Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crosstown Arts Hosts Memfeast 2.0

Crosstown Arts is excited to share the details of our next MemFEAST, which will be on Thursday, April 28th, at 7pm.  We are grateful to the Memphis College of Art, who will be co-sponsoring the event with us.

Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the first MemFEAST, we've decided to increase the size of the dinner, which will be held on the top floor of the parking garage next to the Sears building (with an obvious nod towards the re-use of old concrete structures in the neighborhood).  With the increase in our number of guests and gracious support of various sponsors, we're able to offer an award of $5000 for the artist who receives the most votes for their proposal, so we're expecting the night to be full of interesting and compelling art ideas.

Tickets must be purchased in advance for the dinner and are available through PayPal here.  (Don't forget to add the names of each guest in the 'special instructions' link when checking out on PayPal.)

For more information on the FEAST concept or for the details of submitting an artist proposal please go here.

Hope to see you there!

"Interbeing" Mural at Central High School by Josh Sarantitis

Just in case you've driven past Central High School in the past couple of days and wondered "Wow, what's going on?" That cool mural you're seeing being installed before your very eyes is the latest work of public art coordinated by UrbanArt created by renowned mural artist Josh Sarantitis.

Here's his concept behind the artwork, developed in conversation with Central High School art students:

  • The Mural will measure 4,000 sq ft, and be fabricated with a variety of media including glass mosaic tile, cut glass mosaic, and acrylic paint. One hundred students from Central High School have participated in both the design processes, as well as the fabrication and installation. The site is the school's large exterior wall, facing the football/track field (Crump Stadium).
  • This mural is about "Interbeing", a word first coined by Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, a close ally to Martin Luther King, Jr, and a leader who promotes peace, truth, and reconciliation throughout the world.
  • "Interbeing" describes the interrelationship between all people, the environment, and the world as a whole.
  • The mural has two main hands embracing a broken sphere. this sphere represents the human spirit as well as the spirit of Memphis. The hands are gently piecing the spirit ball back together- making it whole again. Wounds of the past can be healed, but the "scar" does not disappear.
  • As the word "interbeing" describes, the past is present in our everyday interactions, and in order to fully understand why there is pain and suffering, we must also understand happiness and joy. In this mural, the joys is  the color in the movement of line and the almost touching of the two hands.
  • Finally, the title of the mural "Mine Eyes Have Seen The Glory (Take my hand Sweet Lord) because these were the last public words spoken by Dr. King in his speech to support the sanitation worker's strike. And "take my hand" were the last words uttered by Dr. King as he lay dying in front of door #306 at the Lorraine Motel (fyi "#306" the numerical address of Central High School). It is the "Interbeing" of Memphis history, the sadness and joy, that define this mural project.
Josh Sarantitis is using a material called 'Polytab' or 'Parachute Cloth' that can be drawn and painted on indoors, then applied to the wall.

 The artist, Josh Sarantitis, working with Central High School art students.

 The Artist Josh Sarantitis, and his assistant Greta McLain.

 The final design.

City Beautiful Hosts 'Trashion Show' Benefit Event

What is a Trashion Show?

Trashion, a blending of the words 'trash' and 'fashion,' is a term for art, jewelry, fashion and objects for the home created from used, thrown-out, found and repurposed elements. The term was first coined in New Zealand in 2004.

'Curb Couture' is an opportunity for local professional and aspiring designers and artists to create fashion made from recycled materials, glass, garment bags, aluminum cans and more, and to show their designs on live runway models.

'Curb Couture' is also a party, silent auction and trashion show that will help raise funds for Memphis City Beautiful's Mini Grant Program. These grants will be used to support projects related to beautification and/or community greening.

Memphis City Beautiful

We strive to keep Memphis a beautiful, healthy and safe place to live through public education, programs and services. We work to engage individuals to take a greater responsibility for improving their community environments. For more information about Memphis City Beautiful programs or to see our volunteer opportunities, please visit us at

Sunday, June 5, 2011
Main Street
(in front of the Cannon Center)

Benefitting Friends of City Beautiful

For Our Designers

We invite creative minds from the fashion and artistic community to transform discarded materials into renewed pieces. By doing so, you will help Memphis City Beautiful educate the community about conservation and sustainability in a whole new way and publicize your talent at the same time.
Create Your Curb Couture

All designs must be constructed from at least 50% recycled materials.
Fabric, trims, embellishments, etc., from other sources may be incorporated in your designs and may include new or purchased goods as well as other recycled parts. All fashion pieces MUST be wearable and must be sized according to the included sizing chart.


Clothing: Men's and Women's

Accessories: Jewelry, Handbags, Belts, Hats

Application Deadline:

Monday, May 2, 2011

Please call (901) 522-1135
for an application

Designs Due:

Monday May 23, 2011

Deliver to:

Memphis City Beautiful
664 Adams Avenue
Memphis, TN 38105

Please call with any
questions 901-522-1135.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lynn Basa "Making the Leap to Public Art" Workshop

UrbanArt Brings Noted Public Art Educator for Workshop

When: 10a - 2p Thursday 24 March

Where: Adam Shaw Studio, 2549 Broad Avenue (adjacent to UrbanArt office).

What: Presenter Lynn Basa demonstrates methods for developing professional practices of artists interested in pursuing public art careers. Topics include: applying for projects, composing compelling letters of interest, and structuring strong finalist proposals.

Lynn Basa is a practicing public artist, painter, and professor of sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She is also the author of The Artist's Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions.

Lunch is provided.

Admission: $15 students; $25 general public; $45 institutions; FREE for artists of past and current UrbanArt projects with advance RSVP.

Admission fees must be paid in advance for registration. Checks should be made payable to 'UrbanArt Commission', stating 'Basa Talk' in the memo line. Please include a separate sheet of paper indicating the names of everyone attending the session to ensure name tags are printed accurately. Mail checks (or hand deliver) to: UrbanArt, 2549 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN 38112.

Admission fees may also be paid via PayPal on this blog. See below for payment options.

Location: Adam Shaw Studio, 2547 Broad Avenue.

Contact: Whitney Washington, / 901.454.0474.

Lynn Basa "Making the Leap to Public Art" Workshop tickets


Monday, March 7, 2011

1-Hour Business School for Artists **Free Lecture Series** RSVP now!

Amy Whitaker will be hosting a 1-hour Business School for Artists on THIS Thursday, March 10 from 6-7PM. It's FREEEEEEE! rsvp today.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

S.Sylve and Whitney Washington on the impact of murals in Memphis

Siphne Sylve and J. Weeden chop it up about "Board Up Paint Days" Mural Projects!

Hooray for the artists and volunteers that made this first MIFA/UrbanArt Paint Day a success! Thanks to Patrick Howie and Mary Claire Borys of MIFA for securing permission from the property owner and recruiting volunteers. Well done to UrbanArt's Siphne Sylve for her fantastic designs and bringing in local artists to make this community project truly shine. Materials and design support were provided by UrbanArt, whose mission is to enhance the cultural vibrancy of our community through public art. Want to pitch in and paint, or make a donation to the cause? Send an email to Siphne Sylve at '', with 'Paint Days' in the subject line.