One of the many unforeseen and fortunate conversations that have occurred as a result of the “Present Tense” exhibition at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens is the value of art. The educational and aesthetic value it has within our community and the actual monetary value and market trends of visual art (mostly traditional and conservative) in Memphis. This is a much-needed conversation. It is important, not only for artists, to understand this value of art, but it is just as important, or more, that patrons and visitors of museums and galleries understand it.
This is not the responsibility of the artist; at least, it should not have to be. There should be more of an educational component to the programming of museums and galleries. I do not mean only educating the public on their current exhibitions with informative didactics, but to educate them on the importance of exhibiting non-traditional, non-commercial work.
And what better way to start with the educating of a public than with a “Super Epic Memphis Unicorn Magical Exhibition Show.” The exhibition will open Monday, April 1, 2013 5:30pm to 8:00pm at Marshall Arts Gallery 639 Marshall Ave. (Yes, this is a real exhibition and not an April’s Fool joke — though that would be absolutely awesome!) According to the press release this exhibition “is a gathering of Memphis’ top artistic talent, doing work inspired by one of the greatest things America and Jesus ever created: Unicorns.” This opening of an epic Unicorn exhibition is really a celebration of the opening for the third season of the Wrong Again Gallery located at 648 Marshall Ave. The door of the gallery will be wed to a Unicorn in honor of The Art Guys, The Menil Collection, and everyone and every institution that may have made a mistake. The private ceremony will take place at 5:30pm and be Skyped to Marshall Arts during the magical Unicorn exhibition. If you ever wanted to see a Unicorn marry a door of an alternative exhibition space, now is your chance.
Not only is the education of the viewing public important, but, as previously mentioned, so is the educating of our future artists. I do not mean the education they are supposedly getting in the classrooms of area colleges and universities, but the education they receive out in the “real world.” The best way to understand the inner workings of this world is to enter contests and face the fear of possible rejection. Rejection happens in the art world. All day everyday. This is the first thing new visual art graduates must understand and they must not be bothered by it. One such exhibition opens tonight at The PLA(I)N(E) Gallery.
The PLA(I)N(E) Gallery at the University of Memphis is a student-run exhibition space in the basement of the Art and Communication Building located at 3715 Central Ave (the old Law School Building). Opening tonight 5:00pm to 7:30pm is selected works from graduate and undergraduate students from The University of Memphis, Memphis College of Art, and Christian Brothers University. The independent juror for this exhibition is David Lusk from the David Lusk Gallery. There are special awards for the artists that will be given out at 6:00pm. The show runs through April 12, 2013.
So, grab a friend, go out see some art and learn something.