"Haters Gonna Hate" at Marshall Arts is a one-night-only show with two components: film shorts by Memphis College of Art and University of Memphis students and artworks by students of MCA's Professional Practices course, which is taught by Dwayne Butcher.
According to Butcher, students taking the course heard the phrase "Haters gonna hate" during class and latched onto it, hence the exhibit title. And while there's something boastful in that declaration, the class — a seminar open to all majors — is about keeping the students grounded in reality. The class is designed to prepare students for what happens after they leave the academic environment. They write artist's statements and CVs and put together projects. "I tell them 12 people out of 11 will never make it as an artist," Butcher says.
The digital films include regular narrative works as well as those with a more experimental tone. Among the pieces from Professional Practices students is a bronze Air Force-ish mask by Amanda Nalley, a "sculptor/scavenger." ("Pretty funky," declares Butcher.) Kyle Holland has created large hyper-realistic deer antlers that address gender issues. Trey Abraham is doing a performance piece during which he'll walk around with a picture frame and create pictures with attendees.
"Haters Gonna Hate" is the first in a series of shows that Butcher is doing for Marshall Arts. Butcher is a notoriously active presence on the Memphis arts scene. He has a show with William Eggleston coming up at David Lusk Gallery in February. He writes for Number:. He teaches at both MCA and U of M. He curates U of M's Caseworks and the art wall at the P&H (though he's thinking about giving the latter up).
"I try to look busy," he says.