Bulger's Beat: Opry star Marty Stuart gets Frist photo showcase - WSMV News 4

Bulger's Beat: Opry star Marty Stuart gets Frist photo showcase

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Marty Stuart is a country music star with a good voice and also a good eye for art. His photos of life on stage and off are now on exhibit at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

Stuart's lifetime achievements don't end on the stage. For years, the Opry member has worked on both sides of the camera.

His collection of photos, titled American Ballads, show much of what he's seen on the road throughout a musical career.

"Well, everybody loves Marty to begin with, and he has incredible access," said Susan Edwards, executive director of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.

That access allows for images easily now accessible to viewers. Once just snapshots, they now have a great sense of history.

"And there's something here everyone will like, because we can identify with a lot of these people. And either the people we know through their fame, or they are people we know who look like our next door neighbor," Edwards said.

The photos go beyond just music and fame. Dignity is delivered in a sequence of soulful shots with the Lakota Indian Tribe, documented in the Badlands of South Dakota and introduced to Stuart by his former father-in-law, Johnny Cash.

And Stuart was the artist who captured what would become Cash's final portrait.

"That's what takes this from being very pedestrian into being an art form. Yes, it has soul," Edwards said.

In the world of art, fame only gets you so far. A gallery like the Frist won't hang your photos on its walls unless they are worthy.

And in Stuart's case, they are.

"Everyone loves Marty Stuart. I'm just part of everyone," Edwards said.

American Ballads is on view through Nov. 2, and admission to the Frist Center is free this Sunday, May 18, in honor of Art Museum Day.

For more information, visit: http://fristcenter.org.

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