In spring 2020, co-chairs Ashley Smith and Julia Spickard were already hard at work planning the 2021 Antiques and Garden Show (AGS), which ultimately became another pandemic-related cancellation. Since they got the green light for 2022, they have been busy bringing back the longest-running, most respected and largest and event of its kind in the country. One thing they have learned is “to be flexible and expect the unexpected,” which is crucial for any event that has so many moving parts — featuring over 150 antiques and horticulture dealers, magnificent gardens, parties and a top-notch lecture series — and takes place over three days at the Music City Center. It also takes a village to run the AGS, and the duo is thankful for the army of volunteers and supporters who are making their vision a reality. The 32nd annual show runs Feb. 11-13, with the Preview Party taking place on Feb. 12. Even though the AGS is a mere five weeks away, Ashley and Julia took some time to answer a few questions for us. For tickets, schedule and more, visit antiquesandgardenshow.com.

What can attendees expect to find at this year’s Antiques and Garden Show?

Due to the pandemic and a canceled show in 2021, there is a lot of excitement to finally have an in-person show this year. We have no doubt our antique and horticulture vendors will bring their best collections. We also have added a new element in our gardens: Gracie Studio, a fourth-generation family-owned company, will display their beautiful hand-painted wallpapers and fabrics in each of our three gardens and behind our lecture stage. We have so many talented hands at work to make this a show to remember. We also are thrilled about our amazing lineup of talented panelists. There truly will be something for everyone! 

What are you most looking forward to?

We are looking forward to our vision coming to life. It has been a long time coming and will be so satisfying to see its completion. We have a lot of fun in store. We can’t wait to see our vendors, our gardeners and our hardworking team back in the convention center. We have had incredible enthusiasm from both local and far away patrons from across the country. We can’t wait to see everyone in person!

It’s impossible to leave the AGS empty-handed. What will you be looking for?

Ashley will be on the hunt for some outdoor planters for her backyard terrace and some fabulous accessories for her house to add an extra layer to her home décor. Julia is looking forward to adding special pieces that will not only remind her of this experience but also add interest to her newly renovated home. We have our eyes set on our auction items, as well.

What opportunities do people have to see the show?

As mentioned before, we will have a different take on our garden designs, since each of them will be planned around Gracie Studio’s designs. They are slated to be spectacular, with a lot of talent making each one unique. We also are the only show featuring both antiques and gardens in the United States. Our marvelous lineup will draw crowds and please those with varying interests, we are sure! Martha Stewart; Bunny Williams; Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin of The Home Edit; Alexa Hampton; Ashley Whittaker; Christopher Spitzmiller; Gen Sohr; and Mike and Jenn Gracie of Gracie Studios will be joining us! 

Why should people support the Antiques and Garden Show?

Beyond the many opportunities to connect with like-minded people and enjoy the long weekend, The Antiques and Garden Show of Nashville benefits Cheekwood Estate & Gardens and the Economic Club of Nashville (ECON) Charities. Cheekwood is an estate that is a hidden gem unique to Nashville. It has world-class art exhibitions, breathtaking gardens and educational and public programs for all ages. ECON Charities partners with and distributes funds to organizations dedicated to enhancing and improving the lives of children and families in the greater Nashville area. ECON Charities supports an amazing initiative called “Light a Spark,” whose mission is to help build resilient families through shared cultural experiences and The Family Center, whose mission is breaking multigenerational cycles of childhood trauma.