Newbern Consulting Services
designs for any scale ...


 – I’m now busier than ever and have seen opportunities for great cross-pollination across the many new circuits that have opened by serving on several boards and further expanding from the already wide bandwidth over 30 years at Vanderbilt University afforded.

Current activities include serving on the boards of the Nashville Tree Conservation Corps, the Metro Tree Advisory Committee, and the Civic Design Center; ongoing collaborations with several campuses include the University of the South at Sewanee;  planning with the Monteagle Sunday School Assembly of a master plan for their historic property; consulting on the plans of Nashville’s Centennial Park on behalf of the Centennial Park Conservancy; designing landscape plans for several residential properties; and, creating artwork again after letting my lifelong interest in painting languish over the “career” years.

Joining and becoming a board member of The Chestnut Group, a regionally organized group of “plein air” painters, opened so many new relationships that painting again in oils is a major source of inspiration. Channeling that energy has included workshops by nationally recognized artists and the sale of artwork from my site hosted by Saatchi Galleries. Following a one-person exhibit at Nashville’s Centennial Club, I enjoyed co-chairing The Chestnut Group’s 2018 art exhibit with Warner Parks and the group’s first-ever, art show and sale with Centennial Park. Despite the covid restrictions, I chaired a Chestnut Group exhibit of paintings of local trees at Nashville’s Jewish Community Center in 2021; and, as president of The Chestnut Group in 2022, helped pull the many players together around Lockeland Springs Park in East Nashville to host an art show/sale at The Shelby Park & Bottoms Nature Center in April of 2022. The Chestnuts rallied to paint in Lockeland Springs to help neighbors raise funds to acquire acres adjacent to the existing park to prevent the fragile wetland landscape from being placed into residential development. 

Both my landscape consulting and art are now consolidated on a single site at I’m primarily selling paintings and photographs featured on my site directly to the local market on my gmail account, but also directly thru Saatchi. I will be instructing a week-long class in watercolors at the Monteagle SS Assembly in June of this year for the third summer in a row. 

Consulting LLC launched in 2015 –  After 30 years of overseeing the planning/design, construction and operations of the facilities and grounds at Vanderbilt University, under three very different leadership styles, I formed my LLC in the fall of 2015 to explore new directions.

 Why?  Because quality design at all scales involves many of the same variables. These include defining and understanding the correct program needs of the customer; then, developing design solutions that achieve functionality, a pleasing composition and bring successful resolution to the full set of parameters set by the media in which you’re working.

What do I bring to the table?  Among these skill sets are:

  • Recognizing those assets that set a place apart from the competition
  • Tagging distractions keeping a setting from realizing its fullest potential
  • Moving between the big picture concepts and the details that people recall
  • Engaging master planning process to help implement and make concepts operational
  • Fully understanding the social and political context in which plans are unfolding
  • Enhancing circulation networks to insure “walkability” linked with vehicular flow
  • Evaluating “first costs” against the operational expenses and sustainability aspects
  • Strategizing with stakeholders to build alliances to grow a donor base