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New FirstBank Office Decor Supports Tennessee Artists

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When Jim Ayers decided to relocate the corporate offices of FirstBank, Ayers Asset Management, Ayers Capital and The Ayers Foundation from Noel Place to the Baker Donelson Building on Commerce Street, he was confronted with the same kind of decorating decisions involved in any move. Rather than taking the easy path and purchasing standard corporate art for the walls, Ayers decided to create an opportunity to showcase Tennessee artists, reflecting the bank’s community-based philosophy.

The result is The Art of Community, Janet and Jim Ayers’ Collection of Tennessee Art, honoring the spirit and character of Tennessee. The collection includes more than 150 pieces in different mediums representing more than 50 legendary and working Tennessee artists from Memphis to Mountain City.

Janet Ayers, president of The Ayers Foundation, a successful businesswoman and Ayers’ wife, assembled a team to curate the collection that included Sondra Cruickshanks; Anne Brown of The Arts Company; Susan Edwards of the Frist Center for the Visual Arts; Susan Knowles, an independent curator and Huhta postdoctoral research fellow at the Center for Historic Preservation, Middle Tennessee State University; and Celia Walker, director of Special Projects at Vanderbilt University Libraries.

The team spent months examining potential works, and the result is an impressive and eclectic collection of painting, sculpture and photography, spanning the traditional to the modern.

“Jim and I are very proud of this collection of Tennessee artists,” said Mrs. Ayers. “I believe the individual pieces convey a real sense of work, life and people, and the collection as a whole reflects the communities of Tennessee.”

Among the artists whose works are in the collection are:

  • John Baeder
  • Will Berry
  • Kell Black
  • Jane Braddock
  • Wayne Brezinka
  • Barry Buxkamper
  • Ed Clark
  • Maysey Craddock
  • Rod Daniel
  • Hamlett Dobbins
  • Don Dudenbostel
  • Robert Durham
  • Don Estes
  • Richard Feaster
  • John Folsom
  • Red Grooms
  • Warren Greene
  • K.P. Hargrove
  • Sylvia Hyman
  • Charles Ivey
  • Anna Jaap
  • Ed Kellogg
  • Meagan Kieffer
  • Kimiko
  • Baldwin Lee
  • Emily Leonard
  • Megan Lightell
  • Mary Long-Postal
  • Edie Maney
  • Bruce Matthews
  • Todd McDaniel
  • Thom McKnight
  • Marilyn Murphy
  • John Nikolai
  • Jerry Park
  • Christine Patterson
  • Haden Pickel
  • Hal Pickel
  • Ron Porter
  • Billy Renkl
  • Ed Rode
  • Peggy Root
  • Terry Rowlett
  • Andrew Saftel
  • Jason Saunders
  • Brad Sells
  • Bob Schatz
  • Jim Sherraden
  • Jared Small
  • Jack Spencer
  • Bill Steber
  • Jack Stoddart
  • April Street
  • David Swanagin
  • TWIN
  • Dawn Whitelaw
  • Lain York

“There are so many aspects of this project that are exciting to me,” said Mr. Ayers. “This collection represents an investment in legendary and working Tennessee artists. That investment reflects the values of FirstBank, which has always been about participating and investing in the communities in which we live and work.”

The collection will be showcased in a private viewing in February. Mrs. Ayers said a catalog and “virtual museum” are being prepared for later in the year to allow all Tennesseans to see the pieces.

“This has been a tremendous experience for both Jim and me,” said Mrs. Ayers. “We have broadened our awareness and appreciation of Tennessee artists. I am particularly pleased we have been able to include a variety of mediums in the collection.”


About FirstBank

Nashville-based FirstBank, a wholly owned subsidiary of FB Financial Corporation (NYSE: FBK), is the third largest Tennessee-headquartered bank, with 45 full-service bank branches across Tennessee, North Alabama and North Georgia, and mortgage locations across the Southeast. The bank serves five of the major metropolitan markets in Tennessee and, with approximately $3.2 billion in total assets, has the resources to provide a comprehensive variety of financial services and products.