessee, Chet Atkins was a highly regarded musician and producer who signed Charley Pride, country music’s first African American singer. After Atkins’ death in 2001, Bank of America commissioned Tennessee sculptor Russell Faxon to create a statue in his honor. The life-sized bronze statue of Atkins is situated outside their Nashville headquarters at the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Union Street. FIND ON MAP.
Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks, also known as Ghost Ballet, is a public art installation and modern sculpture designed by Alice Aycock at the East Bank of the Cumberland River between Nissan Stadium and the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. With its location between the downtown area, pedestrian bridge, and stadium, Ghost Ballet can be seen from many vantage points. The way the piece changes shapes while the viewer moves around it reminded Aycock of "a certain kind of movement, dance movements" which is why she titled it Ghost Ballet. FIND ON MAP.
Musica is a bronze statue that sits upon a grassy knoll at the center of the Music Row Roundabout or Buddy Killen Circle. Designed by local artist, Alan LeQuire, Musica is his largest sculpture commission to date and is currently the largest sculpture group in the United States. It features nine figures, male and female, dancing in a circular composition. The sculpture conveys the importance of music to Nashville, past, present, and future, and represents all forms of music without reference to any one form or style. FIND ON MAP.
Country record producer, Owen Bradley, was a key player in creating the “Nashville Sound” in the 1950s and 1960s. Music City has memorialized the late Bradley in a bronze statue as it did for Atkins. The statue, created by Gary Ernest Smith, was dedicated in October 1999 and sits at the entrance to Owen Bradley Park, the gateway to Music Row. The park was dedicated to Bradley in 1997 just before his death in January 1998. Despite the park’s small size, it and the statue serve as a welcoming gateway to the northern end of Music Row. Sitting at the piano, a jubilant Bradley is inviting you to join in. There’s room on the bench for two, so stop by and take a seat next to Bradley. FIND ON MAP.
This gold-winged figure rises to a height of approximately 14 feet tall on its marble base outside of Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The statue was unveiled by Audrey Flack in December 2006. An inscription reads: “The recording angel inscribes the tones that envelopes the heart and heal the bones, that lighten life's toll, and soothe the soul." FIND ON MAP.
The “Stix” sculpture can be found in the middle of the roundabout at 8th Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard. It is 70-foot-tall and made of 27 wooden poles spaced in an irregular pattern. The poles are made of red cedar and are painted in stripes of various heights in four distinct colors: red, orange, light blue, dark blue, and light green. Artist Christian Moeller was inspired by Native American artwork, more specifically the artwork of the tribes that once made their home in the Nashville area. Moeller’s work has also been displayed at the Changi Airport in Singapore, London's Science Museum, and SEATAC Airport in Seattle, among other locations. FIND ON MAP.
The giant gear ring embedded in the sidewalk along the East Bank Greenway, down by the Nissan Stadium was created by Joe Sorci and is called “Threshold.” It is made from objects left behind by the barge companies that used to operate on the east bank. Specifically, it is the gear from a steam crane that once loaded and unloaded barges. Nearby there are some less well-known pieces, including a mosaic embedded in the sidewalk and another less well-known piece appropriately called “Incline.” FIND ON MAP.
In Nashville’s Centennial Park, you will find the world’s only full-scale reproduction of the ancient Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The Parthenon houses an art gallery and museum as well as Alan LeQuire’s Athena Parthenos. Standing at almost 42 feet in height, Athena is the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world and worth the price of paid admission. FIND ON MAP.