Marisol and Exploring Identity with Latino Memphis

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Alien: Exploring identity, is on view in the Brooks’ Education Gallery through September 21

With the help of local painter Yancy Villa Calvo and her husband Mauricio Calvo, the Brooks presents an exhibition of Latino student artwork, and Spanish versions of the Marisol audio guide and exhibition text.

In conjunction with the exhibition Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper, the Education Department of the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art partnered with Latino Memphis to host a six-week workshop for students enrolled in their College Access program. The resulting exhibition, Alien: Exploring Identity will be on view in the Education Gallery through September 21. Yancy Villa Calvo volunteered her time to work with this group to explore Marisol and create their own works of art in response to our exhibition. Pictured above, is the group’s key piece: a collaboration based on Marisol’s Family Portrait. Borrowing Marisol’s style and exploring her themes of identity provided the students with an opportunity to meditate on their own.

The Spanish audio tour and Spanish translation of the exhibition text also would not have been possible without the help of Villa Calvo. From the Chief Curator Marina Pacini,

“Yancy Villa Calvo did an amazing job translating for Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper. Yancy translated the introductory wall text and all the objects labels into Spanish so visitors can read about the exhibition in English and Spanish. She then translated the audio tour into written Spanish so that she, her husband Mauricio Calvo, and I could produce a Spanish audio tour. I don’t think Yancy had any idea how much time the project would take when she agreed to do it. With good grace, humor, and hard work she got the huge project done in record time. I know our visitors will appreciate the opportunity to experience the exhibition in Spanish and they can all thank Yancy.”

The Spanish audio guide is available at the Visitor Services desk, or you can download the Brooks Museum app and select the Spanish version upon opening the application.  Our permanent collection tour is also available in Spanish.  

Yancy knocks out the details with students from Latino Memphis

Yancy knocks out the details with students from Latino Memphis

Visitors can make a record of their own identity in the Education Gallery as well. An interactive panel is installed across from the Latino Memphis piece for all to add hand outlines and markings in the style of Marisol.

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Interactive panel in Alien: Exploring Identity

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detail, Marisol, Lick the Tire of My Bicycle, 1974

Please join us in congratulating Yancy Villa Calvo, nominated Volunteer of the Quarter for all her hard work. Villa Calvo is a painter whose artwork can be found at yancyart.com.

Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper is on view through September 7. More information at brooksmuseum.org/marisol
Alien: Exploring Identity is on view in the Brooks’ Education Gallery through September 21.

#meetMarisol

Hank and Asha Filmmakers Share Their Top Travel Movies

Filmmakers Julia Morrison and James E. Duff call New York City home, but were living in Prague when they made their film Hank and Asha. In it, a girl named Asha, who is studying abroad in Prague for a year, and a boy named Hank, a filmmaker and lonely new transplant to New York City, develop a video correspondence-based friendship. They hope the film inspires audiences to travel to both locales, but in the meantime, in the spirit of cinematic armchair travel, here are five of their favorite travel films:

A Room With A View (England and Florence) – Based on the E. M. Forster novel, this favorite Merchant Ivory movie follows a group of Brits on holiday in Italy, turn of the century style.  Scenes of Florence (Santa Croce, Piazza della Signoria), the Florentine countryside, and a romantic travel encounter with a handsome stranger add to the appeal.  Apparently people were already complaining about tourist throngs in Florence in 1908, but that’s not stopping us. 1985, Directed by James Ivory

Baraka (Worldwide) – A non-narrative documentary shot in 24 countries, the film is a spectacularly cinematic world tour.  It engages all the senses – it places you in the center of each country, and each shot tells a story.  1992, Directed by Ron Fricke

Buena Vista Social Club (Cuba) – In this inspiring documentary with an irresistible sound track, record producer Ry Cooder travels to Cuba to record an album with legendary (and forgotten) Cuban musicians.  As a backdrop to the music, the crumbling architecture of Havana creates a dreamy, impressionistic, pastel time capsule. 1999, Directed by Wim Wenders

