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News & Updates

ambulante beyond

Faculty Collaborates with Indie Memphis Microcinema Club

Indie Memphis, Crosstown Arts and Centro Cultural Latino de Memphis are proud to exhibit four short form spanish language documentaries from Ambulante Beyond, a documentary production project which seeks to train new producers coming from various corners of Mexico and Central America who have limited access to the tools necessary to share their stories with the general public. Ambulante Beyond seeks to encourage independent film production that allows marginalized communities to reclaim and strengthen their identity, defend their rights, break stereotypes, and transform negative social assumptions. In addition to strengthening community organization and participation through the production of independent documentaries, they seek to promote and exhibit their work to maximize its potential for social change. They believe it is critical to continue fighting for the democratization of media and the self-representation of groups typically excluded from the media.

The poster for the event was created by Assistant Professor of Graphic Design Daniel Wildberger per invitation of the Department of Art Chair, Richard Lou, and the Centro Cultural Latino de Memphis.

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art of science show

Art of Science Show in September

The Art of Science exhibition opens September 26th in the Hyde Gallery at 477 South Main. It features works from the Department of Art Faculty, Students and Alumni.


and, by Greely Myatt

David Lusk Gallery is pleased to present new work by University of Memphis Professor of Art, Greely Myatt. The show titled "and" will run through October 11, 2014. The opening reception is from 6-8pm Friday, September 5, 2014


Zhang Huan and Virginia Overton Contrast at Storm King

Anna Gorovoy, visiting from Brooklyn, puts her ear to the opening of an untitled piece in “Outlooks” by Virginia Overton. The sculpture allows for conversation through nearly 500 feet in brass tubing.Credit: Damon Winter/The New York Times

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greely's pie in the sky

Greely Myatt exhibits work in New York

Outdoor spaces around the house have been given over to a show organized by Bob Nickas and Virginia Overtonthat will include works by Sam Anderson, Uri Aran, Lisa Beck, Sarah Braman, Jim Drain, Wayne Gonzales, Eli Hansen, Charles Harlan, Jim Kanter and Lisa Ward, Servane Mary, Jason Metcalf, Greely Myatt, Chuck Nanney, Amy O’Neill, Kelly Parr, Ugo Rondinone, Davina Semo and Aaron Suggs.

Virginia Overton and Aaron Suggs are both MFA Graduates of the University of Memphis Department of Art.

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. . .

Where: The Fifth Annual Martos Gallery Summer Exhibition
at East Marion on the North Fork, New York

Installation by Cedar Lorca Nordbye at Crosstown Arts

From Crosstown Arts on Vimeo.


Undergraduate students enrolled in Dr. Bryna Bobick's Art for Children class developed and taught art activities for The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art's Community Day on April 26. Each studio art activity was based on the museum's Dali exhibition.​

jody stokes-caseyJody Stokes-Casey

The Department of Art congratulates graduate students Leila Hamdan and Jody Stokes-Casey for their new positions at the National Civil Rights Museum

Jody Stokes-Casey is an art history graduate student with a concentration in modern and contemporary art. Her thesis research questioned systems of exclusion in the visual art communities of Memphis using the Dixon Gallery and Gardens exhibition "Present Tense: The Art of Memphis, 2001-Now" as a case study. She is also enrolled in the University of Memphis' Museum Studies Certificate Program and has recently accepted a position as the Education Coordinator at the National Civil Rights Museum. Among other tasks and responsibilities in this position, she will be creating educational programming and materials for students, teachers, and the community.

leila hamdanLeila Hamdan

Leila Hamdan recently completed her thesis titled "Culture and Resistance. Civil Rights Photography: Memphis, 1968" under the skilled direction of Dr. Earnestine Jenkins of the Art History program at the University of Memphis. Her degree is a Master of Arts in Art History with a concentration in the Arts of Africa and African Diaspora and is accompanied by a Museum Studies Certificate. In graduate school, she was fortunate to have learned from a multidisciplinary team of professors and specialists from the Archaeology, Communications, Fine Art, and Library departments along with Art History and Museum Studies. The combined graduate and certificate programs prepared her to accept a position as Registrar at the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel just a few days before graduation. Leila is extremely grateful to the University of Memphis, to her mentor and thesis chair Dr. Jenkins, to committee members Dr. Connolly, Dr. Coffey, and Mr. Lou, along with many others including Dr. Albertson, Dr. Luebbers, Lester Merriweather, and Chris Ratliff.

