Thursday, September 27, 2012

"Art of Science" Opening Friday

Posted By on Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 2:07 PM


I broke my left foot last weekend after crashing my bike whilst attempting to traverse the trolley tracks. After I posted the before and after images of my foot on Twitter and Facebook, in a blatant attempt to garner sympathy and gifts from my friends and followers, it seems many many bicycle enthusiasts have also taken a tumble on those trolley tracks. I think I am going to make a video art piece about my tragic accident to better understand why those tracks are so dangerous. Until my unscientific work is complete and as long as you do not ride your bike down South Main, be sure to check out the "Art of Science" exhibition that opens Friday night at the Memphis College of Art’s Nesin Graduate School.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Constanza's "Light I" and the Art of the Press Release

Posted By on Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 1:22 PM


“Light I,” by Constanza, will run for one night only, with an opening reception Friday, September 14th, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Material Art Space.

Constanza is Guillaume and Judith, husband and wife, who began an art club in Paris, France. This is their statement from the press release regarding the exhibition:

“We have traveled to New York, and lived in Florida, and now Arkansas. Our art is a personal digestion of objects and ideas found in our different surroundings. The imagination is the real value. We are selling a piece of our imagination, our story, shaman studies, pie voleuse, art pauvre, art random, metapsy, metaxy, love and freedom.”

They go on to say: “To us this show is modesty. The candle holder is a place you can go to pray.  It is like an altar.  The altar is the visual link of somebody praying.  We accept the found objects and put them in the light with a lot of simplicity.  Our way of living with the light inside us.”

This is one of the most interesting statements and press releases I have ever read and I have no idea what it means.

Continue reading »

Thursday, September 6, 2012

At Clough-Hanson, "In Search of ...": Art for the Sci-fi Nerd

Posted By on Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 10:21 AM

Leah Beefermans 1201.2280v1 (Detail)
  • Leah Beeferman's 1201.2280v1 (Detail)

When Hamlett Dobbins, director of the Clough-Hanson Gallery, sent me information for their upcoming exhibition season, I was pleasantly surprised to see what was to be the first exhibition, "In Search of..." Dustin Dennis, Amanda Lechner and Christopher Ulivo, organizers of the exhibition, released this statement.

In Search Of... was a 1970s speculative documentary TV series narrated by Leonard Nimoy famous for its expansive subject matter, semi-psychedelic visuals, and creepy lo-fi synth score. Yes, the style of the show is very appealing but there is a layer of appeal beyond its dated charm. One week’s programming may cover the lost city of Atlantis, the next show Bigfoot, followed by an alien pyramid architect debate. The possibility of super-natural or extra-terrestrial explanations to a theory was approached with excitement and imagination instead of skepticism and doubt. It was the ‘search’ that was important not the proof!  This methodology resonates with visual artists for whom the truth lies not necessarily in the depiction of life as it appears but instead as it might or could be.”

I am sci-fi nerd, and this exhibition appeals to me in several ways. I have tried on many occasions to be like Leonard Nimoy, narrator of the television show. Yet, this is a very different exhibition for the Clough-Hanson Gallery. Their programming mostly consists of traditional media with a focus painting. It will be interesting to see how this type of exhibition will work at the Rhodes College gallery.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Elvis Sightings at the Brooks, Pink Palace

Posted By on Fri, Jul 20, 2012 at 8:32 AM

Elvis Week is fast approaching, and serving as as an appetizer of sorts are two exhibits opening this weekend at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Pink Palace Museum.

At the Brooks, it's "If I Can Dream," featuring the winning entries of a contest put on by the museum and Graceland.

Sandra Elkind We Watched From the Field 1st place winner in Professional category
  • Sandra Elkind's We Watched From the Field, 1st place winner in Professional category

Artists were asked to create a work inspired by the phrase "If I Can Dream," with judges selecting winners in three divisions: professional, non-professional, and youth.

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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Trolley Night: Leadership Memphis Art Gallery

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 3:40 PM

A solo exhibition of art by Alexander Paulus will open tomorrow during the S. Main Art District's monthly Trolley Night from 6-9 p.m. at the Leadership Memphis Art Gallery on 363 S. Main. The show will be on display through the month of June. Michel Allen of Leadership Memphis approached Paulus to display his work in the new space beside the organization's offices.


"I'm going to have a wide range of things. They will all be minimal in imagery and color, but conceptually heavy," says Paulus.

