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Our Town Nashville: Field Reports Exhibit Brings Citywide Self-Portrait Public Art Project Home to Main Library

November 19, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Nov. 19, 2014 - Nashville Public Library (NPL), in collaboration with the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts), today announced the opening of Our Town Nashville: Field Reports, an exhibit featuring a series of self-portraits by Nashvillians as part of a citywide public art project.

The exhibit opens at 9 a.m. on Saturday and will be on display in the second-floor Courtyard Gallery at the Main Library, 615 Church St., through April 12, 2015. Library patrons will be able to view the works weekdays from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and Sundays from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m.

For more than a year, Nashville-based letterpress printmaker Bryce McCloud traveled to more than 50 locations throughout Davidson County, setting up a mobile art studio and gallery and encouraging Nashvillians to step out of their comfort zone and join in a community-wide art experience by creating their own self-portraits.

Funded by the 1% for Public Art Fund managed by Metro Arts, the Our Town Nashville project collected more than 1,000 portraits at locations that included library branches, schools, homeless shelters and Metro Police precinct offices, among others. Works by Nashvillians of all ages, races, genders, cultures, famous and infamous, and all types of people in between are displayed in the exhibit.

"From our unique perspective, we can tell you without hesitation that we as a community fundamentally have so much more in common than not. At the heart of the matter is the desire to be together, to be creative and to share that with one another," said McCloud.

A collection of Our Town portraits will be added to NPL's permanent archives when the exhibit closes.

"Part of our mission is to create community, and we're privileged to leverage the arts and our Metro Arts partnership in this effort," said NPL Director Kent Oliver. "Nashville Public Library is an open, democratic place that serves everyone in our community. In that spirit, celebrating this exhibit in our halls and walls makes sense."

The idea behind Our Town Nashville was two-fold, said Jennifer Cole, executive director of Metro Arts.

"We saw the opportunity to involve a large number of people in the process of making art; to engage their personal creative spark and be a part of the larger community. Second, through those self-portraits, Bryce and his team and all those participants tell a story about our city as a community - that it is a colorful, diverse place with interesting people from all walks of life," said Cole.

More information available at Our Town Nashville.