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Posted on: July 19, 2018

Cultural Arts Murfreesboro announces new 2018 – 2019 artist laureates

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Distinguished Murfreesboro-based artists Kory Wells, Gale Stoner, and Ashley Buchanan have been selected as the 2018 through 2019 Artist Laureates for the City of Murfreesboro in the second annual Cultural Arts Laureate Program.

As the 2018-2019 Artist Laureates for Murfreesboro, Painter Laureate Ashley Buchanan, Photographer Laureate Gale Stoner, and returning Poet Laureate Kory Wells are recognized for their accomplishments as innovative artists and for their continued contribution to community arts outreach in Murfreesboro.

The Cultural Arts Laureate Program is a notable honor for local artists, providing recipients with further opportunities to educate, advocate, and represent the community through their own creative initiatives. In addition to receiving the official appointment as Laureate, recipients are given a $500 honorarium from the City of Murfreesboro, and extensive administrative and programmatic support for projects undertaken during their term.

This year’s Painter Laureate Ashely Buchanan is an artist, filmmaker, and designer with a vastly interdisciplinary practice, ranging from drawing, animation, and film, to wood carving and photography. Her involvement in Murfreesboro’s creative community is equally expansive. She is the founder of the production company Creative Movements, is a longtime contributor to several regional youth arts camps, and has been awarded by Tennessee Parks & Recreation for her extensive volunteer service to the arts community. Buchanan says, “Painting can be used to develop the imagination, inspire, and relieve stress. Art shapes the world and can be used to shape views...I want to use art to uplift and inspire our community”. During her time as Laureate, Buchanan will be organizing a regional Painting for Autism initiative in addition to several community public-art projects.

Photographer Laureate Gale Stoner’s foray into Fine Art photography began in the mid-sixties while he was stationed in Duluth, Minnesota. Through a successful twenty-one-year career in the Air Force and two decades as a professional speaker, Stoner has continued to hone a masterful and highly professionalized photographic practice, with great contribution to the landscape tradition. As a Laureate, Stoner intends to continue his outreach with veterans, volunteer youth education classes, and create a non-profit photography service in cooperation with Amelia’s Closet.

This year’s returning Poet Laureate Kory Wells is a longtime Murfreesboro resident best known for her work with the League of Women Voters. She is author of the poetry collection HEAVEN WAS THE MOON from March Street Press, and her writing appears in publications nationally and abroad. In her first term as Poet Laureate, Well’s outreach included writing poems with incarcerated women in Murfreesboro’s Doors of Hope program and founding Poetry in the Boro—both initiatives which she will continue to grow in her second term. Additional outreach programs this year include a series of poetry readings for people suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or mental illness, and a collaborative project with fellow Laureates. Wells is goal as Laureate is continue to “help all members of our community experience the many ways that words matter.”

The 2018-2019 Artist Laureate Program will culminate in an exhibition at City Hall’s Rotunda Gallery featuring the work of the three artists.

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About: Cultural Arts Murfreesboro provides access to arts programming, events, and opportunities within the City of Murfreesboro as part of its commitment to supporting Murfreesboro’s unique creative culture. The Cultural Arts Laureate Program is one of many new programs initiated by Cultural Arts Murfreesboro to provide new opportunities to artists within their own community.

For more information on the Cultural Arts Laureate Program please contact: culturalarts@murfreesborotn.gov.

Gale Stoner: http://www.galestonerimages.com/ 

Ashley Buchanan: https://touch.facebook.com/creativesmove/?__tn__=CH-R 

Kory Wells: http://korywells.com/ 

Photo Caption: LR: Kory Well, Gale Stoner, Ashley Buchanan

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