MCA Presents Horn Island 31


Memphis College of Art will present Horn Island 31 in the Rust Hall Main Gallery from Aug. 17 through Oct. 2. A special opening reception will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
This annual exhibition’s artwork is the outcome of an 11-day annual trip by MCA students, faculty and alumni to Horn Island, a barrier island off the coast of Pascagoula, Miss. This year, 40 participants made the excursion, immersing themselves in the relative isolation and primitive conditions of the undeveloped island.
Traditionally, the first stop for the excursion is the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, Miss. Anderson, an American artist who spent much of his childhood and adult life in coastal Mississippi, drew heavily on the wildlife and environment of Horn Island for his work. This year, however, the Museum galleries featured the work of MCA artists from the Horn Island 30 excursion in A Halcyon Place: Horn Island 30. “In celebration of the Horn Island program’s milestone anniversary, the Museum offered us the opportunity to display the artwork created by the HI30 participants,” said Don DuMont, director of the Horn Island program. “It was a very special way to begin this year’s excursion, especially since the Walter Anderson Museum has been such a wonderful partner for so many years.”
On the island, the artists worked on a north side installation of found fallen wood. Some explored the east and west sections of the island on foot, while others explored the inner lagoons on kayaks, some having firsthand encounters with osprey, black skimmers, alligators, dolphins, rays and raccoons. DuMont says the unspoiled, natural setting provides unique artistic inspiration. “On Horn Island, participants have the time to reflect and respond to an idea without the interruption of modern day conveniences,” said DuMont. He notes that the conditions on the island each year also have an impact on the participants. “There was a large storm on the Thursday of the excursion which influenced pieces for several of the artists.” Participants are given several weeks following the excursion to develop a body of work inspired by their experience.
Gallery hours for the Horn Island 31 exhibition are Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. and Sundaynoon – 4 p.m.
Photo: Patricia Trahan and Matthew Cardenas, Nocturnal Light Painting on made structure. Photo by James Carey.

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