MCA News

MCA and local institutions host first Memphis Creative Collaborative Student Showcase

Interested in meeting the latest and greatest creative talent in Memphis? Join Memphis College of Art (MCA) and other local institutions for the first ever Memphis Creative Collaborative Student Showcase hosted at MCA on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 between 4:30 – 6:30pm.

Like other colleges and universities, MCA has traditionally offered an annual showcase-style career fair for graduating students. This year, they have taken the showcase to the next level by inviting other local institutions to join forces. Students from CBU, LeMoyne Owen College, Rhodes College, and Southwest Tennessee Community College will participate alongside MCA seniors to offer a large creative networking event and one-stop shop for creative students and employers or internship sites.

Dr. Carrie Brooks, MCA’s Director of Career Development, explains, “Area college career directors and I came together in spring 2019 and all agreed that collaborating on a big event would be both beneficial to all of our students and a unique way to show the creative talent that is blossoming in our community.”

The Memphis Creative Collaborative Student Showcase will be held in MCA’s main gallery in Rust Hall within Overton Park. This dynamic gathering will showcase over 50 students who will be ready to share their work, receive feedback, and hear about the opportunities you have in your organization or know about in your network.

Events like these are a concrete step that the community can take to help emerging creatives step into their professional lives. In addition, it is one of the last opportunities to support MCA and the final class of the college, all of whom will graduate in May 2020.

In its final year, MCA offered to host the event, which it has traditionally offered to its students in the past. There is typically a small percentage of creatives at traditional colleges and universities, so this event will be both an important ending for MCA as well as begin a new tradition for creative students at other colleges to continue the event at other locations after MCA closes.

“We want this event to be an opportunity for the creative community in Memphis to see the art and design being produced in all of the institutions and to experience first-hand the variety of media and skills offered,” says Dr. Brooks. “It will be a dynamic event where professionals can connect with students, and potentially with other professionals.”

Stop by and experience the wide-range of creative talent and work on view at MCA on February 25. Attendees will have the opportunity to see artwork, talk to students, and discuss opportunities. The Showcase is open to any individual or business interested in meeting these talented creatives of the future. See how Memphis’ creative students can positively impact your organization, business, or community.

Refreshments will be available to enjoy as attendees mix and mingle with this group of talented artists, animators, illustrators and designers.

Registration is required, and can be completed at this link:

Memphis Creative Collaborative Student Showcase Registration

We will post highlights and reminders in our Facebook event, so click here to stay in the loop.

Save the Date: 69th & Final Holiday Bazaar

1950-2019 A Memphis Tradition

The 69th and Final Annual Holiday Bazaar will take place November 22-23, 2019 at Rust Hall within Overton Park. The Bazaar will kick off on Friday, Nov. 22 with a ticketed Preview and Purchase Party from 5–10 p.m., and will have an Open Market with free admission on Saturday, Nov. 23 from 10 a.m.­–5 p.m.

This year’s Holiday Bazaar will feature many of the items that made the Bazaar an iconic Memphis institution, including an eclectic, curated collection of handmade jewelry, textiles, pottery and ceramics, watercolor, acrylic and oil paintings, custom prints, photography, mixed media pieces, ornaments, metalwork, woodwork, and more, spanning a range of price points.

Tickets for the Preview and Purchase Party, which allow attendees to shop the Bazaar before it opens to the general public, are $50 per person. Tickets will be available for purchase online here and at the door. On Saturday, the Bazaar opens to public and admission is free.

Mark your calendar and stay tuned for more information!

Save the Date and Submit your Work! MCA’s 69th & Final Holiday Bazaar

The Memphis College of Art 69th and Final Holiday Bazaar (Juried Show) is now accepting submissions. The Early Submission Deadline is Thursday, August 22. The Final Submission Deadline is Monday, September 23. To apply online, click here.

There will be a ticketed Opening Celebration on Friday, November 22, and the bazaar will be open to the public on Saturday, November 23. The Bazaar is located in Rust Hall, Memphis College of Art 1930 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38104.

The Holiday Bazaar is an excellent opportunity for both emerging and established artists to showcase their work in a high-traffic, gallery event. Work from students, faculty, alumni, and trending local artists will be for sale. As an open call, any local artist may submit, and there is no cost to apply.

Elvis is King! Animation and Illustrator Chris Sickels is the 2019 Downing Pryor Visiting Artist

Chris Sickels is appearing at the Memphis College of Art as a part of their Downing Pryor lecture series as he tours for the release of his newest book Elvis Is King! Chris is the artist behind Red Nose Studio and will be discussing the book and his work as an animator and illustrator. 

6:00 – 7:00 p.m. – Chris Sickels discussion in Callicott Auditorium in Rust Hall.

