Crosstown Arts to Host Four Exhibition Openings in One Night

 Elizabeth Alley
 Emily C. Thomas
 Pam McDonnell
Terri Phillips

Crosstown Arts will present four exhibition openings in its new galleries in Crosstown Concourse on Friday, January 26.

The four Memphis-based artists — Emily C. Thomas, Elizabeth Alley, Pam McDonnell, and Terri Phillips — will show their selected works in a reception from 6-8 pm that night. Each exhibition will run through March 11.

Emily C. Thomas’ “Imprismed” in the West Gallery will feature paintings, sculpture, and digital objects that construct a dialectic between the repression and cultivation of psycho-sexual energies through the ages.

From Thomas’ artist statement: “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.”

Elizabeth Alley’s “Two Stories of Iceland” in the East Gallery is a narrative exploration of Icelandic stories and landscape in small paintings and drawings.

In one in series, Alley shares the true story of a young woman who disappeared, played 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 was inspired by a trip she took to Iceland in 2015 with her best friend.

Pam McDonnell’s “Material Equivalence” in the East Gallery is an exploration of the Spanish term duende, which describes the wordless reaction a person feels from experiencing the output of another person’s creativity.

From McDonnell’s artist statement: “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’.”

Terri Phillips’ “Don’t Look for My Heart” in the West Gallery will feature canopy of black garments that loom over a pond of demolished confections, evoking a scene of quiet despair and a state of ruin. Her work incorporates humble materials and everyday objects to create scenes of magical realism. She choses materials based on their tactile and sensual qualities to provoke intuitive responses that include the viewer in completing the process of the narrative.

Crosstown Arts is a contemporary arts organization dedicated to further cultivating the creative community in Memphis. We provide resources and create opportunities and experiences to inspire, support, and connect a diverse range of creative people, projects, and audiences. Crosstown Arts is a founding partner, co-developer, and tenant of Crosstown Concourse.

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