Small Particle, Big City

painting by Preston Vienneau
“Particle” by Preston Vienneau


For 20 years the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, in sponsorship with the Nashville Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities, has put together an annual exhibit of work by artists with a wide range of ages, abilities and disabilities called Creative Expressions. This year’s show, Creativity and the Modern City, will be up through June at both the Kennedy Center and the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

“Particle” is by Preston Vienneau, a 21-year-old Nashvillian with Asperger’s syndrome, a developmental disorder that sometimes can affect a person’s ability to socialize or communicate, but also can gift that person with exceptional talent. Preston’s talent is making art. While he was a student at West End Middle School in Nashville, his winning entry in a county-wide art contest was featured on a billboard. His work also has been exhibited at the Shimai Gallery, Loveless Cafe, and most recently at the Marnie Sheridan Gallery at Harpeth Hall School.

The original painting is acrylic on paper and measures just 3 inches by 5 inches, as diminutive as its subject matter. The work on exhibit has been enlarged and is a print of the original painting. When asked its relevance to the theme of the exhibit, Vienneau responded, “Even the complexity of a modern city can be made up of particles.”