01 Aug NASHVILLE’S FIRST ARTS PARK OPENS
Nashville’s First Arts Park Opens
In celebration of the city’s arts and urban redevelopment, Nashville dedicated the revitalized Edmondson Park in August. The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and Metro Arts Commission co-hosted a press conference with Mayor Karl Dean, Councilmembers Erica Gilmore and Ronnie Steine in attendance.
Named in memory of Nashvillian and recognized sculptor William Edmondson, who in 1937 became the first African-American artist to have a solo exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, it is Nashville’s first arts park. To honor Edmondson’s legacy, the park design includes new installations by internationally known, self-taught artists Thornton Dial and Lonnie Holley, whose sculptures are titled “Road to the Mountaintop” and “Supported by the Ancestors,” respectively. The decorative stones that create “The Gathering,” by Bell Buckle artist Sherri Warner Hunter, were relocated from the nearby Oasis Center and installed in Edmondson Park.
Development of the urban park, which runs alongside Charlotte Avenue between 16th and 17th avenues, was made possible in part by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant funds administered by MDHA, an ArtWorks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Metro Arts One-Percent-for-Art Public Art Program. The landscape design was completed by Hawkins Partners Inc. and creates a front porch for the John Henry Hale homes that includes a walking path and free play areas envisioned by the neighborhood during community input sessions.
“This new park perfectly complements the work that MDHA has done with redevelopment of the John Henry Hale apartments,” said MDHA Executive Director Jim Harbison. “It will further enhance this neighborhood, and it provides a great gathering place for residents.”