A new semester is beginning for area colleges and universities. This always means that each of these institutions will be having an art opening and/or an artist lecture to take advantage of their students being back in town. It also means that people in the community begin to complain about how three interesting lectures are happening at the same time in three different locations. Bringing up these questions once again: “Why don’t these institutions communicate with each other?” “Why do they always schedule things at the same time?”
With Friday-night art openings this is not really an issue. One can simply spend 15 to 20 minutes at each venue before going on to the next one. If they somehow are unable to visit each show, they can simply go the next day or the next week. This is not the case with artist lectures. One cannot bounce around location to location during these types of events. It is disruptive to the other attendees and speakers. Plus, it is just stupid.
The above questions are valid, however. Just not practical. It would be a scheduling nightmare to coordinate between the institutions and the visiting artists. Each would want the “prime” time and we would need up having to go to a lecture at MCA at three in the morning. Also, how would this information be collected and distributed? Who would do it? I can say with absolute certainty very very few people at these institutions would be willing to take the time and effort to put together a booklet or website that contains such information, regardless of how beneficial it would be to their students and the public.
Oh well, until then, all we can do is hope that people will attend at least one of these lectures. And tonight, January 24th, there are three good ones to choose from.
First is Sarah Marshall in the Orgill Room of Clough Hall at Rhodes College at 7:30 pm. The Orgill Room is where the refreshments are served during the openings at the Clough-Hanson Gallery. Marshall is an associate professor of art at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Her work is focused on the processes of printmaking and drawing resulting in organic forms that become portraits and characters. The lecture will focus on the work for her exhibition at Material Art Space. The show runs for one night only, Friday, January 25th, with an opening reception from 6-8 p.m.
Second is Io Palmer in the Callicott Auditorium at the Memphis College of Art in Overton Park at 7:30 p.m. Palmer’s work is featured in the exhibition, "Singular Masses: An Examination of Racial Identity," which is currently on view at the Hyde Gallery, Nesin Graduate School at 477 S. Main. The opening for this exhibition will be during tomorrow's Trolley Night, 6-9 p.m. Palmer, an assistant professor at Washington State University-Pullman, creates mixed-media installations that explore issues such as class, race, and identity with materials such as photography, ceramics, drawing, and cleaning products.
Third is Haejung Lee in the new Arts and Communication Building, room 250, at the University of Memphis at 7 p.m. Lee is this year’s juror for the 30th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, opening February 1st, 5-7:30 p.m. at the Art Museum of the University of Memphis at 142 Communication and Fine Arts Building. (Do not confuse the Arts and Communication Building, where the lecture is tonight, with the Communication and Fine Arts Building, where the opening is next week, which are next door to each other.) Lee received her MFA from Louisiana State University in ceramics. Originally from Korea, she integrates traditions of her Korean culture with aspects of Western culture, which she considers her second home.
As always, there is more than plenty to do in Memphis when it comes to visual arts. You just have to take the initiative to actually go and participate. Speaking of the visual arts in Memphis, here is a link to a great new blog Commercially Unappealing. I do not know who is responsible for this genius of a thing. But be sure to check it out and submit your own!