There is one thing Nashville is becoming widely known for, and that is this town’s abundance of creativity. Music City is now also known for food, film, fashion and art. We consider ourselves extremely lucky to live in such a place where there is always a place to be, and be seen.

On our radar for exciting happenings is a pop-up art exhibition entitled SEE YOU ME, viewable at the Parthenon, in partnership with the Centennial Park Conservancy, from February 24–26. The exhibit is a collaboration between the iconic Karen Elson, supermodel and singer, and Emily Dorio, accomplished commercial photographer featuring large-scale photographs, super 8 footage and mixed media sculpture.

We sat down with Karen Elson to get the inside scoop about how this exhibit came to be and what guests can expect. One thing we know for sure is that Nashville’s fashion elite will be flocking to the Parthenon.


Tell us about how your connection with photographer, Emily Dorio, began. 

Emily and I started working together and developed a creative friendship. It’s wonderful to work with her. She’s extremely talented. For photo shoots, there were a lot of mitigating factors due to the pandemic. You couldn’t have a big crew, so we had to really pull things together. We worked so well with one another and realized we had a lot in common not just creatively, but also as mothers who are juggling a million and one things. We’re both extremely creative people with big jobs — Emily is a successful commercial photographer, and I am a successful fashion model. I think we’re always spinning plates, as any mother can attest to: The juggle of work, creativity, motherhood, friendship and how all these things fit cohesively is a very imperfect balance. We had a lot to relate on with that.

What made creating these photographs so special? 

When Emily and I were creating these photographs, we honestly had freedom. Yes, we had done some for my album, Green, but nobody was breathing down our necks that it had to be for a brand or a magazine. We had creative control, and that’s where art comes from! When you are just doing what comes from within, I think that’s when something beautiful happens. I think that’s the distinction, and unfortunately, it’s when you’re not selling a product. 

Why was it important for you to host the SEE YOU ME exhibit at the Parthenon with the Centennial Park Conservancy? 

I have such a personal history with the conservancy because I’ve co-chaired the gala once before, and — because of Sylvia Rapoport — I’ve attended many of the galas. I’ve always had so much fun there! Also, Centennial Park and the Parthenon have been a big part of my children’s lives. When they were little, I used to take them to the park and it was a real melting pot of Nashville. It really is a jewel of this city. It is beautiful, first of all, but it also builds community and really has such an important role to play in Nashville. Anything I can do to be a part of that, I will. It’s been a big part of my life. 

What do you want guests to take away from this exhibit?

It’s a real reflection on womanhood, on the many different roles that women take in life. I hope guests walk away having a beautiful experience with beautiful images and music. There are some conceptual things that we’ll be sneaking in here and there, and my hope is that it’s just a really beautiful community event. We can see good fashion in Nashville and good fashion photography!

What are some things you love about Nashville? 

Nashville has become such a deeply special place, and I say that sincerely. Before I moved here, I never expected to live in Nashville, and I think the first few years I had a hard time finding my feet. I was a new mom at the time as well, so I would go from play dates to home to a few restaurants. I love the community: It’s been wonderful to watch the city have this metamorphosis and bloom.