C615 Community

Christian Paro Acquires Ownership of Art & Invention Gallery

By Andra Ingram
10.06.2019

Featured image courtesy of the Art and Invention Gallery’s Facebook page

The Art & Invention Gallery at 1106 Woodland Street, East Nashville, Tennessee 37206 is now under new ownership.

 

The morning of June 6, 2019 (at 10:00 to be precise) marks the official passing of the Art & Invention Gallery torch from Bret and Meg MacFayden to our very own Christian Paro, head honcho of C615.

Known as the birthplace of East Nashville’s beloved Tomato Art Fest and the “Heart of Five Points” both the Art & Invention Gallery and the Idea Hatchery will continue to be an incubator for small and creative businesses, leasing at the more-than-reasonable prices C615 offers.

“We both feel like we’re leaving our creations in the best hands imaginable,” comments Meg MacFadyen about Christian, “as his love for the East Nashville community mirrors our own.”

The MacFayden’s story begins in the Fall of 2001, when they first opened the Art & Invention Gallery. Since its inception, the gallery has hosted a smörgåsbord of work from local, regional, and national artists, providing thousands of commission checks to painters, illustrators, potters, sculptors, designers, crafters, jewelry artists, stained glass makers, glassblowers, chefs, writers, musicians, and more. Meg and Bret encouraged artists to experiment and explore, implementing an open door policy, in order to establish a welcoming and inclusive space with a wide variety of art styles and price points. Through their mission, the gallery grew to mirror East Nashville’s blossoming communal and creative spirit.

Come summer of 2004, the gallery debuted the one-and-only Tomato Art Fest, which prides itself as “a uniter, not a divider; bringing together fruits and vegetables”. Starting as a simpler art show, with about 1,500 people in attendance the first year, the fruity fest flourished to over 60,000 attendees in 2018. East Nashville fully embraces the fest and brings its own quirky playfulness to the neighborhood events, anointing the Tomato Art Fest as something truly special.

Thankfully, through a partnership with Jack Davis of Good Neighbor Festivals, the Tomato Art Fest will live on as its own entity under Jack’s watchful eye and careful ownership.

Following much growth and success, in July 2011 the MacFaydens established Nashville’s “first artisan retail business incubator” known as the Idea Hatchery, comprised of eight small “hatches” housing eight small businesses at a time. At the Idea Hatchery, East Nashville’s supportive community gave small business owners the freedom to sprout their unconventional ideas, while paying reasonable rent for their space. The Idea Hatchery will continue to incubate small businesses under Christian’s hand.

On the Art & Invention Gallery’s blog, Meg and Bret wrote a final and sentimental statement to everyone ever involved in their passion project:

“The MacFadyens are grateful to all the kind, generous, creative, imaginative, strong-willed, soulful, artistic, thoughtful people who came through our doors over the past 19 years. We will be forever indebted to our friends, family members, neighbors, visitors, inquisitive children, abandoned cats, happy dogs, long winded conversationalists, committed huggers, help givers, idea sharers, heavy lifters and ego sideliners who shared in our happiest times and helped us in our weakest moments. Each of you made our life a unique and fulfilling experience. We wish all of you a similar experience in your lives …with a little imagination, some trust in the unknown and a healthy dose of sweat, dreams do come true and the world becomes an even more beautiful place to be.

With love to all-

Bret and Meg MacFadyen”

Knowing Christian’s creative and unstoppable spirit, we at C615 are certain that amazing and exciting things are just around the corner for the beloved hub.

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