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Art Education Facilities
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Memphis is Art.

The University of Memphis Department of Art educates students in visual arts and design from a holistic perspective: practical, theoretical, and historical. Whether the focus is studio, art history, art education, or graphic design, undergraduate and graduate students develop a creative voice and professional practice through the cultivation of skill, critical analysis, and an understanding of art's evolution over time and place.

Memphis has a deeply rooted, well-known cultural history as fertile ground for world-changing creative expression in art, music, and literature. Located in the center of the city, the Department of Art critically engages this heritage as a source for its own identity and inspiration, while at the same time taking up broader contemporary issues and questions from a global perspective.



Sacred to the Memory series, Zion Cemetery Open Grave, digital panorama, 2014

Assistant Professor Coriana Close, was recently interviewed in The Focus, for Locate Arts. She talks about several recent projects including work currently on view at Mysterious Flight of the Peacock, Coop Popup Gallery Nashville.

Art of the South 2016 Juried Exhibition presented by Number: Inc

May 16 – June 17, 2016
Opening reception: June 20

Maria FergusonA juried exhibition, open to all artists 18 and older working in any media residing in AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MA, MO, MS, NC, OK, TN, TX, SC, VA, or WV. Accepted work will be exhibited in one of two locations: The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art at the University of Memphis and Gallery 121 at Belmont University in Nashville. The two galleries will be connected through Skype the night of the opening (May 20) and will be open to the public from May 16 – June 17, 2016. Juror: Chad Alligood, Assistant Curator of Special Projects at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR.

For more information, please visit numberinc.org/art-of-the-south/

Virginia Overton
The Aldrich Contemporary art museum

May 1, 2016, to February 5, 2017
Opening Reception: Sunday, May 1, 2 to 5 pm

Virginia Overton

Graphic Design Senior SHOW

Graphic Design Senior Show 2016

May 5, 2016

Reception: Thursday, May 5, 6-8 PM

Join us for a one-night only exhibition of works by graduating University of Memphis undergraduate Graphic Design students. Presenters include Ethan Fowler, Hunter Hamilton, Taylor Holland
Nicole Lee, DaVario Looney, Shakeya Merriweather, Amanda Mize, Britany Neely, and Amy Nguyen.

Cedar Lorca Nordbye presentation from Ignite Memphis at Playhouse on the Square

First Place in the Division of the Liberal Arts and Fine Arts in the 28th annual University of Memphis Student Research Forum

Jessica Johnson


Jessica Johnson and Carolina Quintana, 2016 MA graduates in art history with a concentration in Egyptian art and archaeology, received First Place in the Division of the Liberal Arts and Fine Arts in the 28th annual University of Memphis Student Research Forum, March 28, 2016. Their poster presentation featured their research on the topic of the ancient Egyptian ideas concerning the afterlife as reflected in their funerary texts and their use of amulets to ensure a successful transition from this life to the next. The amulet featured is in the collection of the Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology and is one of only four like it in the world.

Box Gallery Show:

EXcessive Tendencies

Excessive Tendencies

Featuring new work by Paige Ellens and Emilio Norman.
. . .

  • When: April 14 –May 2
  • Where: Box Gallery
  • Reception: Friday, April 15th, 2016 (5:00 - 7:00 PM)

Ancient Egypt Family Day

The Institute of Egyptian Art and Archaeology of the University of Memphis invites kids of all ages to Ancient Egypt Family Day.

This FREE public event runs form 10:00 am to 2:00 pm on Saturday, April 9, 2016 in the lobby in front of the Art Museum.

Activities include "Write Your Name in Hieroglyphs," make an amulet or crown, color a mask, and an Egyptian Gallery "scavenger" hunt!

For older children (ages 10 and up) and adults, the "School for Scribes" presents a one hour introduction to the ancient Egyptian language and hieroglyphs. Space for this activity is limited and reservations are required. Please call 901-678-2649 to reserve your spot.

For more information, visit the IEAA web site or call us at 901-678-2649.


Lindsay Lecture

Arturo Lindsay

Box Gallery Show:

The 4th Annual Best of Memphis

The 4th Annual Best of Memphis

The 4th Annual Best of Memphis is a juried competition. This year's juror is Lauren Kennedy of Southfork and the UrbanArts Commission.
. . .

  • When: March 17- April 5
  • Where: Box Gallery
  • Opening Reception: Friday, March 18, 2016 (5:00 - 7:00 PM)

Community Art Academy

Beth Edwards

Beth Edwards

Beth Edwards, a Memphis visual artist, is the recipient of the sixth annual Emmett O'Ryan Award for Artistic Inspiration. This award is given by Metropolitan Bank to a local artist whose work demonstrates artistic mastery.The Emmett O'Ryan Award is given annually by Metropolitan Bank in honor of the late Emmett O'Ryan, an avid art collector who was a founding board member of Metropolitan Bank. The winning artist is selected by a committee composed of Metropolitan Bank associates, a member of the ArtsMemphis board of directors, and representatives of Mr. O'Ryan's family. 15 outstanding artists were nominated for 2016 Emmett Award.

