A Short Article on Nashville’s Smallest Art Gallery
By Jim Hornsby
Hillsboro Village is home to Nashville’s Smallest Art Gallery. Now in its fourth year, it has been written about in numerous publications and described variously as “unique,” “a wonder,” “awesome,” “high-quality,” “innovative,” “humble,” “great,” “quirky,” “clever,” “oft-overlooked,” “creative,” “wonderful,” and “a big deal.” Southern Living Magazine considers it a “don’t miss” attraction for tourists, and the Nashville Scene has voted it the “Best Environmentally Friendly Gallery” because of its solar-powered lighting. It is all these things and more.
What makes it more is what makes it less. Its diminutive size — 37”x 27” x 4½” — requires exhibiting artists to employ a sense of creativity that isn’t necessary in most other gallery situations. “It forces an artist to work in a different way – on a different scale,” says Daniel Box, the gallery’s creator and curator, “and artists are really getting into it. Our first few shows came about after I asked friends to show their art here; now, thanks to our web site and the publicity the gallery has generated, there is interest from artists around the world.”
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Photos by Daniel Box
The gallery is clearly Nashville’s smallest, but Daniel, after considerable research, is gaining confidence that it is the smallest art gallery in the world. “There was a phone booth in London being used as an art gallery,’ he says, “and a student at Virginia Commonwealth University used her locker for a while, but I don’t think either is functioning now. I’m pretty sure ours is the smallest functional gallery in existence, and I am considering an application to the Guinness Book of World Records to make it official.”
The gallery faces the sidewalk at 1802½ 21st Avenue South, just downstairs from KNI, Daniel’s web design business. Regrettably, the building — a beautiful two story structure that originally housed the first H. G. Hill Grocery Store in Nashville — is slated to be torn down soon to make way for an apartment complex. “I’ve got the best office space in town,” Daniel says, “ and I’m pretty bummed about the possibility of losing it, but if that happens, I have made arrangements to move the gallery across the street to a space between Fido’s and Hot & Cold, so even if the wrecking ball swings, the art will survive.”
You can learn more about Nashville’s Smallest Art Gallery and its exhibiting artists at www.smallestartgallery.com.