The Loneliest Planet (Georgia) – An adventuresome and appealing young couple (Gael Garcia Bernal and Hani Furstenburg) hire a guide to take them trekking in the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia – a landscape that is as breathtaking as it is forbidding. After hours (and many minutes of screen time) of hiking, one small incident sets the characters on a different emotional course. Try seeing this film and not adding Georgia to your bucket list. 2011, Directed by Julia Loktev

Lost In Translation (Tokyo) – Sleep deprived and disoriented, brooding Charlotte (Scarlett Johannson) and washed up movie star Bob (Bill Murray) meet in a bar in a towering Tokyo hotel.  As they tentatively explore friendship, they experience Tokyo in all it’s neon, pachinko parlor, shabu shabu splendor. Karaoke, anyone? 2003, Directed by Sofia Coppola

Other travel inspiring films we also love: Funny Face (Paris), In the Mood For Love (Hong Kong), Before Sunrise (Vienna), L’Auberge Espagnole (Barcelona), The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Australia)

Hank and Asha was an Official Selection of the IndieMemphis Film Festival, and the Audience Award Winner for Best Narrative Feature at the Slamdance, Berkshire, Bend, and RiverRun Film Festivals, among many other awards and it’s screening at the Brooks Sunday, June 22 at 2 pm. For tickets visit brooksmuseum.org/buytickets

For more information: http://www.hankandasha.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/hankandasha

Twitter: @HankandAsha

 

From Cave Art to Post Modernism: Thinking in Curlicues

“Most of my life I’ve thought in straight lines. It seems to me that artists think outside the box and in curlicues,” Rebecca Barton, DDS, on what being a Brooks docent taught her.

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What a treat it’s been to be involved with the Brooks Docent Program. After having retired from a career in dentistry I was actively seeking some “fun” projects in which to engage.  I’ve always enjoyed art but was quite unsophisticated in the history and techniques involved therein.  The well-organized and well-taught docent training class was, to me, like getting a Master’s degree in art history and art appreciation.  In addition, the Memphis Brooks Museum becomes “Yours.”  As you learn about the founders and major contributors to the museum and its collections, you gain a deeper knowledge and appreciation not only of the art, but also about the history of Memphis and its people.  In fact, with each new exhibit you learn more about our world history and receive in-depth information about the individual artists and their work. After having gone from Cave Art to Post Modernism in class, you then have the opportunity to share some of that insight with children and adults in an attempt to enhance their experiences while here at the Brooks…and also enjoy and learn from them.

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Brooks docent Rebecca Barton, DDS

One of my more entertaining experiences involved working with a group of first graders who had come to the Brooks to learn about the Elements of Art…what makes up a picture.  I asked them if they had talked with their art teacher about things that make a picture…like lines, shapes, colors, texture, etc.  In their unbounded enthusiasm they were shaking their heads yes and many hands were waving.  I said,

“Great…Who can tell me about texture?” 

One bright-eyed little girl said, rather condescendingly, I might add,

“Well, it’s REAL easy, you know.  You just take a cell phone…and you use your thumbs…and that’s texter!” 

The docent learned something that day in that children do learn on the basis of their prior experiences and it’s important to be sure that we’re all on the same page in our communications.  Having said that, art is subject to individual interpretation and the things that one person notices and interprets and enjoys in a piece of art may be totally different from what I may glean from a piece and that is very OK.  Emphasis at the Brooks is on allowing the individual to have a positive experience with the works regardless of age or artistic sophistication. (We DID get the difference between “texter” and “texture” by the end of the visit.)

One of the most rewarding aspects of the Docent Program to me personally has been the extraordinary people with whom I’ve been involved.  From the extremely accomplished and dedicated staff to the remarkably creative, clever, friendly, and altruistic docents, it truly has been a wonderfully broadening and learning and enjoyable experience.  You ought to try it!

Rebecca Barton, DDS

Visit brooksmuseum.org/become-a-docent to be on your way to becoming a Brooks docent today!

Interview with Finding Vivian Maier Editor and Associate Producer Chris McKinley

Documentary Finding Vivian Maier follows the recent discovery of photographer Vivian Maier—described as “part Mary Poppins, part Weegee”—and her exceptional body of work. The film has received quite a bit of attention since its March release; what people seem to find in Finding Vivian Maier is an affinity for the artist, or more accurately the photographs she took (which, as it happens, were often of herself). The public would never know Maier personally because her fame came after her death. The  film asks: would she have it any other way?