Paulus put together an incredible show earlier this year for the Broad Avenue Spring Art Walk in April titled “Sorry,” featuring his own work along with art by Adam Farmer, Leanna Hicks, Johnathan Robert Payne, Joseph Kendrick, St. Francis Elevator Ride, and the collaboration of Hamlett Dobbins and Tad Wright. The successful one-night exhibition began with the loose idea to create pieces that dealt with space, open to interpretation by each individual artist.

“My past work was all about gods, religion, and science. From there I started thinking about outer space, and how older civilizations believed their gods came from the heavens and stars. I'm really interested in creation and evolution and the intertwining of the two in the formation of myth and religion. I also like sci-fi stuff too, so robots and laser guns made their way into the work as well,” says Paulus.

"Most of the pieces for tomorrow night's show still address the concept of "space" but some are just weird things that happen to pop up in my brain."


Friday, March 9, 2012

Cosmic Trunk Show at the Metal Museum

Posted By on Fri, Mar 9, 2012 at 2:20 PM

The Cosmic Trunk Show will take place at the National Ornamental Metal Museum tomorrow from 2-5 p.m., coinciding with the opening reception for Alchemy: The Enamelist Society's Juried Exhibition.

  • Tim Pace
  • Owl

Local artists, including Tim Pace, Kingfisher Design, Suzy Hendrix, and Caldwell Forge, will have work on sale in the museum's stately library building while you enjoy complimentary cosmos and light hors d'oevres.

  • Kingfisher Designs
  • Cabernet

Continue reading »

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Politics of Inclusion

Posted By on Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 1:51 PM

The illustrious Dwayne Butcher has a new show opening at the David Lusk Gallery tomorrow night from 6-8 p.m. Titled The Politics of Inclusion, the exhibition is a rather intimate exploration into Butcher's own perception, of himself and of the world, but particularly in how the world views the grand stereotype of the Southern, white male, struggling with his own inevitable shortcomings.

"I have always been aware of my weight and accent and the negative connotations that come with each," Butcher says.

Id Rather Be Painting Landscapes
  • Dwayne Butcher
  • I'd Rather Be Painting Landscapes

The work is the result of honest expression in which Butcher frankly relates his beliefs on art and life by embracing personal insecurities and generalizations. Through private understanding and doubt he displays a sort of living poetry with a variety of media; sculpture, text based installation, digital painting and video.

"I actually am a hillbilly from Arkansas with aspirations of integrating into the highbrow art world. Now, I capitalize on contradictions in pieces that counter my southern masculine roots. I use pastel pinks and baby blues, and feature gay men dressing in suits. I juxtapose classical music against a make shift pool in the bed of a truck and images of me consuming beer and wings. I'm attempting to construct a personality that lives between both worlds," he says.

The exhibition runs through March 31, but in the meantime, check out the latest installation of Caseworks at the Univeristy of Memphis before it closes on Saturday!

  • Johan Gustavsson

Butcher curates the space, and chose the work of Johan Gustavsson to showcase just outside of AMUM's main gallery. Gustavsson is a visual artist from Sweden, currently based in the Netherlands, who sees drawing as the central medium of his practice for its singularly intuitive nature. With a fascination in the notion of ugliness, he evokes the innocent honesty of childlike sketches, producing intriguingly simple works reminiscent of the human memory - loose situations that aren't entirely formed but still have visible boundaries and specific characters.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Openings Abound!

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 3:16 PM

Check out some great new art shows if the spring weather has you in the mood for fine art, or if you just happen to be out East tonight.

L Ross Gallery is opening a two-person show for Memphis oil painter Pamela Hassler with Light in the Wetlands and Nashville watercolorist Butler Steltemeier with Spring and Sheep, through March 31st. Hassler’s beautiful oils portray spiritual landscapes, while Steltemeier's animal portraits combine dreamy settings with dead-on realism.

Hummingbird Playground
  • Butler Steltemeier
  • Hummingbird Playground

Harrington Brown launches another appropriately springtime exhibition with New Beginnings: The Vernal Season, featuring the work of contemporary artists Lia Gordon, Tony Saladino, and Sara Good until April 10th.

Untitled Abstract
  • Lia Gordon
  • Untitled Abstract

Artreach will host the work of Dawn Whitelaw, a Franklin-based oil painter who specializes in landscape and portraiture. All openings run from 6 to 8 p.m., so start early! Free wine!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Taking Care of Business

Posted By on Thu, Mar 10, 2011 at 2:14 PM

poster by VINI
  • poster by VINI

Don't forget that tonight is the One-Hour Business School for Artists with special guest Amy Whitaker. The event is sponsored by Crosstown Arts and will take place at their offices at 427 N. Watkins from 6 to 8 p.m. (Drinks and food will be served at 6 and the lecture will follow at 7 p.m.)

