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July 21, 2024

Where Every Family Matters

New Student Art Exhibit Opens at Country Music Hall of Fame

Metro Nashville Public School students created the artworks presented in the "Sources of Me" exhibit.

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 the musical and cultural roots of country music. Commissioned in 1973 by the museum, the six-foot by ten-foot mural is a synthesis of the artist, country music subject matter and the museum’s educational mission.

About Sources of Me

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 that 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 student art exhibit.



About the Author

Michael Aldrich

Michael Aldrich is Nashville Parent's Managing Editor and a Middle Tennessee arts writer. He and his wife, Alison, are the proud parents of 4-year-old Ezra and baby Norah.