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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.

News/Events

Check out this performance!

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Congratulations to the following award winners:

Beth EdwardsBryna BobbickRichard LouEarnestine Jenkins

Golden Mummies Exhibit

2nd Floor Hallway in ACB
Opening Reception, May 6th, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm

Amanda Tutor, art teacher in Bartlett and Oaks elementary, asked if someone could come out and speak to her 3rd graders about ancient Egypt. They are studying ancient Egypt and she had an art project for them on the same subject.

February 9th, Dana McKelvy went out and gave an "absolutely wonderful" presentation on ancient Egypt that really fired the teacher's and students' imaginations.

The students worked in groups over an extended period to create the six golden mummies (you'll know what I mean when you see them). Originally there were 7, but apparently a marauding group of kindergarteners damaged one of the pictures beyond repair. Who knew?

The fruits of this project are on display in the 2nd floor hallway in ACB. A reception for the families will be held in ACB on Saturday, May 6, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served.

The teacher (Amanda) did an informational panel that goes with the artwork – including QR codes which attach to brief animated videos – which might have some useful information for the posting.


NEDtalks at Ned R. McWherter Library

Ned TalksJoin us at Ned R. McWherter Library for NEDtalks, a two-day short-form symposium. Speakers will share their recent research in short presentations designed to engage and entertain. Refreshments will be provided.

NEDtalks is presented in conjunction with Faculty Scholarship Week Exhibition. Please visit the McWherter Library rotunda to view additional scholarship from UofM faculty. The exhibition will be on display beginning at noon on Monday, April 17. Learn more here.


Catherine Knowles, BFA Graphic Design
Wins Gold at local and Silver ADDY

Catherine KnowlesCatherine Knowles, BFA Graphic Design Student Wins Gold at local and Silver ADDY at the regional level which includes statewide competition including competitors from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Knowles design moves forward to compete at the national level!

The American Advertising Awards is the advertising industry's largest and most representative competition, attracting more than 40,000 entries every year from local ad club competitions. The mission of the American Advertising Awards competition is to recognize and reward the creative spirit of excellence in the art of advertising. It is a three tiered creative competition where winners receive gold and/or silver ADDY awards.
- From the AAF website.

My magazine ad campaign History Speaks Here won a Gold ADDY in the AAF Memphis (local club) competition. Gold awards automatically move on to the next tier of judging which for Tennessee is District 7. District 7 of the American Advertising Federation represents 20 affiliate advertising clubs and federations of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. and it went on to District 7 judging and won a Silver ADDY award in that competition. Silver awards can be manually forwarded onto the national level for judging, and History Speaks Here is currently en route for a national award.

Recently, I was selected to present my art history research on an ancient Egyptian tomb (KV 57, The Royal Tomb of Horemhub) at NCUR on April 8. My research on the tomb had to do with the overwhelmingly incomplete state of the tomb that allowed the viewer to see the actual process of creating tomb decoration. Hence the title of my presentation, "The Art of Process." I found this concept to be especially attractive as an artist myself, and found it to be a method of connecting back with creative minds from ages ago.


Art Education Graduate & Undergraduate Students Teach at the Community Art Academy

Community Art AcademyCommunity Art AcademyThe 2017 Community Art Academy celebration was held on April 5 in the gallery at the Memphis Public Library. Graduate and Undergraduate art education majors taught art lessons to participants during the spring semester. All completed projects are on display for the month of April in the library's gallery.
For more information about art education please contact Dr. Bryna Bobick.


Messengers: An exploration of bird signs and omens
Darla Linerode-Henson & Lizi Beard-Ward

Opening Reception: Friday April 21, 2017 5:30-9pm
Gallery open Saturday, April 22 10:30am-4pm

Crosstown Arts
430 North Cleveland St,
Memphis, TN 38104

Messenger Art Exhibit


Beth Edwards: encounters

April 9 - July 16, 2017

Beth Edwards: encountersMemphis artist Beth Edwards approaches her varied subjects as a still life painter in the realist tradition. Her early works focused on vintage character toys, seen alone in retro environments, with nature assuming a minor role. Over time, the natural world became pronounced, as magnified floral subjects took center stage. For Edwards, these recent works celebrate nature but also serve as poetic meditations on the transience of life.

Artist Gallery Walk

2 p.m., Sunday, April 9
Grisham Gallery

Reception following in the Richard and Roper Room Hosted by the Huntsville Museum Foundation Board.


Community Art Academy 2017


Tennessee Historical quarterly
richard Lou's Recovering memphis:
Conceptual iconoclasm of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument

By Jody Stokes-Casey

Jody Stokes-CaseyRichard Lou's Recovering Memphis

I am thrilled my essay "Richard Lou's ReCovering Memphis: Conceptual Iconoclasm of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Monument" is published in the Winter 2016 volume of Tennessee Historical Quarterly. This essay is an extension of a paper I wrote in my last semester of coursework at the University of Memphis while completing a Master of Art in art history.

The original paper was drafted as a final project for the course ARTH 7140 Graduate Problems: Renaissance Iconoclasm taught by Dr. Todd Richardson in the fall of 2013; a time when heated debates surrounded the renaming of parks in Memphis whose identities were overshadowed by Confederate soldiers namesakes. I was also taking an independent study with our Art Department chair, Richard Lou, whose performance and photography artwork surrounding the contested Nathan Bedford Forrest monument proved a fascinating way to explore the topic of iconoclasm in contemporary, local art. Dr. Earnestine Jenkins recommended I submit the paper to be published with the Tennessee Historical Quarterly. After an extended editing, researching, and writing session, the essay is published!

