MTSU Celebrates China With McPhee Photo Exhibit, Discovery Center Event
A receptive audience turned its attention to China as seen through the eyes of MTSU President Sidney A. McPhee while at the same time helping raise scholarship funds for MTSU students.
Framed copies of McPhee’s photographs of China were auctioned off Thursday, Sept. 11, at MTSU’s Todd Art Gallery, which raised $2,300 for a graphic design scholarship. The special exhibit ends Friday (Sept. 12).
With more than 300 digital images and 30 large prints in 14 different categories, the exhibit chronicles McPhee’s travels to more than 100 Chinese municipalities and provinces during his presidential tenure.
Thursday night’s event was also part of the university’s observances of the 10th anniversary of the worldwide Hanban Confucius Institute, a network of hubs for China-related cultural activities and a resource center for Chinese language, history and contemporary society.
Also as part of the anniversary celebration, McPhee announced the Confucius Institute at MTSU will co-host a free-admission day at The Discovery Center at Murfree Spring from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26, with activities for children and families. He said the institute and the center will sign a partnership at that event that will help create more joint programming and community activities.
The Chinese connection will morph from the still image to the moving image that day, with a highlight of the celebration being a 55-inch monitor that patrons can touch to access interactive programs about sites of interest in China, food, music, kung fu, calligraphy, the Chinese zodiac and other topics.
Visitors will be able to enjoy mini-Chinese classes, dance performances and calligraphy demonstrations for “Confucius Institute Day” at the center, which is located at 502 S.E. Broad St. in Murfreesboro.
From the Todd Art Gallery, the McPhee photo exhibit will travel to the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce, 3050 Medical Center Parkway, for free public viewing from Monday, Sept. 22, through Wednesday, Oct. 22.
McPhee said Thursday his favorite photo in the exhibit is of a little girl with colorful barrettes in her hair who he encountered while she was eating lunch outside of Shanghai. He said the girl reminded him of his daughter, Seneca, when she was young and her mother, Liz, would decorate her hair with colorful ribbons and barrettes.
Rebecca White, a 21-year-old psychology major from Shelbyville, Tennessee, said that photo is also her favorite.
“It’s incredible that she was focused on him instead of the world around her,” said White. “She saw somebody that was willing to accept her culture.”
Stating that people are his favorite photographic subjects in China, McPhee said, “You can learn so much without even asking them to say a word by the expressions on their faces.”
Ariel Tydell, the 23-year-old graphic design major from Nashville who created the poster promoting the event, prefers a trio of photos titled “Detian Waterfalls in Guangxi.”
“I love the colors and the fog on the mountains,” Tindall said. “It’s really gorgeous.”
For more information about the Sept. 26, Chinese culture celebration or the photo exhibit, contact the Confucius Institute at 615-494-8696 or firstname.lastname@example.org.