"Illustrating the Surreal," the Brooks Museum's ongoing Salvador Dali exhibit, provides visitors with a special opportunity to observe the artist's transformative visual style in action. Although the multimedia work collected for the exhibit is characteristically strange and consistent with Dali's major works, it has all been inspired by familiar things like ordinary cookbooks and scenes from well-known works of literature like Don Quixote, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and the stories of Hans Christian Andersen. The accessibility of the source material gives viewers a unique chance to compare their own expectations to Dali's whimsical and sometimes spooky compositions.
"I know what the end result of illustration looks like, but I don't really know how an artist gets there," says Brooks' associate director of education Elesha Newberry, who has planned a Community Day event full of activities inspired not only by Dali and surrealism, but also by the concept of illustration. "I'm hoping our Community Day activities will give people a better sense of how that works," she says.
In addition to activities developed by students at the University of Memphis, 22 students from the illustration club at the Memphis College of Art will be on hand to demonstrate a variety of styles. "We'll have some artists working in oils or sketching, but we'll also have people working digitally and in 3D," Newberry says.
Community Day will also showcase a series of short, child-friendly surrealist films played continuously throughout the event.
Macy's Community Day: Salvador Dali at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Saturday, April 26th, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Free.