Paying homage to the building’s past life as the Gray & Dudley Hardware Company, the re-imagined restaurant and lounge space embraces and celebrates high and low, new and old. Adjacent museum galleries exhibiting contemporary art foster exploration over cocktails or following a meal filled with heartfelt hospitality.

Learn more about 21c Nashville

 

Matt Bell is the executive chef at Gray & Dudley, located in the 21c Museum Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Bell fell in love with Southern cuisine and culture when he moved to the region in 2005 from his home state of Montana. He studied at the Texas Culinary Academy in Austin, TX and later moved to Little Rock, AR, where he began his career at Ashley’s, an upscale Southern restaurant inside the esteemed Capital Hotel.

In 2013, Bell opened his first concept, South on Main, a restaurant and performance venue, featuring the best in Southern culture and cuisine. South on Main was dubbed the best restaurant in Arkansas by Business Insider and received national recognition from the likes of Town & Country, National Geographic and more. Bell has contributed to articles for Food RepublicCulture Trip, and Bourbon and Boots, and his recipes have been published in several cookbooks, including The Southern Foodie’s Guide to the Pig and United Tastes of the South.

Bell is a passionate advocate of social change. He has hosted multiple benefit dinners and has lobbied on Capitol Hill alongside No Kid Hungry to protect programs that benefit children impacted by food insecurity. An avid music fan, Bell enjoys playing the saxophone and DJing when he’s not in the kitchen.

 

Beth Cavener’s ceramic sculptures combine human and animal traits in both form and subject matter. The multi-hued figures in Cavener’s Emotions series are named for the four “humours,” the Greco-Roman theory that physical health and personality are determined by the relative balance of bodily fluids: the blood-red The Sanguine is wound tight with energy, poised for activity; The Melancholic is pale, weighed down in thought or sorrow; the yellow The Choleric is posed in motion, expressing a youthful energy; hung from its hips and looking impassively outward, The Phlegmatic’s pale blue features suggest the winter of age. In each, the intricate details of facial features, bodily form, color, and the lines delineating fur, muscle, and bone express and elicit a range of human emotions and experiences.

Shelley Reed’s monumental, eleven panel painting, In Dubious Battle, depicts an allegorical narrative, casting animals from art historical paintings as the characters in an unfolding drama that ends in an epic struggle between dogs, tigers, lions, and leopards. By painting in shades of grey, black, and white, Reed distills the scene and unifies the image by focusing on the heightened emotion between the animals. Reed was fascinated by these animals; painted before the invention of photography, artists painted animals from memory, the stories from other people, or their imaginations. The resulting images, often fantastical renderings, were frequently very different from reality. In Dubious Battle is a mash-up of these details and passages, appropriations from twenty-three different artists including Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Alexandre-François Desportes, Melchior d’Hondecoeter, and George Stubbs, among others.