City Art Exhibit Showcases MTSU Professors’ Work to Mark Women’s Suffrage Centennial

The work of five MTSU art professors is the focus of a celebration of the centennial of women’s suffrage in a new exhibit in Murfreesboro’s City Hall Rotunda.

Tuesday, Aug. 18, is the 100th anniversary of Tennessee legislators’ by-one-vote approval of the constitutional amendment giving American women the right to vote.

That narrow decision gave America the 36th state — and three-fourths majority — needed to ratify the 19th Amendment. The measure became law on Aug. 26, 1920.

The exhibit, “Patterns of Progress: Celebrating 100 Years of Women’s Suffrage,” is saluting this historic anniversary by showcasing the work of MTSU Department of Art and Design professors Erin Anfinson, Kimberly Dummons, Nicole Foran, Kathleen O’Connell and Sisavanh Phouthavong-Houghton.

“Patterns of Progress” will be on display through Sept. 10. The Rotunda is located at 111 W. Vine St. inside City Hall and open to the public weekdays, except for holidays, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

City safety protocols require appropriate social distancing and encourage face coverings for all visitors.

The artists will be on hand to discuss their work Friday, Aug. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. during the Boro Art Crawl.

Anfinson teaches drawing, design and digital art courses in the art department’s foundations program. Her encaustic-infused paper works and animated films are often inspired by an interest in science, conservation, natural history, and narratives of ecosystems in flux.

Dummons, a sculptor and printmaker, also teaches in MTSU’s art foundations courses, focusing on two- and three-dimensional design. Her work is included in several collections, and one of her sculptures, “Buddy Bolden,” was commissioned by the city of New Orleans, and now stands in Louis Armstrong Park there.

Foran is an associate professor in MTSU’s art department and also serves as its chair. Her mixed-media artwork investigates memory, moral reasoning and identity.

O’Connell, who teaches print media at MTSU, has studied printmaking, book arts, letterpress printing, paper making, sculpture and drawing.

Phouthavong-Houghton is a professor of painting at MTSU. Her current body of work is inspired by the nonprofit organization Legacies of War’s mission statement: “to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs.”

MTSU’s Department of Art and Design, which is part of the university’s College of Liberal Arts, offers undergraduate degree programs in art education, art history, visual arts, studio art and graphic design. It also regularly invites working artists to exhibit in the Todd Art Gallery, conduct workshops and lecture in classes.

More information about Tennessee’s observance of the women’s suffrage centennial is available at