Artists in the Middle Tennessee area have found a home to display their creative pieces. Businesses of all kinds have art hanging around their establishments.
With no formal means to get their pieces to the public, artists must find new outlets to display their work. By displaying this art, businesses are showcasing local artists and supporting their craft. These pieces are both for display and for sale.
Mesh, located on 113 W. Lytle St., is a boutique stocked with items made by local artists, including paintings, photography, jewelry, bath products, clothing and gifts. Most of their items are handmade, and from crocheted grocery sack handbags (Thistle Blue $12) to bowls made out of old records (Marsch Inspirations $10), all of their items are unique. Most of their items are under $50, and their paintings and photographs run from $50 to $350.
When Mesh opened in 2008, Jenny Kitchen and Heather Harring were working with about 15 artists. They now work with around 50 artists, which Kitchen said they search for on the Internet, such as on Facebook, and via word-of-mouth from other artists. They look for unique, high quality, handmade items, and they try to find pieces that redefine the word “art.”
“We wanted to create a venue for different kinds of art,” Kitchen said. “Sometimes I think there’s a disconnect between what people think of as artwork and consumer products. We bring that together.”
Art can be more than paint on canvas. One line of jewelry at Mesh is made from reused and recycled watch pieces. They also carry a line of hand-painted silk dresses (Marsch Inspirations $47) and scarves (Marsch Inspirations $25) that look like beautiful watercolor paintings.
Mesh has art hanging through out the store. Each piece is unique and has an edge. One interesting piece has cassette tapes incorporated into the painting (Joseph Turkovich $200).
Azzo Computers, 760 N. Thompson Lane, is an unlikely but interesting source for local art. When owner Brian Hongsermeier took over Azzo in 2008, he wanted to change the bland entry and give the room a more lobby-type feel. His costumers noticed the renovation, and one suggested he hang some art; that customer’s art to be precise.
Most of the art hanging in Azzo is by Hongsermeier’s customers. There are also pieces by MTSU art students. These students need to display their work for credit for class, and Hongsermeier was more than happy to help. He likes the way the art brightens the space. It is an unexpected surprise to walk into a computer repair and support store and be surrounded by bright, colorful paintings. These paintings are for purchase, and they run between $50 and $425.
Azzo has many types of paintings hanging, including watercolors of nature, lively people and street scenes, floral bouquets and even posters for rock shows. Hongsermeier is always looking for more pieces for his collection. He has a hallway he wants to fill with art, and he is interested in adding to what he calls “the modern wall.” These pictures are a bit darker than the watercolor pieces.
Another venue where local artists’ work is displayed is Get Sconed, located at 1875 Memorial Blvd. Get Sconed has many pieces hanging around the sitting areas, including a series by Shacklett’s Photography called the Southern Heritage Collection. This collection comprises restored photos from around the South, including photographs from the Civil War, street scenes, historic buildings and businesses and events.
Liquid Smoke, on the Square, displays paintings throughout the bar. The paintings match the funky and unique feel of this bar. They add to the surroundings and are often the topic of conversation among bar-goers.
Regardless of whether it is a painting hanging in a computer store, or and old recorder reused and molded into a bowl, art is laying around all over Murfreesboro. Businesses are embracing local art as an enhancement to their decor, and these artists are getting the exposure and support they need and deserve. With hope, this trend will pick up even more and we will see art all over town.