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Civil Rights Exhibits

Civil Rights Exhibitions

The Renaissance Center's exhibition spaces include the Visual Arts Gallery, the North & East Wing Galleries, the Upstairs Gallery, and the Studio Gallery which is adjacent to our Art Studio.


  • Alan LeQuire's Cultural Heroes - Rotunda & East Wing Gallery
  • Civil Rights Photographs from the Nashville Public Library:  Nashville Banner & Tennessean (Harold Lowe, Jr photo collection) - East Wing Gallery & Rotunda
  • "Little Masters" of Dickson County Schools - Visual Arts Gallery (On view through May 11)
  • Nathan Evans Jazz Portraits - North Wing Gallery
  • Nan Kennedy Sculptural Icons - Upstairs Gallery
CulturalHeroes1Alan LeQuire's "Cultural Heroes"
Cultural Heroes is a concept conceived by Alan LeQuire inspired by one of his favorite museums, the Cluny Museum in Paris. The museum displays the heads of the Kings of France, which were broken off the facade of Notre Dame during the French Revolution and rediscovered during the 1970s. These larger-than-life stone heads are displayed in such an ethereal setting that they continued to affect Alan LeQuire, even years after he first encountered them. Cultural Heroes features the first seven icons of an ongoing series of artists who were key role players for Civil Rights, putting their careers on the line. Sculpted in a moment of performance, these colossal portrait heads also represent various ways of handling clay, always with the intent to make the material and its treatment at least as important as the subject matter. The artist's seven role models currently represented in the sculptures are Marian Anderson, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Lead Belly, Paul Robeson, Woody Guthrie, and Josh White.
Video of the Cultural Heroes unveiling at the Nashville Public Library, click here...

L1Civil Rights Photographs from the Nashville Public Library



East Wing Gallery & Rotunda



 On loan from the Nashville Public Library, this exhibition includes a selection of photographs that capture some of the drama during a time when thousands of African-American citizens in Nashville sparked a nonviolent challenge to racial segregation in the city and across the South. The display includes photographs from the Nashville Banner Archives (1957-1960) and rarely seen photographs taken by Harold Lowe, Jr. for the Tennessean newspaper (1960-1964). The collection also includes a photo taken by Dickson resident Don Foster.



Link to the NPL Civil Rights Collection.















Evan_image_2-smNathan Evans: Jazz Portraits



North Wing Gallery



Merging his passion for art and jazz, Nathan Evans creates strikingly detailed portraits of famous musicians such as Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, and Chet Baker. Evans is intrigued by the lives and stories of the individuals he paints. He explains that “most jazz musicians have had really interesting lives. You can see it in their faces. They have so much depth and character.”












curcio_classLittle Masters of Dickson County Schools 



Visual Arts Gallery

On view through May 11



 Little Masters is an exciting annual exhibit that showcases artwork by elementary school students of Dickson County. Inspired by Alan LeQuire’s Cultural Heroes, students worked together to create artwork based on influential artists and writers including Maya Angelou, Romare Bearden, Mary Cassatt, Alberto Giacometti, Frida Kahlo, Faith Ringgold, Alma Woodsey Thomas and Andy Warhol.



More than 400 students created the artwork on display in the Visual Arts Gallery. The students represent several area schools including: Centennial Elementary, Charlotte Elementary, Dickson Elementary, Oakmont Elementary, Stuart-Burns Elementary, Vanleer Elementary and White Bluff Elementary.



FREE RECEPTION: Saturday, March 30, 4-6pm.



An additional reception is planned for the students and schools featured in the “Little Masters” exhibition on Saturday, March 30, 4-6pm. Each student will also receive a Certificate of Participation and complimentary tickets to the CyberSphere Digital Theatre at The Renaissance Center.



 The March 30th reception follows a 2pm performance of the M.E.T. (Mind Enriching Theatre) production of Rainbow Fish, a musical based on Marcus Pfister’s award winning storybook. The show is suggested for students in grades K – 3 and is full of colorful characters, cute songs, audience interaction, and a lesson for all….young or old. It is available for school field trips March 19 – May 17.
























1-img_2939Nan Kennedy: Sculptural Icons



Upstairs Gallery



Nan Kennedy creates fascinating mixed media works with carefully sculpted figures set against backgrounds of shimmering glass mosaic. Her poignant narratives include saints, angels, the Savior, or ordinary mortals filled with a sense of trepidation and wonder at the world around them. They are pondering a mystery – the nature of life, of love, suffering, joy, death, or the hereafter.



Kennedy feels that “art should be beautiful as well as meaningful. There are many types of meaning, and also different types of beauty, but I think artwork needs to arrest you on both levels.” This belief, coupled with her strong faith and life experience, has guided her to her subject matter: religious icons as well as secular pieces that encourage contemplation. She says, “I create each icon to awe and inspire, to bring not only beauty but also a sense of wonderment to the viewer.” 


This exhibition includes thirteen of Kennedy’s large works with additional pieces available for purchase in the Tennessee Artisan Market.  







Nan Kennedy's website: 


























For information about upcoming shows, previous shows, or if you have artwork that you would like to submit for consideration please click one of the following links:











FHU | Dickson

@ The Renaissance Center

Classes Begin Fall 2014

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