“Collaborative Contemporary Art Exhibit — Here We Are Now,” curated by Dr. Barbara and Leroy Hodges of Murfreesboro, promises to be a “transformative experience,” said Jimmy Mumford, chair of the Department of Art and Design.
“Showcasing bold and thought-provoking works by diverse artists, this exhibition bridges the gap between the past and present while addressing pressing issues such as education, culture, environment and civil rights,” Mumford said.
Artwork from a broad range of emerging and established local, regional and national artists will be featured in “Here We Are Now,” which runs through Aug. 19 in the gallery, located at 542 Old Main Circle. An opening reception is set for 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday in the gallery.
Assembling the exhibit has been a labor of love for the Hodges, both renowned local artists and both two-time MTSU alumni, whose works will be featured as well.
“One of the biggest things we’ve been doing is to promote cultural awareness and appreciation and tolerance,” said Barbara Hodges, a longtime Murfreesboro artist and physician. “People who get exposed to each other and learn about one another have an understanding and appreciation for their heritage and their traditions.”
More than 30 artists will be involved, showcasing both established and emerging artists.
Exhibitors include Mumford and the Hodges, as well as Daniel Arite, Gail Clemons, Mariah Clemons, Kimberly Dummons, Samuel Dunson, Dalia Garcia, Jennifer Tweedie, David Jackson, Dayo Johnson, Henry L. Jones, Oglala Lakota, Hamilton “Matt” Masters, Michael McBride, Andrew Morrison, Michael Mucker, Robert Orr Jr., Xavier Payne, Destiney Powell, Jairo Prado, Tony Rodriguez, Ashley Seay, Jamaal B. Sheats, Thandiwe Shiphrah, Roger R. Smith, James Threalkill, Ruben Torres, Tricia Townes, Jose Fernando Vargas, Mary R. Watkins, Carlton Wilkinson, Donna Woodley and Kevin Wurm.
Each artist took an individualized approach to interpret the theme with an array of styles, from collages and sculptures to painting and mixed media, creating “multicultural perspective.”
One artist had a unique interpretation of homelessness. Another piece deals with environmental concerns. Social issues and cultural wars are also covered through the works on display.
“It’s creative visual storytelling,” Hodges said. “The exhibit will be a truly multisensory experience.”
The juried art exhibit highlights what unites us rather than what divides us, organizers said. There is a clear path for gallery audiences to gain a deeper insight, appreciation and understanding of the enormous power that visual storytelling holds, conveying a contemporary message that we are not so different.
“We want to promote unity among different groups,” Hodges said. “We never know who we might need, and it’s worth being aware of different cultures and traditions. You never know who you are going to have come in that door when you are talking to them.”
Todd Art Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. During Saturdays@Todd programs, hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit www.mtsu.edu/art/gallery-main.php to learn more.
For directions or other questions, contact Todd Gallery coordinator and director Eric Snyder at 615-898-5532 or email@example.com.
— Nancy DeGennaro (Nancy.DeGennaro@mtsu.edu)