NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Scottish visual artist Craig Black has been selected as Cheekwood’s 2022 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence (AIR) recipient. The AIR series is an initiative focused on bringing innovative, dynamic and intriguing artists to the city of Nashville. For the first time, Cheekwood hosted an open call for artists to apply for the coveted four-week residency, which provides the opportunity to create on the estate for a full month and display interpretive site-specific works in an indoor/outdoor exhibition at one of the city’s leading art institutions.
“It’s an honour to have been selected for the Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence program,” says Black. “It is going to be a special occasion to practice and develop my art at the beautiful and historic grounds of the Cheekwood Estate. I can’t wait to showcase my one-of-a-kind acrylic fusions artworks to the Cheekwood and Nashville communities.”
Cheekwood Vice President of Museum Affairs James W. Tottis says, “We’re thrilled to introduce Black and his renowned techniques to the Cheekwood community as part of this year’s AIR series. Visitors will have the privilege of experiencing Black’s unique creative process up close as he creates art in a live setting.”
Black, who currently runs an art studio in Greenock, Scotland, is a visual artist best known for his ‘Acrylic Fusion’ technique. He specializes in bespoke artwork, murals and installations, and he believes in creating exciting and engaging visuals while maintaining originality across all his work. The versatile analogue process of hand pouring layers of acrylic paint to create a unique and mesmerizing effect has brought Black the opportunity to collaborate with a wide range of international partners, from creating a one-of-a-kind football for the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), to transforming a collection of cognac glasses with Remy Martin and creating a custom frame for Ribble Cycles. Acrylic Fusion will be central in Black’s forthcoming works created at Cheekwood during his residency, which will be showcased in the historic mansion as part of an interpretive exhibition March 26 – June 12, 2022. Black will also host a Public Pour Event on Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m., during which the artist will give a live demonstration of his Acrylic Fusion technique.
Cheekwood is open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and advanced reservations are required. Visit cheekwood.org to learn more about the Martin Shallenberger AIR initiative and to purchase tickets.
Cheekwood is considered one of the finest American Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the extraordinary 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55 acres of cultivated gardens and expansive vistas, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and museum with period rooms and art galleries, showcasing works from its permanent collection as well as traveling exhibitions. The property includes 13 distinct gardens including the Blevins Japanese Garden and the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, as well as a 1.5-mile woodland trail featuring modern and contemporary outdoor sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood plays host to seasonal festivals including Cheekwood in Bloom, Summertime at Cheekwood, Cheekwood Harvest and Holiday LIGHTS. Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is a three-time USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden. In 2020, the grounds were awarded a Level II National Arboretum Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. Cheekwood is located just eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. Daily hours of operation: Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission to Cheekwood must be purchased in advance at cheekwood.org. For further information, call 615-356-8000 or visit cheekwood.org.