by Susan Ellis
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.
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.
The contest garnered some 77 entries from across the U.S. and several countries, including New Zealand, India, England, Poland, Germany, and Canada.
There will be an opening reception for the winning pieces on Saturday, July 21st, 10:30-11:30 a.m. The other entries will be on display via a PowerPoint presentation, and visitors can vote for a "fan favorite" through the end of Elvis week, August 19th.
Also opening on Saturday, at the Pink Palace, is "Elvis at 21," the celebrated exhibit of photographs by Alfred Wertheimer, who took behind-the-scene images of Elvis in 1956 just as the singer's star was on the rise.
Among the images is the famous The Kiss. A Pink Palace rep calls an in-person viewing of The Kiss "goose-bumpy." The image is also available on a T-shirt.
Fans of Wertheimer's work, and particularly of The Kiss, should make note of the Elvis Week event, Conversations on Elvis — Behind the Camera, Wednesday, August 15th, 10 a.m. at Graceland. Scheduled to appear are Wertheimer and Barbara Gray, the woman shown touching tongues with Elvis in the picture. (Check out this charming article from Vanity Fair on how that picture came to be.)