Check out Chris Davis' in-depth coverage here.

From the Facebook page:

Money can be a sensitive subject for anyone, but especially for artists who commit a significant amount of their time and energy to work that doesn’t always have a foreseeable financial return. And that’s putting it lightly - many artists devote a lifetime and put much of their own money into art projects with little hope of ever breaking even!

“One-Hour Business School for Artists” is a free, public lecture by Amy Whitaker, writer of “Museum Legs: Fatigue and Hope in the Face of Art”, who will talk about economics from an understandable perspective relevant to art-makers.

Whitaker will cover big-picture economic and finance theory, and some practical applications for use by artists of the supply & demand and time value of money. Whether it’s earning a living with your non-art day job, living off your work full-time, renting studio space, finding fame and fortune, or starting a design firm from the ground up, the economic life of an artist is complex, but not impossible to manage.

Uniquely qualified on the subject with an MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art in London and an MBA from Yale University, Whitaker currently teaches at RISD and California College of the Arts. She has worked in art museums including the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Tate, and for various artists and hedge funds.

Crosstown Arts, 427 N. Watkins,

Friday, February 25, 2011

Climbing Everest

Posted By on Fri, Feb 25, 2011 at 11:24 AM


When you head out to Main Street for tonight's Trolley Night, be sure to stop by the Memphis College of Art Graduate School to witness the first woman to climb Mount Everest without ever leaving Memphis. Julie Smetana, an MFA student at MCA, will climb the 6 flights of stairs at the front of the building 498 times for 25 hours until she reaches the height of the summit of Everest.

"I calculated out the elevation of Everest and how many laps it would take for me to get to that elevation," she says. "People climb stairs every day but not for 25 straight hours. All of the work that I do I try to make a little ridiculous and absurd and seemingly pointless, but it's really about the conscious decision I make to do that work and spend the time doing it."

Smetana began her work at MCA as a student of painting and sculpture, but has become increasingly involved in performance and video art, which will make up the bulk of her thesis. As for the endurance-based performance, the 25 year-old artist says she was happy to combine her art with her passion for endurance sports. "I've run triathlons and last year I did an Iron Man," says Smetana. "I was going to make it kind of a private event and use the back stairwell in our new building, but when you run an Iron Man or a marathon, people can watch you and people can see you. So, that's why I decided to use the front stairwell in our building which has giant windows."

She's filming the ascent, which she calls "a mundane, repetitive, sometimes horrific act."

"I'm going to try to go straight through without stopping," says Smetana. (She will eat and drink while climbing, but plans on taking the occasional bathroom break.)

I ask if anyone will join her. "I've been thinking about that. I hope so," she says. "It would be kind of funny and cool. It would probably distract me a little bit."

The performance begins tonight at 6 p.m. and will continue until tomorrow evening.

MCA Nesin Graduate School, 477 South Main

Monday, January 31, 2011

FYI: Art in Response

Posted By on Mon, Jan 31, 2011 at 1:58 PM


On February 4th, Radical Arts Memphis will host an exhibition at Caritas Village. From the hosts:

“Art in Response” is an exhibition at Caritas Village organized by an
alliance of artists dedicated to achieving a communal voice through art. We
seek solidarity between the artistic and political communities of Memphis in
an effort to combat inequality and exploitation in our city. We wish to
create a forum which questions the prevailing structures of power and
pursues... a radical re-imagination of our society.

“Art in Response” will feature works from the Memphis community. The works
should critically question the systemic divisions (race, gender, class, etc)
within our city. Works should explore the ways in which these forms of
separation affect us as both individuals and as a community.

The show starts at 6 p.m.

Caritas Village, 2509 Harvard Avenue, 327-5246

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Recommended by a Friend

Posted By on Thu, Jan 20, 2011 at 2:49 PM

Psst... Check out the Save Memphis blog to learn more about Ben Butler's exhibit "Ben Butler: On Growth" on display at Rhodes' Clough-Hanson Gallery.

Image courtesy John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York and Zg Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Chip Pankey.
  • Image courtesy John Davis Gallery in Hudson, New York and Zg Gallery in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Chip Pankey.

Clough-Hanson Gallery, Rhodes College, 2000 North Parkway, 843-3442

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

10 Under 30

Posted By on Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 10:56 AM

Dixon Gallery and Gardens is soon to open its newest exhibition, celebrating the "ingenuity and dedication of emerging Memphis artists" as part of its larger campaign to feature more work by local contemporary artists. From January 16 to March 6, museum-goers will have the opportunity to view works by 10 local artists under the age of 30.

