Cheekwood check-in: Three new exhibitions opening this month

Cheekwood estate

New exhibits include indoor orchid display, student art competition, and Japanese contemporary artist-in-residence Hiroshi Sato.

vines growing over a large archway

Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art.

Over 225,000 visitors come to Cheekwood annually for year-round seasonal festivals, world-class art exhibitions, breathtaking gardens and educational public programs for all ages.

The 55-acre American Country Place Era estate was built in 1929 by the Cheek family, who amassed their fortune in part through the Maxwell House Coffee business.

It was gifted and opened as a public institution in 1960. Today, it features 12 distinct gardens, a woodland sculpture trail, a 7,000-piece permanent art collection, and Georgian-style Mansion with historically furnished rooms and galleries.

The estate’s mission is to preserve Cheekwood as a historical landmark where beauty and excellence in art and horticulture stimulate the mind and nurture the spirit.

Cheekwood will open three new exhibitions at the end of the month. Orchids in the Mansion, the 29th Annual Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Competition, and the Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence exhibits will simultaneously open to the public on Friday, Jan. 31.

pink and white orchids hanging from the walls

Orchids in the Mansion at Cheekwood estate.

Orchids in the Mansion (January 31 – March 1, 2020)

Returning for its second year, Orchids in the Mansion features a stylized interpretation of a classical orangery and occupies the historic loggia with large palms, tropical foliage and an array of colorful orchids.

The orchids are also displayed throughout the historic mansion and museum and present a series of period room interventions to explore how the Cheek family likely brought nature indoors and decorated their home. Miltoniopsis, Cymbidium, and Phalaenopsis orchids are featured, among others.

On Feb. 8 at 10 a.m., come learn the basics of caring for orchids from Cheekwood’s own Vice President of Gardens, Peter Grimaldi.

In addition to learning about orchid maintenance, Peter will take questions from participants, discuss the design behind Cheekwood’s orchid exhibit and take attendees on a tour of the exhibit.

Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence Hiroshi Sato (January 31 – March 29, 2020)

Cheekwood welcomes Japanese contemporary artist Hiroshi Sato as its 2020 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence.

Sato was born September 1987 in Japan. From the age of three to fourteen he spent his childhood in Tanzania. His childhood exposure to alternate cultures, class, and language has served as a backdrop to his interest in human perception.

Hiroshi Sato at his desk

Hiroshi Sato, 2020 Martin Shallenberger Artist-in-Residence.

Sato is focused on contemporary realist oil painting. He is best known for paintings of figures in an interior environment. He draws influence from past and present artists including Vermeer, Degas, Andrew Wyeth, Euan Uglow, Hopper and Chuck Close.

Sato’s work shows his interest in geometric design principles of the old masters and is currently exploring the simultaneous illusion of form and flatness in space. His goal is to portray, and better understand our various states of consciousness within ourselves through the visual medium. He has been featured in various publications such as Kunstenaar Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, Juxtapoz Magazine, Visual Art Source and Art Business News Magazine.

Sato will be onsite working in Cheekwood’s Historic Mansion and Museum daily between the hours of 7am – 4pm until the show’s opening on January 31. Cheekwood visitors are encouraged to watch Sato at work while visiting the property during normal operating hours. Join Sato in the museum galleries on Saturday, February 1 at 11 AM for an artist-led tour of the exhibition.

two men talking in an art gallery

Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Competition’s 29th consecutive year.

Middle Tennessee Scholastic Art Competition (January 31, 2020 – Mach 15, 2020)

For the 29th consecutive year, Cheekwood will join the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers to host the Scholastic Art Competition and Exhibition. Creative, imaginative and talented teens from across middle Tennessee submit works of art in a variety of categories.

Cheekwood is open to the public Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. during wintertime hours. For more information about Cheekwood’s exhibitions, visit

 Reach Michael Aldrich on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @michaelwaldrich.

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