The Brooks found a kinship in the film as well: in production. Memphis-born Chris McKinley is an editor and associate producer of Finding Vivian Maier, and he was kind enough to oblige us with an interview. New Brooks blogger Natalie Higdon provides the Q & A below. If you enjoy the interview, please welcome her by sharing this post with friends.

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Photo courtesy of John Maloof

Chris McKinley, Editor and Associate Producer of the documentary Finding Vivian Maier, chats with us about his involvement with the film, why choosing a favorite Vivian Maier photograph is impossible, and what screening this film at the Brooks means to him.

Q: How did you “find” Vivian Maier?
I joined the project after it was underway. I was editing a TV show for one of the documentary’s directors, Charlie Siskel. He told me about Vivian Maier, John Maloof’s discovery of her work, and the film, and I was really intrigued. Then he showed me her photos and I was blown away. It wasn’t a tough call to be involved if they wanted me. Basically, I was pretty lucky.

Q: What is it about Vivian’s work that you think resonates with so many people today?

It’s tough to even say why I connect with it, let alone why others do. I just know that when I saw the photos for the first time I said, “WHOA.” For me her stuff feels really immediate and fresh even after being locked away for decades.

To paraphrase what photographer Joel Meyerowitz says more eloquently in the movie: there’s something about Vivian’s work that seems primary. It doesn’t feel imitative. She’s doing her own thing her own way and you feel there’s a definite point of view there.

Finding Vivian Maier in Memphis

©Vivian Maier/Maloof Collection, Courtesy of Films We Like

Q: What did you learn about Vivian while working on this documentary?

Something I thought was interesting, and that I think we can all relate to is Vivian Maier’s remarkable hit rate. That is to say, when you look at her contact sheets she took one great and unique picture after another. It’s so easy today for amateur or even professional photographers to fire off ten shots of a moment and hope they come away with something good. She shot with a Rolleiflex with 12 pictures to a roll and rarely took more than one of any subject.

We also dug up some documents that show how truly passionate she was about her craft, and that she was proud of her work despite keeping it hidden. But it’s more fun to see that stuff as it plays in the movie, so I won’t spoil it.

Q: Vivian passed away in 2009, which makes all the recent recognition for her work a bit bittersweet. She was also known to be a very private person. What do you think she would think of her newfound notoriety?

Yeah, it’s a shame she isn’t here to see it all happen and more importantly to help curate her own work. Personally I think John’s done a really responsible and creative job of putting her work into the world. But I wonder what it’d be like if, in some alternate universe, they could collaborate.

Based on talking with people who knew her, I think it’s safe to say she wouldn’t like the attention. But what I think is hard to say is exactly why she wouldn’t like it. I don’t think not liking attention necessarily means she wouldn’t have wanted her work seen. Doing the work was her passion. Maybe, in her mind, the subsequent steps to get it out there just didn’t compute. I do wonder how she would fit into today’s world where we all curate our own online profiles and seem to seek more and more validation just for doing things we love to do. I’d love to ask Vivian her thoughts on Facebook and Instagram. (Hello, by the way, to anyone who linked to this from my Facebook page)

Q: Do you have a favorite Vivian Maier photograph?

No way I could pick just one. It’s crazy how diverse her subject matter was. And that’s something I think is fun about her body of work: a fantastic shot of a child in a rich suburb can hang right next to a gritty night shot from the inner city. And those photos aren’t from different periods of her life. It’s possible she took them within the same week, if not on the same day. Seriously, how could anybody pick just one?

Q; You were born and raised in Memphis – what does having this film’s Memphis debut at the Brooks mean to you?

I’m excited that the film is playing at the Brooks Museum. I’ve done my share of wandering through the halls there, and I think it’s fun to think it’s showing at a place that, a while back, I visited on a school field trip. I hope everyone really enjoys it.

Finding Vivian Maier screens at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art on June 12 at 7 pm.

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FOUND! Sculptures “Inspired by Marisol” in Downtown Memphis

The Tom Lee Art Transport Co.

