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Memphis Social is a different kind of art event. It looks at Memphis as a locale that can provide fertile ground for a nontraditional exhibition showcasing the work of dozens of artists, groups, and organizations at multiple locations in downtown, Midtown, and East Memphis.

"We're playing with larger narratives in American culture," says Tom McGlynn, the exhibition's organizer and curator. McGlynn is the director of Beautiful Fields: Projects, which focuses on projects that address the notion of the social as both context and subject. "Memphis is just perfect for this kind of thing, because it's such an important place in the American psyche. It's also, literally, a very real place.

"This isn't about Memphis," McGlynn clarifies."But the fact that it is being held in Memphis influences the curatorial criteria. That sounds like a contradiction, but what I mean by that is we're not supposed to be didactically representing Memphis, but we have the flavor of Memphis."

Social Memphis opens on Friday, May 10th, at noon and runs through Sunday, May 12. Between opening and close there will numerous curated art events at traditional and nontraditional venues scattered between South Main and the David Lusk Gallery in East Memphis. There will be installations, video installations, sound sculptures, Memphis jookin, and a collection of paintings inspired by cornet player Bix Beiderbecke. Visual art will remain on display until May, 18.

To see a schedule for this free event, visit memphissocialexhibition.wordpress.com.

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