Nashville artists work on piece for the new Music City Center - WSMV Channel 4

Nashville artists work on piece for the new Music City Center

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

As work continues on the new Music City Center, a committee of art enthusiasts checked out applications and samples from dozens of artists. With a budget of $2 million, the committee hired eight local artists.

One of the artists hired was Jamaal Sheats, a Fisk University graduate who uses an art technique called "repousse" to turn aluminum into an abstract guitar for the space near the center's main ballroom. This will be his first public art project since he started in 1999.

Rich Boyd, who helped with the art projects said, "We wanted something that was unique to this space, that was of the highest quality possible."

One piece of art inside the center features stained glass and LED lights. From the same vantage, you'll be able to see a custom mural filling 165 feet of wall along 6th Avenue.

Boyd commented on this piece saying, "This is going to be the easy tour, to drive under the building, through the building and see really two fine pieces of art, one outside, one inside."

Another piece of art starts with a simple chain 28 miles in length, which will form a multi-story curtain sculpture.

Among the other pieces included will be a musical twist on a model kit, which will be several stories tall with impressive detail.

"It educates, it entertains, it inspires, but it's also an image of who we are as a people at this particular time," said Boyd.

Most of the commissioned artists live out of state, but Sheats is a Nashville native. Knowing the city only adds to the honor of playing a part of the center's design.

Sheats commented, "I'm really thankful. Its not like, you know, I got it. It's almost like, you know, people believe in me."

In the coming weeks, the art committee will be on the lookout for artists from across the area. They want to find 60 to 65 smaller pieces of art that will become part of a permanent collection.

The deadline for all of these projects, big and small, will be in 2013.

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