Friday, September 04, 2015

[067] MTSU’s Todd Gallery offers intoxicating new take on ‘The Art of Moonshine’

MURFREESBORO — MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery is inviting art lovers to immerse themselves in a new exhibit — maybe even get a little drunk with enjoyment of an element of Southern life considered both popular and practical as well as prohibited.

“Still Life: The Art of Moonshine” is open now through Thursday, Sept. 10. It spans the main Todd Gallery as well as the new TAG|West Gallery, featuring a juried collection that includes pieces by Brian Harnetty and Elias Hansen as well as work from professionals and students from MTSU and across the country.

The MTSU Arts exhibit “explores the far-reaching and ongoing history, stereotypes, methods and mythos of an iconic American symbol, moonshine, as depicted through the interpretive eye of the contemporary fine artist,” Todd Gallery Director Eric Snyder said.

“While the production of unregulated spirits is not limited to the United States, its meaning to the American mindset serves as allegory within the pantheon of ideas for what we consider truly ‘American.’”

Still Life: The Art of Moonshine” will be on display during the Todd Gallery’s regular hours of 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The gallery is closed on weekends and state and university holidays.

The exhibit is intended to expand traditional gallery presentations by featuring both traditional and nontraditional media, including musical composition, new and conceptual art, performance, poetry, and sound art.

“We welcomed work that calls upon the traditions of popular ballads and songs to works that record the clattering of stills and clinking of bottles,” Snyder said.

“Pieces and performance that ask ‘What is the sound of moonshine?’, ‘Does it have a distinctive sound?’, ‘How does it relate to notions of place?’ — all were encouraged. In addressing these questions, we hope to explore the ways in which art, music and sound have framed our understanding of moonshine.”

Brian Harnetty is a composer and sound artist whose work mixes sounds from found materials, field recordings, transcriptions and historic recordings over one another to create a compound of evocative sounds and noises.

Elias Hansen, trained in bookbinding and glass-blowing, assembles found objects and hand-blown vessels displayed on shelves or platforms and festooned with electrical cords and wires, creating images of a chemistry lab and a distillery.

Still Life: The Art of Moonshine” is presented by MTSU Arts and Ascend Federal Credit Union and is sponsored in part by Jerry's Artarama Nashville.

A searchable campus parking map is available at Visitors attending the exhibit should obtain a special one-day permit from MTSU’s Office of Parking and Transportation at

Additional Todd Gallery exhibits planned this fall include:
·       “You Had to Be There,” Sept. 15-Oct. 8.
·       “Mistreated Islands” by Yoshiko Shimano and “Too Hot” by Vitus Shell, Oct. 15-Nov. 5.
·       MTSU Bachelor of Fine Arts Exhibition Series: BFA Candidates in Studio Art, Nov. 15-24.
·       Chawan Expo USA, Dec. 1-9.

For more information about MTSU Arts, visit

For more information about the Todd Art Gallery, including parking and directions, contact Snyder at 615-898-5653 or or visit

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