RECAP: El Día de Muertos for Schools and Community


On November 1st and 2nd, the Brooks invited local schools and the community to celebrate the Mexican holiday of El Día de Muertos with Mariachi, Catrinas, Aztec dancers, face painting, and a lot of art.

As a theme of this year’s celebration, visitors made art and participated in activities inspired by the traditional folk art form of Calaveritas de azúcar, or Sugar Skulls. Traditional sugar skulls are quite labor intensive. They are made in small batches by expert candy makers using boiled sugar and clay break-away molds. Skull makers typically work 4-6 months to create enough sugar skulls for the Day of the Dead celebrations! After skulls are cast and cooled, they are colorfully decorated with icing, pieces of bright foil, colored sugars, and other adornments. Mounds of colorful skulls are sold in outdoor village markets. Continue reading

Rhodes CODA Stages Takeover Of Brooks’ Instagram Account

Rhodes College senior Annie Herman on her plans to mobilize Memphis’ Spanish-speaking community–online and off.
Do you “Instagram”….or have you always wanted to learn?  I hope you will join me this Saturday November 2nd at the Brooks for the Día de los Muertos Community Day celebration.  My name is Annie Herman and I am a fellow at the Center for Outreach in the Development of the Arts (CODA) at Rhodes College. The Center aims to foster leadership, vision, and innovative thinking in Rhodes students with a passion for the fine arts. CODA fellows complete ten hours of community service each week in the Memphis Community related to arts outreach. Continue reading

Meghan Wilcox: Reflection of an Internship

Last semester my passion for the arts and desire to work within the field were strengthened tremendously. Looking back, I can honestly say that I owe a great deal of this heightened fervor to my time spent at the Brooks Museum. During my internship I learned a lot about the inner-workings of museums, their relationships with other institutions, and the public in general. This experience has opened my eyes to a side of the “non-profit” sector which I had not seen before. As a result of this internship combined with previous internships at UrbanArt Commission and ArtsMemphis, I feel I now have a well-rounded view of the innovation and commitment it takes to succeed in this field. It is amazing to see just how much these people really do for the arts and their communities. I was in awe by all the activity I witnessed at the Brooks.

Whether it was the creative and inspiring exhibitions curated by Marina Pacini or Stanton Thomas, the meticulous work of the preparators, Paul Tracy and Louis Giberson, or the heartfelt efforts of the registrar, the lovely Kip Peterson and Marilyn Masler, I know that all I saw was a joined and impassioned effort driven by each one’s love for the arts and for their museum. With all of that said, this is only a miniscule portion of all that goes on at the Brooks. So much goes into everything that is done! This level of devotion is what has truly inspired me to further my studies in Art History after Rhodes and to perhaps pursue a career that allows me to bring art to others in a similar way. I have really appreciated having the opportunity to get to know these people and their museum, and what really, I am proud to call “my” museum.

This blog was written by Meghan Wilcox Exhibitions Intern 2010. Meghan is currently in her senior year at Rhodes College.

Exhibitions: An Intern’s Perspective;Part Two

Learn more about Matthew Tamason here!

With the Gallery Management course, our principal assignment was to curate an art show at a location in Memphis. My classmate and I partnered up and, after months of preparation, put together Break Me Up; Build Me Down, an art show consisting of three young artists in a space on South Main. Having a limited budget for the show, we managed to find a space for free and spend our money mostly on hanging supplies and food/drinks for the event. Everything turned out surprisingly well: the work flowed together beautifully and we had a great crowd. It was really exciting to put together something so professional.

The show ran for one night only (March 27th) on 546 S Main Street.

My time at the Brooks Museum has been a truly wonderful and special experience as well. I am once again seeing the more professional and business side of the art world, but with inevitable eclectic and exciting energy that the art scene brings. My favorite aspect about interning at the Brooks has been the people. Everyone I have had interactions with has been extremely helpful, knowledgeable, and interesting. There is such a community among the employees there. I have also enjoyed my job of making “checklists” for prospective exhibitions in the museum – getting to research an artist and making a list of all his/her work and where the pieces are located.

Students examining Joel Parsons’ modern piece, What Goes Around Comes Around – a nude self-portrait facing the wall and propped up on cowboy boots.

My junior year has been a period of great reflection and many realizations for me. I have cemented the need for art in my life and career. I have witnessed the inner-workings of art institutions and the vast amount of time and energy that goes into art exhibitions. I have also enjoyed the social and dynamic aspects of this energetic world, such as going to gallery openings. While I am still uncertain what I will be doing post-college, I am really grateful to have had these experiences and be where I am now.

Want to intern for the Brooks? Learn more here.

Exhibitions: An Intern’s Perspective; Part One

Meet Matthew Tamason, Intern for the Office of the Registrar and a blossoming Rhodes scholar. Hear his experience and how he made it to where he is today

My partner Virginia and I hanging up Emily Stout’s Mermaids – a piece with five, life-size “rioting” mermaids made of charcoaled paper and quilted fabric.

The arts have always played a role in my life, but the amplitude of this role seems to vary with each phase of my life. As a young child, I would spend countless hours each day drawing with markers, crayons, and colored pencils. Upon entering middle school, I somehow marginalized this creative energy in order to focus on more “serious” subjects. Thankfully, that energy did not remain entirely suppressed – I still took art classes. But I never truly appreciated the skill and eye I possessed in the arts.

When searching for a college, I intuitively chose to come to Rhodes, a liberal arts college. Still unsure of what I wanted to pursue as a career, I had a feeling liberal arts would be the best bet for allowing me to explore options and find a passion. As a sophomore, I decided to fulfill my arts requirement and took a general painting course. Being without an art class my entire freshmen year, the reentry of art into my life put me at such ease. I realized that I needed art to have an active role in my life. Without this role, my life lacked an excitement, a certain vigor.

As a junior in college, I chose to fully embrace my artistic eye and appreciation for the aesthetic. Deciding to minor in art, my class courses and extracurricular activities began to reflect my rediscovered passion. This spring I had the opportunity to both take a Gallery Management course at Rhodes and also intern with the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art.

Learn more about this story in our next piece, “Exhibitions: An Intern’s Perspective; Part Two”

A Guest Lecturer Sheds Light on Botero’s Dark Humor




As you wander through the Botero exhibit, you will be confronted with scenes ranging from exuberant parties and cross-dressing to domestic melodrama and violent conflict.  To make sense of these contradictions, come see a lecture on the political history of Latin America given by Mike LaRosa, Associate Professor of History at Rhodes College.  A question-and-answer period will follow, so you can enhance your understanding of Botero’s world.


You really could make an afternoon of the whole thing — come in to see the exhibition, grab a quick bite at the Brushmark, and enjoy an informative (but informal) educational experience.


The lecture is free with museum admission on Thursday, November 6 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. The number of seats is limited, so please call us at 544-6215 to save your spot.