U of M's Egyptian Institute Will Host March 15th Lecture

First Tale of Setne Khaemwas

Dr. Vinson

"The 'First Tale of Setne Khaemwas' and the African-American Reception of Ancient Egypt, 1939–1988"

The Institute of Egyptian Art & Archaeology at the University of Memphis will host the thirteenth annual Legacy of Egypt Lecture on Tuesday, March 15th, at the Michael D. Rose Theater, room 115. Dr. Steve Vinson of Indiana University, Bloomington, will present at 7:00 p.m. A reception will precede the lecture, at 6:15 p.m. Both events are free and open to the public. Pay parking is available in the Zach Curlin garage adjacent to the University Center.
Dr. Vinson is an associate professor of Egyptology at Indiana University, Bloomington. Originally trained in anthropology and nautical archaeology, Dr. Vinson has often written about Egyptian boats, ships, nautical transportation and trade. More recently, he has turned his attention to Egyptian literature, particularly the literature of the Greek and Roman periods. He is currently completing a book on historical and narrative approaches to the 'First Tale of Setne Khaemwas.'
Dr. Vinson will be speaking on the reception, by African-American authors in the Twentieth Century, of an ancient Egyptian "ghost story," known as the 'First Tale of Setne Khaemwas'. The sensational, and even lurid, subject matter of the ancient Setne story became enmeshed with modern popular culture through its influence on the Victorian-era fiction of H. Rider Haggard and the 1932 Universal film "The Mummy." Less well known, however, is the influence of the Setne legend on African-American literature, including works by Harlem Renaissance author Zora Neale Hurston and MacArthur Foundation fellow, Ishmael Reed. Through these authors' works, the tale of Setne became intertwined with the legend of Moses. This new and evolving narrative was informed by a broad understanding of ancient Egypt's past that was current in the early and mid-Twentieth Century. At the same time, it addressed concerns that were of special relevance to the African-American community, including the long-standing image of Moses as a liberator; pan-Africanism; a more specific "Egyptocentrism"; and, particularly in the case of Ishmael Reed, writing in the 1970s, of black liberation.

For more information, email Dr. Joshua Roberson at jrbrson4@memphis.edu or call the IEAA at 901-678-2555.


Study Abroad

Lawrence Matthews III

Above: Lawrence Matthews III, Cool Aint Cold (Newport), 2016. Digital archival inkjet print. Courtesy of the artist.

Lawrence Matthews III: The Marketing of Perception

February 15 – March 4, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday, February 19, 2016  5-8 PM

The exhibition Lawrence Matthews III: The Marketing of Perception features Matthews' recent work exploring issues of race, image, and appropriation. Derived from cigarette and alcohol advertisements in issues of Ebony magazine from the 1960s and '70s, the artist's vibrant photographs of African-American men and women, featured out of their original context, provoke questions of image making on both literal and figurative levels. Stemming from Matthews' recent foray into photography, the exhibition also includes the artist's trademark video installations comprised of analog televisions playing commercials from the period.

On his subject matter, Matthews recalls, "In college, I began to collect copies of Ebony from the 1960s and 70s. I was amazed by the progressiveness of the articles, as well as the beautiful photography in the ads. They portrayed Black people as intelligent and successful members of society. However, I began to notice nearly all of these ads where for liquor and cigarettes. Brands I'd known as stereotypically "Black" such as Newport, Seagrams, Hennessy, and Salem were repeated throughout the pages. I started to wonder why products known to be harmful were featured so prominently in a magazine existing to uplift Black Americans."

Matthews' close zoom brings to the forefront products once subtly placed in everyday scenes while his deliberate cropping removes the ad copy that once surrounded these images. His photographs take on new meaning as standalone images of cool, sexy, powerful, and respectable individuals, yet under their veneer, also allude to a contentious, racialized history of corporate power and blighted communities.

Lawrence Matthews III was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1991. His work ranges from painting, collage, photography, and ready-made sculpture, to music and film. In 2014, Matthews received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Memphis. His work has been included in multiple solo and group exhibitions around the mid-south including Caritas Village, Circuitous Succession Gallery, David Lusk Gallery, and Crosstown Arts, among others. He has received numerous grants and awards including Best of Show at The University of Memphis' 31st Annual Juried Student Exhibition in 2014, the Dean's Creative Achievement Award and Department of Art Creative Achievement Award in 2015.


10th Annual Art Education Alumni Juried Exhibition

10th Annual Art Education Alumni Juried Exhibition

February 15 – March 4, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday, February 19, 2016  3:30-5 PM (awards presented at 4 PM)

In its tenth year, the Annual Art Education Alumni Juried Exhibition features the work of area K-12 art educators who are graduates of The University of Memphis Art Education Program, or who have completed coursework at the University during their teaching preparation or careers. This year's exhibition theme is Finding New Words Through Vision and Creativity. Every year, this exhibition is held during Youth Art Month and is in accordance with the mission and vision of The University of Memphis, the Department of Art, and the Tennessee Art Education Association. Award winners will be selected by this year's judge, Jody Stokes-Casey, Interim Associate Director of Education, Family and School Programs at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

 Community Art Academy

Community Art Academy

  • When: Wednesday afternoons
  • Where: The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library

The 2016 Community Art Academy is being held during spring semester. University of Memphis art education majors are teaching art projects to students ages 9-12. The students are from public, private and home schools. The Community Art Academy is being held on Wednesday afternoons at The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library on Poplar Avenue. The art projects include puppets, watercolor painting, book arts, collage and ceramics.
A celebration and art exhibition of the students' art will held at the end of The Community Art Academy on March 30, 2016 in the gallery at The Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library.
For more information about The Community Art Academy or Art Education please contact Dr. Bryna Bobick, bbobick@memphis.edu.

