Outlaw, Adrienne

Multi-talented artist, writer, and non-profit director Adrienne Outlaw elaborates on strategies to win grants and engage the public. She and Paul also consider a classic question: what’s in a name?

“I think one of the things I do really well with my proposals—and I encourage all artists, or all business people to do it—is propose a win-win situation. I think a lot of the time artists say, “I want to do this, and you should give me some money because I’m an artist.” And that’s just not a good enough answer. I believe that in any proposal, if you’re going to come to somebody to show your work or sell your work or fund your work, you should say, “This is what I do and this is how it’s going to help your organization.”

Adrienne Outlaw is a Nashville-based interdisciplinary artist, a writer, a curator, an arts advocate, and the Founder and Director of Seed Space, a branch of the Nashville Cultural Arts Project. Outlaw was born in Orlando, Florida and raised in a number of locations across the Southeast. She attended the School of the Art Institute (SAIC) in Chicago to study fashion, and there discovered the Fiber and Material Studies program, developing an intense interest in materiality. Outlaw graduated from SAIC with a BFA in 1993, and from Vanderbilt University with a Masters of Liberal Arts and Science in 2004. She has reported on the arts for National Public Radio and a number of newspapers and magazines. As a curator, Outlaw has created the traveling exhibition TAKE CARE: Biomedical Ethics in the Twenty-first Century and ART MAKE PLACE, “a year-long program commissioning temporary, community and performance-based art for Nashville.” As the Director of Seed Space, Outlaw works to disrupt art world hierarchies by developing projects which pair together emerging and established artists, curators, and writers. Outlaw also runs Insight? Outta Site!, a program that connects nationally respected arts journalists with local artists, as well as a dedicated studio internship program. Outlaw is the recipient for a number of grants, both for Seed Space and for her own practice.

As an artist, Outlaw is represented by Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta, and her own work belongs in such collections as that of the U.S. Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria; Cheekwood Museum of Art; Tennessee State Museum; Wang Vision Institute; and WEHS-TV Chicago. She has has solo exhibitions at such spaces as Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta, GA; University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC; LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA; Freed-Hardeman University, Henderson, TN; and the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Grand Rapids, MA. She has also shown in group exhibitions in such spaces as the Parthenon Museum, Nashville, TN; the Phippen Museum, Prescott, AZ; the L.A. Center for Digital Art, Los Angeles, CA; Translations Gallery, Denver, CO; and the Krannert Art Museum, Champaign-Urbana, IL. Her work has been widely reviewed, including in Art in America, World Sculpture, Art Papers, Sculpture, USArt, FiberArts, and Number: an independent arts journal.