On Friday, June 1st, it's the unveiling of Unveil Downtown, a project that places the work of 20 artists in 20 nontraditional spaces in the downtown core for a 20-day exhibit.

Unveil Downtown, inspired by an art walk in Thomasville, Georgia, is a fund-raiser for the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA). Proceeds from an online auction of 20 works from participating artists go to the organization. "We rely on the Downtown Neighborhood Association quite a lot for advocacy, so we wanted to support them," says Leslie Gower of the Downtown Memphis Commission, host of the event.

Artists selected for Unveil Downtown were culled from 150 entries and chosen by a jury consisting of faculty from the Memphis College of Art and the University of Memphis as well as residents of downtown. Among the artists selected are Elisha Gold, Carl Moore, Jimpsie Ayres, David Lynch, and Findencio Martinez. Venues include Kooky Canuck, eighty3, Life Is Good, APG Office Furnishings, and City Market.

Friday's launch party will be at Felicia Suzanne's, from 5 to 7 p.m. Guests can meet the artists and view the auction items. Immediately following the launch are the opening receptions for all 20 artists at all 20 venues. There will be another round of receptions on Saturday, June 2nd, from 4 to 6 p.m.

Unveil Downtown, Gower says, is another way to add artistic vibrancy to downtown. She notes that artists get to showcase their work (and they get 100 percent of the proceeds from the exhibit sales); that the DNA gets funds and exposure; and the businesses showing the exhibits get the food traffic.

"It's a triple win," she says.

Unveil Downtown. Launch Party at Felicia Suzanne's Friday, June 1st, 5-7 p.m. Opening receptions Friday, June 1st, 7-9 p.m. and Saturday, June 2nd, 4-6 p.m. For a map of participating businesses and more info on artists, go to unveildowntown.com. an Online auction, also on unveildowntown.com, is being held through June 20th. Winners announced June 21st.


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