kathy barnes

Virginia Overton: Flat Rock

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami, presents the work of Virginia Overton in Flat Rock, a major new large-scale and site-responsive exhibition. Marking the artist's first solo exhibition at an American museum, "Flat Rock" features both works from the artist's studio and commissioned sculpture compiled with objects sourced in the area around the exhibition site to reframe the relationship between work and environment.
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Senior thesis collection showcases young creators at University of Memphis

By Fredric Koeppel

The problem with "Longing, Not Loathing," the senior thesis exhibition at the Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art, is that each of the 10 artists deserves a separate review.
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Crosstown Arts is pleased to open "To Frame-To Construct-To Occupy"

A new installation by Memphis artist and University of Memphis associate professor Cedar Lorca Nordbye. We'll be open 6-9 pm; gallery talk with the artist is at 6:30!

art academy

Community Art Academy, Spring 2014

Undergraduate art education majors taught 4th and 5th grade students studio art activities weekly during the spring semester at Willow Oaks Elementary School. It was a collaborative service-learning program providing teacher preparation, prior to graduation. University of Memphis alumi Jami Hooper is the art specialist at Willow Oaks Elementary School and Dr. Bryna Bobick coordinated the 2014 Community Art Academy.

Patricia V. Podzorski, Ph.D., Curator of Egyptian Art, Live at 9 on WREG Channel 3:

graphic design concentration 2014

> Click here for general instructions

limo ride title sequence

Movie titles by Prof. Wildberger for the film "Limo Ride" had its world premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival

When a group of friends hired a limousine to take them to the beach for their annual New Years rite of passage, the last thing they expected was to find themselves kidnapped, stripped, stranded and left for dead on a dirt road 24 hours later, fighting to survive. A true tale told by those who lived it, these ten Southern raconteurs are as practiced in spinning great yarns as they are in hard living. By combining the narration of the actual participants with feature-length re-enactment, "Limo Ride" transforms the greatest bar story ever told into a wild, experimental docu-comedy. Atlanta Film Festival

After a stunning credits sequence (seriously, one of the best I've ever seen for an indie film), Kennedy and Rosentrater throw us head first into this ridonkulously entertaining tour of debauchery. Filmicability

A great opening credits sequence is the first clue that the film was in the hands of inventive filmmakers. Reel GA


Willow Park Mural

Lead Artist: Beth Edwards, Professor of Art, University of Memphis 
Assisted by: Brian Grisham, Amelia Briggs, Melissa Dunn, Paul Miller and April Pierce.

Willow Park is surrounded by an economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood. The park is comprised of a series of sports fields where soccer, softball and kickball are played. The park is well utilized, but goal of the mural is to increase people's involvement with the activities in the park. The images in this mural work on two levels: primarily the mural affirms the positive, life enhancing qualities of physical activity; secondly, the mural celebrates nature and the pleasure of being outdoors. The mural is meant to be inclusive and welcoming and serve as a magnet to bring people into the park. It is also meant to say to the neighborhood that this space is valued. The mural was executed over the course of 8 month. Beth Edwards designed and painted the mural on polytab, a non-woven cloth utilized by many muralists across the country. Working in this way allows the mural to be painted indoors and then later installed using adhesives and a sealant. Brian Grisham oversaw the installation. Two current MFA painting students, Amelia Briggs and April Pierce; recent art department BFA student, Paul Miller; and local artist, Melissa Dunn, all participated in the painting of the mural.


The Art Department of the University of Memphis is pleased to announce the Spring 2014 BFA exhibition Longing, Not Loathing.

