Boxing Day 

Flyer Box Art contest: from newsstand to public art.

For our first Flyer Box Art contest, we chose 13 artists to take some beat-up newsstands and create their own individual statement. What we got back were incredible pieces of public art that will soon be on display all over town.

Wednesday, March 28th, marks the official unveiling at Material Art Space (2553 Broad), so stop by from 5 to 7 p.m. and see for yourself the amazing things our artistic community can produce.

Be sure to vote in our "Reader's Choice" through April 4th. To vote, scroll to the bottom of this page, select your favorite box, and click VOTE to submit. The winning artist will receive $500.

Check out this map to see where the boxes are located around the city.

Thank you to the Art Center Supply Store for providing the artists with a materials stipend.

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Daniel Tacker grew up reading comic books and began drawing his own illustrations at a young age. A Memphis native, Tacker left to attend the University of Tennessee at Knoxville where he studied photography, film, and video for his degree in media arts.

He returned home to work in graphic design and continued to develop his artistic abilities, moving beyond the realm of photography into the wide world of painting. There Tacker found his true calling, looking to street art and graffiti as the form in which he could combine all of his interests into the highly polished and decidedly urban works he currently creates. This box can be found on Main St. outside the Green Beetle and Frank's Deli.

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Andrea Manard honed her creative skills as a stay-at-home mom, dabbling in paint and collage until people began to suggest she try to sell her work. After a successful run at the Cooper-Young Art Festival, Manard opened several internet shops for her creations, one of which is tailored to customers with an eye for Memphis history.

Her box portrays a Memphis from the turn-of-the-century with photographs of the downtown skyline, the Cossitt Library and Post Office, and the Memphis Zoo, courtesy of the Library of Congress digital archives. The letters used to make up Memphis Flyer were even cut out of a map from the 1870s.

"It's a bird's-eye view of the city," Manard says. This box can be found at the intersection of Main St. and Butler Ave.

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Tony Max decided to go with spray paint for his space-themed newsstand, starting with shapes that would be easy to stencil: a city, a moon, paper planes. But from a look at his finished product it seems that Max, a self-employed artist and tattooist for Midtown's No Regrets, had no trouble with the box at all, aside from the fact that a bout of rainy spring weather forced him to do most of his spray-painting indoors, making his apartment a little fumey.

Among the native Memphian's other projects are commissioned comic books and album covers and a custom tarot deck that's just sold out in his online shop. Max says the tarot deck will appear in a sci-fi movie in the future — a fitting destination for work by the man who turned the Pyramid into a spaceship. This box can be found outside Lenny's and YoLo on Cooper.

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Meredith Wilson's box is adorned with a signature of sorts, the latest phase in a succession of pairings of animals with pastries — in this case, owls with donuts for eyes. A graduate of both the University of Memphis and the Memphis College of Art, Wilson has been teaching art in the Arlington school system for the last eight years, and her work with middle and high school students informs her lighthearted approach to painting.

Wilson says this project may be the last sign of the owls for a while. A recent trip to Paris left her brimming with ideas for a new direction, moving from gouache to acrylics (and paint pens for her box). We can bet that wherever her inspiration takes her next, there will be a healthy dose of Memphis grounding her work. This box can be found outside Kriby Wines

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A self-taught artist from Portsmith, Arkansas, Shawn Matthews says he has a fascination with the city's Egyptian ties. His box depicts the ancient capital's triad of gods: Ptah was the major deity of Memphis, a high priest described as the creator of other gods and declared the master of destiny. His wife, Sekhmet, is shown with a blazing sundial overhead to portray her fiery position as the goddess of destruction and war. Their son, Nefertum, was created as the patron of healing arts and beautification, to bring the trio full circle.This box can be found outside Starbucks on Union Ave.

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Greg Cravens has been drawing for the Flyer almost since the paper's inception, beginning with the illustrations that appeared alongside Lydel Sims' popular column. Indeed, his 21-year career as a professional artist has been built, in part, on creating silly cartoon characters that are filled with imagination.

Cravens took a signature approach with curious characters on each side of his box. The most peculiar has to be the small purple alien adorning the backside of this one-of-a-kind artwork. It's sure to send our readers on their way not only with the latest issue but something to talk about. This box can be found outside Cafe Ole in Cooper-Young.

