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It Takes A Village: A Crowd-Curated Exhibition, Sep. 27, 2020 to Mar. 14, 2021
In the Metal Museum's first crowd-curated exhibition, 25 works of art from the Museum's Permanent Collection will be displayed alongside comments and videos from voters.

For the first time in its 41-year history, the Metal Museum invited the public to choose their favorite Permanent Collection artworks in a special exhibit, It Takes A Village: A Crowd-Curated Exhibition. Voters chose from a selection of 51 works, split into five ballots: Forged Sculpture, Cast Sculpture, Art Jewelry, Vessels, and Functional Artwork. The top 25 works of art were included in this exhibition, and voter comments are displayed in the galleries alongside the winning works.


“For the first time since 1992, the Metal Museum will not showcase a Master Metalsmith as our featured fall exhibition,” states Carissa Hussong, Executive Director at the Metal Museum. “With the uncertainty of COVID-19’s impact on both the economy and our ability to remain open to the public through the end of 2020, we made the difficult decision to postpone Master Metalsmith Kim Cridler’s exhibition until 2021. In its place, we chose to organize an exhibition that could be both digital and physical, giving us the flexibility to respond to uncertain times. It has also given us time and space to reflect on what makes the Metal Museum such a special place – the community of artists and patrons that has built our collection, volunteered precious time to events and projects, and enabled the Museum to thrive through their gifts and continued support.” It is in that spirit and in celebration of everyone who supports the Museum, that we invited our community to participate in the curation of this exhibition. 


It Takes a Village was also inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s poem, “The Village Blacksmith," which follows a man who works diligently for his family and community even following the death of his wife. The lesson of the poem is the value of perseverance in the face of hardship. The Metal Museum, its staff, and our community have carried on despite these changing and uncertain times, never wavering from our values of hard work and responsibility to the public. The Museum is proud to present this crowd-curated exhibition, and we hope our visitors enjoy seeing the artwork and will continue voting for their favorites throughout the show.

Q&A w/ Elizabeth Brim, Mary Lee Hu

FEB. 6, 2021




Q&A w/ Harlan Butt, Marilyn da Silva, Cozette Phillips

MAR. 6, 2021






     Onward through life he goes;  
Each morning sees some task begin,  
     Each evening sees it close;  
Something attempted, something done,  
     Has earned a night's repose.” 


Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, 

For the lesson thou hast taught! 

Thus at the flaming forge of life 

Our fortunes must be wrought; 

Thus on its sounding anvil shaped 

Each burning deed and thought.

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

To learn more about the artists and artworks included in this exhibition, click here.
Watch the video It Takes a Village: Village Voices to hear some of our voter comments on the artwork in this exhibition.


Windgate Charitable Foundation

Hyde Family Foundations



Tennessee Arts Commission

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