For thirty-two years Memphis College of Art has followed in the footsteps of Walter Anderson and journeyed to Horn Island in search of inspiration. Each summer the college leads a group of students, faculty, alumni, and other artists out to the island for two weeks. The group camps primitively on the barrier island, exploring, creating artwork, and gleaning inspiration from the wild and windswept spit of land. This exhibition consists of fifty-seven works from the participants of Horn Island Trips 31 and 32. We invite you to join the Islanders and to experience Horn Island through their eyes.
This exhibition will be on display from May 4 through August 22, 2017. The opening reception for this exhibition will be held May 17 from 6-8pm.
Brothers of Craft features Peter, Walter, and Mac Anderson who were all talented craftsmen and artists. A craftsman is a highly skilled individual, working in a particular trade, who has the ability to transform his trade into a level of artistry through experience and refinement. Throughout this exhibition the three brothers are featured as individuals and as a collective. By displaying their work separately one is able to discern the individual ingenuity that is particular to each artist. Together, one can see the interconnection between the brothers’ artistic spirits that pulsate through each piece. Throughout their lives, the three supported, motivated, and worked alongside one another. Family, art and the bonds of brotherhood bound them together, giving them stability and purpose.
The Little Room served as Walter Anderson's sanctuary on the mainland during the latter years of his life. When he could, Anderson would spend his time on Horn Island, but he still had obligations on the mainland. To mentally transport himself to Horn Island, Walter Anderson painted the Little Room to portray a day on the island. He never allowed anyone but himself, some cats, and the occasional possum to enter the room. After his death in 1965, Walter's wife opened the door to the Little Room and found this spectacular mural. Covering the floor were thousands of paintings and drawings, some of which he had attempted to destroy in the fireplace and some he had carefully selected and stored in a chest in the corner. When you enter the little room, appreciate the genius of the artist and one man's journey to find peace with the world around him.
Wild Beauty brings together two artists whose work celebrates the natural splendor of the Mississippi Gulf Coast – Trailer McQuilkin and Walter Anderson. These artists, separated by many years, have found inspiration in the natural flora of the region. McQuilkin’s work features plants that are indigenous to the region, some of which you may recognize and some you may not. McQuilkin’s work has been paired with works by Walter Anderson depicting similar plants. These two artists draw inspiration from the world around them. We hope that this exhibition will encourage the viewer to take a closer look at their world and to appreciate the beauty of nature.
Opening Reception and Book Signing: August 10, 5:30 - 7pm
Artist's Talk and Book Signing: August 13, 2-3pm
Artist Talk and Book Signing: August 26, 11am-12pm