The Tom Lee Art Transport Co.

One could consider Marisol a great post-war American artist obscured by history. Working in New York throughout the 1960s, her contemporaries were the famous avant-garde artists we know today–definitively–as either Pop or Abstract Expressionist. But Marisol’s mixed-media sculptures were neither. Although her work was popular, critically acclaimed, and respected amongst her peers, it could not be neatly categorized. And as she shifted themes into the 1970s and continued to vary her materials, the artist defied classification all the more.

Her public persona did little to combat the oblique legacy. From time to time, Marisol would refrain from speaking altogether, having developed an aversion to speech after hearing how other people sounded as a child. Taking cues from Pop celebrity pal Andy Warhol, she embraced her own eccentricities as a way of generating public interest in her art. “Otherwise, not so many people would notice your work,” she told Cindy Nemser in 1975. It worked. Kinda. She was referred to as the “Latin Garbo” to readers of Vogue and Cosmopolitan, but Marisol was not suited for celebrity. Life as an art scene icon on Warhol’s arm was not for long. She embarked on spontaneous trips around the world, more than once, only furthering her mystique.

Transient was how she spent her early life, so traveling came naturally. Her jet-setting parents, both Venezuelan, moved the family “back and forth between Europe, Venezuela, and the United States” Marisol recalled in 1972, “not because of business but out of boredom.”

This guy is a millennial for sure.

This guy is a millennial for sure.

From here it is easy to see why she became an artist: Her identity became her art–and in turn, as we will see through her varied portraiture, her art is about identity!

With this in mind, reintroducing Marisol–or discovering her for the first time–is at the heart of Marisol: Sculptures and Works on Paper, on view June 14–September 7, at the Brooks. In anticipation of this retrospective, Chief and exhibition curator Marina Pacini reached out to local sculpture students, basically asking them to get a leg up on introducing Memphis to Marisol. The results are 17  sculptural interpretations of Marisol’s work,  on display in businesses and galleries in the South Main Arts District until June 21.

For a complete map of the exhibition, visit: Go South Main
For a PDF brochure, visit: Inspired By Marisol

 

The Cloar Catalogue: Crossroads of Memory

Dr. Stanton Thomas, Curator of European and Decorative Art and exhibition curator for The Crossroads of Memory: Carroll Cloar and the American South, weighs in on the origins of the exhibition catalogue, out now and available at the Museum Store.

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Every once in a while I get involved with a project that really gets seeps into my psyche—which is how it was with the Carroll Cloar exhibition project. Although I grew up in Northern Missouri, far from the Arkansas Delta, there was something about the artist’s paintings that was achingly familiar.

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For me, Cloar’s Where the Southern Cross the Yellow Dog wasn’t about Moorhead, Mississippi, but instead, I recognized it as an image of Millard, Missouri. This little town is almost gone today, but when I was a child it was just a short bicycle ride along back roads and country fields from my parent’s house. Looking at the painting, I always imagine when I used to pedal my Schwinn high-handle bar, banana-seat bike down to the Millard crossing to buy an Orange Crush at the gas station. For me, Cloar’s paintings evoke melancholy remembrances of not just my childhood, but of earlier eras which are now irretrievably lost. In addition, his paintings are often filled with darker, more Gothic tendencies evoking great Southern writers like Thomas Wolfe, Katherine Anne Porter, or William Faulkner. While organizing the exhibition—which is on view at the Arkansas Arts Center through June 1, 2014—I dreamt of writing a catalogue to accompany the show.

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With this in mind, I drafted catalogue entries and the outline of an essay. And, thanks to a couple of private funders, and to the vision of the Arkansas Arts Center, the catalogue is now in print. It includes wonderful full-color illustrations of Cloar’s work (many of which were previously unpublished), as well as fascinating ancillary illustrations from the artist’s archives, and of course, all my entries and the essay. So, while the exhibition may be closing soon, the catalogue is a great memento and record of the project.

