‘We Count: First-Time Voters’ will open at the Frist Art Museum on July 31

Donna Woodley—‘Meet Beverly Glaze, 2020,’ oil on canvas, 67×57 in. [© art courtesy of the artist, Donna Woodley; photo by John Schweikert]

The Frist Art Museum will open ‘We Count: First-Time Voters‘ in the Conte Community Arts Gallery on July 31. The exhibition features the work of five local artists inspired by the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Originally introduced online while the Frist was temporarily closed because of COVID-19, the exhibition will now be presented in the museum’s galleries as originally intended through January 3, 2021. It will also remain online at <FristArtMuseum.org/WeCount>.

The Nashville Flood: Ten Years Later,’ currently installed in the Conte Gallery and originally scheduled to be on view from January 10 through May 17, will now close on July 26.

“As this is our first-ever completely digital exhibition, we were thrilled with the experience and the new expanded audiences we were able to reach virtually—approximately 9,000 page views to date,” said Frist Art Museum assistant director for community engagement and exhibition curator Shaun Giles. “With the reopening of our building, we are now very excited to be able to install the works in our galleries as we had originally planned. In person, visitors will be able to appreciate new facets and details in the works, many of which are intricately designed and warrant close looking.” The online version of the exhibition—featuring artist interviews, a viewer response feature, and other resources, will remain on our website for anyone who wishes to experience the exhibition in the virtual space or learn more about the artists after viewing the works in the Conte Gallery.

‘We Count’ highlights the history and challenges of voting in the United States and the first voting experiences of a diverse group of Nashvillians. The artists (Beizar Aradini, M Kelley, Jerry Bedor Phillips, Thaxton Waters II, and Donna Woodley) connected with individuals and community groups across Nashville to learn about their experiences. The artists then created visual representations of those stories, through drawing, painting, printing, stitching, and other techniques.

“Some topics that emerged from the conversations were disenfranchisement, awareness of everyday inequities, the challenges of the immigration and citizenship process, and the restoration of voting rights,” said Frist Art Museum assistant director for community engagement and exhibition curator Shaun Giles. “The resulting works of art embody both individual and collective insights on civic engagement and responsibility, as well as the systemic hurdles that prevent people from participating in our democracy.”

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