NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Year-round, Cheekwood Estate & Gardens presents a variety of exhibitions, festivals, and public programming. During winter months, guests can escape the chilly Nashville temperatures by visiting Orchids in the Mansion, immersing themselves in an abundance of tropical orchid arrangements. The showstopping floral displays will be presented in conjunction with several noteworthy art exhibitions, music performances and adult education workshops and tours to kick off 2023 at Cheekwood.
Orchids in the Mansion 2023
The winter celebration, on display from January 28 through March 5, will truly take over the historic home in its fifth year. White and purple Phalaenopsis prevail throughout the displays and emerge from rich layers of tropical foliage. Orchids will sweep up the grand staircase in the foyer and lead visitors to the central experience on the Loggia, where the florals rise off the floor and suspend from the ceiling in an immersive cloud of blooming orchids. Dendrobiums, Oncidiums, and Cymbidiums add a diversity of form and texture to the arrangements that activate almost every space on the historically decorated first floor.
“We are most excited to celebrate some of the architectural features in the mansion by directly engaging the stairs in the foyer with orchid displays,” says Vice President of Gardens & Facilities Peter Grimaldi. “We explore art interventions through museum exhibitions and the orchid show is truly a botanical intervention in the historic home.”
Orchids-themed Adult Education Classes & Tours
From an in-depth analysis of the care and preservation of orchids to an instructed painting session focusing on the delicate details of the exotic flower, visitors can take part in several different learning experiences centered around orchids at Cheekwood throughout February 2023.
Orchids in the Mansion Tours | February 5, 19
Join Cheekwood Garden Supervisor Shannon Pruitt on a guided tour through this year’s Orchids in the Mansion display and learn about how the exhibit came to life: from designing the display to putting it together, and the types of orchids chosen to create this year’s “Orchid Takeover.”
Orchids 101 | February 11
Learn about six common types of orchids and the cultural requirements for growing healthy, blooming orchids in the home. Instruction will focus on selecting the right orchid for the right place and cover basic care and maintenance for new and inexperienced orchid growers.
Painted Still Life: Orchids | February 11
Participants will examine the delicate curves of orchids, from stem to blooms and buds, and create their own still-life composition.
Orchid Repotting Workshop | February 25
Take the next step in orchid care and learn to properly re-pot your plants. Learn about the most common components of potting media and follow a step-by-step process for repotting orchids in this hands-on workshop. Participants will be provided with one Phalaenopsis to re-pot themselves during the class and take home to measure their success.
Needle-Felted Phalaenopsis | February 25
Join local textile artist Jennifer Fleischer for an afternoon of needle-felting to create your own everlasting orchid! Participants will learn the basics of needle felting, and use the components created to make their own felted phalaenopsis.
For more information on adult classes and tours go to cheekwood.org.
Each Saturday during Orchids in the Mansion, piano performances by Kaylina Madison Crawley and Chris Walters will take place in the Drawing Room from noon to 2 p.m., bringing the historic period room to life. Crawley currently serves as the Community Academy of Music and Arts director at Tennessee State University where she also teaches Music Appreciation, Proficiency Piano, and Applied Piano courses. When not performing with his own band Chris Walters is the keyboardist for various artists including JD Souther and The Peter Mayer Group. He has also performed with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra.
Art in the Mansion
Two art exhibitions will open in the galleries in the Cheekwood Mansion on January 28.
Spanning the Atlantic: The Arts & Crafts Movement in America
This second half of a two-part exhibition examining the international Arts & Crafts movement, which first developed in the British Isles during the 19th century before making its way across the Atlantic to America, opens January 28 and runs through April 2, 2023. This highly anticipated exhibition will explore how the British approach to aesthetic ideas and philosophical ideals was adapted by American artisans and disseminated across the continent through publications, journals, magazines, and lectures. Featuring more than 100 objects of fine art, furniture, decorative arts and textiles, with leading examples from the collection of Crab Tree Farm, the exhibition highlights some of the most talented American craftsmen and women of the early 20th century, including Gustave Stickley, Rookwood Pottery, Marie Zimmerman, Adelia Robineau, Grueby Faience Company and Newcomb Pottery.
The Agrarian Spirit: Cultivating Ruralism and Regionalism in American Art
Beginning with the advent of farming during the Neolithic Era, humans have long cultivated an intimate relationship with the land through agricultural practice. In early 20th-century America, Regionalist art celebrated this relationship with emotion-laden landscape scenes while advocating for ruralism (country living and values) over urbanism and city living. Prints by Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry – the Regionalist Triumvirate – are featured among 20 works on paper that examine the compositions and contexts of agrarian imagery produced in America between 1920 and 1950. The exhibition is on display in the Graphic Arts Gallery from January 28 through May 14, 2023.
Winter Concert Series
Warm up on chilly nights during the Cheekwood Winter Concert Series. Grammy-winning players will perform big band jazz, Brazilian grooves, and classical music in Cheekwood’s newly renovated Massey Auditorium in Botanic Hall. The trio of intimate concerts aims to expand perspectives and delight music lovers.
Nashville Jazz Orchestra’s Big Band | January 28 at 7 p.m.
The 12-piece Nashville Jazz Orchestra’s Big Band will ward off any impending winter blues in the first installment of the Cheekwood Winter Concert Series. Swinging with saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and a robust rhythm section, the group channels the big band heyday that defined the 1910s through the 1940s.
Tudo Bem | February 10 at 7 p.m.
Super group Tudo Bem will showcase their sublime interpretations of Brazilian music. With a name that means “everything’s good” in Portuguese, Tudo Bem moves through samba, baião, forro, bossa nova, and choro with grace and joy. Grammy winners Will Barrow––piano, accordion, and vocals––and Giovanni Rodriguez––bass and percussion––join guitarist Jerome Degey, vocalist Crystal Miller, drummer Chris Brown and their all-star band.
Intersection | February 23 at 7 p.m.
Contemporary classical music ensemble Intersection will present Whirling Spring, bringing together a range of repertoire inspired by the natural world, human relationships, color and space. The evening will culminate with a performance of Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring Suite for 13 Instruments with choreography performed by the Ensworth School of Dance.
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 cheekwood.org for current hours and to purchase advance tickets required for admission.