Contact: Carrie Corbett
Director of College Communications
ccorbett@mca.edu
901-272-5111

May 24, 2013

"Space is the Place" by Alex PaulusC Robots by Alex Paulus

Memphis College of Art Announces Alexander Paulus Exhibition

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Memphis College of Art announces the opening of its newest alumni exhibition, Space Is The Place, by Alexander Paulus on May 29. The exhibition will run until Aug. 3 in the Alumni Gallery of Rust Hall.

Paulus earned an MFA from Memphis College of Art in 2009 and a BFA from Southeast Missouri State University with an emphasis in painting in 2003. He is currently an instructor at Southwest Tennessee Community College.

For Space is the Place, Paulus has drawn inspiration from diverse sources. “This work takes the theories of ancient aliens, mythological gods and modern-day science and smashes them all together,” said Paulus. “The purpose of this is to further confuse future generations as to what present-day humans believe is the origin of our existence.”

Rust Hall’s Alumni Gallery is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.


Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit mca.edu. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/memphiscollegeofart and on Twitter at @memphisart.

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Contact: Carrie Corbett
Director of College Communications
ccorbett@mca.edu
901-272-5111

May 22, 2013

NOTE: The opening date for Overwhelming Captivation has been rescheduled for May 31. The gallery will open at noon, and the opening reception will begin at 6 p.m.

"Overwhelming Captivation"

Overwhelming Captivation at Memphis College of Art’s Hyde Gallery

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Memphis College of Art will host Overwhelming Captivation at Hyde Gallery in the Nesin Graduate Center, 477 S. Main St., May 29 – June 14 with an opening reception Friday, May 31, 6–9 p.m. during South Main Trolley Night.

This exhibition is juried by Robert Hollingsworth, gallery manager at David Lusk Gallery, and curated by current MFA student Thomas Green.

Overwhelming Captivation is a visual conversation through works of varied and contrasting materials, illustrating the ideas of being human and emotionally overcome by ephemeral forces. Themes within the show are broad, confronting psychological problems—obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, fear—and touching on the ideas of addiction, lust, anger, gluttony, sloth, envy, greed or other references to the concept of obsession.

Hyde Gallery is open Wednesday–Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. On Trolley Nights, Hyde Gallery is also open 6–9 p.m. All of MCA’s galleries are open to the public, and admission is free.


Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit mca.edu. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/memphiscollegeofart and on Twitter at @memphisart.

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Beverly Speaks and Congressman CohenCongressman Steve Cohen congratulates Beverly Speakes

Beverly Speakes was the valedictorian for MCA’s 63rd graduating class. She presented the following speech to family and friends, faculty and fellow graduates at the commencement ceremony, held at the Levitt Shell:

I’m a non-traditional student who’s overcome—or worked around—some non-traditional obstacles. It’s a good thing I’m creative and more than a little bit obsessive, because those traits have put me here speaking to you today. Since I’ve been a student at MCA, when I’ve been out and people have seen my ID, they’ve invariably assumed that I was a grad student or a teacher. “No,” I told them, “I’m working for my undergrad—I’m just a slow starter”—and since it’s now 2013, obviously I’m a slow finisher, as well. It’s taken me 10 years to get my degree, but my dreams of art school and my desire for an art degree have existed much longer than that. I had heard about Memphis College of Art for as long as I’d been in Memphis, and I nurtured a secret desire to be a student here. But life happened. There was work and child raising and more work, and every year, my plans moved me further and further away from the idea of being at MCA. I finally quit thinking about it entirely. Then one year, I became very ill, plans went awry, my existence went sideways, and within a short time, the person I had been was gone, and the person I’d become was a stranger. And then more life happened—because that’s what it does. But slowly, I began to move forward. In 2002, applying to Memphis College of Art—finally taking that first step—was a way of moving forward for me. I learned early on that I wasn’t able to study the way people usually do, so I had to figure out how I could study. And I did. Even so, it’s been hard. But here I am.

I’ve been here for a long time. I remember when Leslie became the librarian, when Shane began teaching Illustration, and when Tom Lee’s facial hair looked more…domesticated. I was the RA the first year that Metz Hall was open. Mike and Jeff, with their maintenance super powers, became my heroes that year. There were 40-plus residents, mostly freshman, many of whom had never been away from home before. That term was never—ever—dull. And it gave me some lasting relationships. In just a few years, I saw those fellow students graduate—and I’m still in touch with some of them. I’ve seen them go on to grad school, to work—several have gotten married and now have families. Watching them begin their away-from-home lives at MCA and then go out into the world has made me feel as though I am a part of something large and wide reaching.

