NASHVILLE, Tenn. —The Frist Center for the Visual Arts announced that it has changed its name to the Frist Art Museum and introduced a new visual brand identity. The change became legally effective on April 1, 2018. To celebrate the occasion and the institution’s 17th birthday, the Frist Art Museum will offer free admission on April 8, 2018.
As Nashville continues to grow and its reputation as a travel destination strengthens, the decision to alter the name was made to clarify what the art institution offers. “Our new name clearly communicates what we are: Nashville’s art museum and a cultural anchor in the community,” said Frist Art Museum Executive Director Dr. Susan H. Edwards. “Our mission and vision are not changing, and our commitment to the community, education, and fellowship is the same. We are still ‘The Frist,’ and to many, we are already thought of as the Frist Art Museum.”
Since 2001, the Frist has originated and brought to Nashville exhibitions of the highest quality, and it will continue to borrow from other museums, collectors, and artists from the U.S. and around the world, instead of building its own collection.
The new visual brand and logo were created by Pentagram, an internationally renowned company widely known for work with cultural institutions, including the Minneapolis Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the North Carolina Museum of Art, the Seattle Art Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and many local, regional, and national cultural nonprofits.
Frist Art Museum staff, board, and volunteers worked with Pentagram to develop an inviting, contemporary mark that fits the timeless appeal of the 1934 historic post office building that houses the Museum. The new name and aesthetic are also meant to convey a sense of inclusiveness that matches the museum’s mission to show the art of the world—all time periods, all cultures, and all mediums. “We wanted our new look to be approachable, relevant, and respectful of our architectural heritage,” says Frist Art Museum Director of Internal Affairs Hans Schmitt-Matzen, who leads the graphic and exhibition design department. “The swervy S in Frist is a stylistic nod to the art deco design motif seen throughout our building. We are using the familiar architectural element from our historic building to connect past, present, and future.”
Exterior title signage with the new name will be installed on the Broadway and Demonbreun Street sides of the building later this spring.
Throughout the rest of 2018, visitors will see additional upgrades at the Frist:
Martin ArtQuest Gallery Renovation: The Martin ArtQuest Gallery (MAQ), the museum’s hands-on art-making space that serves as a premier destination for families, children, and school groups to explore art, has been under renovation since late January 2018. The updated gallery will feature enhanced activities focused on creative collaboration, critical thinking, and communication. The grand reopening is scheduled for May 24 and will include a ribbon-cutting event with Ellen H. Martin and her family, along with performances and activities in the auditorium and throughout the building. Admission will be free to the public from 3 to 9 p.m.
Frist Fridays: Based on positive feedback about the added value of art-related programs offered during Frist Fridays 2017, this year the Museum is further strengthening the link between live performances and its current exhibitions. Frist Fridays will now be held throughout the year instead of consecutive summer months, starting with live musical performances and artist-led experiences on July 27, inspired by Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century and The Presence of Your Absence Is Everywhere: Afruz Amighi. The next Frist Friday will be in the fall, during Paris 1900: City of Entertainment.
The Frist Art Museum is supported in part by the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts.