Meg Brooker, Amie Whittemore, and Cameron Mitchell, the 2021 Murfreesboro Laureates
Murfreesboro – Rutherford County artists and cultural arts supporters gathered on the evening of May 11 for the Arts Alliance’s first in-person event in 14 months, at Church Street Gallery in downtown Murfreesboro, but they found more than beautiful art at the gallery. They found the human connection they had missed for so long.
The event featured 3 stops: Puckett’s patio, the main event at Church Street Gallery, and Graffiti Alley. Guests shared in the excitement of seeing new and old friends, face-to-face as they enjoyed appetizers provided by Puckett’s then moved to the Gallery for the Celebration of Art Exhibit. There they admired the colors and textures of the 13 artists’ work, from watercolor, acrylic, oil and encaustic to photography and functional ceramics. Artists featured were Jim Cattanach, Sharon Trevathon, Ginny Togrye, Pam Barrett Hackett, Janet Lindsay, Melissa Scott, Lisa Horvath, Kelsey Logan Young Smith, Pam Pinkerton Mack, Sam Bonnell Kangas, David Michael Jackson, Tommy Womack, and Suzanne LeBeau. Alliance treasurer Susan Gulley noted “you could feel the energy in the room” as attendees walked through the exhibit, humming along with the background music of Sophie Buck’s fiddle. Another feature of the evening were appearances from the three laureates for Murfreesboro, who were together for the first time and excited to share their plans for the year. Amie Whittemore, poet laureate, Cameron Mitchell, actor laureate, and Meg Brooker, dancer laureate, each described projects planned for this year that will bring together dance, poetry, spoken word, and art in the green spaces around Murfreesboro as well as in downtown venues. They added that they will each announce culminating projects later in 2021 on the Cultural Arts Murfreesboro website
The fun continued in Graffiti Alley where guests danced to fiddle music and watched as muralists Suzanne LeBeau, Ginny Togrye, and Lisa Browning painted images on the alley walls. Creatives shared business cards and dreams of future collaborations as well hopes for a performing arts venue in Murfreesboro’s future. But for that night, they were content with the connections that were made and the anticipation of the next events slated for creatives, thanks to Rutherford Arts Alliance: the June 8, 5:30 meeting at LaVergne Library, the June 12, 10:00 3-D Laser Cutting and Engraving Workshop with Sam Roh, and the June 17, 5 – 8 showcase of performers at the Murfreesboro Sip, Shop and Stroll. For details, visit www.rutherfordartsalliance/events