Dr. Ron Jones Retires as President of MCA, Laura Hine Appointed as Interim President
Last month MCA’s Chairman of the Board Henry Doggrell announced that President Ron Jones, 74, would retire at the end of February. Jones came to MCA in 2011 from the University of South Florida, and through his tenure oversaw a major reorganization of the college in 2012. In addition to securing the college’s accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), Jones directed the development of the College’s broad-ranging Professional Practices (P2) curriculum, ensuring that MCA graduates have essential career readiness skills for any professional path they may choose. “Ron Jones took over the leadership of MCA at a time of transition for the college,” said Doggrell. “Today, through Dr. Jones’ guidance and tireless efforts, MCA has a strategic plan approved by its Board of Trustees to guide a dedicated leadership team as they direct MCA’s future.” MCA’s Vice President for Advancement Laura Hine has been appointed to the role of Interim President. A native Memphian, Hine earned her Juris Doctorate from the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis, and has previously worked in fundraising and senior executive roles at leading firms such as Arthur Andersen and Baker Donelson. Prior to her arrival at MCA, Hine helped re-engineer and stabilize the Workforce Investment Network, a federally funded regional workforce development agency, as a Deputy Director for the City of Memphis. Hine has worked closely with Jones since she arrived at MCA in 2014, and has boosted fundraising efforts, created and sharpened admissions marketing messages, and built unique partnerships for MCA in Memphis and the region. Read more…
MCA Students, Alumni Take Gold and Silver at 2017 ADDY Awards
Last week, three of MCA’s Graphic Design students brought home gold and silver awards from the 2017 ADDY Awards—an annual event hosted by the Memphis chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF) to recognize creativity and innovation in the industry, at both the professional and academic levels. MCA students Davis Tate, Mia Saine and Mariel Ramsey were recognized for projects completed in the Print Design and Production, and Advertising Design classes under the direction of Instructor Kevin Mitchell. Tate received a gold award for his Out-of-Home & Ambient Media campaign, inTEXTicated, as well as a silver award for concert posters advertising The Hype. Saine also received a gold award in the Sales & Marketing category for her self-promotion branding package, while Ramsey received a silver award for her Print Production ad campaign Stop. Look. Drive., a campaign advocating against texting and driving. “Our students have done amazing work over the past year, and it’s encouraging and exciting for them to receive recognition from industry professionals in the AAF before they even enter their careers,” said Mitchell. Ben Fant, the Student Relations board member for AAF Memphis and Principal/Creative Director for Farmhouse Marketing, said submissions in the student category were especially impressive this year. “We had a lot of amazing work from students this year. It is always exciting whenever we can get students involved in the process of ADDY judging. This is great exposure for them, and it allows agencies to see the talent that is being nurtured locally,” said Fant.
Several MCA alumni also received significant recognition at this year’s ADDY Awards. Under the leadership of MCA alumnus and Chief Creative Officer for ArcherMalmoGary Backaus (BFA ‘86), alumni Billy Riley (BFA ‘92), Leah Jones (BFA ‘98), Richard Williams (BFA ‘90), Ben Colar (BFA ‘06), Kong Wee Pang (BFA ‘03, MFA ‘12) and Katie Steed (BFA ‘09) took home a combined total of 19 gold and numerous silver awards, including special recognition such as the Special Judges Award, Best of Photography, Best of Copywriting, and Best of Show. Alumni working with other area firms received gold awards as well, including Clare Freeman (BFA ‘13) with Simple Focus and David Hardin (BFA ‘04) with Sullivan Branding, among many others.
Illustration Students Exhibit at Theatre Memphis
MCA’s Illustration students will continue their series of community exhibitions with a show this month at Theatre Memphis. MCA faculty Jean Holmgren and Shane McDermott coordinated with Theatre Memphis' Marketing Director Randall Hartzog to organize the show, for which students in MCA's Illustration and Comics classes were tasked with creating artwork inspired by Theatre Memphis’ upcoming production, Side Show. The musical is based on a true story about conjoined twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who became famous stage performers and a major traveling vaudeville act in the 1930s. In preparation for creating the work, students researched vintage circus posters and graphic interpretations by Polish and contemporary poster artists. From there, the students created sketches of potential designs that were both striking and representative of the overall spirit and theme of the musical. Ranging in content from playful and humorous to dark and ominous, students created a variety of show posters which will exhibit at Theatre Memphis March 10–April 2. Prints of the posters will be available for purchase to ticket holders on opening night of the production, and guests will have the opportunity to meet the artists that evening.
