The New Normal – Part 7: Very few visitors at the Frist

(Photo: John Partipilo for the Tennessee Lookout)

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered virtually every aspect of life and created a new normal for Nashville residents.

To capture the ways life has changed, award-winning photographer John Partipilo spent several weeks in the community and the result is an eight-part series of photos.

The Frist Art Museum has been a popular attraction for residents and visitors to the city for almost 20 years, with rotating exhibits and in most years, monthly social events known as “Frist Fridays.”

Despite social distancing and mask requirements, few visitors are in the galleries. The upper level galleries are currently displaying an exhibition by Vanderbilt professor Mel Ziegler, called “Flag Exchange,” comprised of 50 American flags surrounding a stage on which visitors can speak on what the flag means to them. Often as not, the stage is bare and the only person in the gallery is a security guard.

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Nate Rau
Nate Rau has a granular knowledge of Nashville’s government and power brokers, having spent more than a decade with the Tennessean, navigating the ins and outs of government deals as an investigative reporter. During his career at The Tennessean and The City Paper, he covered the music industry and Metro government and won praise for hard-hitting series on concussions in youth sports and deaths at a Tennessee drug rehabilitation center. In a state of Titans and Vols fans, Nate is an unabashed Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs fan. Reach Nate at [email protected] Twitter: @tnnaterau 615-498-5202
John Partipilo
Working as a photojournalist for 40 years, Partipilo has won awards such as NPPA Best of Photojournalism and nominated for two Pulitzers. His photography has also been featured in national and international publications. Most importantly Partipilo’s work is about people — people in their different environments and people in their different stages of life. That’s the heart of his work. To him people are so important, because they all have a unique story.