“I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” ~ Maya Angelou

Warhol 1928-1987

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Jim Dine 1935-

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Wayne Thiebaud 1920 –


  • A small shelter or box for birds to nest in.
  • An enclosure or large cage for captive birds, aviary.

The “The Birdhouse Thing” is an event benefiting Nashville’s W.O. Smith Music School, it helps raise the money that resulted in the fall 2008 opening of its new school. It features 22,000 square feet of usable space including a 200 seat performance hall, a music library, an instrument library, five music labs, fourteen teaching studios and a recording studio. National recording artists Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Wynonna, Brad Paisley and many others were inspired to tap in to another side of their creativity for the cause. The birdhouses were autographed by recording artists.

Each year, event organizers provide wooden birdhouses to local Nashville artists, architects, celebrities and public figures who then fashion a unique piece of work by adding their own artful design. These birdhouses are then made available for purchase through live and silent auctions at the event. In 2011 I was one of the artists that donated my design for the charity.

Founded in 1984, W.O. Smith Music School is a non-profit educational institution created for the purpose of making quality music instruction available to talented, interested, deserving children from low-income families at the nominal fee of 50 cents per lesson. The School offers instruction in all band and orchestra instruments, piano, guitar, and voice taught by a volunteer music faculty representing many facets of the Nashville music community. The school also seeks to encourage student participation in the cultural life of the community through concert attendance and performance.

the birhouse thing

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“Three Birdies”  art by eileen tomson


“Birdie” art by eileen tomson