Combining the past with the present, Memphis College of Art (MCA) hosts the Take Note: The Final Faculty Biennial Exhibition, which showcases work from current faculty, as well as all living Professors Emeriti. The exhibit features a wide variety of art, including photographs, sculptures, twelve feet by twelve feet works, and even a wall of handprints from students and faculty over the years.
The exhibit is on display from February 22 to March 19, with the artist reception from 6:00PM - 8:00PM on March 1st.
Coordinator of External Engagement Oliva Wall and Associate Professor of Studio Art, Sculpture - Ceramics Area Head Leandra Urrutia join Darel Snodgrass on Checking on the Arts to discuss the Take Note: The Final Faculty Biennial Exhibition.
Darel Snodgrass: Olivia, tell about this exhibit.
Olivia Wall: We have all living Professors Emeritus participating. We have incredible works that are coming together with our current faculty members.
Snodgrass: Leandra, what is the background of faculty exhibit?
Leandra Urrutia: It is an exciting time to show off what you make in the studio to the community. This year, I am doing an installation piece, which is a little different than what I normally do – in terms of sculpture. I’ve reached out to the community to try and get as many people who have been either working at the college, teaching or taking classes there to get handprints from them to install those on the wall of the alumni gallery. It’s as a kind of memorial and lasting mark on the college. Almost like a psychic mark that will remain with the college even though it is closing.
Snodgrass: Do you try to put something special into these faculty exhibitions?
Urrutia: Every year. In addition to that installation, are two pieces that I made in China, that have not been shown here in the United States.
Snodgrass: What are some of the other pieces?
Wall: We have such a wide array. We have art that would fit every interest – large scale painting, ceramic pieces, photographs, installation.
Snodgrass: The people that are still there are sad of the closing of course but are dedicated to taking this through to the closing.
Wall: We have a great team at MCA and are all very committed to our current students and seeing everyone through to May 2020.
Snodgrass: There are a lot of pieces in this show.
Wall: Yes, and we have a lot of large-scale pieces about 35-36 pieces that some of which are about twelves feet by twelve feet wall installations.
Snodgrass: What is it like seeing works from these emeritus professors?
Urrutia: You hear so much about these Professors that were a part of the life of the school. To see their work and people recognize them and have all these great stories about taking classes with and learning from them. Having a show with them is exciting for the remaining faculty as well.
Snodgrass: Where did the idea for your hand project come in?
Urrutia: There is a cave in Argentina, Cueva de las Manos – cave of the hands – and they have dated it that these hands are about 9,000 years old. It fascinating to me that time passes, and people still have the same desire to leave a mark. Even though there are no names associated with that, every one of those hands belonged to somebody who had a life, hopes, and dreams. I was touched by that and I thought that it was a good parallel for what is happening with the college. It’s a way to leave a memory and even though the installation will be taken down those hand and that kind of mark will still be there even though it’s painted over.
Snodgrass: What will you do when you wrap up there?
Urrutia: I have an exciting residency coming up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It’s at the Northern Play Center. It’s a three-month residency where I plan to make a new body of work, starting in July.
Snodgrass: Are there any plans of other Professors to change venues?
Wall: Each faculty is individual in what they are going to do. But, I would anticipate that as professional working artists that they are going to go forward in the world and continue making a mark, regardless of where they are at.