Artist: George Hunt
Sonny Boy Williamson
The Downtown Memphis Commission, in conjunction with artist George Hunt and LongRiver Entertainment Group, announced Friday a pop-up preview of Hunt’s vision for a National Blues Music Art Museum in Memphis.
The preview installation at 100 Peabody Place is part of the Downtown Commission’s "Open on Main" pop-up initiative to give creatives and creative ideas Main Street exposure for a month. Hunt’s project will run the month of July, after a planned July 3rd opening.
According to the DMC, the National Blues Music Art Museum is "primarily and fundamentally an art museum intended to fascinate, educate, and entertain music fans and tourists with images and stories of the history of Blues Music over the past 150 years."
The museum will tell the story of blues music through artistic images from a variety of artists, sculptors, photographers, folk artists, indigenous peoples, entertainers, and festivals.
Hunt’s bold, colorful, original paintings will be the anchor for the museum. He has created 35 large, new paintings over the past five years, specifically for the museum. His 26 paintings created for Beale Street Music Festival Posters will also be an exhibit in the museum.
David Simmons, head of LongRiver Entertainment Group, is designing and curating the project and spearheading its development. Hunt and Simmons have been creating and collecting images of blues music and culture for decades, and the National Blues Music Art Museum will "showcase these images to the public in a way that will be enjoyable to view simply as art and folk art images. Accompanying this incredible art will be a storyline that links the important evolutionary stages of the history of the Blues."
Also included in the pop-up museum will be a sampling of Stephen Hudson’s unique hydrostone castings of bluesmen from the 1990s, along with other folk-style and African art. Simmons’ extensive personal collection of blues photography, along with photographs on loan from his earlier Blues & Legends Hall of Fame Museum include WC Handy, BB King, Howlin’ Wolf, and others.
Admission to the museum pop-up is free and visitors will have the opportunity to meet Hunt. Hours will be Monday-Thursday 10 am-6 pm, Friday and Saturday until 7:30 pm. Sunday hours will vary.