Cheekwood Family Day

Cheekwood to hold family day to celebrate opening of Anatomia Botanica
Exhibition created by French artist Mathilde Roussel

To celebrate the opening of Cheekwood’s new exhibition, Anatomia Botanica, Cheekwood will hold a family day full of activities and events for the entire family on March 24.

From 10:00 am until 2:00 pm guests will enjoy a day of art, activities, tours and live music while enjoying the work of French artist Mathilde Roussel, Cheekwood’s inaugural Martin Shallenberger Artist- in-Residence. During that time period families can drop into the studio and create their own art as well as pick up a scavenger hunt. The artist will make remarks in the gallery at 12:00 pm and there will be live music in the courtyard from 11:00 am until 1:00 pm.

Roussel is creating Anatomia Botanica especially for Cheekwood, working with the natural setting in mind. In it, she will explore the impermanent nature of life through botanical elements, providing visual commentary on evolution, metamorphosis, and modification. The work connects and compares the cycles we associate with nature and plants to the cycles of human life: birth, growth, fertility, aging and death.

The sculptures and drawings in the Cheekwood exhibit combine plant and mammal life using a variety of materials: ceramic, glass, soil, seeds, paper, graphite, metal and fabric. Human forms made from live wheat grass travel a complete life cycle as the grass sprouts, thrives and decays. Ceramic breasts (made with students at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, where she is also artist in residence) sprout with different kinds of greens. Glass jars filled with plant material masquerade as liquids and human elements. A constellation of graphite cut paper drawings represents the vital carbon cycle flowing between plants, animals, soil and humans.

Visitors will find themselves not only surrounded by contemporary art, but exploring the systems and processes that man and nature have in common.

Roussel will also create an entirely new work especially for Anatomia Botanica, meant to be a symbol of Nashville’s “organs.” Using red clothing donated by Nashville residents, this woven work will span from ground to tree, weaving the donors’ lives directly in to the garden.

Cheekwood is proud to welcome Mathilde Roussel as its first Martin Shallenberger Artist in Residence. The recently established program is generously funded through an endowment from the private foundation, in honor of the accomplished painter. In 1971, Cheekwood hosted an exhibition of Shallenberger’s works depicting places he’d visited around the world, including the United States, Mexico, and Europe.

About Cheekwood
Cheekwood is a 55-acre botanical garden and art museum located on the historic Cheek estate. Cheekwood’s Mission is to preserve Cheekwood as an historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit. Cheekwood is located at 1200 Forrest Park Drive in Nashville, 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville. Open Tuesday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults, seniors $10 and children 3-17 are $5. Parking is $3 per car. For further information call 615-356-8000 or visit


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