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Paintings by country music songwriter Steve Wariner on view at the Tennessee State Museum
Painter/Singer/Songwriter Steve Wariner and his son/Recording Artist Ryan Wariner pose by a Watercolor of Ryan by Steve at Wariner's Watercolors during the Three Part Harmony preview & private reception featuring Steve Wariner, celebrity portraits from photographer Russ Harrington, and dulcimers from the collection of the late dulcimer performer David Schnaufer at the Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, Tennessee. Rick Diamond/Getty Images/AFP.

NASHVILLE, TENN.- A selection of watercolors by multi-talented country music songwriter and entertainer Steve Wariner are part of three exhibits at the museum centered around a musical theme. The exhibition, entitled Wariner’s Watercolors: Paintings by Steve Wariner, features 21 of Wariner’s favorite paintings.

Wariner, who moved to Tennessee in 1973, has accomplished much since making his way to Nashville from his native Indiana more than a quarter-of-a-century ago. His outstanding musical talents initially won the admiration of the legendary Dottie West, who hired him to play bass guitar in her road band when he was still a teenager. The incomparable Chet Atkins, who signed Wariner to his first recording contract, was so fond of the guitarist that he actually gave him one of his own Grammy Awards.
Wariner has achieved 14 No. 1 hits with songs such as “The Weekend,” “Life’s Highway,” “I Got Dreams,” and more. “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” the No. 1 song he co-wrote with Billy Kirsch, is considered among the 100 Greatest Country Songs of All Time. He has won four Grammy Awards, four CMA Awards, and one ACM Award; received a total of 11 Grammy nominations; and is the recipient of the Orville H. Gibson Guitar Award for Best Male Country Guitarist, as well as the Minnie Pearl Humanitarian Award for his charitable work. He will release his new album, It Ain’t All Bad, on Sept. 10.

Several entertainers have earned major hits with Wariner-penned tunes, including Garth Brooks (“Longneck Bottle”), Keith Urban (“Where the Blacktop Ends”), Bryan White (“One Small Miracle”), and Clint Black(who co-wrote his Number One hit, “Nothin’ But the Taillights,” with Wariner in addition to their hit duet “Been There”).

Growing up in an artistic, inventive family gave Wariner an early start in expressing his creativity. “My father and brothers used to draw, doodle, and dabble in watercolors. I remember trying to draw at a very young age and always loved it,”
Wariner said. “My father was also a talented musician and singer, so I was inspired by him all the way around.” Wariner adds that he had a “fabulous” high school art teacher named Gordon Morrison, “who arranged for me to have back-to-back art classes for four years, forgoing study hall. I also worked for him sometimes during the summer months. He was a brilliant teacher and great friend. Over the years, I have continued to study art and develop my own style.”

“I am absolutely thrilled at this tremendous opportunity to have my art on display at the State Museum,” Wariner added. “My work has been exhibited occasionally over the years but never like this or at this level. This truly is a first for me…I am very grateful.”

Museum Curator Renèe White describes Wariner as “an exceptionally talented performer and painter. He has been a longtime supporter of our museum and it is a pleasure to present his work to his many fans and to our visitors.”

Wariner’s Watercolors: Paintings by Steve Wariner is on view through December 29.

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