I moved to Murfreesboro just five short years ago. I had heard stories about the cool things that had went on before I moved here at the Red Rose Dairy. I had heard stories about open mic nights and grungy artists. The Red Rose had been shut down for a while, though. There was some hope and buzz that they might reopen. A lot of that buzz was my own. But mostly Murfreesboro has seemed to be a boring, yuppy, college town with no edgy scenes outside of the cliche hangers-on at tattoo parlors. No offense, that used to be me. However, it would be nice for us to be able to step outside of the tattoo parlors into broad daylight and be accepted and welcomed; blue hair and all. That’s pretty much what Furies is about, you know. We won’t judge you for your cubicle if you won’t judge us for our lack of them. Just like we won’t judge you for your lack of tattoos if you won’t judge us for our excess of them.
Did you hear about the Grand Opening of Murfreesboro’s only art gallery?
It happened April 10th, just off the square, on Lytle Street at Two-Tone Art Gallery. I was, of course, extremely excited. So, I went to check it out. Honestly, my expectations weren’t very high, because I’ve seen some of the art that is displayed around Murfreesboro. When I walked into the gallery I was really surprised by the art I saw inside. I literally had to walk around the gallery three different times to take in the fact that there was real art being displayed. It wasn’t abstract cows or wheat fields. I couldn’t believe it. The lines, the colors, the subjects; it was edgy, sketchy, cool. And it was in Murfreesboro. We might not have to go to Nashville anymore for art that we’d actually enjoy having in our homes.
Could Two-Tone Art Gallery be the push that Murfreesboro needs to go from yuppy to artsy?
Todd Wilson is the man behind the kick in the teeth that Murfreesboro so desperately needed. He’s a tattoo artist by night over at Icon Tattoos and Body Piercing*. And now he’s spending his days at Two-Tone Art Gallery. You can find him there Monday through Friday, 9:00AM to 5:00PM, at 113 West Lytle Street. He was cool enough to take the time to answer a few questions for me.
Furies Magazine: What gave you the idea to open an art gallery?
Todd Wilson: I realized that there were a lot of people producing art in Murfreesboro, but there were no places that were easily accessible for artists to show and sell their work. I wanted to change that.
FM: Why would you do it in Murfreesboro?
TW: I was born and raised in east Nashville, but my grandparents have always been here. I visited them every weekend as a kid. That makes Murfreesboro seem really important to me, because of how good and honest they were. I have found many more people in town who are just as inspirational. Two-Tone was created for these people and anyone else who recognizes the beauty in this place.
FM: Are you a visual artist as well or is all of your art based around your tattoo work?
TW: I have created art for as long as I can remember. It’s always just been that thing I do. I was discouraged from drawing a lot but I kept going.
FM: I think the opening went really well. How do you feel Two-Tone has been received so far?
TW: So far it’s been awesome everyone that stops by really likes that Two-Tone showed up. Like they never realized it was missing until it wasn’t. And that’s just poetic.
FM: Is there anything you’d like for prospective artists or customers to know?
TW: Just to come by check it out, hang out for a while. Then buy some of the art. Or all of the art. Just support your local art community.
You should stop by often, too, because every three weeks there will be new art displayed and new artists getting the recognition that is needed for them to survive.
Todd seems to understand the struggling artist, too, as outlined in a note on the Two-Tone facebook page. Artists don’t choose the struggle. They choose happy. It takes courage to be an artist – to face rejection on a daily basis. So, when you go in to Two-Tone to submit your work, or appreciate that of others, you can be assured that the owner really gets it and he really wants the artists to succeed. ” The price of the art is… what they have to be offered to convince them to give up a part of themselves.”
On behalf of all the readers at Furies Magazine and all of the artists that we represent, thanks Todd, for having the balls to start some fires and show this community that there is a completely different kind of artistic talent in Murfreesboro. It’s rough and it’s awesome and it’s fucking real.
*We’ve interviewed Patrick Bennett and Ben Ritchie from Icon.