Our Art Gallery is free and open to the public
Monday-Friday, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY
Let Your Voice Be Heard
An exhibit by Leroy and Barbara Hodges.
Gallery at the Center
110 West College Street
ABOUT THE EXHIBIT
“Let Your Voice Be Heard” is a joint art exhibition with Murfreesboro artists Leroy and Barbara Hodges. A common bond shared among all people is to have their voice heard. Everyone has the right to be adequately and sufficiently represented. We live in a challenging time and with numerous environmental issues. This is why 2020 is such a poignant year. This is also “The year of the Woman” celebrating 100 year of Suffrage for the American Women. Suffrage or the right to vote is the one factor that solidifies all people, generations and societies. Individuals, groups or cultures allow their voices to be heard through various means such as words / literally works, social movements, suffrage, politics, protests, music, and other means. Even Mother Nature speaks her mind as noted with the environmental changes. However, many people still feel voiceless and there are still numerous untold stories about history and people. The African American woman role in the suffrage movement has in many cases been untold.
The Suffragist Nannie Helen Burroughs stated “When the Ballot is put into the hands of the American Woman, the world is going to get a correct estimate of the Negro Woman. It will find her a Tower of Strength of which Poets have never sung, Orators have never spoken, and Scholars have never written.”
This art exhibition is designed to give insight to the viewer by inspiring, engaging, and educating them about the importance of untold stories pertaining to history, societal concerns, environmental issues, and other perspective of how powerful having your heard is. This is depicted through visual storytelling, words, and social media. This thereby engages, illuminate, and empower the viewer.
Both artists despite different artistic styles and techniques, skillfully through bold, gestural, and colorful palette choices with a shared vibrancy of color and subject matter invokes an emotional connection between the art and its viewer. This exhibition signifies the passion, joy, strength, perseverance, hope, forgiveness, determination, and empowerment needed in having our voices heard.
This exhibit’s goal is to promote and foster a creative environment of exchange where different voices and experiences are represented across traditional and experimental medium. As a society, we share more in common than what differs. It is our hope that the viewers find the pieces of art works to be inspiring, uplifting, and empowering.
Leroy and Barbara Hodges
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
I often refer to myself as an “artistic story teller”. As a child growing up in rural Rutherford County, I was quite fortunate to be around elders telling numerous tells & stories. I could listen to my parents and grandparents for hours. Subsequently, it was not a surprise that as an artist, I love to weave a story around my art. I was always surrounded by warm, rich, bold colors from the landscape to the trees, and skies. Dr. Barbara Hodges’ create art that invite the viewer to ponder and explore. With a passion for hope, excellence, beauty and things spiritual, she skillfully creates artwork that possesses vibrancy, textures, bold brilliant colors, light, and mystery.
My artwork has evolved over the years from oil drip style to now mixed media incorporating found objects and textile. Folds in the fabric are created to generate the 3D aspect. I love to portray life in color. My artwork is depicted as a narrative and always layered with a symbol of “social consciousness” which may be an object or person. Artistic styles ranges from memory paintings, abstract, traditional, and experimental art. Hodges’ goal is to share her art always leaving the viewer with some life lesson. Her art is meant to enlighten, inspire, elevate, empower, and educate the viewer.
The year 2020 is a very special year being the “Year of the Woman” and thus reminds me of all the special women in my life past, present, and future. These women can be characterized as strong, determined, hopeful, survivors, change-makers, forgiving, and filled with perseverance with the ability to let go of the past. They possess the uncanny ability to laugh, see good in each day, and succeed despite the obstacles and challenges of life. The art in this exhibition is designed to give a voice to the voiceless and inspire, educate, and empower the observer. One goal of my art is to depict as elegantly stated by Suffragist Nannie Helen Burroughs to give women “a Tower of strength of which poets have never sung, orators have never spoken, and scholars have never written”.
Art allowed me to express what I feel, think, and experience. I grew up during the time of the Civil Rights Era in Meridian, Mississippi. A time of change – filled with challenges, perils, hope, dreams, uncertainty, and great sacrifices. My parents shielded my siblings and I against the harsh realities and negative influences during that time. Yet, we were exposed to these harsh realities through the media – TV, radio, and newspaper. Some things could not be shielded against such as the harsh realities and disparities in the education system and access to medical care.
Growing up in Meridian Mississippi, I learned to appreciate the beauty of life and nature despite challenging times and events. “Nature with all its beauty reflects a moment in time. Through painting, I can capture not only the beauty in nature, but also what can be imagined, the struggle, joy and pain of the Human Spirit”. Art allows me to express my God given abilities in ways the world have not seen before, and to unlock the keys of nature’s unique shapes and wonderful creations.
My paintings are designed to capture not only the beauty in nature, but also what can be imagined, the struggle, joy and pain of the Human experience. Oil painting is my preferred medium. My art is meant to be expressive, thought provoking, and imaginative. My art offers the viewer possibilities into the human experience.