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If you've been to an open-mic poetry night in the last month, chances are you saw Jamond Bullock working on his newsstand. The Whitney Elementary School art teacher has been doing live-painting for several years now. Bullock paints at festivals, open-mic nights, and even weddings.

Once you've taken a look at Bullock's box, you'll start noticing his distinctive style of work around town — in galleries, on a store counter, in an upcoming mural he's working on with the UrbanArt Commission. And look closely: Bullock has hidden tiny newsstands and characters around his box for observant viewers to find. This box can be found at the BP Station on Riverside Drive.

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When Bob X first entered then-Memphis State University to pursue an art degree, his adviser told him that he didn't have any talent. He eventually left school and entered a technical college to take courses in drafting, a more practical field in which he excelled. But that didn't stop him from doing what he loved, and over the years Bob X has produced work for advertising, for local bands and organizations, and for merchandise like T-shirts and helmets in a style of underground art closely related to that of Robert Crumb. Yet, his box can be described as an homage to both Jackson Pollock and psychedelic art, with his current style evolving toward the abstract.

"It's always an ongoing process. I don't look too far down the road. You have to adjust to situations as they come along," he says. "There's no great wealth in art, at least in my world, but there's a great deal of satisfaction in it." This box can be found outside American Apparel at Main St. and G.E. Patterson.

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Darlene Newman has recently gotten back into illustration after delving into custom portrait work and mural painting, and her stylized but realistic representation of the Flyer's content is true to the kind of work she's done for some of her clients — among the big projects she's worked on in the past was an illustration gig for The Wall Street Journal fresh out of school.

Newman was born in Memphis but has degrees from New Orleans' Dillard University and Savannah College of Art and Design. She has a background in business as well as art, which helps ground her work as a self-employed artist. Newman has recently finished illustrating a few children's books by local authors and hinted at some exciting projects coming up. She said she wasn't yet able to share details, but we think we'll know it when we see it. This box can be found near the University of Memphis at Patterson St. and Norriswood Ave.

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The one artist to take on the depths of the inside of the box, Daniel Counce takes his art pretty seriously. A Memphis native, Counce briefly attended the Memphis College of Art, where he took a painting class for one week before dropping it. He now divides his time between working at a frame shop in Germantown and making pieces of fine art to sell at Cooper-Young's Painted Planet.

The artist has a talent for surreal imagery, blending obscure references like the manatee that made local headlines with tiger stripes and transforming the all-seeing eye of Egyptian mythology into the all-seeing fly. Get it? This box can be found at Archer Records on Nelson Ave.

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Matt Owens says he likes to work spontaneously, using materials as his guide with a wide variety of media. The longtime cooking enthusiast and daytime chef at McEwen's on Monroe says that he thinks of cooking as an extension of his work as an artist, which encompasses commissions for paintings and sculptures ranging from the miniscule to the larger-than-life.

As a young Memphian, Owens found his way into the art world through experimenting with the loose, dynamic nature of street art, visible in his work even now. Whether it's customizing a display for a local restaurant, hand-painting a pair of shoes for a client, or crafting a small wooden toy for his kids, Owens marries that spontaneity to a dedication that shows. This box can be found at Whole Foods on Poplar.

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A recent graduate of the Memphis College of Art, Lauren Rae Holtermann dreams of publishing her own graphic novels, but for now she'll settle for taking on creative projects around town and running the Rozelle Artists Guild.

Holtermann picked her three favorite things about Memphis — music, food, and basketball — as a concept for this project, while the skeleton figures draw upon an inspirational trip to Mexico City. She even used the Flyer as a play on words, with all three characters in states of flight. This box can be found at Fino's from the Hill at Madison and McLean.

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Neither of the Jenkins family duo is a full-time artist. By day, Scott works for BNSF Railway and hosts WEVL's Modern World on Friday mornings; Remi spends her days at Dogwood Elementary as a fourth-grader.

But the two have a history of working together, from taking a pottery class for Remi's birthday to creating a cardboard mock-up of their proposed Flyer box. Scott says he's dabbled in the arts on his own time and that working on this project was a great way to encourage his daughter's creative side. They came up with the concept of painting iconic Memphis imagery together — the idea to include flying pigs came from Remi.

If you see Remi in the next couple of days, wish her a happy birthday! The budding artist celebrated her 10th birthday the day before this issue came out. This box can be found inside the Forest Hill Cinema.

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