John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts "In/finite Earth" Coming to MTSU

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Sarah Langsam Ring on Rings on Rings (detail) wood, epoxy resin, fiberglass Philadelphia, PA Age 22 OCD, ADHD, and panic disorder
AJ Kiel Mix-Up (detail) Acrylic paint on canvas Denver, CO Autism
Chris Willcox Substantia Nigra oil on canvas, mirrored acrylic sheet, wood New York City, NY LD, ADHD, Sensory Integration Dysfunction

The MTSU Department of Art's Todd Art Gallery hosts In/finite Earth through October 1, 2014. The university is participating as one stop on a nationwide tour of artists organized by the VSA to showcase its Emerging Artist Program. This program now in its twelfth year opens its Murfreesboro stay with a reception September 24, 5-7 p.m.

The VSA, the International Organization on Arts and Disabilities was founded by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith in 1974 and strives to discover and recognize young artists living with disabilities while also working to create equal access and equal opportunities for them. Merged with Washington D.C.'s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2011 this year's exhibit showcases 15 artists ages16-25 for the purpose of boosting their emerging careers while also providing the public with eighteen fine juried works of art.

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The artists showcased in In/Finite Earth have not allowed their disabilities to handicap their lives, embracing their differences and incorporating them through to their art. Through their work they've integrated their thoughts, feelings, character, style, and determination using improvisation and manipulation of media to reflect their artistry. These integrations built matchless, creative techniques based on a wide variety of unique, aesthetic values. All details which ultimately aid communication from artist through their work to the audience.

The exhibit promotes diversity and success over one's adversity, and this can be especially seen in the abundance of original mediums, including traditional photography, paint, pastel, ceramics, and digital photography; while also branching out to the less frequent; screen prints, archival ink jet prints, stoneware, and work designed of wood, epoxy resin, and fiber glass.

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The artists participating include: Chris Willcox, Kriston Gibbs, Kristi Beisecker, Aj Kiel, Dallas Looman, Kristi Neilson, Benazir Torres, Haylee Fucini-Lenkey, Sarah Langsam, Westley Cedeno, Mary Datta, Emilie Gossiaux, LeAndrea Mitchell, and Madalyne Marie Hymas.

In/finite Earth is a good fit with MTSU as an exhibit as it reiterates the innovative training of Art Faculty from Art Education, Art History, and Foundations of Art, to Graphic Design and Studio Art while also reaffirming MTSU's core values of support for diversity and creativity.

In addition to support from MTSU, the John F. Kennedy Center, and VSA, the Volkswagen Group of America provided funding to make this exhibit possible.

All Todd Art Gallery exhibits, receptions, and lectures are free and open to the public. The gallery is open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. closing only for federal, state, and university holidays and exhibit installations.

Source and Information:

For visitor information including directions, parking, and other questions contact 615-898-5653 or eric.snyder@mtsu.edu.

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Aj Kiel, Benazir Torres, Chris Willcox, Dallas Looman, Emilie Gossiaux, Haylee Fucini-Lenkey, Kristi Beisecker, Kristi Neilson, Kriston Gibbs, LeAndrea Mitchell, Madalyne Marie Hymas, Mary Datta, MTSU Arts, MTSU News, Sarah Langsam, Todd Art Gallery, Westley Cedeno
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