MCA Announces Horn Island 32

by - August 03, 2016

Memphis College of Art (MCA) presents Horn Island 32, on view Aug. 15–Sept. 30 in the Rust Hall Main Gallery, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park. A special reception jointly celebrating the works of Horn Island 32, as well as Jeffrey Hodges’ Primal Rituals in the Rust Hall Alumni Gallery, will be held Saturday, Aug. 27 from 5:30–8:30 p.m.

The annual Horn Island exhibition is the result of a trip taken each May by MCA students, faculty and alumni to the undeveloped barrier island located off the coast of Pascagoula, Mississippi. The trip allows artists to unplug and unleash their creativity, and the resulting works ultimately comprise the yearly exhibition. Now in its 32nd year, the trip and consequent exhibition has become a beloved tradition of the college. Two alumni in particular traveled internationally and from across the country to participate in this year’s trip—one from Glasgow, Scotland, and another from Alaska.
Don DuMont, director of the Horn Island program, 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.” The exhibition will feature work in a wide range of media including paintings, cast work and metalwork, wood sculpture, photography and ceramics.  
This year’s trip was extended by one day, allowing the 32 artists to immerse themselves in the primitive conditions of the island for 10 days. “We had a major storm the first night with extremely strong winds, but afterward a blue moon came out and cast a beautiful light on the island,” said DuMont. The rest of the week was characterized by fair weather and numerous wildlife sightings including alligators, bunnies, raccoons, and a variety of birds. On the island, participants created assemblages from natural and manmade objects on the north side of the island. Two groups explored the west tip of the island on foot, while two participants proceeded to circumnavigate the full island. 
Horn Island 32 is one of many exhibitions MCA organizes for the community each year. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.Saturday 9 a.m.–4 p.m., and Sunday noon–4 p.m. All MCA exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public. For more information on current and upcoming exhibitions, visit
Photo: Bill Price

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