7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Reception and booksigning in the Main Gallery in Rust Hall. Books will be available for purchase onsite.

About Chris Sickels:

Chris Sickels, the creative force behind the award-winning Red Nose Studio, has illustrated Here Comes the Garbage Barge! by Jonah Winter (4 starred reviews, New York Times Best Illustrated Book Award) and The Secret Subway by Shana Corey (3 starred reviews, Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2016). His 3-D illustrations are built from wire, fabric, wood, found objects, and more. His work has appeared in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal and as a poster for the NYC subway. He has been awarded three gold medals and one silver by the Society of Illustrators. Visit him at or on Twitter @rednosestudio.

About Elvis Is King!:

Here’s the perfect book for anyone who wants to introduce rock ‘n’ roll and its king to the child in their lives. In single- page “chapters” with titles like “The First Cheeseburger Ever Eaten by Elvis” and “Shazam! A Blond Boy Turns into a Black-Haired Teenager,” readers can follow key moments in Presley’s life, from his birth on the wrong side of the railroad tracks in the Deep South, to playing his first guitar in grade school, to being so nervous during a performance as a teenager that he starts shaking . . . and changes the world!

About the Downing Pryor Distinguished Visiting Lecturer Series: 

The Downing Pryor Distinguished Visiting Lecturers Series was created to honor the late Downing Pryor and support the mission of Memphis College of Art. Downing Pryor devoted 32 years as a member of MCA’s board of trustees, serving three times as its chairman (1961, 1967 and 1972). Mr. Pryor, born into the automobile business, was heavily involved in Memphis politics, serving as a member of the Shelby County Quarterly Court (now the County Commission) from 1964 to 1968 and the first city council from 1968 to 1972. In 1968, Pryor was the main mediator between the city and striking sanitation workers and, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he represented the city at Dr. King’s funeral services in Atlanta. He was recognized for his outstanding service as a civic leader, businessman and patron of the arts along with his contributions in the areas of education and race relations. Downing Pryor saw the arts in a very special light, writing, “Each adventure with art adds depth and breadth to the mind and heart that enable the individual to go on to the next experience with heightened perception and understanding.”


MCA Redesigns the Traditional Job Fair: Join us for the 2019 Student Showcase on February 13

Join us for the MCA Student Showcase!

“Creatives: Employees of the Future,” will be held at Memphis College of Art on Wednesday, February 13 from 4:30-6:00pm. MCA will have refreshments to enjoy as attendees mix and mingle with this latest group of MCA talent.

Unlike traditional career fairs, this showcase puts the students’ work and talents on display and offers an exciting networking opportunity. Thirty-five students, from a variety of disciplines, will be showcasing their creative talent and have work on view. The event is open to any interested party, from local businesses and organizations to potential art buyers and alumni.

This is also a concrete step that the community can take to help MCA students. In the wake of news about the school closing, the community is asked to remember that MCA still has over 100 students who need networking, support, and encouragement. This is a great chance for community members to help support the college’s current students.

Dr. Carrie Brooks, Director of Career Development, explains why this event is so important: “We are opening our doors. This is an opportunity to see what goes on in this creative space in Overton Park. The variety of media and skills is something that really needs to be experienced first-hand. It will be a dynamic event where professionals can connect with students, and potentially with other professionals.”

Stop by and experience the wide-range of creative talent and work on view at MCA. Attendees will have the opportunity to see artwork, talk to students, and discuss opportunities. The Showcase is open to any individual or business interested in meeting our talented creatives of the future. See how our students can positively impact your organization, business, or community.

Registration is required, and can be completed at this link:

MCA 2019 Senior Showcase

MCA Students Create Unique Awards for Pink Palace Donors

Earlier this year, the Pink Palace Family of Museums reached out to Memphis College of Art to help create unique and memorable awards for major donors who gave towards their new building campaign.

Under the direction of Professor Kevin Mitchell, students Aaron Kia Napunako Boyd and Chris Dickson created awards from pieces of the old museum building. From the floor to the ceiling, Aaron and Chris salvaged materials of the old building to create one-of-a-kind awards.

The students presented a number of award prototypes to representatives of the Pink Palace for consideration. The winner was a combination of two awards that included multiple materials and an engraved image of, and message from, the Pink Palace. 

At the reopening of the Pink Palace, Mayor Jim Strickland joined our students in the celebration. The donors were honored to receive the awards, and congratulated the students on their creativity and craftsmanship.

Well done, Aaron and Chris! Thank you for showing our community how MCA students contribute in new and meaningful ways. 

MCA’s Beloved Annual Holiday Bazaar Returns


Our biggest & best yet!

