Art & Invention Announces Closing

After 19 years in East Nashville’s 5 Points, Art & Invention Gallery will be permanently closing its doors at the end of May 2019. Owners Bret and Meg MacFadyen will be retiring to their home in Woodbury, TN where they will pursue many new adventures, and welcome all Art and Invention Gallery enthusiasts to stay tuned for future fun, artful activities and soulful offerings!

The MacFadyens will be selling their properties (including the neighboring Idea Hatchery business) to Christian Paro of Paro South, LLC DBA C615. Mr. Paro is a longtime commercial property owner, manager and developer in East Nashville. He will continue the small business initiatives the MacFadyens started with the Idea Hatchery by continuing to offer small retail spaces at a reasonable price. This will be an extension of Mr. Paro’s assemblage of co-working and group working spaces on Main Street and around East Nashville. These include Center 615, Studio 615, Main Street Gallery along with other projects.

As an East Nashville resident and business owner, Mr. Paro understands the importance of broad business participation, capturing both the energy and the spirit of the East Nashville community, and encouraging new and unique businesses to plant roots in the neighborhood. We feel that Mr. Paro is the perfect steward for the properties, as his love for the East Nashville community mirrors our own.

The MacFadyens moved their design/build company to East Nashville in May 2000. MacFadyen Art & Invention focused on staging and scenery for feature film, video and television.

In the Fall of 2001, they opened Art & Invention Gallery. Over the years, the gallery has shown a broad palette of work offered by local, regional and national artists. Their mission was to have a gallery where everyone felt included – a gallery where there was a wide range of art styles and prices, so anyone who walked through the door felt welcomed and included. With an open door policy, artists were encouraged to experiment and explore. The gallery became a reflection of the community and the creative spirit that was growing in East Nashville. Few businesses reward people for stepping up, creating something personal and sharing it with others the way galleries do. Over the years, Art & Invention Gallery sent out thousands of commission checks to many crafters, painters, designers, illustrators, glassblowers, writers, musicians, potters, jewelry artists, chefs, sculptors, stained glass makers, etc. All of whom were encouraged to do their own thing.

Summer of 2004 witnessed the launch of the uniquely East Nashville Tomato Art Fest – which truly was, and still is “a uniter, not a divider; bringing together fruits and vegetables”. The festival started as a simple art show with an attendance of about 1,500 people in 2004, and grew into a thriving festival with an attendance over 60,000 people in 2018. East Nashvillians embraced their neighborhood festival, and through their efforts created fun events that set the tone of playfulness that makes this festival special.

As the festival grew, it became necessary to bring in experienced event planners to ensure that all activities ran smoothly. The MacFadyens had the good fortune to partner with Jack Davis of Good Neighbor Festivals, who was able to help take the Tomato Art Fest to the next level of growth. Over the years, Mr. Davis has coordinated TAF street and vendor operations as well as sponsorship and festival participation with great success. It seemed only natural for the MacFadyens to turn the Tomato Art Fest over to Mr. Davis upon their retirement. With Mr. Davis’ broad imagination, solid business expertise and community understanding, East Nashville will enjoy a wonderful Tomato Art Fest experience for many years to come!

In 2007, the MacFadyens, with their co-conspirator, Wayne Goodwyn of Wonders on Woodland, created the “I Dream of Weenie” hotdog stand. In 2011, the hot dog stand was sold to Leslie Allen, who took a wonderful idea and made it even better by adding more unique menu items and events. It is truly “East Nashville’s only Full Service Weenery”, and always serves them up hot and tasty. With reasonable prices, “I Dream Of Weenie” is a dietary staple for anyone with an appetite and a few bucks.

In July of 2011 the MacFadyens launched the Idea Hatchery, Nashville’s first artisan retail business incubator. Hosting eight small businesses in eight small buildings, it gave new business owners the opportunity to explore their dreams through reasonable rents in a supportive community. With most of the business owners living in East Nashville, the “Hatchery family” offers each visitor a truly East Nashville experience by showcasing local business with a “can do” attitude and served with a side of humor and style. Now, how does it get any better than that?

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 fulfilled 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