For more information about collaborative opportunities with MCA’s Illustration department, contact Michele Noiset at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Art Camp Registration Opens with Early Bird Discount
MCA’s Community Education department recently opened registration for its newly accredited Summer Art Camp program, marking the earliest registration opening to date for the annual camp. Cece Palazola, MCA’s Director of Community Education, said that this year’s camp was redesigned in response to feedback from parents and campers. “This summer's program will be more focused and vibrant than ever, with new offerings in exciting areas such as Design Thinking, Digital Painting and Kinetic Sculpture, and in addition to courses with more traditional media such as painting and drawing, clay sculpture and international art.” As a continuation of previous years, parents have the option to register their child for full- or half-day options during regular camp hours, with the additional option of extended care in the mornings and afternoons. MCA’s Summer Art Camp is one of only two camps in Shelby County—and the only art camp in the region—to earn accreditation from the American Camp Association (ACA). Palazola said the accreditation is a huge accomplishment for the department, and signifies that they will offer the best art camp in the history of the college and set a strong framework for future growth. “We are so fortunate to have the ACA to look to as a resource for helping us develop and maintain a robust, engaging and safe program for our campers. By providing a framework through their accreditation process, ACA has given us an opportunity to understand and apply standards and best practices in youth program design, operational management, camper safety and other critical areas.”
The Community Education department will give a sneak peek of activities planned for this year during a special Camp Preview Day on April 1 from 2–4 p.m. in Rust Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park. Families who register their child for camp now through March 31 will receive a special 10% Early Bird discount. For more information about this year’s Summer Art Camp, visit mca.edu.
Painting Students Exhibit Art Contest Work at Radian Partners
In September 2016, MCA On View reported on the student art contest that the financial planning firm Radian Partners was sponsoring for MCA’s Painting students. The students’ hard work will come to fruition this month, as over 30 of their works will be unveiled for exhibition at Radian Partners’ headquarters in East Memphis, and continue on view through August. During the fall semester, students were prompted to create art for the contest surrounding themes and elements that make Memphis the vibrant city it is today. The firm will host a private reception on March 24. At the reception, five students will be announced as award-winning artists and receive cash prizes in exchange for their work, which will be added to Radian Partners’ permanent collection. Painting Instructors Joe Morzuch and Marc Rouillard curated the selections on display in this special exhibit. Radian Partners’ Patrick McDowell and Larry Tolbert are sponsors of the contest and exhibition, and said the show will serve to celebrate the artistic contribution that MCA students have made through the years to the city of Memphis.
For more information on how your business can partner with MCA, contact Katherine Lawson at email@example.com.
At the start of the year, Metals Instructor Adam Hawk was announced as a 2017 Finalist for the international NICHE Award Competition. His sculpture “SC6” was one of four finalists in the professional sculpture category. Hawk recently exhibited his work in the MCA Gallery at Playhouse on the Square with Painting Instructor Joe Morzuch during the exhibition Image and Object, and currently has work on view at the Metal Museum through April 16 for Rounding the Edge, an exhibition in the Museum Store Gallery. He has exhibited extensively around the city and the nation at galleries and museums including the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, Mississippi; the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts; the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin; the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Smithville, Tennessee; and the 2006 ABANA Conference in Seattle, Washington.
Later this month, Hawk will travel with a group of students and alumni to Florence, Italy alongside Assistant Professor of Art History Lu Auz for the annual Study Abroad Spring Break Trip. Each spring, Hawk partners with an art history instructor to take MCA students to an international city, with the purpose of studying the city’s art, history and culture. This is just one of many opportunities for students that Hawk has helped to organize at the college (in addition to assisting with the annual trip to Horn Island off the coast of Mississippi, now in its 33rd year). “I believe that it is imperative to afford students with opportunities for growth and exposure to other environments and cultures. It’s infinitely gratifying to teach students how to harness these experiences and use them to influence their creative process,” said Hawk.
Hawk graduated from MCA’s sculpture department in 2003, and went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2008. His expertise and experience in metals and blacksmithing played an important role in the 2016 acquisition of new metals equipment with Associate Professor Bill Price, through a grant from the Windgate Foundation. The equipment broadens department capabilities by adding new processes in blacksmithing, machining, and small metals (such as engraving); while also providing students and faculty the ability to work with various digital processes that are current in the fields of metalsmithing and sculpture. MCA is now the only accredited institution in the south (and second in the nation) to offer both undergraduate and graduate study in the art of blacksmithing.
Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, MCA senior Rashad Worthy came to Memphis to attend Memphis College of Art—a college that he says had its own special character apart from other schools he toured in the region. “After being here for four years, I see how involved MCA is with the Memphis community, and how the school, students, faculty and alumni are a part of the life of this city.”
A Graphic Design major, Worthy has had the opportunity to intern with three companies in Memphis over the last few years—the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, AutoZone and Cyber Graphics. Worthy was initially drawn to graphic design because of his interest in how psychology plays into the field, but over time has been inspired with how his skills can positively impact the community. Through MCA’s Design Lab, Worthy has worked on group projects with Loeb Properties for Overton Square, as well as promotional materials for the Make-a-Wish Foundation’s Mid-South Chapter. Last year, Worthy received a gold ADDY Award from the American Advertising Federation's Memphis chapter for a class project promoting anxiety awareness.
Worthy graduates this May, and hopes to one day build his own graphic design firm. “While I love the many directions that design can take you, the main aspect I love is branding,” said Worthy. “It’s an opportunity to create something that people have never seen before, but beyond that, it’s a chance to help another person realize their dreams in regard to creating their own business.”