Random Sample in Nashville, TN

By August 19, 2022
interior of a white gallery with multicolored ambient lights, a crowd surrounds a group of musicians playing jazz music in the dimly lit space
Interior view of Random Sample Gallery in Nashville, Tennessee

Location/Address: 407 48th Ave N, Nashville, Tennessee 37209

Hours: Friday 1 – 5PM, Saturday 10AM – 2PM, Sunday 1 – 5PM. Check Instagram (@rand0m_sampl3) for more information.

Website: Visit Here.

Memories & Inspiration: The Kerry and C. Betty Davis Collection of African American Art at the Hunter Museum through January 8th
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Created and Operated by: Linda Parrott

Founded: October 2021

Most Recent Exhibitions: Carson Thomas, Suspension; Cavdadi, Revealing; Nicholas Maloney, [no] objects; Deborah Parrott, Spontaneo; Espy Kremer, Looking for Yellow Cars; Landon Edwards and Lucas Eytchison, ‘Slingshot’

Interior view of Random Sample Gallery

Bryn Evans: Random Sample’s mission is tied to supporting the work of emerging artists. Can you share the names of any local artists that visitors can currently find at RS?

Linda Parrott: Yes— this is indeed the mission! Carson Thomas (Nashvillian gone Seattleite) will be on display in August 2022. This collection explores the theme of “Suspension” — coming of age, dealing with tragedy, searching for meaning in the post-pandemic world, one that becomes increasingly demanding of personal sacrifice and the performance of pain on the part of the individual while simultaneously becoming increasingly incoherent. In the gift shop, you can find art by Deborah Parrott, Eliza Eaton, Olivia Tallon, Ivy Welsh, Children of Compost, Sarah Collins, and so many more!

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BE: While advocating and uplifting the work of up-and-coming artists, Random Sample is also a relatively green space — less than a year old. What have you learned throughout the process of running a gallery, especially considering the myriad of ways in which it’s currently serving Nashville’s community as a small concert venue, a book club meeting ground, an installation space, and a marketplace for artisanal works?

Random Sample Gallery gift shop

LP: Random Sample was a brainchild for a couple of years until I found the perfect little 555 square foot building it lives in now. It resides in West Nashville, which I felt lacked in communal visual art spaces. I wanted an approachable space for folks in Nashville’s creative community to share, as the name suggests, a random sampling of what they’re passionate about. It has taken a village to get this space off the ground, and it wouldn’t be the warm and welcoming home it is without the physical, emotional and mental support from my friends and community. Throughout the process of learning to run a gallery (and being the Virgo I am), letting go of control has been a struggle, but also a huge learning curve for me. Amidst all the uncertainty, learning to trust and lean on my community allows me to let go of any fears and expectations that I have for the space. It’s beyond anything I could’ve dreamt up.

Exterior of Random Sample Gallery, with a sign showcasing a live music event featuring Dreamwave, Volunteer Department, and Thad Kopec.

Perhaps the most fulfilling part of opening RS is fostering a multitude of beginnings – it’s been a beautiful process to witness. Nashville is lush with creativity and RS is kind of like a garden bed — you need some soil for your plants to grow! A gentle reminder from Mariame Kaba that I try to carry with me: “Failures are always lessons and everything worthwhile is done with others.”

BE: Are there any artist-run spaces or experimental venues that are currently doing the work that Random Sample endeavors to?

LP: Oh yeah! There’s a spot in Madison, TN called Social Sometimes. We differ in size but share similar missions. They have studio spaces for artists to rent. Having a space to call your own and work in is crucial to the creative process. If RS were to expand, I’d love to have artist studios as well!

DRKMTTR is a cornerstone of Nashville’s DIY music scene, fueled by artists and musicians. It’s been inspiring to witness their growth over the last couple of years. They’ve always stayed true to remaining an accessible and inclusive space.

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