 Box Gallery Show:

Psi Ops

Photographic works by Jesse DeLira.

Photographic works by Jesse DeLira.
. . .

  • When: February 18- March 8
  • Where: Box Gallery
  • Opening Reception: Friday,February 19, 2016 (5:00 - 7:00 PM)

Photography - Aaron Delaney

Aaron Delaney's Photography

Student Aaron Delaney's images will be featured in two upcoming publications.

Photographer's Forum recently selected Delaney's work for inclusion in the Best of College and High School Photography 2016 print publication. This was a highly competitive process and only 100 students were chosen out of 14,000 applications.

Aaron Delaney's photos were also chosen for print in the Memphis VA Caregiver Center's upcoming book "Caregivers of Veterans with PTSD." The images which he made for Photography II, will be published in a booklet used to help Caregivers both on an individual basis as well as in support groups. This book is a new addition to the VA's health interventions designed to provide education, skills, and support to Caregivers of Veterans.

UofM hosted three of 2015's top 10 art exhibitions

In The Commercial Appeal's list of the 10 Best Art Exhibitions of 2015, three were at the University of Memphis. The shows recognized were Toni Collums Roberts' thesis exhibition "Inveterate" at the Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art; "Samuel H. Crone: Works on Paper" at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis; and Hamlett Dobbins' "The Attendant" and Lester Julian Merriweather's "White(s) Only" at the Fogelman Galleries. Art professor Beth Edwards' exhibit "Oh Happy Day," shown at the David Lusk Gallery, also was included in the Top 10.


Kelly HendersonJarvis Boyland Ruben Garnica

Image captions (above, L to R): Kelly Henderson, Untitled, 2015. Photograph; Jarvis Boyland, Black Boy (detail), 2015. Oil on canvas; Ruben Garnica, Untitled (detail), 2015. Steel.

A tradition for the past 33 years, the 2016 Annual Student Exhibition will feature works by 41 University of Memphis undergraduate and graduate students who have taken courses in the Department of Art. From over 100 submissions, 44 works have been selected by exhibition judge, Michael Aurbach, a Nashville-based artist-educator. Showcasing the breadth and diversity of U of M's student talent, the exhibition is comprised of various media, including ceramics, drawing, graphic design, painting, photography, and sculpture. The exhibition will be on view in The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art from January 22 to February 5, 2016, as its normal venue, the Art Museum of the University of Memphis, remains closed for renovations.

Student awards have been generously sponsored by The University of Memphis Office of the President, Graduate School, Fogelman College of Business & Economics, and Department of Art, as well as by local institutions and businesses including the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Metal Museum, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, National Civil Rights Museum, and Art Center.

Related Programming

Administrative Vision
Image caption (above): Michael Aurbach, Administrative Vision, 2013. Mixed media. Image courtesy of the artist.

"Three Decades of Making Stuff": Public Lecture by Michael Aurbach

Thursday, January 21, 2016
7 PM
Art and Communication Building, Room 310 (3715 Central Avenue; Memphis, TN)
Free and open to the public

Nashville-based artist-educator Michael Aurbach and exhibition judge will reflect on the past three decades of his career. Mr. Aurbach is best known for his socially inspired sculptures that addresses issues of identity, death, institutional power, and contemporary forms of scholarship. He has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Among the institutions and foundations that have provided support for his work are the National Endowment for the Arts, the Southern Arts Federation, the Tennessee Arts Commission, Art Matters Inc., the Puffin Foundation, the Beren Foundation, and Vanderbilt University. From 2002-04, he served as president of the College Art Association, the world's largest organization of visual arts professionals.
In December 2015, Aurbach retired as Professor of Fine Arts at Vanderbilt University, having taught sculpture and drawing since1986.

For more information, please visit the artist's website: www.aurbachsculpture.com

The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art

Art and Communication Building, Rooms 230 and 240
3715 Central Avenue; Memphis, TN
Tel: (901) 678-3052
Email: fogelmangalleries@memphis.edu
Website: www.memphis.edu/fogelmangalleries
Facebook: www.facebook.com/fogelmangalleries

Box Gallery Show:


A show of student prints curated by Holt Brasher and Trevor Simpson.

A show of student prints curated by Holt Brasher and Trevor Simpson.
. . .

  • When: January 21- February 9
  • Where: Box Gallery
  • Opening Reception: Friday, January 22, 2016 ( 5:00 - 7:00 PM)