Kate Bradley, The British are Coming, 2010, Oil on linen 30 x 30
  • Kate Bradley, The British are Coming, 2010, Oil on linen 30" x 30"

Organizer Julie Pierotti, under the age of 30 herself, has put together a collection of some of the top emerging artists in Memphis— the first show of its kind at the Dixon. "For a while I've been in charge of these shows and most of the artists we've done have been older, more established artists," says Pierotti. "Some of the younger artists I would meet at these shows and then get around to seeing their work and they're really talented. I wish I could give an individual show to all of them, but I felt like a group show would be a great way to expose a good number of artists."
Kyle Holland, Pathogenic Link, 2010, Linocut and giclee print on handmade paper, 2 panels, 10 ¾ x 10 ¾ each
  • Kyle Holland, Pathogenic Link, 2010, Linocut and giclee print on handmade paper, 2 panels, 10 ¾" x 10 ¾" each

Featured artists include Kate Bradley, Eric Bork, Lauren Coulson, Eli Gold, Joel Halpern, Kyle Holland, Jesse Nabers, Emma Self, Rhonda Spight and Alex Warble. Limiting the number of artists to ten was not easy for Pierotti. She began with a few in mind, but was quickly introduced to more and more young artists as word of her project got around. "Some of these artists I have known or have met through the Dixon. A few of them came recommended to me from professors and universities, either Memphis College of Art or University of Memphis. And some of them I've met through just kind of meeting people and I've really been taken by their art," says Pierotti, adding, "It's kind of overwhelming how much talent is here. Especially when you take into consideration who's working in the schools and in the art programs."
Eric Bork, Untitled, 2010, Oil on canvas 48
  • Eric Bork, Untitled, 2010, Oil on canvas 48" x 74"

The show will highlight the diverse talents of young artists in Memphis. "We have a range of ages, from a 21 year old to someone who's almost 30, a range of styles from craft art to photography to more traditional oil painting," says Pierotti. "I wanted to show that range that young artists are experimenting with. I think things are going more out of the box."
Jesse Nabors, Bay Area, 2010, Fabric dyes on raw canvas 37 x 24 ¾
  • Jesse Nabors, Bay Area, 2010, Fabric dyes on raw canvas 37" x 24 ¾"

Working with young artists has been eye-opening for Pierotti. "One thing I've really learned is there is a whole generation of artists, people my age, who are really committed to staying in Memphis. They aren't looking to leave the city and establish themselves somewhere else, but feel like Memphis is a place where they can establish themselves. Memphis is such an art city, arts in general. There's this crop of artists who see Memphis as a visual arts city, and they're dedicated to staying here, using Memphis, working here, and making names for themselves here."
Alex Warble, 100 Pimps, 2010, Mixed media on cardboard 24 x 36
  • Alex Warble, 100 Pimps, 2010, Mixed media on cardboard 24" x 36"

The exhibition will be on display in the Mallory and Wurtzburger Galleries. An opening reception will take place at Art After Dark on January 20 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park Avenue, 761-5250,

Friday, December 3, 2010

MFA and BFA at MCA, OK!

Posted By on Fri, Dec 3, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Jay Crum (MFA 2012, BFA Printmaking, 2005)
  • Jay Crum (MFA 2012, BFA Printmaking, 2005)

Tonight, doors are open at the Memphis College of Art's Undergraduate and Graduate schools. From 5 to 7 p.m., visit the Main Gallery of Rust Hall for an opening reception honoring the work of graduating BFA students. From 6 to 9 p.m. stop by the Open House at the Nesin Graduate School to learn more about graduate programs and check out the MFA Thesis Exhibition, on display now through December 19.

Memphis College of Art, Overton Park, 1930 Poplar Avenue, 272-5100
Memphis College of Art Nesin Graduate School, 477 South Main, 272-6851

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Gentle Reminder, Gentle Readers

Posted By on Thu, Dec 2, 2010 at 2:31 PM


Tonight Crosstown Arts is sponsoring a lecture called “Leading a Cultural Renaissance in Providence, R.I., and What Memphis Can Learn From the Experience,” by Umberto Crenca. Crenca will speak about his experience with the AS220 project, a non-profit community arts organization in Providence, Rhode Island. Come to the Crosstown Arts office for an opening reception at 6 p.m. followed by the lecture at 7 p.m.

Crosstown Arts, 427 N. Watkins St.,

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