It will be on display April 4 - April 25 in The Martha and Robert Fogelman Galleries of Contemporary Art located in the Art and Communication Building on campus. The opening reception will be held on Friday, April 4, 2014 from 5:30 - 8:00pm. The exhibition will highlight work and achievements from the Spring graduating class consisting of:

Megan Bivens
Stephanie Britt
Freeman Brown III
Sara Cameron
Caolinn Golden
Christina Ridley
Anna Sanders
Gregory Allen Smith
Kevin Sutton
Rosemary Wynne

This culmination of expertise presents itself through multiple mediums, spanning a wide array of subjective concerns. Topics of loss, remembrance, pain, sexuality and manipulation of nature are represented throughout the photography. Perception and tension challenge tactile reality through sculpture, while color and light reveal an intangible reality. Manipulation and the manufacturing of nature are addressed in ceramic forms. We wish our viewers to join us for this milestone exhibition and to leave Longing, Not Loathing. This event is free and open to the public. For more information call 901-678-2216.


Professor and Art Department Chair, Richard A. Lou's work is currently in a two person show with renowned perfomance/installation artist James Luna in San Diego, CA.

Where: San Diego Mesa College's Art Gallery
When: From March 17 - April 16, 2014

Richard A. Lou's installation "Stories on My Back" explores his mixed Chinese and Mexican heritage by speaking of his connections across the Pacific and in the Americas, both ancient and modern. Lou's work connects autobiographical memory with geography and history. It continues a narrative from earlier work referencing issues of power, immigration, racism and assimilation.

In the gallery the visitor will enter a ceremonial nine-foot post and lintel structure clad in golden cornhusks and illuminated from within. The columns are studded with images and quotes from the artist's Chinese father, his Mexican mother and his grandparents. The cornhusks represent the scales on the Aztec plumed serpent Quetzalcoatl but also reference Chinese dragons. Audio and video components add layers, additional voices and iconography.

Also featured in the installation is a piece by Louisiana artist Chere Labbe Doiron, who five years ago took on the task of breathing new life into Richard Lou's father's lazy-boy chair. The chair assumes the role of illustrated historian and part talisman as it protects and convenes the stories of the Lou family. The installation has been on exhibit throughout the US.

James Luna uses photography to preserve performance actions into images that have a dramatic voice of their own. Luna is internationally renowned for powerful work that transforms gallery spaces into battlefields, confronting the audience with the nature of cultural identity. From his unique indigenous perspective as a resident of the La Jolla Indian Reservation in North County, Luna has given voice to Native Americancultural issues with over 30 years of exhibition and performance experience.

"I CON" is a new series of performance based photographs by James Luna. Many of the photographs are humorous in nature but they also contain a serious statement about mainstream culture's icons, heroes and celebrities. It explores the tension between icons and stereotypes commenting on the effects of American pop culture's inclusion and exclusion of American Indians.

This is the premiere showing of this exhibition which will travel throughout the US and Canada.

. . .

Richard A. Lou, "Stories On My Back" and James Luna, "I CON"
A gallery conversation about Lou and Luna's work will be conducted by David Avalos, Professor, CSU San Marcos: Monday, April 7, 11:30 am in the Gallery.

Gallery Hours: MTW 11-4 pm, Thursday 11 – 8 pm. Closed Fridays, weekends and school holidays.

David Lusk Gallery Nashville

Artist Greely Myatt inaugurates the David Lusk Gallery Nashville space with a solo sculpture exhibition in April, titled "Having Said That".

Myatt, whose decades-long art-making career has frequently focused on communication, expands upon his comic-strip/thought-bubble motif with his use of familiar materials like steel, wax, electricity, wood, cookie tins, grass and air. Fans of Myatt, of words or comic books or conversation, can expect a cacophony of floor and wall-mounted pieces, including an 8-foot tall steel page-flipping comic book, a wall-sized steel comic book page, and even a monumental cookie tin thought bubble.

Myatt, born in Aberdeen, MS in 1952, is professor of sculpture at the University of Memphis. In 2009 a twenty-year survey of Myatt's art was jointly exhibited at 10 important Memphis museums and art spaces. Recently he was part of the important Heartland exhibition at the Van Abbemuseum in The Netherlands and the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago, and the heralded Americanana exhibition at the Hunter College of Art Gallery. In 2014 Myatt will be celebrated with separate solo shows at the Masur Museum in Louisiana and the Cedarhurst Center for the Arts in Illinois.

