Our WorkFrom Vision To Reality

Nashville Paper Portrait Lanterns: An Official InsideOut Action

Husband and wife artists, AK Llamas (Alfonso Llamas and Kristin Llamas) develop the largest 3 dimensional street art project ever displayed in Nashville.


In April of 2013, AK Llamas partnered with the Tennessee State Museum to line Nashville’s Deaderick Street with portraits of Nashville citizens for a large scale temporary street art project. This installation was considered the largest, three-dimensional street art event ever created in Nashville. Each Lantern was fitted with a solor powered light to illuminate the black and white portrait cubes after sunset, creating a light box effect directly down the city street.

  • 36 Paper Portrait Lanterns Lined Nashville’s Deaderick Street.
  • Lanterns: measured 5 1/2′ tall x 3′ wide cube with a solar powered light.
  • Portraits: 144 total Nashville Portraits displayed on the street. (4 to each lantern) measuring 52.5″ tall x 36″ wide.
  • Lantern placement: 12 Lanterns installed into the median, 10 placed down right sidewalk, 10 placed down left sidewalk, 3 placed at the entrance to Public Square Park and 1 inside museum.


  • Collaboration between TN State Museum and artists Alfonso and Kristin Llamas (AK Llamas).
  • Created specifically for the space and fully dependent on level of community participation.
  • Documentation of the evolving changes of the paper lanterns caused by the interaction of both human and nature, and the reaction/interaction of the community.
  • Answer to a challenge by street artist, JR to paste up b&w portraits of citizens around the world. The Paper Portrait Lantern installation is Nashville’s “official action” in the global INSIDE OUT project.
  • Directly connect individuals and the world to the visual art scene in Nashville: “The World HEARS Nashville, Now they SEE us”
  • Photography taken by Kristin Llamas and Daniel Perry.
  • Installation by Metro Public Works Department, Nashville TN.
  • Funding by individuals of Nashville through a crowd-funding campaign.

Artists, Kristin Llamas and Alfonso Llamas are working to promote, engage and inspire the visual arts within Music City. Their slogan was “The World Hears Nashville, Now They SEE us.” Thie project, in partnership with the Tennessee State Museum furthers their mission to inspire and be inspired by visual art. It is an official INSIDE OUT by JR global art project and has been documented and shared with the world…we are bringing the world in, while sending Nashville around the globe.

Other INSIDE OUT projects around the world have created a beautiful impact, but Nashville’s trasformation is the first of its kind. Creating a completely unique sculptural street art installation specific to the space and level of community involvement/interaction.

A large focus for the artists was involving the community in the creation before and during.  Their goal was to impact the community with a global visual art installation, then silently document the affects and transformation of such a delicate sculptural street art element in a heavily trafficked, under policed area during the most violent month of Nashville weather.


Click here to connect with the Nashville Paper Portrait Lanterns on Facebook