MCA has taken a group trip every Spring since I’ve been here. One year, I went with them to Paris. It was cold; it even snowed a little. But it was Paris and it was amazing—even though I was worse for wear when I got back home. I saw works by Leonardo, Dali, Kandinsky and Degas—and I visited Jim Morrison’s grave. That trip was something I’ll never forget. Every year, I’ve thought about going to Horn Island too, and although Lisa Tribo and Bob Riseling have made a good case for it, so far, I’m still way too attached to indoor plumbing to brave it, but maybe one day I’ll get there.

The best part of my MCA experience has been my 10-year exposure to art students and teachers. Being surrounded by talented, creative people is just about the best thing, ever. There’s nothing like it. I’ve learned a lot, and I have enduring memories of surf music and bunny stories. I’ve met so many incredible people…some who’ve already left, some who are leaving and some who’ll be here for a while longer. I’ve secretly wished to be a few of them—Brittany Vega, Krislee Kyle and Fidencio Martinez, this year, for instance. Seeing things through your eyes, listening to you talk about how you see the world has given me perspective that I don’t believe I’d have found anywhere else.

I’ve had a support system here at MCA. Today, some of those people are sitting behind me—some are in the audience, when in years past, they’d have also been sitting behind me—and some are not in attendance. But wherever they all are at this moment, their counsel and kindness has been most appreciated. Thank you especially to Betty Spence, who kept me sane and focused on more than one occasion. Thank-yous also go out to Jennifer Sargent, Shane McDermott, Tad Lauritzen-Wright and Fred Burton who, without fail, always made me feel as though I had potential. Thank you, as well, to Jeanine, Nona, Diane, Deborah, Kenny, Lisa, Zark and the rest of you who always met me with smiles, hellos and conversation.

Smiles and hellos and conversation mean a lot. And last but not least, my heartfelt thanks go to Susan Miller, who unfailingly encouraged me and who did her best to fix any problem I ever brought to her.

We sometimes hear—from non-artists, of course—that majoring in art is not desirable, that we should be investing in something that much of rest of the world believes to have a more guaranteed or lucrative return. I think the rest of the world is jealous. I believe that we, as artists, more than any other career demographic, invest in ourselves. We invest in the innate need we have to make art—to have that intensely personal experience—and share it. When we leave Memphis College of Art, things might not always turn out as we plan. There will probably be obstacles—and ups and downs. Things might be harder than we expect them to be. But it is vital that we—as artists—persevere. We need to continue making art and we need to continue sharing it. Art is one of the primary hallmarks of civilization. The world needs artists. We inspire. We ­are important.

The word “valedictorian” is derived from the Latin root phrase meaning, “to say farewell.” And this is the day we do just that. Our time at MCA has come to a close and we’ll follow different paths from here on out. We’re saying good-bye, but we’ll carry little bits of MCA with us—the memories of the people we’ve met here, the experiences we’ve had and the knowledge we’ve gained. We are now, forever, a part of Memphis College of Art and it is, forever, a part of us. I don’t know if any of us can impact the future in huge ways, but I firmly believe that the common spark that drew us to MCA, that part of us that’s been nurtured here, gives us, at least, the power to make the corners of the world where we eventually end up, little bit better. Thank you.

Beverly Speakes, Class of 2013 Valedictorian
May 11, 2013

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Contact: Shawna Engel
Vice President for College Advancement
sengel@mca.edu
(901) 272-5115

Memphis College of Art Hosts Disegno 6

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Memphis College of Art will host Disegno 6: Contemporary Undergraduate Drawing, May 16 – July 14 in the Main Gallery of MCA’s Rust Hall, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park.

The participating student artists from MCA are Christian Brown, Evan Hoffman, Fidencio Martinez, Kate Mattingly and Jennifer McClish. McClish earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in December 2012. Hoffman and Martinez are graduating this semester. Works by students from other participating colleges are also featured in the show.

Disegno 6 is a traveling group exhibition of drawings by undergraduate students from art institutions across the United States. These exhibitions bring together works by students who find the discipline of drawing to be at the core of their education, regardless of their chosen field.

The Disegno exhibition series was created and is facilitated annually by Jessie Fisher, associate professor of painting at the Kansas City Art Institute.

This is the sixth year for the touring exhibition, which began its run at the Maryland Institute College of Art earlier this year. It then moved to the Kansas City Art Institute and the University of South Carolina before arriving at MCA for its final show.

Rust Hall’s galleries are open Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and Sunday noon – 3 p.m. All of MCA’s galleries are open to the public, and admission is free.


Memphis College of Art provides a rigorous curriculum in an intimate, diverse community to empower generations of leading artists, designers and educators to flourish professionally and contribute valuable ideas to society. The region’s only independent art and design college, MCA is fully accredited with expert, nationally renowned faculty and grants BFA, MFA, MA in Art Education and MA in Teaching degrees with graduates excelling in various careers across the country and internationally. For more information, visit mca.edu. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/memphiscollegeofart and on Twitter at @memphisart.

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