We look forward to being your destination for fine art and custom, handmade gifts this holiday season! Over 115 artists represented with a wide variety of items: paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, jewelry, ceramics, kitchen items, t-shirts and wearables, silk-printed scarves, temporary tattoos, bath and body products, stickers, postcards, metals, paper goods, and more. Special finds this year: handmade books by Dolph Smith for sale and a new hardback book, Memphis Studios by Cecil Humphreys and Murray Riss, that provides an intimate look at artists’ studios in Memphis. Don’t miss it!

A special thanks to this year’s sponsor, The Day Foundation.

The Holiday Bazaar Preview Party will be held on Friday, November 16th from 5pm-10pm. Tickets are $50 per person. Get first dibs on all artwork and gifts. Refreshments and hors-d’oeuvres served. Tickets for that can be purchased hereFacebook Event

On Saturday, November 17, Memphis College of Art’s 68th Annual Holiday Bazaar will be an Open Market from 10am-5pm. Facebook Event

Memphis Artist Jean Holmgren Chronicles Heart Surgery Through Illustration

Holmgren’s solo exhibition, based on her book Breathless: Heart Failure Illustrated, powerfully chronicles the artist’s journey with heart complications, heart surgery, and recovery.

The artist shares her inspiration for the work: “My goal in making this art and narrative was part therapy, part cautionary tale, and part light tutorial. This book is for all the clueless, insurance-challenged and deluded folk like me, who are living their lives thinking that they will continue living until they don’t…with no consequences.”

While we all react to life’s challenges in various ways, Holmgren fell back on what was familiar – her pen to paper. The large-scale images on display reflect an emotional intensity that captures the difficult experience of undergoing heart issues.

Holmgren recalls, “I made countless images and many, many scribbled questions to the universe. I made a comment once that you do not recognize a pivotal moment until you cease to spin. When I finally stopped spinning as my body was knitting itself together, I had almost two hundred images and a ton of scribbled thoughts. Because my default is design and illustration, they pretty much spun themselves into a book.”

Don’t miss the opportunity to engage with Holmgren’s work, which invites all viewers and readers to experience a dynamic response to health. To purchase your copy of Breathless: Heart Failure Illustrated, please contact Olivia Wall at

On view: October 12 – November 4

Reception: Friday, November 2, 6 – 8pm

About Jean Holmgren
After teaching at Memphis College of Art for about 20 years as an Adjunct Instructor for Illustration, Jean Holmgren joined the college faculty full-time as Assistant Professor during the Fall 2016 semester. She completed her MFA in Drawing and Painting at MCA in 1989. Over the years, Jean has taught numerous classes in Illustration, Typography, Digital Foundations and Graphic Design. In addition to teaching, Jean has also worked and freelanced for many companies in Memphis and nationally in various roles, as Associate Creative Director at Patterson Graham Design Group, Assistant Art Director at Walker and Associates, and freelancing Illustration locally and nationally. Jean has exhibited her artwork widely in the Memphis area, and regularly donates artwork in support of community organizations, including the Memphis Child Advocacy Center’s annual Works of Heart auction.

Gallery Hours
MCA Alumni Gallery hours are as follows: Weekdays from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m, Saturdays from 9 a.m.–4 p.m, and Sundays from noon-4 p.m.

MCA and Local Partners Launch For Freedoms 50 State Initiative

Memphis College of Art (MCA) joins other local institutions – Brooks Museum of Art, University of Memphis, Christian Brothers University, and Rhodes College – to encourage civic engagement and voter participation through the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative, a nationwide campaign inspired by Norman Rockwell’s paintings of FDR’s four universal freedoms–freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear. The collective Memphis efforts were sparked by activist artist Hank Willis Thomas’ visit to MCA’s campus last fall. Thomas is a co-founder of the For Freedoms initiative.

MCA’s events kick-off with a Voter Registration Event on National Voter Registration Day (Tuesday, September 25) and continue with an exhibition, panel discussion, and film screening. Full details here and below:

Voter Registration Event

September 25, 2018
Open to the Public

MCA will be hosting a Voter Registration Event on National Voter Registration Day. This event is open to the public – everyone is welcome! A representative from the Shelby County Election Commission will be helping community members register to vote and register for out-of-state voting. Your vote matters. Join us to make sure that it counts!

For Freedoms Exhibition – A•GEN•CY: A Home in the World

On view: October 12 – November 4
Reception & Film Screening: Friday, November 2 from 6-8pm, with a Kevin Brooks Film Screening
Curated by Lester Julian Merriweather

A•GEN•CY: A Home in the World is an exploration of what it means to be a free person of color within the current experiment of American democracy. The intention of A•GEN•CY is to examine two pillars of the For Freedoms platform: Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear.

For Freedoms is a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. In a world where there can be potentially narrow expectations concerning how artists of color address the construct of race in historical terms, this exhibition takes a different approach. The works in A•GEN•CY express ideas around the freedom to be a person of color living in a viscerally racialized America. A•GEN •CY examines ways people of color thrive in a moment where the concept of race is used as a weapon against them.

Participating artists include: Kenny Wayne Alexander, Sheila Pree Bright, Michael Paul Britto, Kevin Brooks, Janaye Brown, Tommy Kha, Lawrence Matthews III, Carl Moore, Andrea Morales, Catherine Patton, Xaviera Simmons, and Jade Thiraswas.

MCA Gallery hours are as follows: Weekdays from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m, Saturdays from 9 a.m.–4 p.m, and Sundays from noon-4 p.m.

For Freedoms Panel Discussion: Freedom of Expression

October 25, 2018
Callicott Auditiorium, Rust Hall, MCA
5:30pm Refreshments
6:00pm Panel Discussion

In conjunction with the For Freedoms 50 State Initiative and For Freedoms Exhibition: A•GEN•CY, creatives, curators, and a collector discuss what Freedom means in 2018.

Moderator: Amber Hamilton- Chief Operations and Strategy Officer, Memphis Music Initiative
Elliot Perry- Art Collector, Former NBA Player & Senior Advisor For The PPF Art Collection
Lawrence Matthews III- Multidisciplinary Artist, Filmmaker & Musician
Andrea Morales- Photographer/ Documentary Photojournalist
Kimberly Jacobs- Joyce Blackmon Curatorial Fellow in African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora, Brooks Museum of Art
Lester Julian Merriweather- Artist & Curatorial Consultant, Curator, A•GEN•CY


About For Freedoms

For Freedoms started in 2016 as a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States. Inspired by Norman Rockwell’s 1943 paintings of the four universal freedoms articulated by Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941—freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear—For Freedoms seeks to use art to deepen public discussions of civic issues and core values, and to clarify that citizenship in American society is deepened by participation, not by ideology. For Freedoms is part of a rich history of artists employing means of mass communication to provoke political discourse. For Freedoms believes art, and artists, play an important role in galvanizing our society towards a more representative and transparent government.

50 State Initiative Project

Since 2016, For Freedoms has produced special exhibitions, town hall meetings, billboards, and lawn sign installations to spur greater participation in civic life. This year, For Freedoms launched its 50 State Initiative, a new phase of programming to encourage broad participation and inspire conversation around November’s midterm elections.

Building off of the existing artistic infrastructure in the United States, For Freedoms has developed a network of over 300 artists and 200 institutional partners who will produce nationwide public art installations, exhibitions and local community dialogues in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse. Centered around the vital work of artists, For Freedoms hopes that these exhibitions and related projects will model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism.

From Phoenix to Santa Fe: Ferris Recipients Head West

Thanks to the generosity of Doug Ferris and Dot Neale, MCA students Alyssa Crowe and Grace Siler received the Ferris Summer Internship Awards this year and had the opportunity to travel west to work with exciting local businesses and artists. Alyssa headed to Phoenix and worked as an intern for Green Living Magazine, while Grace Siler traveled to Santa Fe and worked as an intern for both the Sante Fe Indian Market and local artist Jacob Lecuyer.

In Phoenix, Alyssa Crowe interned with Green Living Magazine, the premiere Arizona eco-conscious lifestyle magazine designed to empower readers to use nature’s resources for a more sustainable lifestyle. Alyssa was both the Photography Assistant Intern and the Social Media Branding Representative, working mostly with the creative director to assist with cover spreads and archiving images. She worked on various articles within the magazine, archived images, and conducted digital marketing and social media web analysis. Alyssa says that their top priority “was to advocate critical issues relating to sustainability, environmental awareness, and recycling. Being able to collaborate with the various departments within the company and attend weekly meetings felt very engaging.”


Some of her favorite experiences were taking photographs and attending the monthly issue release parties and corporate events: “I got a chance to network and connect with people in the Phoenix area. And my assignment photo shoots built my portfolio and gave me knowledge of other camera operational skills using different types of equipment.” Her internship not only bolstered her skils and experience, but she had a great time working with the “Green Team.”


Meanwhile in Santa Fe, Grace Siler put her skills to work at the Santa Fe Indian Market. The Santa Fe Indian Market is the largest event in Santa Fe and one of the largest art markets in the world. This year’s market juried in over 1,000 Native American artists. Grace worked as the PR/Marketing Intern, Designer, Social Media Manager, and more. She worked for the market last year as well, so she was able to dive right in. Grace created all of their official banners, invitations, posters, and giveaways, such as calendars. One of her favorite moments was meeting artist Dana Warrington, a Menominee/Prairie Band Potawatomi beadwork and quillwork artist. His gloves were her favorite piece in the show (see photo below).

As an added bonus, donors Doug and Dot happened to be vacationing in Santa Fe while Grace was there, so she had the opportunity to meet them for coffee and at various Indian Market events.


Grace also accepted a webcomics internship with former professor and Lead Concept Artist for the popular MeowWolf interactive museum, Jacob Lecuyer. In this internship, Grace assisted with Lecuyer’s webcomic series Polyuna. She worked on his rough sketches of characters and turned them into finished pieces to be made into a full-spread. She also digitally-colored full model/character sheets.

“Working with the Indian Market gives me the opportunity to learn valuable people skills, organization, and management skills. In my webcomics internship, I learned the importance of making valuable connections and what it takes to work as a professional in my field of interest,” says Grace.


Thank you again to Doug Ferris and Dot Neale, and all of our generous donors, for making opportunities like these possible for our students!

To learn more about our scholarship programs, please click here.


Local Partners Launch Positively Creative Summit and Series

Local Partners Launch New Creative Summit and Series

Memphis College of Art, Positively Creative Podcast, and Rising Tide Memphis Host Series for Creatives

Memphis College of Art Community Education has partnered with the Positively Creative Podcast and the Rising Tide Society Memphis to host a series of events for local creatives and entrepreneurs.

“The Positively Creative Summit and Series was born out of a need we saw in the creative entrepreneur community for conversation that uplifts as well as educates,” says Dorothy Collier, creator of the Positively Creative Podcast and co-founder of the Memphis Chapter of the Rising Tide Society.

“We are thrilled to highlight and hear from local industry experts about their visionary methods and hard work practices to create thriving creative careers.”

The series launches with the Positively Creative Summit on Saturday, September 8. This inaugural creative summit, put together by Memphis College of Art, Positively Creative Podcast, and the Memphis chapter of the Rising Tide society, invites all local creatives to attend.

Founder of the Debutante Farmer and TODAY show correspondent, Elizabeth Heiskell, will be the keynote speaker. The morning begins with “Community over Competition” talks by well-known creatives, including Kat Gordon of Muddy’s Bake Shop, Fashion Designer and Illustrator Kris Keys, and Carmeon Hamilton of Nubi Interiors. Participants will then attend roundtable discussions by creative affinity groups for a smaller and more individualized opportunity to network and ask questions. Breakfast snacks will be provided. $18 per person.

Full details on the webpage – Positively Creative Summit – September 8, 8:30am – 11:30am

Eventbrite    Facebook Event

The fall line-up of in-depth workshops begins in October, with more workshops in the planning stages for the spring. Click the workshop title for more details:

Website Hosting & Design with Squarespace: An Introduction with Andy Torres – October 13, 9am-1pm

Visioning Series with Kat Gordon – October 27, November 3, November 10, 10am-noon

Creating and Customizing your Squarespace Website: An Intermediate Guide with Andy Torres –November 17, 9am-1pm

Branding Your Business with Cheers Creative – December 1, 9am-4pm

Google Drive of Creative Images, Partner Logos, and Speaker/Instructor Headshots:

For media inquiries, contact Marilyn Koester at or 901-272-5113.

Dr. Cathy Wilson named TAEA 2019 Higher Education Art Educator of the Year

Memphis College of Art is so pleased to announce that Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Wilson has been named the 2019 Tennessee Art Education Association (TAEA) Higher Education Art Educator of the Year. Dr. Wilson will be honored at the TAEA Professional Development Fall Conference at an Awards Banquet on Thursday, November 1 at 7:00 p.m. at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN.

Dr. Wilson has been an active leader in education K-20 in Tennessee for over 40 years. Having served as an elementary classroom teacher, art teacher K-12, Fine Arts Supervisor, K-12 General Education Supervisor, Assistant Principal, Principal, Education Consultant; Assistant, Associate and Professor of Art Education; as well as a Research and Assessment Associate. She has worked for Shelby County Schools, Union University, Memphis College of Art, The University of Memphis and Johns Hopkins University. She is a Fulbright Scholar and Specialist having worked at Beaconhouse National University in Lahore, Pakistan. Dr. Wilson has research interests in teacher training, STEAM education, program assessment, classroom research and reform, mindfulness, leadership development, and creative thinking. She has also received numerous awards and served on a variety of education committees and boards. She currently serves as the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dean of Faculty and Interim Director of Art Education Programs at Memphis College of Art. Cathy has lived for the past thirty years in Arlington, Tennessee with her husband, Don, a retired pilot for Delta Airlines. She has a daughter, Shelby who is married to Adam Hartman.

Congratulations, Dr. Wilson!


MCA Community Education Launches New Fall Programs


In addition to longtime favorites like Saturday School for youth and Drawing and Photography classes for adults, new, exciting programming has been added to Community Education’s fall line-up. They have taken two of the most popular classes – Animation and Comics – and expanded them into multi-week programs, Animation Academy and Comics Boot Camp. Fashion Sewing for Teens also returns, in partnership with the Memphis Fashion Deign Network. A full list of youth and adult classes can be found below. Registration is open now! Click on the class title below to learn more and register.

Fall 2018 Youth Classes

Saturday School | Ages 5-17
September 29th – November 3rd
Learn to use drawing media such as charcoal, ink, pencil, and conté in combination with concepts of painting in watercolor and acrylic. Explore concepts such as composition, perspective and value, and how to confidently use these as tools in your drawings and to improve your painting. Advanced students build on previous skills to give practice to artistic principles.

Animation Academy | Ages 11-17
September 29th – November 10th
Welcome to Animation Academy, where students learn digital skills like 2d animation, character design, environment design, 3d modeling, digital painting, and more. Learn industry-level programs used by professional animators, such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Toonboom Harmony and Maya. Our Academy kicks off this fall with a seven-week session in 2D animation. All levels of experience welcome.

Comics Boot Camp | Ages 11-17
September 29th – November 3rd
Attention comics fans! Flex your drawing muscles in this intensive boot camp designed to develop the skills needed to help you create awesome comics. Explore the formal language, storytelling, and character development necessary to create a comic. Students will learn to visually tell a story using the elements of sequential narrative, as well as become familiar with the tools and techniques used by comic book artists. This boot camp will strengthen the skills you need to take your comics to the next level. All levels of experience welcome!

Fashion Sewing for Teens | Ages 11-17
September 29th – November 3rd
Explore elements of fashion design from conceptual ideas, selecting fabrics, to bringing those impressive ideas to life through the art of sewing and learning garment construction. At the end of your experience, WOW your family and friends with your amazing wearable creations at our Saturday School Showcase. In partnership with the Memphis Fashion Design Network.

Scholarship Opportunities

A limited number of partial scholarships are awarded for Community Education youth programs. The deadline for Fall youth classes is Thursday, September 6th at 4 pm. Applicants are required to submit an artist’s portfolio and letter of interest.

Fall 2018 Adult Classes (Ages 16+)

Digital Photography | September 11th -27th
Improve the quality of your photographs by learning how your digital camera can work for you. This class covers the use of your digital camera, how to compose a better picture, how to work with lighting and what elements are essential to turn an average photograph into a terrific one. Image capture, rather than manipulation and output, is the focus of the class. Classroom meetings and field components are included.

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop | September 17th – October 3rd
Photoshop has become the standard software used by professional and amateur photographers, designers, and illustrators across the world. This class will familiarize users with the editing and design capabilities of Adobe Photoshop software, introducing students to Photoshop’s expansive set of features.

Beginning Sewing | September 22nd – October 13th
Want to make your own clothes? In this class, you will get started on fundamental techniques commonly used in sewing. Students will use the text, The Colette Sewing Handbook by Sarai Mitnick to reference lessons on basic tools and equipment.

Drawing with Amy-Beth Rice | September 24th – October 29th
Learn to effectively communicate what you observe through the discipline of drawing. Exercises will strengthen students’ ability to notice visual details and the techniques to depict them through drawing. Students will use a variety of wet and dry drawing media and subject matter and work from both life and photographic references. This class is appropriate for all skill levels.

Basic Metalsmithing | October 15- November 12
This class is perfect for those wanting to learn the basics of jewelry and small metal fabrication. We will work primarily with copper and brass to learn how to design and fabricate jewelry from conception to a final piece. With the guidance of the instructor, various tools and techniques will be used to create a ring, pendant, and one project of your choice. Skills covered will include sawing, filing, forming, surface textures, soldering with a gas-fueled torch, and riveting.

Beginning Painting | November 5th – 26th
With a focus on color and composition, this course will give students foundational techniques and approaches to acrylic painting. We will begin by developing the ability to paint from direct observation, and later use foundational skills as a means of exploration and personal expression.

Memphis College of Art Unveiling: The Face of the Opioid Epidemic

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell hosted an unveiling reception of MCA student designs that will be used to increase awareness and prevention of opioid use disorder. Led by MCA Professor Cat Normoyle, the project was a partnership with the Shelby County Health Department within MCA’s design lab course, a course structured like a design agency where students are paid to do client work.

Shelby County hired the class to design a PSA campaign to raise awareness around the opioid crisis in Shelby County, and the students created three campaigns that work across billboards, posters, and social media. The designs will be displayed in Shelby County as a broad-based effort to combat the opioid epidemic in our communities. This campaign emphasizes the importance of art and design in health and community efforts, and the abilities of MCA’s students to effectively contribute to civic engagement.

Following the unveiling, Mayor Luttrell and Dr. Haushalter, Director of the Shelby County Health Department, led a conversation on how the opioid crisis is affecting Shelby County and the role that individuals and organizations can play to help combat this public health emergency.

Left to Right: Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell, MCA Student Briana Gilmer, MCA Student Justin Wells, MCA Student Anthony Williams, MCA Student Amber Gonzales, Dr. Alisa Haushalter – Director, Shelby County Health Department
Other project participants not pictured: MCA Students Sam Maxwell and Kelli Laderer

Sample Images from the Student Presentation:


Save the Date and Submit Your Work! MCA’s 2018 Holiday Bazaar

MCA’s 68th Annual Holiday Bazaar and Fundraiser: Call to Artists and Bazaar Dates

The Memphis College of Art 68th Holiday Bazaar and Fundraiser (Juried Show) is now accepting submissions. The Early Submission Deadline is Thursday, August 30. The Final Submission Deadline is Monday, October 1. To apply online, click here.

There will be a ticketed Opening Celebration on Friday, November 16, and the bazaar will be open to the public on Saturday, November 17. The bazaar is located in Rust Hall, Memphis College of Art 1930 Poplar Ave, Memphis, TN 38104.

This much anticipated, juried event has drawn thousands of people to the MCA campus since its inception in 1949. The show was revamped and improved in 2016. This is the third edition of that newly reimagined Holiday Bazaar. In addition to supporting local artists in the MCA community, 30% of proceeds from each sale will benefit the college’s scholarship fund to help teach out the college’s remaining students.

The Holiday Bazaar is an excellent opportunity for both emerging and established artists to showcase their work in a high-traffic, gallery event. Work from students, faculty, alumni, and trending local artists will be for sale. As an open call, any local artist may submit, and there is no cost to apply.

Showcase Success! The Fashion Design Certificate Program Celebrates its First Recipients

Memphis College of Art (MCA) stepped into spring last night to celebrate the Spring 2018 recipients of the Fashion Design Certificate. The ten designers are the first to complete the Fashion Design Certificate Program launched last year in partnership with Memphis Fashion Design Network (MFDN). In the nine-month intensive program, participants learn the concepts and skills needed to make their designs runway ready, and obtain valuable sewing and tailoring skills that can help pave the way for a new career path.

The recipients included four American Association of University Women (AAUW) grant awardees, along with six other candidates: Morgan Burns (AAUW), LaShunda Coleman, Andrea Everett (AAUW), Vivianna Haney (AAUW), Jo Carol Harris, Jeanyne R Lewis, Antzee Magruder, Rachel McCasky, E’riel Sade Seaberry (AAUW), and Jessie L Woodson.

Each designer showcased their work, including fashion sketches, garments, sketchbooks, and more. Abby Phillips, founder and director of MFDN, spoke at the event to encourage all the designers to keep working hard, stay connected with MCA and MFDN, and network with the creative community in Memphis.

MCA Director of Community Education Cece Palazola was thrilled for the recipients: “We are so very proud of our designers. They have all made amazing progress in just nine months since beginning this journey with us.”

For more information on the Fashion Design Certificate Program, click here.

Jessie L. Woodson, Certificate recipient and owner of boutique Arlean Elizabeth Couture on Bookhaven Circle

Fashion Design Instructors from left to right: ShA Locke, Meredith Olinger, Haley Warner, and Samilia Colar with MFDN Director Abby Phillips


Antzee Magruder, Certificate recipient and owner of Antzee Art

E’riel Sade Seaberry, Certificate recipient and current MCA student

MCA and World Relief Present Ai Weiwei Film and Livestream Q&A

MCA and World Relief Present:

Human Flow Screening and Livestream Q&A with Ai Weiwei

In partnership with World Relief, MCA will be hosting a free public screening of Ai Weiwei’s film Human Flow on Sunday, April 29 at 1:30pm. Hundreds of universities and organizations across the country will be viewing the simultaneous screening of Human Flow, followed by a webcast Q&A with Ai Weiwei live from the University of Chicago. Mr. Ai will be taking questions from screening audiences across the country.

This event is free and open to the public. It will be held in Callicott Auditorium within Rust Hall in Overton Park.

About the film: Over 65 million people around the world have been forced from their homes to escape famine, climate change and war in the greatest human displacement since World War II. Human Flow, an epic film journey led by the internationally renowned artist Ai Weiwei, gives a powerful visual expression to this massive human migration. The documentary elucidates both the staggering scale of the refugee crisis and its profoundly personal human impact.

View the trailer.

About Ai Weiwei: Ai Weiwei is an artist. Born in 1957, he currently resides and works in Beijing. View his website for more information.

World Relief is a global development & relief organization actively serving the needs of vulnerable displaced people since 1944. Partnering with local churches and faith-based organizations, World Relief operates in 24 countries around the world and pursues holistic transformation so that the lives of the vulnerable can thrive and grow. World Relief has been actively engaged in refugee resettlement in the U.S. since 1979, and in Memphis since 2012. For more information about World Relief Memphis, please visit or 901-341-0220.

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MCA’s Summer Art Camp: Bigger and Better than Ever

MCA’s Community Education program is full-steam ahead. After the rousing success of its Fashion Design Certificate Program launched last year in partnership with Memphis Fashion Design Network, MCA Community Education has introduced more new programs to its offerings. A new Makers Series begins in April, where industry experts will teach branding and packaging courses to local makers in the Memphis area. This provides a much-needed space for those that already know, or make, their product to take it to the next level. But perhaps the biggest news is the expansion of its long-time beloved Summer Art Camp program.

After a record-breaking summer camp in 2017, MCA Community Education has added an additional 200 spots and 25 classes to its summer camp program, while still retaining their low camper to adult ratio and professional, experienced instructors. New advanced classes are available, such as Animation 2, Advanced Pottery, Metal Sculpture 2, and Fashion Design 2. New camps include The Art of Branding, Comics and Characters, Mobile App Design, Mural Collaborative, and more.

Many of the camps cater to the tween and teen audiences, and MCA Community Education offers a Focused Camps track specifically for those older students who want to delve deep into a particular area (see catalog page 8). The Summer Camp Junior takes children as young as 3 years old, and the new Decision Guide helps parents choose the right camp for their child based on their interests (see catalog page 7). The program continues to offer Extended Care both before and after camps for an additional weekly fee.

There will be a Camp Preview Day on Saturday, April 7 from 2-4pm in Rust Hall, Overton Park. Attendees can enjoy hands-on activities, instructor demonstrations, and studio tours. Scholarship information will also be available, along with on-site registration with a special preview discount.

Full information about this year’s blockbuster Summer Art Camp can be found in their catalog below, or on the Summer Art Camp webpage. Scholarships are available. Make this summer one full of creativity!


MCA hires Commercial Advisors for property disposition

After announcing last fall that it will no longer admit new students, Memphis College of Art (MCA) remains committed to its current students through May 2020. MCA has also hired Cushman & Wakefield/ Commercial Advisors to represent the College in the disposition of their real estate portfolio.

“MCA will retain residency in Rust Hall through the teach-out period of May 2020,” said Laura Hine, President of the Memphis College of Art. “And in the sale of the real estate assets south of Poplar, we will be mindful of our students’ educational and housing needs. We are committed to our students and will have them in mind during every step of the process.”

Proceeds from the MCA real estate sales will both create a reserve fund for the teach-out of the current students, and retire the College’s real estate debt, Hine said.

“Rust Hall is the heartbeat of MCA, and an important Overton Park landmark,” said Hine. “In the disposition process of Rust Hall, we will work with the City of Memphis and the Overton Park Conservancy to determine the highest and best use of this amazing and beloved building.”

The MCA campus includes 12 buildings south of Poplar Avenue and the iconic Rust Hall, a mid-20th century landmark building in Overton Park designed by architect Roy Harrover, who is largely credited for having established a modern architectural identity for Memphis. The buildings south of Poplar include three multifamily properties, two student-housing properties, four art studio/office buildings, a single-family home, and a mixed-use office/retail/multifamily property on Poplar Avenue.

“We will work closely with MCA on all new ownership decisions,” said Matt Weathersby, Principal with Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors. “The community significance of these properties is one we will keep top-of-mind throughout the process.”

Despite marketing their properties, MCA remains at the forefront of creativity in Memphis and has much to offer through May 2020. The College’s current students bring creativity and innovation to businesses and organizations throughout Memphis through internships and community projects. MCA Community Education continues to provide high-quality and sought-after art courses to the greater Memphis community, including its popular Fashion Design Program, new Makers Series, and larger-than-ever Summer Art Camp. Gallery lectures and events continue to draw our community to MCA, and share the important work that artists produce. Stay in touch with MCA’s happenings on their website – – and on Facebook and Instagram.

For more information on the College’s properties, view the Memphis College of Art portfolio or contact Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors at (901) 366-6070.



HEY! PAY ATTENTION. MCA and OPC Launch New Pedestrian Campaign

Overton Park Conservancy (OPC) and Memphis College of Art (MCA) launch a bold new pedestrian safety campaign in the park, with new signs and an animated video created by MCA students.

Junior Animation student Esme Perkins created an engaging and effective short film about pedestrian safety in and around Overton Park. The film had full support of all of the park partners in addition to OPC and MCA, including the Memphis Zoo, