The Martin ArtQuest Gallery, more commonly known as ArtQuest, is a facility that offers visitors a hands-on educational approach to the arts. It is located within the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, a popular art museum in Nashville, Tennesee. ArtQuest sits on the upper floor of the structure, while the lower level houses paintings, prints, and other works of art. Visitors can participate in many types of interactive experiences, including creating their own works. While this facility is very family friendly, it is designed for people of all ages, including those with and without children.
At the gallery, visitors can participate in more than 30 stations, each of which features a hand-on exhibit. Stations are staffed by employees or trained volunteers, who help educate visitors as they perform activities. Some focus on creating works of art in a variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, and sketching. As they travel from station to station, visitors log their work using an individual ArtQuest card. This allows guests to review their creations from home at anytime using a computer.
The exhibits at ArtQuest are divided into three basic categories, and each helps visitors understand a different concept of art and design. The first is "Art Essentials," which covers the basic forms that make up a work of art. The second is "Materials and Techniques," which focuses on how people can create art using different media and methods. The third is entitled, "Art and Meaning," and is based around helping visitors better understand the motivations and meanings of the artistic process. Guests can move to each section one at a time or travel randomly and take part only in the exhibits that interest them.
ArtQuest is open seven days a week, and admission is always free to visitors below the age of 18. Tickets allows visitors to access both ArtQuest and the rest of the exhibits in the Frist Center, which houses a wide variety of visual arts pieces,. Guests can enjoy works by both local and national artists, as well as those from other countries.
The museum relies on Swifty, its eagle mascot, to point visitors in the direction of kid-friendly exhibits both in ArtQuest and on the lower level of the gallery. In addition to the hands-on activities on the upper level, the Frist Center offers a Kid's Club as well as a popular summer arts camp. The facility is so popular with children and families that it was profiled on a PBS Kids television series called "Digging America."