JUNE 16 - 18, 2017 | CENTENNIAL PARK


The American Artisan Festival, Centennial Park, Nashville Metro Arts Commission are celebrating the return of the 43rd American Artisan Festival this summer by bringing GROW LOVE to the Parthenon’s great lawn in Centennial Park. GROW LOVE is a site-specific, interactive art installation by San Francisco Bay Area artists Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie of Forest Alchemy which will be open to the public Friday, June 16 at 4 PM - Sunday, June 18 at 5 PM.  


The intent of an interactive art installation is to bring people together to participate and engage in art as a community.  GROW LOVE is an invitation to local residents and visitors alike to experience Nashville and Centennial Park in a new and creative way, and proudly demonstrate that Nashville is a diverse city that can come together as one.


Visiting San Francisco Bay Area artists Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie of Forest Alchemy, will create the temporary exhibit which will present a giant white labyrinth designed in the shape of a Magnolia blossom, a defining tree of the southern landscape and Centennial Park. Visitors will walk the labyrinth - a spiritual practice for many cultures - and will also be invited to write a message and affix it to the center of the work as you walk through.  

The magnolia-shaped labyrinth will be created using white fabric panels with a communal center blossom.  At dusk, video projections will emerge on the installation lighting the site with color, movement, and shadow. Videos include time lapse footage of magnolias growing from bud to blossom, interspersed with images of correlating Greek archaeological sites evoking the Parthenon and its history, as well as participants walking the labyrinth throughout the day.


It is customary before walking a labyrinth, to make an offering, set an intention, ask a question or say a prayer. We will provide pens and fabric so if you wish to write a message of love or healing, you can hang a blossom tag to the center as you complete your walk through the art. As you walk out, the message you leave builds on those of others, and collectively we plant seeds for our great city to GROW LOVE as a unified community.

Labyrinths are sacred spaces that have been used in many cultures and are found in many public gathering places and often at the entrance of ancient sites around the word. As one walks the single path toward the heart of the labyrinth, the sacred space is believed to open the gateway to our body, mind, and soul and when we leave, we do so with a renewed sense of connection to ourselves and the world.


GROW LOVE is created by artists Tracy Ginsberg and Theodore Lillie of the San Francisco Bay Area as part of their collaborative works entitled Forest Alchemy. Ginsberg and Lillie both graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute, with a BFA, in 1996 where they also served as visiting faculty. Together they have over twenty years experience in creating interactive art. Their interdisciplinary approach combines painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, photography and performance.  Their work is exhibited in galleries, museums, performing art centers, universities and alternative spaces across the country.


We are eager to connect to community groups all across Metro Nashville to invite you to come and walk the labyrinth together as one. We are thrilled that the visiting artists have offered to provide some group tours of the work and discussions with community groups.  If you would like to arrange for your group to come and visit and meet the artists - please email our Community Outreach Manager, Jessie Rosenblum 

Hosted in partnership with Metro Parks, this project is funded in part by the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission.