Crosstown Arts - February 2018 Events

by - January 26, 2018


wishbook: William E. Jones
On view through February 11

New work by William E. Jones | Curated by Terri Phillips and Brian Pera
The wishbook series is a triannual exhibition with a focus on artists’ films. Curators Brian Pera and Terri Phillips welcome internationally recognized artists, filmmakers, and critics to Memphis for this exciting new series, which takes its name from the famed Sears Catalog and is hosted by Crosstown Arts at Crosstown Concourse, itself once a major Sears distribution center. Drawing from a wide range of topics, techniques, and perspectives, the films index the scope of work being done by artists in moving pictures.

About the Artist:
William E. Jones has made the films Massillon (1991) and Finished (1997), which won a Los Angeles Film Critics Association award, the documentary Is It Really So Strange?  (2004), and many videos including The Fall of Communism as Seen in Gay Pornography (1998). His work was included in the 1993 and 2008 Whitney Biennials, and he has had retrospectives at Tate Modern (2005), Anthology Film Archives (2010), and the Austrian Film Museum (2011). His books include “Killed”: Rejected Images of the Farm Security Administration (2010), Halsted Plays Himself (2011), and Imitation of Christ, named one of the best photo books of 2013 by Time magazine.

Elizabeth Alley: Two Stories of Iceland
On view through March 11
Crosstown Arts, East Gallery, 1350 Concourse Ave.
A narrative exploration of Icelandic stories and landscape in small paintings and drawings by Elizabeth Alley.

Artist Statement:
Iceland is dramatic and magical, with mountains, lava fields, the original geyser, visible tectonic plates, and rivers that dramatically cut through the landscape and produce giant waterfalls that look like they drop into the abyss. Just looking at the rocks covered with moss, or the lupin flowers creating an intricate pattern, or the steam venting out of hot springs in the distance makes you feel like you are in a magical story. The people are lovely with a dry and dark sense of humor and a deep belief in spirits, which is fitting for a place where the landscape feels like a presence.

Two Stories of Iceland is a narrative exploration of stories of Iceland in small paintings and drawings. In one series, a true story about a young woman who disappeared, plays out in small ink drawings that tell the story of the ensuing search, investigation, and the impact this event had on the community. Another series is of a trip I took to Iceland in 2015 with my best friend, who is Icelandic, and our families. As I tell the story of the trip in small paintings and drawings, I re-live the trip obsessively.

Telling these stories through sketching and painting keeps me connected to the experience and to this place that now lives in my heart.
About the Artist:
Elizabeth Alley was born in Memphis, Tennessee, and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Memphis. In addition to making paintings and filling up sketchbooks, she teaches at Flicker Street Studio and organizes Memphis Urban Sketchers. Since 1999, she has organized, curated, produced, and participated in 32 solo and group shows.
She spent over 11 years in public art administration, two years in the roller derby, served as president of Urban Sketchers, and by day works as a technical communicator with a flair for project management. Other interests include reading, traveling, making lists, and staring out the window.

Pam McDonnell: Material Equivalence
New work by Memphis-based artist Pam McDonnell
Curated by Anna Wunderlich
Artist Statement:
Material Equivalence is my exploration of the Spanish term “duende.” It describes the wordless reaction a person feels from experiencing the output of another person’s creativity. It can be seen in work that has a certain quality of passion and inspiration. Work with duende is said to have a soul, be highly expressive, and authentic.
In making this body of work, I tried not to focus on whether a certain piece exhibited this
heightened state of emotion because I wanted to leave that determination to the viewer. Instead, I practiced noticing and trusting when I felt expressive and authentic and staying grounded in the assurance that the work was, in a sense, “making itself.”
This exhibition is titled “Material Equivalence” after a philosophical formula that sets out to prove an “if and only if” relationship. Here, it would state that “the work has duende, if, and only if, the viewer experiences the work as work with a soul and finds it full of passion and inspiration.”

About the Artist:
Pam McDonnell earned her BFA from University of Memphis in 2005 and has exhibited her work at a number of local galleries and studios, including David Lusk Gallery and Flicker Street Studio. Her work is displayed in public collections at Iberia Bank, West Cancer Center, and Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.

Terri Phillips: Don’t Look for My Heart
On view through March 11
A canopy of black garments that loom over a pond of demolished confections, evoking a scene of quiet despair and a state of ruin.

Artist Statement:
Terri Phillips draws from a multiplicity of artistic traditions, including sculpture, performance, film, installation, sound, and photography. Her work incorporates humble materials and everyday objects to create scenes of magic realism based on an abstracted narrative of the artist’s history. Phillips choses materials based on their tactile and sensual qualities to provoke intuitive responses that include the viewer in completing the process of the narrative. Together these elements transform the experience with the intimacy of memory and the subconscious.

