Local artists shared the spotlight with a Chinese dragon and some little furry creatures at the February Boro Art Crawl on February 8th, in celebration of the Chinese New Year. The celebration scattered a sense of joy upon every stop on the Crawl.
For the second year, the MTSU Center for Chinese Music and Culture, the Confucius Institute, and the Boro Art Crawl came together to showcase the celebration of the Chinese New Year with the traditional Chinese dragon dance, as well as the art and culture of China.
At the Center for the Arts, an exhibition of classical Chinese Painting opened. The exhibit, by Xie Weigiang, is called “The Art of Harmony.” It was one of many exhibits by artists showing their creations around downtown Murfreesboro.
Painters, wood workers, jewelry makers, fiber artists, clay artists, poets, musicians, actors, and many others have showcased their talents during the Art Crawl since its inception in the fall of 2015. The event, which takes place every other month in and around downtown Murfreesboro, was started by a group of artists, business owners, and community volunteers to showcase the community’s greatest secret – the massive number of talented makers, designers, and other creatives living and working in Rutherford County.
“It’s just a fun way to spend your evening,” said one shopper in Sugaree’s, a frequent participant in the Crawl.
“We’ve been involved from the start,” said Staci Higdon, owner of Sugaree’s. “We try hard to have fun activities. We’ve had models in our windows and belly dancers, as well as some really wonderful artists. And, tonight we had a spontaneous group discussion about people’s craziest dream. You are always making new friends.”
Phil Wagner was showing at L & L Contractors. “This is my 14th Boro Art Crawl,” Wagner said. “I got into acrylic and metal reactive paint when I saw an ad about using metal reactive paint on lawn furniture to create a patina, and I’ve been experimenting with it ever since.”
Another painter, Siuzanne LeBeau, frequently demonstrates her painting technique during the Crawl, and she is also one of the original committee members who got it all started.
“I was there at the beginning when we had this big meeting at the Center for the Arts to see how much interest there would be for the Crawl,” said LeBeau. “There were between 50 and 75 people at that meeting. When it was decided that there was enough interest to have a Crawl, then a number of people said they’d be willing to be on that original steering committee”
The original committee had members from Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro Parks and Recreation, Center of the Arts, Moxie Art Supply, artists, community arts activists, as well as local business owners, like Gretchen Bilbro from Cultivate CoWorking. There have been changes in the committee since the beginning, but that has just kept things fresh.
What is important, anyone involved with the Boro Art Crawl agrees, is that it is all about promoting the arts, culture, community, and creativity in the area, as well as making more people aware of what downtown Murfreesboro has to offer.
So as the breeze caught one of the red lanterns in the trees, and the dragon dipped and turned, disappearing into the night, crawlers went off to see what the many artists had to offer, listen to some music, and end the night in one of the local bars or restaurants to relax with friends – old or new.
Center for the Arts: “The Art of Harmony” will continue through February 28, 2019.
Boro Art Crawl: The next Crawl will be April 12, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Other artists who were showing their art at the last Boro ArtCrawl: Amberly Clemons, Triple Six Art, Designs by Royce, Dawn Felicia, and Leah Boorse.