by Susan Ellis
On Friday, June 1st, it's the unveiling of Unveil Downtown, a project that places the works of 20 artists in 20 nontraditional spaces along the downtown core for a 20-day exhibit.
But, you can get an early peek via the online auction that opens today at unveildowntown.com.
Unveil Downtown, inspired by an art walk in Thomasville, Georgia, is a fund-raiser for the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA). Proceeds from the online auction of 20 works from participating artists goes 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, the 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 Art and the University of Memphis as well as residents of downtown.
The artists and venues are:
Alexander Paulus, Local Gastropub
Antzee Magruder, Bangkok Alley
April Ford Beasley, City Market
Carl Moore, Dream Berry
Carly Dahl, Revive Boutique
Daniel Tacker, Bluefin
David Lynch, Cockadoos
Debbie Pacheco, eighty3
Denise Rose, Life Is Good
Fidencio Martinez, Kooky Canuck
Jimpsie Ayres, Thai Bistro
Kerry Peeples, Felicia Suzanne's
Louise Palazola, Shelton Clothiers
Rebecca Coleman, Silly Goose Lounge
Rebekah Laurenzi, Art on a Hot Tin Roof
DJ Ron Olson, Automatic Slim's
Shawn Mathews, Blind Bear
Terry Kenney, The Brass Door
Wally Dyke, APG Office Furnishings
Elisha Gold, Lansky 126
Gower says there was some matchmaking between artist and business, chiefly based on logistics. A bar with a raucous weekend crowd, for example, might not be the best place for a piece of sculpture.
Friday's launch party, from 5 to 7 p.m. will be at Felicia Suzanne's. 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 opening receptions on Saturday, June 2nd, from 4 to 6 p.m.
Unveil Downtown, Gower says, is another way the commission is adding 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 business showing the exhibits get the food traffic.
"It's a triple win," she says.
The online auction is being held through June 20th. Winners announced June 21st.