Art is exploding in Murfreesboro and now, thanks to Church Street Gallery, fine art and craft can be shown and sold locally every day.
There have been great artists and craftspeople living and creating in the area for decades and now locals and tourists will have the opportunity to easily view and buy local art at Church Street Gallery, located at 124 N Church in Murfreesboro.
Many factors have led to opening of Church Street Gallery.
Stones River Craft Association has long been providing the once a year Art Studio Tour, and before COVID-19 popped into the neighborhood, the Boro Art Crawl was giving new and time-tested artists the chance to sell their work to longtime art lovers, and introduce their pieces to those who are new to seeing original art. Both of these events have been opening eyes to the diversity of art, and how it can add value to life, but a few other things brought the public’s attention to the economic impact of art in the last few years.
The first event that got attention was a survey about the economic impact of the arts by an organization called Americans for the Arts out of Washington, DC. They asked Rutherford County to participate for the first time in a survey about the impact of the arts, which they conduct all over the United States every five years. The local results showed that the arts have an economic impact of over $31 million dollars annually in the county, and bring in tourists.
Research on the use of land in and around downtown Murfreesboro by the city, a few years ago, added more impetus to create an arts district after feedback from the community. The community wanted to see downtown and the area known as The Bottoms to eventually become a shopping, arts, restaurant, and entertainment destination.
COVID came along and stirred the creative pot. Artists began sharing their work online and the public has been responding. Then Maredith Clayton, a local CPA, decided it was time to bring to reality an idea that has been fermenting in her head for some time.
“Maredith’s family has owned the Savings and Loan building since the 1900’s,” said Mary Miller Veazie, a local artist and one of the managing partners in the venture. She [came up with] using the space for a gallery, and reached out to [me] and Eric [Snyder]. As downtown Murfreesboro evolves, it is becoming a tourist destination and there is a wealth of artistic talent in the area.”
As Maredith says,” We want to do something meaningful and ‘cool’ on the square while promoting the arts.”
The Church Street Gallery will be located between Puckett’s and Graffiti Alley. It will be a fine art and fine craft gallery featuring mid-career to established artists, and curated to appeal to the collector, designer and visitors to Murfreesboro.
Many of the artists to be featured in the gallery already have followings locally, as well as other parts of the state. They work in various mediums including painting, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, and wood. Two dimensional artists will include painters Ingrid Derrickson, Trey Finney, Allison Ford, Jeff Jamison, Millie Jarrett, Ray Kleinlein, Ginger Oglesby, Tawnya Norton, Dan Sharley, and Mary Miller Veazie; and printmaker, Andy Todd. Eric and Lewis Snyder will be offering their clay work and sculpture. Sandra Arnold, Elizabeth Bray, and Anne Robb will be selling their jewelry designs. Henry Phillips and Sophie Glenn will show their wood creations, and Kay Currie and Jeanie Stephenson their sculpture.
The partners in the venture are Clayton, Miller Veazie, and Eric Snyder. Snyder is the Coordinator of the Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) Department of Art and Design’s Todd Art Gallery. Through Snyder, CSG will invite select MTSU visual art students, faculty, and staff to exhibit in the gallery on a rotating schedule. They also plan on having rotating exhibits featuring invited guest artists and group shows for members of professional art organizations. The Graffiti Alley space behind the gallery will be used for pop-up shows. They currently have a full roster, but they are open to submissions. Submission information can be found on their website at ChurchStreetGalleryBoro.com.
Once classes are possible, they hope to have workshops in the styles of and by the artists of media featured in the gallery.
Work is now being done on the space, and CSG will open in early September, conditions allowing. They hope to have a grand opening event when possible. They will be open for additional Downtown Murfreesboro events in the future, and by appointment.
Church Street Gallery
124 N Church, Murfreesboro, TN 31730
After Opening, Hours Will Be: Tuesday through Saturday 11:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.