26 and Counting


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Each year students from Memphis College of Art take a trip to Horn Island off the Gulf Coast, following in the personal tradition of Walter Anderson. There they isolate themselves, become immersed in the island life, and, ideally, produce work to bring back and put on display. Tomorrow is the reception for the Horn Island 26 show— featuring work from the 26th annual trip. (Read more about the trip in John Branston's cover feature, Endangered.)

  • James Carey

  • James Carey

  • James Carey

Horn Island 26 brought a new adventure for the MCA students, as the oil spill in the Gulf loomed. "It was pretty intense," says Eric Huber, the trip's documentarian. "For a while there we were thinking we weren't going to be able to go. We were counting down the days, until a few days before we left, Don [Dumont] said 'We're going.' We were there the whole week and it was beautiful. Tarballs started to show up a couple of days before we left, but those were the first. They closed the channel about three days before we left, so when we were crossing back over to mainland we were the only boat out there. It was very eery."

  • James Carey

Overall, though, the oil didn't dampen the Horn Island experience. "It didn't overshadow the trip by any means," says Huber. "It was just something extra that was added to it — like this might be the last week for a little while that anyone can go out there. That's eventually where all the oil concentrated."
  • James Carey

The show includes work from current students, faculty, and veteran Horn Islanders. There will also be a preview of Eric Huber's Horn Island documentary. The show runs through October 8. For more information, call 272-5100.

Memphis College of Art, 1930 Poplar Avenue, mca.edu


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