Murfree Art Gallery Exhibit Empowers Survivors of Abuse

Story by Ethan Pickering / Assistant Editor

Photos by Ethan Pickering / Assistant Editor

The Murfree Art Gallery on Maple Street near downtown Murfreesboro presents “On the Periphery,” an art gallery that is based around the experiences of survivors of stalking.

The gallery is an extension of Todd Art Gallery and was created by Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Art and Design and The Power of One office as a tribute to Women’s History Month.

The Power of One is an initiative at MTSU to end gender-based violence and increase students’ confidence to speak out against it.

Stalking is a very prevalent and emotionally violent act that affects millions of people per year in the United States. 

According to Colorado State University, 1 in 6 women in the U.S. have experienced stalking victimization at some point during their lifetime, meaning that they felt very fearful of their lives or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed. 

Two-thirds (66.2%) of female victims of stalking were stalked by a current or former intimate partner. 

Though most of the stalking victims are female, anyone can be a victim of stalking behaviors from a partner or stranger.

“The media glamorizes and romanticizes stalking behaviors as trivial acts of love. This leaves ambiguity and feelings of uncertainty surrounding a stalking survivor’s testimony,” said the intro to the exhibit.

The Murfree Art Exhibit is exceptionally deep and raw in terms of content. It profiles the emotional turmoil and deeply disturbing memories from survivors of stalking and also encourages victims to speak out against it.

Kelsey Carr presents her piece, “Me Too.”

“I was just 17 when I was assaulted, and my world was turned on its head. Since then, I have dealt with overwhelming paranoia … I still deal with the trauma from it every day.” said Kelsey Carr, who presents her piece “Me Too.”

Katrina Scott presents her piece, symbolizing women’s anger, named “Fight or Flight.”

“The crocodile embodies the moment of realization that a seemingly harmless situation has turned sour. I chose to feature the American crocodile eyeing her potential attacker as a warning sign of danger,” said Katrina Scott about her piece, symbolizing women’s anger, named “Fight or Flight.”

Chelsea Gardiner presents her piece, “The Performance.”

“The Performance is about the uneasy feeling of being watched and the way that the paranoia created by surveillance makes a person feel like they’re on a stage with all of their actions on display for the audience,” said Chelsea Gardiner about her piece “The Performance.”

These are only a few of the dozen illustrations and paintings in the “On the Periphery” exhibit. 

The pain and emotion portrayed in these pieces is truly humbling, saddening, and eye-opening to look at and read about. It is worth the trip off of campus to experience what these people have gone through; it also makes you realize how many more victims are out there who haven’t been able to speak up. 

The Power of One initiative was created to support everyone at MTSU. This exhibit is meant to bring awareness to the mental damage that stalking causes and to make sure that the victims of stalking and domestic violence do not feel alone and feel comfortable speaking up about what they have endured.

To contact the Title IX Coordinator for MTSU – No Closed Door:

Marian V. Wilson, Ph.D

116 Cope Administration Building

(615) 898-2185

To contact Lifestyles Editor Ashley Barrientos, email

For more updates, follow us at, on Facebook at MTSU Sidelines and on Twitter at @Sidelines_Life

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