This fall the Frist Center for the Visual Arts will offer a variety of exciting public programming in conjunction with the exhibition 30 Americans.

Highlights include Artist’s Perspective lectures by Hank Willis Thomas and Nina Chanel Abney, two of the artists featured in 30 Americans. Also, in partnership with Vanderbilt University’s Office of Community, Neighborhood, and Government Relations, the Frist Center will host a special three-part lunch and lecture series presented by Vanderbilt professors and guest panelists. Titled ―Food for Thought: Visualizing America through Art by African American Artists and Norman Rockwell, the series will explore issues such as the U.S. civil rights movement and how historical events have shaped visual as well as social culture.

30 Americans, organized and drawn from the acclaimed Rubell Family Collection in Miami, will be on view in the Frist Center’s Ingram Gallery from Oct. 11, 2013 through Jan. 12, 2014. The exhibition includes more than 70 works by 31 emerging and established African American artists working within a variety of mediums, from painting and sculpture to photography and video. For a complete list of exhibitions, see

The artists range from well- known, established figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Kerry James Marshall, and Carrie Mae Weems to emerging younger ones like Kehinde Wiley, Hank Willis Thomas, and Mickalene Thomas. Seen together, 30 Americans provides an opportunity to examine the various relationships between these artists and, ultimately, to experience a cross generational exploration of the influence of race, sexuality, history, gender, and popular culture on individual identity. 


Public Programs

Thursday, October 10 Community Preview: 30 Americans

Noon–9 p.m. and Ana Maria Tavares: Deviating Utopias

RSVP by Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, by calling 615.744.3987 or

Celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions during our Community Preview. This event is free and open to the public. Please see for more information.

Discounted parking is available in the Frist Center lots with validated ticket.

Thursday, October 10 Collectors’ Perspective: 30 Americans

Frist Center Auditorium; 6:30 p.m., Free; seating is first come, first seated

The exhibition 30 Americans is a wide-ranging survey of work by some of the most important African American artists of the last four decades. The works were selected from the Rubell Family Collection, which brings together seminal figures such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and David Hammons with younger and emerging artists such as Kehinde Wiley and Shinique Smith. Be part of our community preview, as Don and Mera Rubell, along with their collection director, Juan Valadez, discuss the formation and growth of their important collection.

Sunday, October 20 Artful Tales: “Eagle Turk”

2:00–3:00 p.m.

Frist Center Auditorium/Studios; Free

Artful Tales is a FREE family program geared toward everyone ages three and up! Listen and play along as an art-related story comes to life. Then, head upstairs to the art studio and make an artwork that relates to the story.

Explore a tale of sabotage and self-discovery. After years of being apart from their flock and living with false identities, the winged characters in this story must decide: Are they meant to live on the ground, content with crumbs? Or are they meant to soar? Next, create a painted collage that celebrates you. This program connects visitors to the exhibition 30 Americans.

Thursday, October 24 Artist’s Perspective: 30 Americans

6:30 p.m. Presented by Hank Willis Thomas

Frist Center Auditorium

Gallery admission required; members free. Seating is first come, first seated

By employing the language of popular culture and advertising in his work, Hank Willis Thomas explicitly addresses race, class, and history in a way that is accessible and easy to decode. His intention is to use the familiar to draw connections and provoke conversations about issues and histories that are often forgotten, or avoided in our commerce-infused daily lives. In this lecture, the 30 Americans artist explores how the visual culture of the past affects and intersects with our current world-view.

Thursday, October 31 Curator’s Tour: 30 Americans

12:00 p.m. Presented by Katie Delmez, curator; Meet at exhibition entrance

Gallery admission required; members free

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