Edmondson revitalized as Nashville’s first arts park

“The Gathering” by Bell Buckle artist Sherri Warner Hunter is now a permanent installation in Edmondson Park.

“The Gathering” by Bell Buckle artist Sherri Warner Hunter is now a permanent installation in Edmondson Park.

The Metro Arts Commission and MDHA have dedicated the revitalized Edmondson Park as the city’s first arts park. The opening of the park celebrates both the arts in Nashville and urban redevelopment that is occurring here.

The urban park is located on Charlotte Avenue between 16th Avenue North and 17th Avenue North and is managed by the Metro Development Housing  Agency (MDHA). The park was reimagined through a multi-year community process. The landscape design was completed by Hawkins Partners Inc. and creates a “front porch” for the John Henry Hale homes that includes a walking path and free play areas that were envisioned by the neighborhood during community input sessions.

The park is named in honor of William Edmondson (1874-1951), a Nashville native and recognized sculptor, who was the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition (1937) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

To honor Edmondson’s legacy, the park design also  includes new installations by internationally known, self-taught artists Thornton Dial and Lonnie Holley, whose sculptures are titled “Road to the Mountaintop,” and “Supported by the Ancestors,” respectively. The other permanent installation is “The Gathering” by Bell Buckle artist Sherri Warner Hunter, originally created in 2001 for the Oasis Center, which is now located across the street from the park in the Youth Opportunity Center.

Edmondson Park is the first and only space where both Dial and Holley have public art installations. Their individual works with found objects have garnered both men international acclaim.

The park project is supported in part by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds administered by MDHA, an ArtWorks grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Metro Arts One-Percent-for-Art Public Art Program.