MTSU Interdisciplinary Puzzle Pieces Launch “ArtTalks” at Church Street Gallery


“Be the Missing Piece” is an interdisciplinary art exhibit that shows the broader, life-enriching aspects of arts education when blended with science and technology, and the skills needed to get a job in the 21st Century. Facilitated by both Middle Tennessee State University’s (MTSU) College of Basic and Applied Sciences and College of Liberal Arts to promote science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) learning, this project showcases the work of faculty and students from the arts and sciences who created ten giant puzzle pieces for a temporary art installation in September 2020.

At the Pop Up Mural Event in September, 10 five-foot by five-foot puzzle pieces were painted by students. Each of the puzzle pieces depict a career competency that will be important for college graduates to acquire a job or advance a career. Art Practicum students worked to design and create the murals based on competencies chosen with guidance by the Deans of the sponsoring colleges with help from a panel of students, faculty and staff. At the event, students also received information about how they can develop these competences at MTSU and be the missing piece that today’s employers are seeking.

The exhibit is currently being shown at the Todd Art Gallery on the MTSU campus through March 12, 2021. Todd Art Gallery, Todd Hall, Room 224A is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Campus restrictions for wearing masks and social distancing apply.

As the art display is meant to create open discussion, MTSU’s Todd Gallery is working with Church Street Gallery (CSG), for their inaugural “Art Talk” on March 5, 2021. For the proprietors of downtown Murfreesboro’s Church Street Gallery, the choice of what artwork will adorn their space isn’t about matching colors and textures with a particular decor. They feel that art is a conversation starter that can and should prompt serious discussions. Which makes them a perfect pairing.

That’s why owners Maredith Clayton Metier, Mary Miller Veazie, and Eric Snyder are launching the “ArtTalks” Conversation event series. ArtTalks will be part of ongoing event programming for the gallery. The plan is to pair a lineup of guest artists and speakers for a moderated question and answer discussion. Topics will include the aesthetic of the art, its medium, the technique employed, creative inspiration, social impacts of art on the region, and other questions of note for creators and art admirers.

MTSU’s “Be the Missing Piece” will be their first monthly ArtTalks event. It is scheduled for Friday, March 5 at CSG, and it will feature Coordinator of Art Education for MTSU Art and Design, Dr. Debrah Sickler-Voigt; Dr. Leah Lyons, Interim Dean, College of Liberal Arts; and Assistant to the Dean, Dr. Lucy Langworthy. Co-owner of CSG Eric Snyder, who serves as Coordinator for the MTSU Department of Art and Design, Todd Art Gallery, will moderate the first ArtTalks event.

Through the Art Talks event and subsequent Saturdays at Todd (S@T) workshops, MTSU hopes to bring more understanding of the importance of STEAM. The workshop and exhibit will include an interactive Zoom meeting and “art stations” that invites visitors to make their own puzzle pieces or paper mosaics to add to the exhibit.

As CSG is an advocate for art of all kinds in Rutherford County, the co-owners of the gallery wanted to show how MTSU’s creative output was important to the professional art community and how creative thinking is applied in multiple disciplines, not just art. This exhibit was selected because of the preparation, labor involved, and dedication to a shared vision, which exemplifies the values CSG seeks in artists who are to be showcased by the gallery.

“I am thrilled to be starting the ArtTalks series with the ‘Be the Missing Piece’ exhibit,” says Eric Snyder. “All aspects of this project, from conception to completion, showed the creativity and hard work of MTSU’s students and faculty—and what can be accomplished through the spirit of cooperation that exists between the community and MTSU’s students, faculty, and staff members.”

The ArtTalks event is open for anyone wishing to attend, but prior registration is required. Protocol for COVID-19 safety must be observed. Guests may attend the event via Zoom by contacting [email protected] to request the event link. On side refreshments will be served.

For further information about the event, attendees are encouraged to visit the Church Street Gallery website, and follow the gallery on Facebook and Instagram.

Todd Art Gallery
Middle Tennessee State University
Todd Hall, Room 224A
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Campus restrictions for wearing masks and social distancing apply.

Church Street Gallery
124 N Church
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Phone: (615) 893-8536
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

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