Thursday, January 19, 2012

Waiting for tonight!

Meet the artists of This Must be the Place: Contemporary Photography in Memphis at Art After Dark tonight! We are so excited to show these local artists' work and even more thrilled that Memphians will get the chance to meet each one while taking in the sounds of the Stax Music Academy Band and eating some world-famous Memphis barbecue! Before you meet the artists, learn a little bit about them here and get a glimpse at some of their work. They are a talented group!

Mississippi native Frances Berry has been living and working in Memphis since she graduated from the University of Alabama in 2008.  Her work has been shown both in and around the Mid-South as well as in Seattle, Cambridge, Massachusetts, New York, and Paris.  Though she travels frequently, Berry gains much of her inspiration from the everyday encounters she experiences in and around Memphis.  According to the artist, “I try to make going to the supermarket a grand expedition.”  Her daily ‘expeditions’ have led to a deeper sociological understanding of the various people that populate Memphis, eastern Arkansas, and northern Mississippi.  And while Berry’s photographs capture people and places in a particular moment in time, they also stress the perpetuity of certain aspects of life in the South. 

Frances Berry, Caster Garner, 2011 Digital photograph 16 x 24 inches Courtesy of the artist

Michael Darough

A native of St. Louis, Michael Darough received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photography from Arizona State University before entering the University of Memphis, graduating in 2011 with a Master of Fine Arts degree.  Comfortable with a camera from an early age, Darough used photography as an outlet for his inquisitive nature.  A born storyteller, he works to create visual narratives of everyday life in his works, commenting, “Initially, I might not know how a project will unfold, but what I do know is that an aspect of storytelling will be a part of my process.” Recently, Darough joined the faculty of the art department of Lycoming College in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  

 Michael Darough Belvedere, 2011 Archival inkjet print 20 x 14 ½ inches Courtesy of the artist

Anna Hollis

In her fantastical works, Memphis photographer Anna Hollis seeks to both create and explore the world she created for herself at a young age, when circumstances led her to unwillingly mature beyond her years.  She came to depend on her fantasies as a means of escape from the reality she refused to confront.  Using the physical world as her foundation, Hollis returns to her adolescent visions, recreating them in photography by incorporating the images, objects, and people from her past into the places that define her current reality.  The present series, Hybrid, was shot in Memphis’ Overton Park. Anna is a recent graduate of the photography program at Memphis College of Art.  

Anna Hollis, Hybrid 1, 2011 Digital print 12 x 16 inches Courtesy of the artist

Jordan hood

A native of the Mississippi Delta, Jordan Hood seeks to work out and come to terms with the traditions and expectations of her family through her work.  Both in her youth and now as an adult, she has longed to escape the conservatism of the Southern farming community in which she was raised, feeling restricted and repressed by its debutante system of femininity.  However, instead of transcend her upbringing, she finds herself continually drawn back, both physically and emotionally, to the land, people, and traditions of her past.  Through the present Covered series, Hood employs the gowns that adorned her as a debutante as a blanket or shield against the reality of an independent life. Hood graduated in 2011 from the photography program at Memphis College of Art.  

Tommy Kha received his BFA in Photography from Memphis College of Art, where he was awarded the Jessie and Dolph Smith Emeritus Award. A Memphis native, his work surveys the notion of difference by mapping experiences in order to inquire, confirm and undermine his interchanging identities, informed by evidences as an American-Chinese Southerner among other nuances.  In doing so, Kha explores his so-called “Southern” cultural heritage and solicits questions of his own my own identity as a Chinese American. The photographs from his Meridiana – Finding South series determine to defy and redirect the stereotype of “timelessness” embedded with the American South. Kha is currently a graduate photography student at Yale University School of Art, and his work has been exhibited in galleries in the United States and China since 2008.  In 2009, Memphis Crossroads magazine named Kha as one of the “Top Twenty Untapped Artists.

Tommy Kha, Wetlands, Frayser, 2011 Archival inkjet print 
30 x 30 inches Courtesy of the artist
Ian Lemmonds hails from Omaha and has lived in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Seattle, but chose to make Memphis his home after seeing the movie Mystery Train. In Memphis, Lemmonds has been able to combine his love for art and his attraction to novelties and curios through photography. Using objects bought from second-hand stores throughout the South, Lemmonds creates a context in which the objects can relate to one another and to their environments.  Often using domestic references, he allows viewers to participate in the works and feel the emotions of his subjects. In doing so, he produces moments that evoke something for everyone to experience, which he likens to “the idea of the second person narrative in literature, and how it can be a more effective narrative.” 

Ian Lemmonds Eschatology: Blue Baby, 2011 C-print, Courtesy of the artist

Yijun Liao

Yijun “Pixy” Liao was born in Shanghai, China, and after studying Educational Technology at Shanghai International Studies University, worked for three years in her hometown as a freelance graphic designer.  In 2005, she moved to Memphis to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Photography from the University of Memphis.  While in Memphis, Pixy became an active member of the local art scene, exhibiting her work at such diverse locales as the Medicine Factory and L Ross Gallery.  Much of her work in Memphis centered around both the isolation she felt as a newcomer in a country foreign to her and her attempts to connect with the city’s Asian-American community.  Though she graduated from the University of Memphis in 2008 and shortly thereafter moved to Brooklyn, New York, Pixy has maintained her ties to the Bluff City.  In April 2011, she mounted the solo show, “Memphis, Tennessee,” at New York’s 456 Gallery.

Yijun Liao China Doll, 2008 C-print 30 x 40 inches Courtesy of the artist

Join us at 6 pm and celebrate the show, the artists, and Memphis!! See you tonight!

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