On becoming a museum docent: 5 Things I Learned About Art From Children

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Art is so much more than just art: It can be science, culture, motion, and history, as well as color, line, and shape. Young children naturally think like artists, and their imagination is at its peak during their early development as students. Yet educators struggle with ways to develop and instill creative and critical thinking skills—crucial tools that his generation needs to utilize their creative impulses in educational and civic pursuits. As a docent at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, I work in conjunction with the Smithsonian Early Childhood Education program, engaging Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten children from Title 1 schools, where 40 percent or more of the students enrolled are eligible for free or reduced lunches.

Equipped with my knowledge from the six-month docent training course, I teach these children about visual art in a museum setting. As a new docent, I am excited to introduce children to a museum and see that they fully experience all it has to offer. At the Brooks, children have the opportunity to see, touch, and feel the materials an artist might have used in creating a piece. Engaging these children in this setting while they are young takes the fear out of the museum experience and brings out the fun. Of course, the kids aren’t the only ones gaining from this experience.

Here are the top five things I’ve learned during my first year as a Brooks Museum docent:

  • Get down low and look up at the artwork through the eyes of a child. This perspective might just give you new insight on a piece of art you thought you knew all about.
  • Art inspires critical thinking rather than getting the right answer
  • The smiles and enthusiasm are contagious.
  • You won’t know everything, but you will probably learn something new with every tour.
  • Children are far smarter and more creative than we give them credit for. You will often be amazed at how much they can offer if you take the time to watch and listen.

Visit brooksmuseum.org/become-a-docent to inquire about becoming a Brooks Museum docent today.

Teen Brooks: Time Well Spent

The Teen Brooks program comes to an end this week. Below is a recap from two-year Teen Brooks alum Ashton Arroyo.

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I have been involved in Teen Brooks for two years now, since the program started. The meetings have always been fun for me. Mostly due to the new people I meet, I happily anticipate each upcoming meeting. All of us who participate have an interest in art, and many of us find that we have other similar interests as well. Interacting with the other members is very refreshing for me because I feel comfortable and act as my casual self (rather than acting shy, which may come as a shock to some members, who may say that I remain shy!).  My favorite activity in Teen Brooks was when the whole group worked on creating an exhibition. We unanimously decided to have an ‘Artpop’ theme. I enjoyed every process in creating the exhibition, right up to the opening day.

More information on the Teen Brooks program
Teen Brooks Museum on Facebook
Teen Brooks on Flickr

Lewis Carroll meets Louis Malle

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This weekend, Brooks Films salutes Dalî: Illustrating the Surreal, and “Louis Malle meets Lewis Carroll in a bizarre and bewitching trip down the rabbit hole” with Malle’s Black Moon.

Synopsis: “After skirting the horrors of a mysterious war being waged in the countryside, beautiful young Lily takes refuge in a remote farmhouse, where she becomes embroiled in the surreal domestic life of an extremely unconventional family. Evocatively shot by cinematographer Sven Nykvist, Black Moon is a Freudian tale of adolescent sexuality set in a postapocalyptic world of shifting identities and talking animals. It is one of Malle’s most experimental films and a cinematic daydream like no other.”

Despite winning two César Awards upon its release, Black Moon is the least-screened film in Malle’s oeuvre. Heralded as an elaborate surrealist fantasy, it juxtaposes bizarre relationships (an androgynous, incestuous couple portrayed by Alexandra Stewart and Joe Dallesandro), animals (including a badger, snakes, a tame rat and a unicorn), and surrealist images (ants crawling over a block of cheese, a piglet in a high chair) with a quasi-science fiction plot that is rife with sexual allegory.
 
“It is a tale of a young girl’s sexual awakening, explicitly modeled on Alice in Wonderland, which dictated, among other things, Malle’s choice of the British actress Cathryn Harrison (granddaughter of Rex Harrison) and his preference for filming it in English,” writes Ginette Vincendeau, professor of film studies at King’s College London. “Throughout the film, a series of images reflects both her sexual curiosity and her sexual fears: most obviously, the unicorn but also the horse on which the sister Lily is seen, the snakes that erupt from drawers, the frequent echo of Lily’s behavior in that of the animals, and such violent images as the decapitation of the eagle. The literate spectator can thus enjoy decoding these images—including the opaque symbolism of the ‘black moon,’ an astrological hieroglyph connected with the unicorn and female sexuality—as well as the abundance of painterly, literary, and cinematic references that Black Moon offers (for instance, the heroine is at various points seen sitting in languid poses by the open fire, a clear nod to Balthus’s 1930s erotic paintings of young girls). ButBlack Moon is not confined to such intellectual games, and we can actually see it also as a film of its moment, both in terms of the culture at large and of Malle’s own trajectory.”

