This Saturday and Sunday, Memphis will host it's very own Day of the Dead celebration, courtesy of the Brooks Museum of Art, the University of Memphis, and Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl de Memphis - an independent project created in 2002 by Noe Ramirez to preserve the ancestral tradition of sacred, pre-Hispanic, Aztec dances and rituals. The event - which usually takes place on Novmber 1st and 2nd, corresponding to the Catholic holidays of All Saints Day and All Souls Day - aims to convey the cultural importance of Dia de los Muertos, as well as reinforce the Latino community's heritage in Memphis. The free celebration will follow the traditional customs of the long-established Mexican holiday meant to honor the souls of those who have passed away. Altars known as Ofrendas are lavishly decorated with offerings to the dead, and everyone is welcome to participate by bringing along a photo of a lost loved-one to place on a community altar, on display at the university's Art and Communication Building throughout the celebration.
On Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Brooks will feature music from Mariachi Guadalajara, elaborate sugar skull face painting, screenings of animated short films, and many skeleton-like Catrinas - made widely recognizable by José Guadalupe Posada. The museum will also hold its own exhibition of ofrendas made by area students, in the education gallery, and volunteers from the Latino community will hold a papel picado workshop in the Brooks' education studio. The classic Mexican folk art of delicate tissue paper cut into intricate designs is central to Dia de los Muertos decoration. CazaTeatro - the first Hispanic theatrical group in Memphis, founded in 2006 - will perform two shows in the Dorothy K. Hohenberg Auditorium at 10:30 a.m. and noon, and Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl de Memphis will perform on the Brooks Plaza at 1 p.m. to close the day's activities. The celebration will continue on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. at the University of Memphis, with more performances from CazaTeatro, Danza Azteca Quetzalcoatl, and female mariachi group Las Palomas.
The Tennessee Art Education Association (TAEA) 2011 Fall Conference, entitled ‘Celebrating Diversity Through Common Ground’ will be held on Oct. 27-29 at the Memphis College of Art (MCA) in cooperation with the college, the University of Memphis and the Brooks Museum of Art. The event is also sponsored in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission. Festivities will commence with the opening keynote artist, Carrie Mae Weems, on Friday, 9-10:30 a.m.
Weems has worked as an award-winning photographer and artist for 25 years, and continues to address struggles of empowerment and oppression. She has exhibited in both solo and group shows at The Museum of Modern Art, the International Center of Photography, the J. Paul Getty Museum, The High Museum of Art, The Walker Art Center, and The Whitney Museum. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts in dowtown Nashville will exhibit the first retrospective of her work from September 21, 2012-January 13, 2013.
Workshops and essential hands-on presentations will educate instructors and novices alike on video game design, bookmaking, teaching spatial concepts through watercolor, and developing studio art programs, to name a very few highlights, and the TAEA will present awards in a ceremony on Saturday the 29th from 1-2:30 p.m. at MCA. The nonprofit organization has chosen Jenny Hornby, Assistant Curator of Education at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, as its 2012 Art Educator. Given to recognize excellence in professional accomplishment and service by a dedicated art educator, those honored epitomize the highly qualified individuals active in Tennessee’s art education field. Hornby earned a B.A. in Art Education from the University of Montana in 2008, and an M.A. in Art History from the University of Memphis in 2010.
The Tennessee Art Education Association maintains a mission to advance visual arts education through advocacy, development, and leadership, and to promote and streamline the professional community of arts educators. The organization is made up of elementary, secondary, middle level, and high school art teachers across the state, with representatives from major art museums, the State Department of Education, arts councils, and colleges and universities.
With Repair Days just behind us, the National Ornamental Metal Museum is currently taking applications to accept new Artists-in-Residence. Residencies are available for foundry or blacksmith positions, as well as for work in conservation and small metals. The period of residency can last from three to twelve months, and includes the opportunity for housing on-site at the museum, studio space and complete access to the smithy and foundry, and some provided materials. Artists-in-Residence also have the option for health insurance coverage.
Awarded based on merit and availability, residents will contribute hours assisting with shop projects, crafting individual work, and interacting with guests. They must commit to donating one artwork to the museum, either for auction or as a fixture within the permanent collection - agreed upon by the museum and contributing artist. Residents are ultimately expected to complete a major body of work, the focus of which will be determined upon entry into the program.
Interested applicants must submit a resume of two pages or less, three references, and a two-page letter of intent defining goals and amibitions for their residency as well as preferred date and duration, along with 20 images in jpeg format (300 dpi), complete with image identification information. Applications are reviewed by the museum's Artist-in-Residence committee.
Apply to Leila Hamdan, The Metal Museum, 374 Metal Museum Drive, Memphis, 38106, or through email.
Native Memphian, Melissa Dunn, will show 18 new paintings and works on paper in an exhibition at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens' Mallory and Wurtzburger Galleries, titled, Looking for One Thing, Finding Another. Dunn's study will illustrate her artistic concentration and personal fascination in the abstract. With impressive technique, she utilizes the basic foundations of color and shape to illustrate how the routine of everyday life can generate emotional responses both subtle and intricate.
"Even though I paint abstractly, content is important to my work. I work with the intention that someone other than myself will be inspired to discover their own emotional landscape and their own relationship to the world," Dunn says in her artist's statement.
A graduate of the University of Memphis, she was selected for 2009's Tennessee Abstract Painting exhibition at the Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville, and the 52nd Annual Delta Exhibit at the Arkansas Art Center in Little Rock among numerous other local, regional, and national exhibitions, including one in Germany.
This Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. will be the opening reception for Dunn's exhibit, organized by Associate Curator Julie Pierotti, running from October 23rd to January 16th. The artist will be present to discuss her work and Memphis band, The Sultana, will perform.
Richard “Dick” Knowles and Steve Langdon were well-loved among the Memphis art community as well as the students and faculty lucky enough to encounter their respective tenures at then Memphis State University. For 30 years they taught drawing and painting until both retired in 1999 to freely create and travel, like the true artists they were. The University of Memphis will honor the late former professors - as Langdon passed in 2002 and Knowles just last year - with an exhibition of works characteristic of their passions and teaching styles. The opening reception for Memories will take place at the university's art museum this Friday, October 7th, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., with the exhibition running from the 8th until January 7th, 2012.
Curated by Lawrence Edwards, professor emeritus and former chair of the University’s Department of Art, the tribute will showcase Knowles’ proficiency in the world of abstract expressionism alongside Langdon’s clever flair within meticulous drawings and some early paintings.
As a painter, Knowles expressed a particular fondness for nature; capturing aerial landscapes, figures in water, forests, deserts, mountains, and canyons. The exhibition will also feature pieces stemming from his interest in Eastern philosophies and personal desires as a artist.
Langdon’s attentive works in graphite, ink, and Prismacolor, explore his loving observations of diverse physical qualities in the contemplation of complex emotions. The intimacy he conveys through such subtle technique undoubtedly calls for careful consideration from the viewer.
The Art Museum of the University of Memphis will also host exhibitions Sitting Still Revisited and Caseworks from Ramona Sonin, October 8th through November 26th.