Letterpress posters for MLK Day

On the cold Friday afternoon of January 18th, students met under the leadership of Professor Kathleen O’Connell to make letterpress posters celebrating the life and words and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The posters were to be used the next day for The March commemorating Martin Luther King Day.

on the press

Unlike the outdoors, Todd 350/351, home of the letterpress print studio, was warm and inviting. Work on the first prints was already underway when I arrived, and work on a second was beginning. The letterpress process is quite intriguing. Though technically, any variety of materials can used to create type and images, only wood blocks were being used for these posters. Each line of type of is first laid out in a composition stick, used to make sure the lines are of a consistent length, then transferred to a galley tray, where the entire text is collected and before being moved to the press. This preparation, the arrangement of letter and spacing blocks, looked both fun and painstaking. I suppose you get the knack of reading things backward.

When complete, the galley of type is moved onto the bed of the press and locked into place using compression. The type is then inked—using an automated roller system on the presses used Friday—and an initial galley proof, a test-print, is run.

After that, the process becomes more methodical…and physical! Pieces of paper are attached one at a time to cylinder and literally pulled through the press using a geared crank. Finished prints/posters are then placed in a drying rack, and the process begins again. Having a team of workers helps speed the process and sharing the more physical aspects reduces fatigue.

It didn’t take a lot of coercing to get me to pull a print, and as with past art department events I’ve gone to as a documenter, I found myself wishing I could be more involved with the creative process taking place. I’ll be watching the Todd Art Gallery Facebook page, hoping for a future opportunity!

Text and photos by Alvin Knox

Sunshine Twin: Lindsey Larsen

Sunshine Twin

Lindsey Larsen is a freshman in the College of Media and Entertainment. She is also a member of the Sandbox student organization. She offers the following:

“I am an artist because it gives me an outlet to express my thoughts and feelings when I can’t put them into words.

My pieces normally consist of a more “cartoon” or “anime” style instead of being fully realistic and this is because of my animator role models.  Shows I watched as a child influence my art to this day.  I create my art normally on paper but occasionally go digital.  The idea I have behind my own work is to convey how I feel in the moment, and try to express it through my drawings.  My goals as an artist are to one day become an animator or a game artist.

I believe my art isn’t anywhere near what I would like it to be but I am trying to improve everyday.”

It is refreshing to have a freshman submit to MTSU Creates, which takes a share of courage. Lindsey’s already-apparent skill, determination, willingness to take risks, and desire to improve will undoubtedly serve her well.

The banner image in this post is a free download from pngtree.com


Photography by Blair Bandy


Blair Bandy is a senior at MTSU studying Photography and Business. On her personal website, she notes, “It’s hard to say where my love for photography sparked from. It’s like it’s always been there. However, I’m striving everyday to improve and learn more about myself and my work.”


“This series is an ongoing project involving my 92-year-old grandmother. She never fails to amaze me with her positivity and strength. She raised 5 children by herself and worked full time her entire life. I strive to be as strong as she is as I get older.”


To experience more of Blair’s work, visit her WordPress or VCSO sites, or find her on instagram!

My Life, My Light, My Love: Photography by Mamie M. Lomax

“My work focuses on 19th and early to mid-20th century gravestones and other aspects of historic cemeteries. The silence is pleasantly deafening in the cemeteries that I have visited, and each has brought different inspiration to me. There is something beautiful about being in a cemetery right before the sunsets.”



“These pictures are from Rose Hill Cemetery in Columbia, TN. Rose Hill is the fifth stop on my cemetery journey through Middle Tennessee. The journey continues with Mt. Olivet cemetery and Old City Cemetery in Nashville, TN next on the list.”


Mamie M. Lomax is a journalism student at MTSU. She is working on her portfolio in order to debut her work officially. She works as a barista in her spare time, as well as dabbles in bass, writing and being a pug mom.  You can find her on Instagram at _mamiemMamie Lomax.cropped.

Art & Design Open House

On March 17th, I had the unusual opportunity to be on campus on a Saturday, and I was surprised by the amount of activity I found. Parking lots were full; visitors to campus strolled the wide sidewalks from Peck Hall to the Student Union. Though on campus for the Linguistics Olympiad, I had the chance to visit the Art and Design Open House in the Todd art building, and I soon found myself wishing I had nothing else to do. A variety of workshops and demonstrations beckoned from the galleries, classrooms, and hallways, and it was with regret that I moved far too rapidly from one to the next and still got to see less than half of what was offered. Of course, if I had been blessed with more time, I would have settled in at my first stop, rolled up my sleeves, tie dyed a tee shirt with Amanda Micheletto-Blouin, and seen nothing else.

A sign coming into the Todd Building suggested there were twelve activities, and I visited only six—an encaustic workshop, led by Erin Anfinson

the Art Ed Printmaking room with Mary Ellis and Brigette Adkins

an inking demonstration by Doug Dabbs

silk screening with Tanner Pancake

an etching demo by Kenny Page


and the tie dye workshop. Others I didn’t get to see included sculpture, letterpress, button making, vinyl cutting, sand casting, 3-d printing, and illustration. Hmmm…math isn’t my strong suit, but I’m guessing extra activities were added after the sign was made. Regardless, if a similar event comes along again, I will be there, ready to dig in and enjoy, and I hope you will be too!

Poster image