David Lusk Gallery is located at 516 Hagan St. in Nashville's Wedgewood/Houston Neighborhood. Gallery hours are Tu-Sa 11-5. For further information or visuals, contact Brittney Shedden at 901-767-3800 or

. . .

Greely Myatt "Having Said That" 1-26 April
2014 opening: Saturday 5 April, 5:30-9pm
Talk: Sat 12 April, 11am

Alcatraz Poster

Visiting Artist from New York

Politically radical visiting artist from New York, Josh MacPhee, is coming this Thursday to make some posters with us and give a talk. He has written books on radical printmaking, stencil graffiti and runs a poster collective.

. . .

Talk: 7pm on Thursday
Printmaking Workshop 9-3 Friday

Watch "Art Talk"!

"Art Talk", a video by Prof. Daniel Wildberger and filmmaker Isabel Machado portraying the Department of Art throught the eyes of six students, is now online. Check it out!

University of Memphis / Art on Vimeo.


Anna Maranise, University of Memphis Studio Art Student, presents work at the Masur Museum 51st Annual Juried Competition

February 27 - June 14, 2014

Above image: Distance, 2013, paper mache, wire


Art Talk

Video shows the Department of Art through the lens of its students

Assistant Professor in Graphic Design Daniel Wildberger and videomaker Isabel Machado are putting the finishing touches on “Art Talk” - a video about the impressions and aspirations of six University of Memphis art students.

The video will be in our new vimeo and facebook pages soon. Stay tuned.

Art education professionals in Tennessee have selected Dr. Donalyn Heise as the TAEA Special Needs Art Educator 2014.

Dr. Heise will be honored with this top award at the three-day TAEA Professional Development Conference in Nashville. There will be an Awards Banquet on Thursday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. The conference is sponsored in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission.

The Tennessee Art Education Association is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance quality visual arts education through advocacy, leadership, professional development, and to promote a cohesive professional community.

Dr. Donalyn Heise is Associate Professor of Art Education at the University of Memphis. Her research focuses on the transformative power of art and its ability to foster resilience in diverse populations. Recent publications include, Fostering Resilience Through Art; Overcoming the Odds: Harnessing the power of art to foster resilience; Differentiation of Instruction in the Artroom, Playing it Safe in the Artroom, Implementing an Art Program for Children in a Homeless Shelter; and Integrating art, reading, and technology. She developed the Cups for Cancer project and co-coordinates the University of Memphis Community Art Academy.

Dr. Heise developed new courses that provide art education majors opportunities to teach art in a community setting to participants with a variety of needs, such as: The Ronald McDonald House which supports cancer patients and their families, Martha's Manor which supports mentally challenged adult women, the Family Exchange Club which supports victims of domestic violence, and St. Peter's Manor which is a residential home for senior citizens. She and Dr. Bobick co-coordinate the University of Memphis Community Art Academy, which has been held at various locations, such as the Charles Powell Community Center, the Davis Community Center, Lester School, and Willow Oaks Elementary School. Dr. Heise has been giving free art lessons to the elderly in the Memphis area. She collaborates with Dr. MacGillivray on an art and literacy program for mothers in recovery and their children in a homeless shelter. This engaged scholarship effort involves undergraduates and alumni and addresses issues in the community by focusing on fostering resilience through art.

She has received multiple grants and has conducted over 100 workshops and presentations at the state, national and international levels. Topics include Alternative Art Education, Differentiation of Instruction, Fostering Resilience Through the Arts, and Teaching Art to Children in Crisis. She has delivered a keynote address at the Maine Art Education Association Conference titled, Art for Healing. She is dedicated to engaged-scholarship and often invites undergraduate art education majors to present with her at local, state and national conferences. Dr. Heise created partnerships that provide undergraduates opportunities to collaborate with others in the field. Her work has been shared internationally at the U.S./China Joint Education Conference at Beijing Normal University, in Jamaica and in Canada.

Dr. Heise is always willing to share her expertise with others and continues to inspire future generations of leaders. She has made numerous contributions at the local, state, regional, national and international levels to advocate for quality art education and art for underserved populations.

Upcoming Art Museum Exhibitions

Learn more about the upcoming exhibitions at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis.

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Last Updated: 9/14/14