Black Moon
Saturday, April 12 | 2 pm
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Buy Tickets to Black Moon

Top 5 Reasons to Be “Uncorked”

Wine bottles at Brooks Uncorked

Well, there are at least 15 reasons right here….

Early each Spring, Brooks Uncorked marks the unofficial beginning to the heartiest portion of the Memphis Wine + Food Series (MW+F). In case you are unfamiliar, MW+F is the major fundraising effort supporting the museum’s education and community outreach programs. Following Uncorked, the MW+F spring season hosts a dinner at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar, a Private Winemaker Dinner at Spring Creek Ranch, and the Grand Auction, which rounds it all out May 9th on the Brooks plaza. Of all the events, Brooks Uncorked is the one that most says “party.” It draws a younger crowd, and although the ticket isn’t cheap (about the price of a proper trip to the grocery store), all in attendance can say they are a benefactor to the arts. Further, it’s a reasonable investment considering all the specialty wines, heavy hors d’oeuvres provided by local restaurateurs, choice setting, company, and rocking after party. Brooks Uncorked aims to nurture a generation that will continue to live and give in Memphis into their years. Here are 5 more specific reasons to be in attendance:

5. The Bottle Pull – Remember the rubber ducks you could pick out of a kiddy pool at the fair to win prizes? The Bottle Pull is like that, except it’s for adults and we would never cheat you. Throw down $20, pick a bagged bottle of wine, and you can’t lose. No bottle is worth less than $20, and some are worth upwards of $100!

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Sampling the wines before the bottle pull


4. The Salvador Dalí Blood Orange Mojito
– Courtesy of Prichard’s, and inspired by our current exhibition, Dalí: Illustrating the Surreal. Need we say more?

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No photo of the “Blood Orange Mojito” yet, so we snuck in a sixth reason.


3. Silent Auction Items
– Fancy an hour on the Fed Ex flight stimulator? A pair of Chanel sunglasses? Family summer membership to Rhodes College pool? Fine art? All these things, and more, will be part of the silent auction.

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No “Blue Dog” paintings here!


2. A chance to say you had a “night at a museum”
–  Or at least, that you went to an after party at one. When the wine tasting ends, the party begins. Outdoors on the Brushmark terrace: Mingle with like-minded wine aficionados, foodies, and fellow benefactors to the arts. DJ Mark Anderson will pump out the jams.

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No smartphones on the dance floor! (But if you must, #brooksmuseum)


1. Your contribution to arts education in Memphis
– Our community outreach is far and wide. The Brooks educates Memphians in all corners on the beauty of art-making and art history.

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The Brooks Education gallery

Tickets are $90 for Brooks Members / $110 for General Admission
Day of Event and Door Pricing is $125

For tickets and more information, visit http://memphiswineandfoodseries.org/events

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See you there!

This is What “Soulful” Means

Harding Academy junior Anna Rogers won a Silver Key for photography in this year’s Mid-South Scholastic Exhibition.  The awards ceremony is Saturday, February 1st, starting at 11 am.

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Anna Rogers, Soulful, Harding Academy, Silver Key Award, Photography

Art has always been a hobby of mine. In elementary school if I wasn’t getting in trouble for talking during class, I would get in trouble for doodling. I received my first digital camera when I was in the fifth grade, and I filled my two-gigabyte memory card almost instantly. As the years went on, high school gave me the opportunity to take more advanced and in depth art classes than the once-weekly art class elementary offered, and I was elated. Unfortunately, I skipped my 2D art credit during my sophomore year so that I could take a journalism class, but when I returned this year as a junior, it was almost as though I had picked up my paint brush right where I left off.

