Nashville, TN artist Brenda Stein has been commissioned to create a work of art for the Nashville Public Library’s new Bellevue Branch, currently under construction. She lives in close proximity to the location and proudly claims the library as an essential resource in her growth as an artist. While known primarily for her works in turned wood, she has expanded into other forms of sculpture including figurative work in a variety of media and is thrilled to be moving into the realm of public art.
Over the years, Stein supplemented her various studies using the vast resources of the Bellevue Library. These tools were important as she began making wooden toys for her children, explored creative expression in clay and eventually discovered woodturning as an art form. This led her to become a member of Tennessee Craft (formerly Tennessee Association of Craft Artists) where she found camaraderie, her artistic voice and developed further by holding leadership roles. She states that the Tennessee Art Commission and Metro Nashville Arts Commission (Metro Arts) also continue to be instrumental in providing programs, guidance and support to her and artists like her. In fact, Stein participated in a 2011 Metro Arts workshop by Lynn Basa and Joel Strauss specifically designed to help studio artists transition into public art.
As a professional studio artist, one of Stein’s favorite challenges is to create commemorative art out of trees associated with properties such as a homeowner’s beloved maple or those salvaged from Vanderbilt University’s recently rebuilt Kissam Quad. She works closely with clients on every commissioned piece to be sure their vision is manifested in the finished work. With regard to the library commission, Stein will be using trees salvaged from the site to create an installation of suspended works that speak about how opening a book gives us wings. It also symbolizes how members of the larger community have worked and continue to work to lift one another up. This quality was especially evident when the area was devastated by the flood of May 2010.
The new Bellevue Branch Library is scheduled to open November 2014.
To read more about the project, please visit the Metro Nashville Arts Commission Public Arts page at: Metro Nashville Public Art Projects – Bellevue Library