Surreal Visions at Clarksville’s Customs House Museum and Cultural Center

Clarksville's Customs House Museum and Cultural CenterClarksville, TN – Walking into the Planters Bank Peg Harvill Gallery of the Customs House Museum is like entering a new world through the rabbit hole. Walls and risers have become the temporary home of Mindy Herrin’s surreal creations.

A metalsmith from East Tennessee, Herrin creates sculptures and jewelry that seem to come from a dark, albeit beautiful place.

Training Wheels by Mindy Herrin
Training Wheels by Mindy Herrin

Pasty white faces merged with lyrical bodies of silver and bronze dance on the walls and pieces such as Training Wheels appear to have come straight out of a Tim Burton movie.

The concept of Training Wheels started with a ring. It was designed to run over the table upon the wearer’s finger.

Herrin explains “This piece depicts life’s journey, the unexpected bumps and turns along the road.  The cage form represents the body as a restrictive vessel that does not always perform as one would want.  Growth is illustrated in the plant form within, and the rope as the connective tissue to the surrounding world.”

Mindy says of her work “Over the past few years my work has explored multiple fabrication techniques, and the combination of metal with alternative materials. Organic by nature, these forms use materials for their tactile properties creating pieces that move, have the appearance of flesh, and hint to the adventures of being female in everyday life. I use elements of nature and the body to create narrative objects, jewelry, and sculpture.  My pieces are fabricated, or made from parts in order to contrast organic and mechanical imagery.  I use mechanisms to creature visual structure, perform a function, or define a restriction.  For me it is necessary to cross the lines of reality when describing a concept, or idea”.

Herrin received her MFA at Indiana University and now teaches jewelry design and metalsmithing in the Department of Art and Design at East Tennessee University, The Surreal World of Mindy Herrin will be on exhibit through January 5th. The Customs House Museum is located in historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee.

For information on this exhibit, contact Terri Jordan, Exhibits Curator, at or 931.648.5780.

About the Customs House Museum

Located in the heart of historic downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center is the State’s second largest general museum. With over 35,000 square feet of the region’s best hands-on activities and special events…people of all ages agree – the Customs House Museum is well worth the stop!

The Explorer’s Gallery is packed with fun, learning and fantasy in Aunt Alice’s Attic, McGregor’s Market and kitchen, and of course – the Bubble Cave! Finally, get “all aboard” to see our fantastic model trains. Our volunteer engineers “ride the rails” every Sunday afternoon from 1:00pm to 4:00pm.

Regular museum hours are 10:00am to 5:00pm Tuesday through Saturday, and 1:00pm to 5:00pm on Sundays. Adult admission is $7.00, Sr. Citizens and College ID $5.00, Ages 6 to 18 $3.00, and under six years and Museum members are free.

The Customs House Museum is located at 200 South Second Street. For more information, call 931.648.5780 or visit their website at www.customshousemuseum.org