11 Emerging Contemporary Artists From Nashville to Know

© Richi Choraria/Pexels
© Richi Choraria/Pexels
Photo of Leena Kollar
5 July 2017

Each finds inspiration from different places, but all are equally talented. These artists, who are making their marks on the Nashville art scene, are the ones to watch.

Hannah Lane

A graduate of Savannah College of Art & Design, Hannah Lane is a mixed-media artist who works from her home studio in Nashville. She started her career as an illustrator and graphic designer until she discovered her passion for painting. As a Louisiana native, Hannah celebrates her southern heritage through her paintings, using bursts of color and a style of abstract expressionism. She lets the seasons dictate much of her work, finding that her pieces reflect the bright cheeriness of warmer seasons and the more serious tones of the colder ones.

You can find Hannah’s works in several galleries throughout the southeast, as well as through the Nashville Artist Collective. She welcomes appointment-only visits to her studio, where she shares her paintings and gives people a peek into her creative process.

Honky Tonkin Crowd / (c) Hannah Lane

Tracy Yarbrough

Growing up in a U.S. Air Force family, Nashville artist Tracy Yarbrough experienced life in many different places. Today, she lives with her husband and two daughters just outside of Nashville, where she is pursuing her career as an artist. She earned a degree in Art Education from Middle Tennessee State University and taught elementary and middle school art for 10 years.

Tracy finds inspiration in the landscapes of nature, including the Tennessee rolling hills and the waves and sand of beaches. She creates art that is colorful and expressive, and utilizes a process of layering in her work. Sometimes she even paints over old paintings to create a new masterpiece. Tracy uses palette knives, brushes and drips of paint to layer her works and strives for her art to be the bright spot in someone’s day.

Full of Hope / (c) Tracy Yarbrough

Kristin Llamas

Contemporary painter and installation artist Kristin Llamas doesn’t just create art. She creates works that portray symbolic messages she believes will ignite conversations about important social issues across the globe. Her paintings often combine abstract backgrounds with realistic elements meant to create a visual dialogue. Her ongoing series, “The Socratic Dialogues”, focuses on socially relevant topics that she turns into works of art. Kristin’s work can be found in galleries and museums around the country, as well as throughout Nashville in the Nashville Parthenon and the Tennessee State Museum.

What is Unity? / | © Kristin Llamas

Lauren Ossolinski

With a background in advertising and media writing, Lauren Ossolinski is a Nashville artist whose first love is painting outside. She is a member of the American Impressionist Society and has studied with prominent Tennessee painters like Jason Saunders, Kim Barrick and Dawn Whitelaw. Lauren earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Southern Methodist University and got hooked on plein air painting after taking a class more than 10 years ago.

Lauren is involved with the Chestnut Group in Nashville, which is a plein air painting organization that raises awareness for endangered land in Tennessee. Lauren’s work can be found in private collections throughout the southeast, as well as New York, Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Nantucket and Provincetown. She travels every summer to Cape Cod to participate in shows at the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.

(c) Lauren Ossolinski

Thalia Kahl

Born in a small seaside town in Florida, Thalia Kahl is a Nashville artist who finds inspiration in anything from cityscapes to still life and holds a special place in her heart for the Florida sun and surf. She went to the Ringling College of Art and Design, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis in graphic design. She used her degree to work in the design field, where she had a career with a Fortune 500 beverage company. Thalia now lives in the Nashville area as a painter and lets her vivid imagination guide her work.

Rainy Day Blue / (c) Thalia Kahl

Tim Davis

For over 20 years, Tim Davis has been painting murals. The Nashville artist draws upon several styles, including old-world European, rustic contemporary and ultramodern. He paints landscapes, sky murals, textured panels and blacklight murals. Tim also creates oil painting on canvas, most of which are commissioned by homeowners or interior designers. This allows for a customized work of art that fits the needs of the client, and allows Tim to put his own spin on his paintings.

A General Before His King / (c) Tim Davis

Doris Wasserman

As a child, Doris Wasserman was asked by friends if she would illustrate their books or give them drawings for their birthdays. The Canada native grew up near the largest known collection of First Nations rock carvings in Ontario, sparking her interest in petroglyphs. The work she does today in Nashville reflects her upbringing, as well as her interest in works by artists who display a spiritual energy in their paintings. Doris was employed as a medical artist at Vanderbilt University and as an exhibits artist at the Cumberland Science Museum.

Salt and Pepper / (c) Doris Wasserman

Matt Reasor

Nashville native Matt Reasor is an artist who combines two mediums in his artwork: watercolor paintings and intaglio prints. Since an early age, Matt has been a creator, putting his talents to work in painting, drawing and sculpting, as well as pursuing a musical career. He has traveled extensively and has lived on both the eastern and western coasts of the United States, which has further inspired his love of music and nature. Matt uses whimsical collage techniques in his paintings to create captivating works of art that are expressive and inspirational.

(c) Matt Reasor

Vanessa Sharp Multon

Raised in a rural part of Tennessee surrounded by trees and farmland helped shape Nashville artist Vanessa Sharp Multon‘s creative side. She was often found drawing or painting, or spending time in her father’s woodworking shop creating wooden crafts. Vanessa earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, focusing on a career as a graphic designer in advertising. She then found her way back to her passion for painting, working mostly with acrylics.

She frequently combines impasto palette knife painting with blended brushstrokes and considers texture an important element of her work. Vanessa’s mood will often guide her as she works; she uses bold colors when she’s having a good day, or more muted tones when her mood is subdued. Vanessa finds inspiration in nature, especially the Tennessee landscape, where she calls home.

(c) Vanessa Sharp Multon

Pam Tyson

With a background in business, Pam Tyson is a Nashville area painter who works with a variety of media, including acrylics, oil and watercolor. She considers her work to be “experimental”, since the subjects can be anything from a unique representation of a color or texture to a reflection of a place she has visited. Pam is also inspired by her special-needs daughter. She has studied under several well-known artists and completed a two-year fine arts program at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film. Her works have won numerous awards and are featured in regional and national exhibitions.

Considering All Options / (c) Pam Tyson

Trixie Pitts

For Nashville artist Trixie Pitts, painting and drawing are about connecting with her inner self and bringing that connection to canvas. She started painted over 30 years ago, spending time in London, Atlanta, Hong Kong and New York City before relocating to Nashville. She was mentored by Larry Poons and Kikuo Saito at the Art Students League and is a member of the National Association of Women Artists.

Of her approach to painting, Trixie begins each piece with no agenda. She lets her instincts guide her marks, trusting that the unexpected will lead to the best artistic expressions. Trixie has participated in group exhibitions across the United States, Canada and Hong Kong, and has had several solo exhibitions in New York City.

Wild Weather oil on canvas / (c) Trixie Pitts

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