Of course, as the years have progressed, my life has as well, and I have been introduced to more passionate emotions: through thrilling, sorrowful, frustrating, exciting, and terrifying feelings, art provided a medium through which I could grasp my emotions, and that is how I have always seen each piece I created. Having said that, words cannot convey the excitement that rushes through an artist’s body when he or she uses a new set of paintbrushes or colored pencils because he simply can’t wait to create a piece of himself on the paper. My sophomore year, after a summer of excruciating yard work and babysitting, I purchased my first DLSR camera. Again, words can not express my exuberance as I explored this new medium, learning the technical terms for different aspects of a picture, and through images and footage I captured, I learned a new mode of self-expression.

I believe when artists pursue awards or accolades for their work rather than self-expression, their piece lacks a certain motivation and emotion, which makes the sole pursuit of an award counterproductive. That’s not to say that works created “just because” are bad or undeserving, but most pieces that Scholastics has chosen that I see exhibited in the gallery are thoughtful and deep, and most have a back story that inspired the piece. When my art teacher told me that I won a silver key for one of my pictures, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride, because when artist pours herself into her work and someone else recognizes it, they recognize a part of the artist. Even if it’s only a silver key, I am absolutely honored: honored to have won the award and to have my piece displayed with other amazing pieces created by fellow students. Of course, no masterpiece can be confined to or defined by a ribbon or award, but the recognition from fellow artists is an honor nonetheless.

Anna Rogers
Junior, Harding Academy

 

Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards

Elesha Newberry, Associate Director of Education at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, shares her thoughts on the Mid-South Scholastic Art Exhibition.

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Esme Perkins, I Can Feel A Difference, White Station High School, winner of the Painting Award, Senior Division

The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the Brooks Museum League are proud to present the 49th Annual Mid-South Scholastic Art Awards, open through February 23rd at the museum. This competition, open to all 7-12 graders in the mid-south, is a great opportunity for young artists to compete for awards, cash prizes, and scholarships. With 2,231 entries, this is one of the biggest and most successful years we’ve ever had. A panel of curators, artists, and educators had the tough task of awarding Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable mention winners from that huge number of entries. Those Gold and Silver Key winners are now on display at the Brooks. We hope you can all come out during that time and see the great things our regional youth are doing in the arts!

Facing Change: Art Therapy Access Program

Facing Change: Art Therapy is the culmination of a year’s worth of art therapy collaborations at 4 partner sites around the city. Karen Peacock and Sarah Hamil are the two art therapists who have worked with the participants to provide a meaningful outlet of self-expression.  The resulting exhibition consists of 70 masks that represent each participant. Art therapist Karen Peacock shares some thoughts and details, below:

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In 2013, four community organizations participated in the Art Therapy Access Program.  Continue reading

2013: A Year In Art

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This makes an awful lot of the Brooks’ ‘B’ on the page right now…

As a tidy lens of sorts, the Brooks looks back on 2013 with the Brooks Calendar at hand. This reinvented bimonthly museum guide debuted a little over a year ago with a lamp from The Brilliance of Tiffany: Lamps From The Neustadt Collection on its cover, an exhibition that lit Brooks’ galleries as 2012 turned 2013. Although these lamps were originally products of America’s Gilded Age, the Neustadt collection was amassed at a time when they were decidedly out of fashion. At the Brooks, this inspired an appreciation for the timeless art of good taste, and all the promise the Gilded Age fell short of delivering. With our own Decorative Arts Trust at the helm of enrichment programming, the Brooks’ decorative art collection is projected to grow throughout the decade. Continue reading

With Art, You Can Move The Pyramids

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Jerry Uelsmann
(American, b. 1934)
Untitled, 1996
Gelatin-silver print
© Jerry N. Uelsmann

In 1982, National Geographic “moved the pyramids”. Using expensive digital technology (proto-Photoshop), layout editors scrunched two of the Pyramids at Giza together so that they would both fit on the magazine’s vertically formatted cover. The photojournalist who captured the original image noticed, complained, and controversy over the ethics of photo-manipulation ensued.

Tomorrow is the last day to view Shared Vision, and the whole of the “Subjective Inventions” section of the exhibition showcases artists who used photo-manipulation before Photoshop as well. Albeit, as Raymond Pettibon has said, “In art, impurity is not a mortal sin.”