Cheekwood Celebrates 60th Anniversary with New Children’s Garden, Sculpture Trail and Chihuly

Press Release # State
Photo credit: Kay + Si Miller

NASHVILLE, TN – Jan. 29, 2020 – Cheekwood, Nashville’s world-class destination for art, nature and history lovers, expands its offerings in 2020 with four significant events:

  • An extensive indoor and outdoor Chihuly at Cheekwood exhibition which opens April 25, 2020;

  • The opening of the one-of-a-kind Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden on March 7, 2020;

  • The reopening of the Blevins Japanese Garden on March 28, 2020; and

  • The reopening of the enhanced Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail on April 25, 2020.

Chihuly at Cheekwood (April 25 - Nov. 1) makes a triumphant return following the inaugural 2010 exhibition that drove unprecedented attendance. The six-month exhibition features large-scale sculpture installations throughout the gardens of Cheekwood's estate and additional works in the Historic Mansion & Museum art galleries and the Frist Learning Center Great Hall. Outdoor installations will include two new pieces designed especially for Cheekwood. In addition to daytime viewing, Chihuly Nights is open during evening hours (5-10 p.m. Thursday through Sunday). Daytime admission is included with Cheekwood’s general admission ticket price. Chihuly Nights requires a separate ticket.

The new two-acre Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden, opening March 7, 2020, blends art with nature. The Children’s Garden will be an interactive and educational outdoor experience that celebrates Cheekwood’s legacy and identity through play and discovery. Designed with families in mind, visitors can explore private garden rooms, secret nooks, hidden spaces and water features, including a Turtle Pond, Wishing Well, Art Studio, Living Library, Labyrinth, Adventure Walk, and Little Woods designed especially for toddlers with a Tea House, Story Tree, Fairy Garden and more. The two-acre Bracken Foundation Children’s Garden is located between the Howe Garden and the Frist Learning Center, Cheekwood's hub of education and learning.

Following a 10-month renovation with enhancements made possible by the Blevins family, Cheekwood’s renovated Blevins Japanese Garden reopens on March 28, 2020. Sited as an enduring symbol of the friendship between Tennessee and Japan, the enhanced Blevins Japanese Garden will feature a new accessibility path and entrance and renovated pavilion as well as new horticulture additions, including gingko, maple and stunted pine trees. Last October, the garden was the beneficiary of the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, a program that supports the enhancement of Japanese gardens outside of Japan. The MLIT sent a team of six gardeners and craftsmen to work alongside Cheekwood gardeners on the project. Efforts focused on deepening of the dry creek, placement of new boulders in the dry pond and rearrangement of the traditional Tsukubai basin behind the viewing pavilion. The Blevins Japanese Garden first opened in 1990.

On International Sculpture Day April 25, the enhanced Ann & Monroe Carell Jr. Family Sculpture Trail reopens following a 15-month renovation. Originally established in 1999, the approximately 1.5-mile trail is home to 10 permanent contemporary sculptures, many commissioned specifically for Cheekwood’s woodland trail setting. Visitors will experience a new trailhead entrance and wayfinding and carefully curated horticulture experiences intended to create seasonality within the space, diversify the landscape, and complement the sculptures. The once singular loop has been divided into two loops, one that is paved for accessibility and lighted for nighttime viewing. The design process is led by Nashville-based Hawkins Partners, Inc. The renovations are made possible by a $5 million lead gift to The Cheekwood Campaign from the Ann and Monroe Carell Foundation.

All gardens are included with Cheekwood’s general admission ticket price. Evening hours require an additional ticket.

For more information about Cheekwood and its 60th anniversary season, visit www.cheekwood.org.

About Cheekwood

Cheekwood is considered one of the finest American Country Place Era estates in the nation. Formerly the family home of Mabel and Leslie Cheek, the extraordinary 1930s estate, with its Georgian mansion and 55 acres of cultivated gardens and expansive vistas, today serves the public as a botanical garden, arboretum, and museum with historic rooms and art galleries, showcasing works from its 7,000 permanent collection as well as traveling exhibitions. The property includes 12 distinct gardens and 1.5-mile long woodland trail featuring modern and contemporary outdoor sculpture.

Cheekwood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, and is a USA Today Top 10 Botanical Garden. Cheekwood is located just 8 miles southwest of downtown Nashville at 1200 Forrest Park Drive.

Daily hours of operation:

Tuesday through Sunday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

For further information, call 615-356-8000 or visit cheekwood.org.