» By CONOR SCRUTON – cscruton@my.apsu.edu

The APSU Downtown Gallery has long been a site dedicated to exhibiting art of APSU faculty and alumni. During the month of December, it will be presenting the work of former APSU students Kelly Kerrigan and Clare Coyle Taylor, opening with a reception at the Gallery from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1.

Kerrigan graduated from APSU in 1996 with degrees in Theater and Art, causing her to spend many hours of her college experience in the Trahern building. Many of the students and artists she met during this time went on to shape her work throughout her career.

Kerrigan still maintains contact with the people and institution that inspired her. “The education and guidance I received from the faculty here so many years ago has by no means expired, thanks to the invention of social media websites,” Kerrigan said.

Taylor received her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Pottery/Ceramic Sculpture and Painting from APSU, but soon after graduating found the time she had used for art dwindling. Recently, though, after her husband passed away, Taylor began creating art with their children, and was inspired by the benefits of creative expression. “I’ve become even more aware of, and awed by, the healing nature of the process,” Taylor said.

“There can be a catharsis about the expression and introspection achieved with color, mark making and material manipulation. Emotions can be released where there are no words.” Kerrigan has also expressed admiration of Taylor.

“I am so very happy to be showing my artwork with Claire, whom I respect so much as an artist, mother and survivor of life, just like me,” Kerrigan said.

Open from noon to 4 p.m. located at 116 Strawberry Alley in downtown Clarksville, the APSU Downtown Gallery has been honoring and exhibiting the school’s current and former artists since 2009. Tuesdays through Saturdays, the Downtown Gallery is free and open to all visitors. The Kerrigan/Taylor exhibit will run from Dec. 1-31, opening in conjunction with the First Thursday Art Walk.

For more information on this space or the alumni exhibit, contact Barry Jones, associate professor of Art, at jonesb@apsu.edu. TAS