Sarah Nguyen Announced as Cheekwood’s 2023 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence

Mixed media artist, Sarah Nguyen, has been selected as Cheekwood’s 2023 Artist-in-Residence.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mixed media artist, Sarah Nguyen, has been selected as Cheekwood’s 2023 Artist-in-Residence. Working primarily with paper, Nguyen carves both recognizable and abstract forms out of paper fiber panels which evoke memory, play, and ritual. Her technique is reminiscent of Jewish paper cutting, a sacred tradition that Nguyen participated in as a child. Nguyen’s intricate designs often incorporate flora and fauna, bringing together new stories as well as those reminiscent of the past. The residency will culminate with an exhibition within the museum’s temporary exhibition space on view from November 18, 2023, through January 7, 2024.

“Cheekwood is excited to have Sarah Nguyen as this year’s Artist-in-Residence, which offers the opportunity for her to seek inspiration from Cheekwood’s gardens, historic mansion, and surroundings. We look forward to sharing Nguyen’s unique art making process of paper carving with the Nashville community,” says Sarah Sperling, Cheekwood Vice President of Museum Affairs.

Sarah Nguyen is based in Columbia, MO where she has worked as an art instructor at the University of Central Missouri for over ten years. She holds a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally from Missouri to Japan. In addition, Nguyen works as the Book Designer for Pleiades Press and Magazine and as Freelance Illustrator. She is also the Art Installations Curator for the True/False Film Fest.

The Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence series is an initiative focused on bringing innovative, dynamic and intriguing artists to the city of Nashville. The residency enables artists to create and exhibit site-specific works at Cheekwood, while allowing for the opportunity to interact with staff, visitors, and the larger community. The program provides living arrangements for the artist during the residency.

Past Artist-in-Residence participants include Dorothy O’Connor, Soo Sunny Park, Hiroshi Sato, Michael McMath and most recently, Craig Black.

About Cheekwood

With its intact and picturesque vistas, Cheekwood is distinguished as one of the leading Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the 1930s estate, with its 30,000-square-foot Mansion and 55-acres of gardens, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and museum with furnished period rooms and galleries dedicated to American art from the 18th to mid-20th centuries. 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 contemporary outdoor monumental sculpture. Each year, Cheekwood hosts 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 nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time winner of the USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden and in 2021 was recognized by Fodors as one of the 12 Most Beautiful Gardens in the American South. Cheekwood is located eight miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive. It is open Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended days and hours of operation depending on the season. Visit for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.