› What: “Alabama: Song of the South.”
› When: Through June 25.
› Where: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, 222 Fifth Ave. S, Nashville.
› Admission: $24.95 ages 13-adults, $13.95 children 6-12; discounts for seniors, military and AAA members (ticket upgrades to premium tours available).
› Phone: 615-416-2001.
› Website: www.countrymusichalloffame.org.
' What: "Alan Shuptrine: Appalachian Watercolors of the Serpentine Chain."
- When: Through Oct. 1.
- Where: Tennessee State Museum, 505 Deaderick St., Nashville.
- Admission: Free.
- Phone: 615-741-2692.
- Website: www.tnmuseum.org.
Visitors to Nashville will find Chattanooga-area connections at two popular venues in Music City.
"Alabama: Song of the South," an exhibition tracing the musical beginnings of the Fort Payne, Ala., band, is on view for another week at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
"Appalachian Watercolors of the Serpentine Chain," a collection of 54 watercolors by nationally recognized Chattanooga painter Alan Shuptrine, may be seen at the Tennessee State Museum through the summer.
"Alabama" tells the story of cousins Jeff Cook, Teddy Gentry and Randy Owen, who formed their first band as teenagers in Fort Payne and honed their sound for the next decade in clubs throughout the Southeast, including regular gigs at Governor's in Chattanooga. They recruited Massachusetts-born Mark Herndon as drummer in 1979 and signed with RCA in 1980, beginning a career that would bring them more than 40 chart-topping singles, 70 million (and counting) album sales and concert attendance records.
Highlights of the exhibition include Cook's first electric guitar, a 1960s Silvertone U-1; Owen's Music Man Sting Ray I, used to write such hits as "Mountain Music" and played by Brad Paisley when he recorded his 2011 tribute to the group, "Old Alabama"; a fringed suede shirt given to Gentry by William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys at Alabama's first June Jam in 1982; and numerous awards won by the Country Music Hall of Famers.
Shuptrine's works, on view through Oct. 1, will be the last temporary exhibition to hang in the Changing Gallery at the State Museum's current location (a new $160 million facility is scheduled to open next year in North Nashville). The images pay tribute to the land and people found along the Appalachian Trail and to the Celtic culture that can still be found there.
"This journey highlights Celtic traditions that were brought to America in the 18th century and are still being practiced today," Shuptrine says in a news release. "I tried to capture the deep, meaningful and superb technical excellence in each painting, whether it is found in the Maine and Vermont tradition of quilt making in the clapboard white schoolhouse, to whiskey making and farming traditions, or stunning views across the mountain ranges. Without knowledge or appreciation for your past, and with no sense of place, how can you look to the future?"
Shuptrine has partnered with New York Times best-selling author Sharyn McCrumb for a related large-format art book, "The Serpentine Chain." His paintings and her prose explore the connections between the people of Appalachia and their historical and cultural counterparts in the British Isles.
Also included in the exhibition are nine paintings by Alan's father, Chattanooga native Hubert Shuptrine (1936-2006), who was known for his ethereal images of the South.
As part of the exhibition, Shuptrine will give a 30-minute Lunch & Learn talk about his creative process at 12:15 p.m. CDT Thursday. The series gives visitors a chance to bring a brown-bag lunch to enjoy during a quick lesson on Tennessee history. The free program will take place on Level B in front of the stage.
The Nashville exhibition is the first in a four-museum run showcasing Shuptrine's "Serpentine Chain." The tour will continue in 2018 with stops at the Morris Museum of Art in Augusta., Ga. (Jan. 18-April 15), the Huntsville Museum of Art in Alabama (May 8-Aug. 5) and the Museum Center at Five Points in Cleveland, Tenn. (September-December).