Though the Memphis College of Art is now entering its final years of operation (doors close in May of 2020), students are still working on their degrees and, more importantly, making art.
Now is the time to check out MCA's last biennial student exhibition, which ends this Sunday (July 15) with a celebration and awards ceremony 6-9 p.m. Friday (July 13).
In addition, MCA has created a new donor club, called 1936 Club, organized to help ensure the top educational quality for their current students. 1936 Club was in a response to the school's decrease in funds since the announcement of its closing.
Both Kristian Rambo, alumni and advancement coordinator, and Bud Richey, VP of student affairs and dean of students, discuss MCA's last exhibit and the 1936 Club.
Darel Snodgrass: Kristian, why don't you start. This is a really big deal. It's called We Rise: The Final Biennial Alumni Exhibition. It wraps up this week.
Kristian Rambo: We have over fifty works of art at the historic Rust Hall. We put out a call and we had a ton of people that wanted to take part in this event.
Snodgrass: You are showcasing an incredible roster of alumni.
Rambo: We really do have an incredible roster. It always has been a big deal, every two years we have it. Every two years in between that we have the faculty biennial exhibition. So, now it's closing out this weekend. The last day is Sunday, July 15.
Snodgrass: And, you're having a party and award ceremony.
Rambo: This Friday, July 13, we are going to have a big celebration from 6:00pm – 9:00pm. It is open to the public and is a free event. We will show off all the great artwork and award artist in various categories, like Best in Show.
Snodgrass: Bud Richey is involved with the financial side of the business. He is putting together a new organization.
Bud Richey: Let me start by saying that MCA is not yet closed. We will still have students until May 2020, but we are no longer accepting new students. Part of what we are doing is seeking ways in which we can support the quality of their education. A new donor club has been created, called 1936 Club.
The idea is that members of the community, alumni, and others who wish can give. The commitment is $1,936, between now and January 2020. The website went up over the weekend and is live. We ask people to give what they can on the front end and we set up a payment schedule if they cannot pay it out at once.
Snodgrass: Where is this money going?
Richey: It's going the reserve right now to build a fund that we will use to continue college operations, like the purchase of supplies and faculty salary.
Snodgrass: I assume when MCA announced the closing of the school, there was a reduced number of donations and fundraising.
Richey: There was, and I think it’s a compelling case we can make that we need the funds and support.
For more information on the We Rise: The Final Biennial Alumni Exhibition visit mca.edu
and to learn more about 1936 Club visit click here.