Around the Table:

Homes, Studios, and the Narrative of Place
June 14, 2014

an Americans for the Arts Conference, Nashville, TN ARTventure Tour

"Around the Table" was one of nine featured ARTventure tours of Nashville, TN for the 2014 Americans for the Arts Conference. The half day experience, organized and led by Stephanie Pruitt, explored the results and possibilities of coming together around dining and work tables. Guests experienced modern, southern hospitality and some of the ways and reasons it helps to shape a dynamic creative community, resulting in iconic arts treasures. Think dinner parties, salons, open studio times, and kithcen table committees. These table gatherings lead to the building of art museums, prize winning productions, the development of arts districts, and famed collaborations. Join us around the table!


Up through the 1960s, when African American affiliates of the university would not have been welcomed in some public venues, home entertaining reigned supreme. Those at-home, dinner table socials nurtured longstanding relationships that enriched the campus with a fantastic art collection and faculty. Virtuoso homemakers and social/civic clubs were crucial.


Having had his work table in a private home, university setting, temporary fellowship site, shared workspace, and now a private, commercial studio; artist and Professor Jamaal Sheats, knows how location can affect creative practices. The multi-media professional invited guests around his tables to consider placemaking's role in crafting a living and life as an artist.


Faculty Head of House, Alice Randall, and her local history buff/lawyer husband, David Ewing, have crafted a creative and critical thinking epicenter in their apartment housed in Vanderbilt's Freshman Commons dorm, Stambaugh House. The couple welcomes students into their home, around their table to meet local luminaries in busines, politics, and especialy the arts. Works by Michael McBride and Joseph Love flank the walls of their gallery home.


A quarterly, brunch, literary event created in 2010 by Al Gaines and Stephanie Pruitt as a way to build community and develop arts audiences through poetry and a shared meal. The diverse gathering of 70+ people they typically host in their home activate an engaged, inspired, and empowered community. Guests including neighbors, colleagues, longstanding friends, and very new acquaintenaces (some of which rarely if ever attend traditional arts events) enjoy a few hundred flapjacks and a reading by a nationally recognized, visiting poet.

Interested in the Nashville AROUND THE TABLE tour?

Want to discuss, learn, experience, and create art & community?

Contact No Starving Artist Consulting