Read the essay here.


Artist creates work of art from closed Planned Parenthood signage

Artist creates work of art from closed Planned Parenthood signageA provocative poster with the U.S. Capitol superimposed over a female's lower torso was among signs carried during the Women's March in Washington D.C., as well as marches in Milwaukee, Madison and elsewhere. Commissioned by activist Megan Holbrook, the "Tear Us Down, We Rise" poster was designed by local artist Niki Johnson and Christian Westphal. It was based on a work Johnson spent years creating — "Hills & Valleys" — as a response to the loss of reproductive rights and access to health care in Wisconsin.

When Johnson learned in 2013 that Wisconsin Planned Parenthood health care centers were closing due to defunding by Gov. Scott Walker and GOP legislators, she arranged to collect their signage. She gathered metal signs from six defunct health centers.

Read more here.


MFA THESIS EXHIBITION
DESMOND LEWIS: HEAVY-LADEN

March 17–31, 2017
Opening Reception: March 17, 5-7 pm (artist Gallery Talk, 6 pm)

Heavy-LadenFeaturing the work of Desmond Lewis, the MFA thesis exhibition Heavy-Laden explores the relationship between the often-overlooked industrial contributions of African Americans in the construction of the United States over time and considers the metaphorical characteristics of the materials used.

The contribution of African American labor to industrial America is often hidden beneath the layers of racist ideologies that have propelled the United States to its superpower status. The work in the exhibition carves away at this pristine façade to expose the roughness and intricacies that the hands of African American labor had and still have in constructing the nation's infrastructure.

Lewis's work is driven by the interpersonal relationship he has with steel and concrete—a physicality and commitment echoed in his everyday experience living in the United States as an African American man. Comprised of carved concrete and forged and fabricated steel sculptures, the exhibition occupies the gallery but also includes a large-scale outdoor piece as well as public work in the Orange Mound community.

This exhibition is supported through the generosity of West Memphis Steel, Orange Mound Gallery, Razorback Concrete, Williams Equipment and Supply, MCR Safety, and Tennessee Sling Center.


"Who Do You Trust" art exhibit to be displayed at Luther College

Article by The Decorah Newspapers

Who Do You Trust"Who Do You Trust," an art exhibit featuring the work of Jed Jackson, will be on display from Feb. 3 to March 15 in Luther College's Preus Library. The exhibit is open to the public with no charge for admission.

This year's Paideia Texts and Issues theme, "Who Do You Trust," was developed by the Paideia Endowment Governing Board, the Religion department and the Visual and Performing Arts department. Drawing from a wide variety of texts from the arts, sciences and humanities, the series attempts to facilitate discussions of personal and institutional trust. Who or what are people predisposed to trust? Is trust a fundamental element of character, community or culture? What are the results of mistrust or betrayal?...

Read full article.


Crosstown Concourse co-founder named Communicator of the Year

Article by Memphis Business Journal

Todd RichardsonThe voice behind the movement to rehabilitate the 1.5-million-square-foot Sears Crosstown building into a thriving vertical urban village is being recognized as the 2016 Communicator of the Year.

Todd Richardson, an associate professor at the University of Memphis, co-founder of Crosstown Arts and managing director of Crosstown Concourse, was selected as the Memphis Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America's (PRSA) 2016 Communicator of the Year.

Read full article.


Community Art Academy


Munch and Learn: Berthe Morisot, First Lady of Impressionism

January 25, 2017

Wednesdays, 12 pm to 1 pm

Dixon

Dr. Pamela Gerrish Nunn, HohenbergChair of Excellence in Art History, University of Memphis.

This brown-bag lecture series features local artists, experts and the Dixon Gallery and Gardens staff sharing their expertise on a variety of topics. Free for members and students with ID. For more information go to Dixon Gallery and Gardens.


Art Education Alumni Juried ExhibitioN: "Tolerance through Art Education"

Submission Deadline February 27, 2017

The theme for the exhibition is "Tolerance through Art Education." Each alumnus must submit one recent work of art, and two students' works (one male and one female). The artwork must convey the idea of tolerance. Student work may or may not show a relationship to their Art Teacher's work. Please make sure the works of art submitted are ready to hang and are constructed to withstand being hung.

For more information/schedule and registration form download here.


Art Review: "Say What?" Greely Myatt at Sandler Hudson Gallery

Greely Myatt

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

Art is a form of communication. The visual language of pictures and symbols spans cultures and breaches the boundaries of speech. Viewers personify it by asking: What does it mean? What is the art saying? The sculptures in Greely Myatt's show, "Maybe I Can Paint Over That," at Sandler Hudson Gallery depict these articulations and audience-art conversations.

The symbols Myatt creates out of cut wood and bent steel are ubiquitous icons that have been used, in different iterations, for over 1,400 years. Thought and speech bubbles were in use as far back as 600 A.D. in Mesoamerican art, appearing in the form of scrolls streaming from the speaker's mouth. Over the years, these visual representations of speech have taken the form of scrolls, balloons, and bubbles in illuminated manuscripts in the Middle Ages, political cartoons during the Revolutionary War, the first-known newspaper comic cartoon Yellow Kid in the late 1800s and the golden age of comic books that followed in the decades after, then again when Pop artists adopted the visual language of comics. Myatt's free-floating speech and thought bubbles mimic a Pop art sensibility, but in a way that translates the symbol into the language of our current era, where it has been recast in technological correspondence and advertisements. Read full article.