New Student Art Exhibit Opens at the Country Music Hall of Fame

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photo from Country Music Hall of Fame

The Country Music Hall of Fame® and Museum recently unveiled a new exhibition in the Taylor Swift Education Center titled Sources of Me, featuring artworks by Metro Nashville Public School students. The artworks were inspired by Thomas Hart Benton’s iconic final painting “The Sources of Country Music,” which hangs in the museum’s Hall of Fame Rotunda and depicts country music’s musical and cultural roots. Commissioned in 1973 by the museum, the six-foot by ten-foot mural synthesizes the artist, country music subject matter and the museum’s educational mission.

The students were asked to produce artworks showing their own explorations of “sources” for various topics to which they feel some connection. For inspiration, participants immersed themselves in the life and artistic contributions of Benton while viewing the museum’s current exhibit An American Masterwork: Thomas Hart Benton’s “Sources of Country Music” at 50. The exhibit explores Benton’s artistic process in creating the painting and celebrates the 50th anniversary of its commissioning. Students also explored the museum’s galleries — many actively searching for and sketching objects that resonated with their individual narratives.

For their finished pieces, students intertwined their stories with Benton’s vision by focusing on his use of imagery, color, and ideals. Driven by a mix of cultural and personal influences, including music, community, and family, this student exhibit represents a diverse range of perspectives rooted in individual life experiences. Topics explored in the resulting artwork include a variety of subjects, from music-related topics such as disco, hip-hop and jazz to explorations around interracial marriages, the struggles of being a teenager, and transgender activism.

This is the sixth student art exhibit the museum and Metro Nashville Public School students have mounted since the Taylor Swift Education Center opened in 2014.

Visit the museum’s website to meet the artists and learn more about the exhibit.
Admission to the exhibits and paintings are included with museum tickets, which can be purchased on the museum’s website.

Tennessee children ages 18 and under from Cheatham, Davidson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson counties receive free museum admission as part of Community Counts: Museum Admission Program for Locals. Up to two accompanying adults receive 25% off admission. Proof of residency required.

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