Shopping Downtown Nashville 2011
Downtown Nashville is an interesting shopping destination for the home decorator. From the odds and ends at Antique Archaeology (AKA, The American Picker) to the fabulous artwork in galleries scattered across the area, there is something for every taste.
The 200 block of Fifth Avenue North is a good place to start, and if you happen to be around on the first Saturday of the month, you’ll want to take the opportunity to participate in the First Saturday Art Crawl which includes numerous small galleries in the Arcade, as well as larger galleries in the area.
The Arcade, built in 1902, is essentially an alley/pedestrian walkway covered by skylights and lined on both sides by cafes and shops. A number of galleries are located on the second level, but have very abbreviated hours, mostly for the Art Crawl and by appointment. You can still get a feel for the type of art housed in mostly of the galleries by peering through the windows and noting which may be worthy of another visit. Easy to miss, you can find the arcade by looking across the street from the Wells Fargo Bank on 4th Avenue North or from the Tinney Contemporary gallery on 5th Avenue North.
The Art Crawl is the night most galleries host receptions and schedule their art openings. Most galleries serve free wine and other refreshments. The galleries are open from 6-9 p.m. and the Nashville Downtown Partnership provides two free shuttles among the galleries from 6-10 p.m
On 5th Street across from the Arcade, you’ll find The Arts Company, housed in over 6,000 square feet on two floors of a historic building. Established in 1996, the gallery offers a diverse selection of painting, sculpture, art books, photography, and other artwork of quality and interest.
Next door, The Rymer Gallery is one of the largest contemporary galleries in the heart of Nashville’s arts district. The objective of the gallery is to continue the legacy endowed by The Betty Rymer Gallery at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, by supporting the best of what the contemporary art world has to offer. The 3,000 square foot gallery is joined by an annex gallery and artist studio located a block away. The gallery represents artists ranging from emerging to established in all media.
Tinney Contemporary is an art gallery with a focus to present cutting-edge contemporary artwork from a large portfolio of internationally known artists. It offers a series of rotating exhibitions throughout the year and provides guidance for beginning and experienced collectors.
Take 5th Ave. to Broadway and continue to 8th Ave./Rosa Parks Blvd. Park behind the International Art Gallery, where you’ll find an amazing collection of antique African art. No photography allowed, so we’re unable to share our finds with you!
Next door is the Tennessee Art League gift shop and gallery. Supported by its nearly 300 member-artists and community volunteers, the Tennessee Art League is the area’s only organization open to everyone who has an interest in the visual arts and desires to exhibit their work. Open to all levels of artists from the emerging to the highly professional, it provides opportunities for artists to exhibit in its galleries, to participate in classes and workshops and to network with other artists.
Behind the Tennessee Art Leaque is the Estel Gallery, a fabulous gallery open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Continue west on Broadway and turn left on 11th Ave. Four blocks will take you to Nashville Glass, which specializes in mirrors and shower doors, including frameless shower enclosures.
Continue north on 11th Ave. N and turn left as it deadends at Clinton St. where you’ll find Marathon Village, once home to Nashville’s Marathon Motors. Today this reborn auto manufacturing facility includes Antique Archaeology (home of the American Picker). Antique Archaeology offers—in addition to some nifty locally themed t-shirts and souvenirs—antiques, vintage items, folk art, and more.
Across the street “O” Gallery. Founded by Olga Alexeeva in the Arcade, “O” Gallery has grown to a second gallery in Marathon Village. Embracing the theme “Art as a kaleidoscope of life,” the Marathon Village location features the work of Alexeeva.
Take 16th Ave. back to Charlotte. Turn right on the road traveling alongside the interstate and continue to Demonbreun St. Turn right on 12th Ave. South and then left on Laurel St. and right on 11th to park in front of Kenny & Company. Here you’ll find fabulous fixtures as well as a wide array of tile. The showroom offers an exclusive line of signature mosaics, a wide breadth of products including lighting and hardware, an expanded collection of tile and stone, accessories, furnishings.
Return to Demonbreun St. and travel east to Rosa Parks Blvd./8th Ave. South. Turn right and then left at the Y with Lafayette Street. On the right you’ll find Hermitage Lighting Gallery, which is much more than the name says. For over 66 years Hermitage Lighting has been the professional source for lighting, appliances and custom kitchen design in the Nashville area. You’ll find chandeliers, table and floor lamps, exterior lighting, and home decor accessories. Since 1954, the Hermitage Kitchen Design Gallery has designed and supplied over 1,500 custom kitchens across the southeast and nationally.
Follow Lafayette to 2nd Avenue and turn left. Several blocks will take you to Peabody Ave., where you’ll find Creative Countertop Solutions. Serving a 125-mile radius for residential countertops, the company offers man-made and natural stone countertops, as well as counters made of recycled glass and concrete mixtures.
Return to Lafayette and its intersection with 8th Ave. Turn left onto 8th Ave. and proceed to a left turn at Downtown Antiques Mall. Snuggled against the railway tracks, the warehouse is full of old stuff. It could be antiques, or vintage, or a mix of things that haven’t seen the light of day for decades. There are home accessories, furniture, and lighting galore in this space.
If you miss the turn for Downtown Antiques you can turn left on Fogg St. and check out the tile samples at Ceramic Tile Distributors and then backtrack to the Antique Mall which is the first left turn before Fogg St. Ceramic Tile Distributors offers one of the city’s largest selections of residential, marble, and ceramic tile imported directly from Italy, Spain, and around the world.
Back on 8th Ave. South, turn left on Division Street and in the first block lies one of two Habitat HomeStores. The store on Division specializes in building materials and supplies, as well as appliances. If you’re looking for windows, doors, kitchen cabinets, countertops, plumbing fixtures, or appliances, this is a great place to check. You’ll also see hardware, trim, paint, flooring, and molding. The merchandise changes daily however, so plan to stop in regularly if you’ve got something special on your wish list.
Around the corner on 8th Ave. South lies the second Habitat HomeStore. Here you’ll find home and office furnishings, home decor, and housewares. Included here are desks, filing cabinets, and office supplies. Also located in this store are lighting fixtures, window treatments, textiles, framed art, and mirrors.
There are a number of home-related stores in the downtown Nashville area including:
1300 Clinton St., Suite 130
244 5th Ave. North
Arts Company, The
215 Fifth Ave. North
Ceramic Tile Distributors
712 Fogg St.
Creative Countertop Solutions
Downtown Antiques Mall
612 8th Ave. South
1001 Eighth Ave. South
615/ 254-HOME, ext. 272
908 Division St.
615/ 254-HOME, ext. 282
Hermitage Lighting Gallery
531 Lafayette Street
Kenny & Company
303 11th Ave. South
Nashville Glass Company
431 11th Ave. North
1305 Clinton St, Suite 120
Tennessee Art League
Rymer Gallery, The
233 5th Ave. North
237 5th Ave. North