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Temporary Public Art Exhibition

Build Better Tables

Build Better Tables

Metro Arts is excited to announce Nicole J. Caruth as the curator for our inaugural temporary public art exhibition, Build Better Tables. Nicole J. Caruth is an art writer and curator with abiding interests in public engagement and community wellness. This is evidenced by her portfolio of projects addressing food justice, education, housing security, and other issues that touch on the necessities of life. Recently, her research has focused on neighborliness, exploring how artists can influence people to act on behalf of each other to improve living conditions for everyone.

Build Better Tables is a temporary public art exhibition focusing on food issues to examine urban development and understand the effects of gentrification on community health and wellness.

Presented by Metro Arts: Nashville Office of Arts and Culture, nine projects by local and national artists are placed at publicly accessible sites across the city, from bus stops to community centers to church lawns, advancing the aim of Metro Arts for every Nashvillian to experience a creative city. The artists’ projects include an outdoor bread oven and neighborhood hearth, a bicycle rickshaw for fresh-produce delivery and food education, seed libraries promoting community action for food sovereignty, brass and sugar sculptures concerning Black maternal mortality, and eating events that address the role of food in discriminatory development. Together, they prompt a critical look at the social and economic forces that influence food access and culture.

Upcoming Events

S.O.S. Free Seeds Library Workshop
Saturday, May 19, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
at Brooklyn Heights Community Garden
1831 Haynes Street, Nashville, TN 37207

Community Gathering and Panel Discussion
Thursday, May 31, 2018
5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
at Lentz Public Health Center
2500 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209

Build Better Tables Opening Reception
Friday, June 1, 2018
6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
at Lentz Public Health Center
2500 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN 37209

Participating Artists

  • Otabenga Jones & Associates, Houston, TX
  • Tattfoo Tan, Staten Island, NY
  • Crystal Z. Campbell, Tulsa, OK
  • Seitu Jones, St. Paul, MN
  • Andrea Chung, San Diego, CA
  • Juan William Chavez, St. Louis, MO
  • Thaxton Waters, Nashville, TN
  • Tunde Wey, Detroit, MI
  • Norf Art Collective, Nashville, TN
  • Courtney Adair Johnson, Nashville, TN

For more information, please contact Donald 'Tre' Hardin at

More about Caruth

As a curator, educator, and writer, she has experience overseeing exhibitions, artist residencies, public engagement, and public practice programs. Formerly based in New York, Nicole has held positions at Art21, the Brooklyn Museum and The Union for Contemporary Art, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. Caruth's curatorial projects include, most recently, The Grace Jones Project; Crossroad: A Social Sculpture by the artist Derrick Adams; and Power of People, Power of Place by Fallen Fruit Collective.

In 2012, Caruth founded With Food in Mind, a nomadic nonprofit developing art-based approaches to childhood obesity and nutrition disparities in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.