Off the Wall 

Germantown Community Theatre names a new executive producer, Artists' Link plans a portfolio show, and other news.

Germantown taps U of M grad

In last month's column, Steve McManus, the new president of Germantown Community Theatre's board of directors, announced that there would be a number of changes at GCT. The first major change went into effect last week when Texas native Cori Stevenson replaced Leigh Walden as GCT's executive producer. Stevenson received her MFA in directing with a secondary emphasis in arts management from the U of M in May. She has previously worked with the Greater Memphis Arts Council's Center for Arts Education and recently worked as assistant director for Theatre Memphis' production of Hello, Dolly!.

Artists' Link plans portfolio show

"We like to think of ourselves as a support group for artists," says Fred Asbury of Artists' Link, a 14-year-old, loosely organized union of artists from various disciplines who meet for breakfast at Dino's every Thursday morning to share ideas and discuss the state of the arts in Memphis. "The Memphis art scene is fractured," Asbury says. "Shows are scattered all over town." According to Asbury, Artists' Link wants to do something to galvanize the community. They are currently working to get their status as a not-for-profit organization.

In the meantime Artists' Link, which has held group shows at Arts in the Park, various Memphis libraries, and Playhouse on the Square, is planning a portfolio show to be held on Friday, October 24th, at Hollis Arts on Huling.

One hundred hand-made portfolios, each containing 17 prints, will be available for $65 each. The artwork ranges from photography to painting and collage by such artists as Sue Miller, John Billis, Annabelle Meacham, Saj Crone, and Everett Charles Yates.

The Artists' Link Portfolio Show is dedicated to the memory of painter and card-maker Everett Charles Yates, who passed away in August.

For more information about Artists' Link or the portfolio show, contact Nancy Reppond at 458-6845.

Building the wall

"Walls are something artists need," says local artist and curator Danita Beck, "and there just aren't as many walls as there used to be." According to Beck, Memphis has far too many artists competing for a limited amount of exhibition space, and, as a result, artists who do not have gallery representation may encounter difficulty showing their work to the public.

"There have always been places for artists to show, but so many of those spaces are either booked solid or they just aren't available anymore," says Beck. In response, she is planning the Walls Project Phase I. On Friday, October 31st, Beck and others will create a human wall along Butler Street between South Main and Tennessee Street. Artists are required to bring not only their work but two friends to flank them, creating separation between the works.

"We've been spreading the word casually," says Beck, "but the project is really picking up steam." Interested artists may contact Beck at 274-9376.

Quick Hits

"This show isn't just about the war in Iraq," says curator Denise Parkinson (copy editor for The Memphis Flyer), who is currently accepting submissions for an exhibition allowing artists to respond to the horrors of war. "Some see this war as a continuation of Roman imperialism and the Crusades." The show, which will feature painting, sculpture, and fiber arts by Memphis artists including Mark Nowell, Sue Miller, and Stephen Caddell, is slated for mid-November at Studio 1688 Lamar. For more information, call 726-1688 or 276-0346.

The public artworks for the Cannon Center will be dedicated with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sunday, September 28th, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the center. To honor the artists involved in this UrbanArt Commission project, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art will exhibit models, drawings, and photographs of the Cannon Center's various public artworks. All of the artists who created pieces for the center -- Vito Acconci, James Carpenter, Terri Jones, the team of Kay Lindsay and Dolph Smith, and John Salvest -- will be represented in the Brooks exhibition.

The Powerhouse, currently showing "American Night," the photography of Paul Graham, has extended its viewing hours to include Sundays.

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