About the Artist:
Phillips returns to Memphis after completing her education at California Institute of the Arts, Beaux-Arts, and Pepperdine University. She has been an adjunct art instructor at Memphis College of Art and University of Memphis for the past several years and has exhibited and curated internationally

Emily C. Thomas: Imprismed
On view through March 11
An exhibition of paintings, sculpture, and digital objects that constructs a dialectic between the repression and cultivation of psycho-sexual energies through the ages.

Imagine walking into a gallery space and telepathically downloading a mirage of visions, ideas, and living information. IMPRISMED proposes to explore the unconscious infrastructures that inform our perceptions within the lineage of visionary thinkers and cultural commentators such as Marshall McLuhan.

During the 1960s, McLuhan became a leading intellectual, initiating the emerging field of Media studies. He coined revolutionary maxims such as “the medium is the message,” and even predicted the internet nearly 30 years before its invention. This show contains paintings, sounds, sculpture and digital objects made of light — a full range of materials dating back through humanity’s most historic to most recent artistic innovations — all  of which attempt to nurture an awareness of how the medium defines their meaning.

Human history contains many examples of the use of torture devices on individuals in order to extract information or force confessions, such as their use during the Salem Witch Trials and Spanish Inquisition. Back in the 1800s, Native American peoples were wary of their souls being captured if they allowed themselves to be the subject of a photographs, as if the spirit might become locked into the material density of film. McLuhan also warned against such phenomena when he said, “The more data banks record about us, the less we exist.”

Part visual boot camp, part torture dungeon and New Age sanctuary, IMPRISMED constructs a dialectic between the repression and cultivation of psycho-sexual energies through the ages.

About the Artist:
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Emily C. Thomas is an interdisciplinary, project-based artist who has lived and worked in New York, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Memphis, and Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She received a BFA from NYU in 2009 and a MFA from UC Santa Barbara in 2015.

Her imagery frequently alludes to the practice of observing color, light, and darkness as a way to gain insight into the spiritual and scientific nature of reality. Her work is created by equal parts research, imagination, and hands-on experimentation with materials and technology. The result is an aesthetic that embraces elements of the handmade alongside digital and obsolete technologies.


Open Crit
Tuesday, Feb. 13, 6-8 pm
Crosstown Arts’ Open Crit series is a monthly critique event where visual artists are invited to bring new and/or in-progress studio work for critical feedback and group discussion particular to each artist’s practice.

A dedicated facilitator with experience in a group critique setting will guide discussion for each critique event, which will include up to 4 artists’ work, with 15-25 minutes devoted to the work of each.


Shoot & Splice: For the Love of Cinema with Rashna Richards
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 6:30-9 pm
Crosstown Arts, 430 N. Cleveland

Monthly filmmaking forum presented by Indie Memphis and Crosstown Arts.

Rashna Richards will discuss what it means to teach Film and Media Studies in the twenty-first century. The first part of her talk will be based on her recent co-edited collection, For the Love of Cinema: Teaching Our Passion in and Outside the Classroom, which offers multiple ways to think about the relationship between the love of cinema and teaching. In the second half, she will expand this discussion by offering examples of her own teaching at Rhodes College and speaking more broadly about the role of film education.

Complimentary food and drinks will be available and, as always, this Shoot & Splice is FREE and open to the public. Doors at 6:30 pm | Discussion at 7 pm

Indie Wednesdays: International Shorts
Wednesday, Feb. 7, 7–9 pm

Selection of International Shorts submitted to the 2017 Indie Memphis Film Festival, curated by shorts programmer Brighid Wheeler.  Featuring films from Norway, Canada, India, South Korea, China, and Mexico.

Presented by Indie Memphis. Pay what you can.

Indie Wednesdays: The Road MovieWednesday, Feb. 21, 7-9 pm
Crosstown Arts, 430 N. Cleveland

Screening of The Road Movie — A mosaic of asphalt adventures, landscape photography, and some of the craziest sh*t you’ve ever seen, through a compilation of video footage shot exclusively via dashboard cameras that populate Russian roads.

Presented by Indie Memphis. Pay what you can.


Anti-Twilight Dark Band
Thursday, Feb. 1, 7-9 pm
Crosstown Arts, 430 N Cleveland

Anti-Twilight Dark Band: The intersection of ambient music, jazz and improvisation.

The Anti-Twilight Dark Band features Jimmy Crosthwait on zen chimes and Greg Faiers playing heavily processed guitar. The chimes are a byproduct of Crosthwait’s metal art work. He uses sticks (various metal and wooden implements) to create a musical percussive effect. Jimmy’s zen chimes have a sound all their own but do suggest southeast Asian and African influences.

Greg’s guitar work / atmospherics is heavily influenced by the likes of Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, Daniel Lanois, David Sylvian, and others well known in the ambient music world. While some sequences are preconceived, most of the performances are truly improvised on the fly.

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