Summertime at Cheekwood 2023

Evenings in the Gardens with stunning Bruce Munro light installations and music performances under the stars are among the many happenings at Cheekwood this summer.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – There’s always something to enjoy at Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and this summer is no different. From awe-inspiring artworks of light by night to brightly colored geometric sculptures by day, a celebration of traditional Japanese Bonsai plants to a celebration of Black art in all forms, visitors won’t want to miss the spectacular lineup of programs from May through August at Cheekwood.

Summer Art Exhibitions

LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood
May 4 – October 27
The luminous light installations featuring the work of renowned British artist Bruce Munro will return to Cheekwood Estate & Gardens after 10 years with the opening of LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood. The exhibition’s special 10th anniversary celebration features immersive, grand-scale light productions that will be displayed throughout Cheekwood’s beautiful vistas, manicured gardens, sculpture trail and in the Historic Mansion & Museum and Frist Learning Center. Two-dimensional works of art will be displayed throughout the Museum’s galleries.

Featuring immersive installations highlighting significant advancements in illuminative technology, LIGHT is designed to respond to and enhance the outdoor garden and indoor gallery experiences, encouraging an awareness of our individual and collective journeys through time and space. The interplay between Munro’s three-dimensional creations and the surrounding environment – at dusk and after dark – heightens the sense of time’s passage through the language of light.

Carmen Herrera: Estructuras
May 4 – September 3
Cheekwood continues its focus on contemporary outdoor sculpture with the exhibition, Carmen Herrera: Estructuras, by the Cuban-born American artist Carmen Herrera. Five of Herrera’s colorful, geometric sculptures will be on display throughout Cheekwood’s gardens. The three-dimensional installations manifest the artist’s signature crisp edges and hard lines to create a striking contrast between the sculptures and the surrounding gardens.

Positioning the Body: Explorations in American Figural Studies
May 27 – September 10
This exhibition examines the development of figural studies in America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when the “rise of athleticism” – which dawned with the first modern Olympics in 1896 – brought about a renewed interest in physiques of both the male and female body. Drawings as well as newer media such as photography are represented, and aspects of movement, gender, and history are considered.

Thursday Night Out featuring Bruce Munro
May 4 – October 26
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Everyone’s favorite Thursday Night Out offers an adventure through food, drink, art and song. Enjoy Bruce Munro’s spectacular light installations while a diverse music lineup provides the eclectic soundtrack. Guests can partake in seasonal beers, specialty cocktails, and irresistible bites from the city’s favorite food trucks and Café 29. Advanced reservation required.

Dog Nights of Summer
August 3, 10, 17, 24 & 31
Guests are invited to bring their best four-legged friend to Cheekwood for these special editions of Thursday Night Out. Browse dog-friendly vendors each Thursday evening in August and enjoy music, libations and dog friendly fun.

Exposition of Elegance: Classic Cars at Cheekwood
June 17 – 18
Cruise into Cheekwood and stroll among more than 50 impeccably maintained classic cars from the early to mid- twentieth century. Enjoy the sounds of a barbershop quartet, grab a drink from well-stocked bar stations, and savor tasty fare from local food trucks. With something for everyone, including hands-on activities for the kids, visitors are encouraged to bring the whole family for the perfect Father’s Day weekend.

Under the Stars Concert Series
July 21 – September 8
Summer nights invite lingering and lounging under the stars at Cheekwood, where over five spectacular evenings, music fills the air. During the Under the Stars Concert Series, the region’s finest players, writers, and singers perform in Cheekwood’s signature lush gardens while food trucks prepare mouthwatering bites and vendors offer wines by the bottle, local brews, craft cocktails, and more. Music lineups are as diverse as they are rich: Jazz, Bluegrass, and Songwriters nights beckon, promising something for everyone.

Jazz Under the Stars | Nashville Jazz Orchestra’s Big Band & Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio July 21

Songwriters Under the Stars | Chris DeStefano, Jon Nite & Josh Osborne August 25, 26, 27

Bluegrass Under the Stars | Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway September 8

Ticket prices vary per concert series. Visit for more details on each concert.

Bonsai Show
July 22 and 23
The Nashville Bonsai Society invites visitors to Cheekwood for the annual club show which features a variety of plants cultivated in the traditional Japanese tray-planting style. Guests can peruse goods made by local artists and vendors and enjoy specially curated demonstrations.

Black Arts Bash
August 19
From morning to night, Cheekwood will celebrate Black artists with dance, spoken word and more. Explore the many forms of Black musical expression and traditions, including gospel, R&B, funk and more. View art from emerging and established artists. Listen to story times and take part in hands-on activities for children as well as a collaborative art project. Enjoy tasty fare from local Black chefs. There’s something for everyone as we celebrate Black art in all forms.

Workshops and Classes

Munro-Inspired Ceramic Luminaries Workshop
May 4, 11, 18 and 25
Inspired by the exhibition LIGHT: Bruce Munro at Cheekwood, participants in this four-week series will learn basic slab-building and hand-building techniques to create a unique ceramic luminary. Each luminary will be constructed, carved, glazed, and kiln fired, ready to shine and dazzle in any space. Thursdays in May from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in the Frist Learning Center Clay Studio.

Members: $176; Not-yet members: $220

Tuesdays & Saturdays, May 3 – September 5 (No TOTS! on June 3 or July 4)
TOTS! Continues over the summer twice a week with hands-on activities, storytime and turtle talks in the Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. on Tuesdays and Saturdays. We welcome your little one accompanied by an adult to learn about the plants in our garden and the art on our walls.

Wellness 360 Summer Classes

Wellness Wednesday
Tai Chi
Wednesdays, May 3 – August 30 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Join Dr. Cindy Hui-Lio of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt to experience the flow of gentle Tai Chi, a practice descended from ancient Chinese martial arts. Participants will strengthen their physical and mental connection through effortless and purposeful movements that emphasize body awareness and cultivate energy from deep within. There are benefits for everyone and all are welcome.
Classes will be held in the Blevins Japanese Garden Pavilion, weather permitting. In the event of inclement weather, this program will be relocated indoors. Please dress comfortably for the outdoors. Class size is limited to 12 participants. Pre-registration is required.

Member $12; Not-yet members: $15

Sound Bath
Wednesdays, June 7 – August 30
9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Join Jo-Jo Jackson for a 60-minute "Nāda Yoga" sound bath meditation. No experience is necessary as this practice is suitable for all. Jo-Jo guides participants through calming breathwork and five-senses awareness to prepare the body and mind to receive the full benefits of this very special and deeply restorative practice. Rest in the contemplative sounds of tanpura, tongue drum, koshi chimes, singing bowls, ocean drum, gong, and mantra chanting as Jo-Jo skillfully guides through a journey of sound to invite deep inner listening. This practice will offer the time and space to release deep layers of stress and tension and cultivate mental clarity while enjoying the beauty of nature.
Participants should dress comfortably for the outdoors and bring their own yoga mats, blankets, pillows and/or meditation cushions for sitting. Class size is limited to 15 participants. Pre-registration required.

Member $12; Not-yet members: $15

Glowga at LIGHT: Bruce Munro
August 11, Mid-evening
Experience an hour of sunset yoga practice for all skill levels against the backdrop of LIGHT: Bruce Munro. Healthy food vendors and a live DJ will enrich the evening. Bring your own yoga mat and dress comfortably for the outdoors to enhance the experience.

For the full list of summer programming and events, visit

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 art museum with furnished period rooms and galleries devoted 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 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 and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and nationally as a Level II Arboretum. It is a three-time voted 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.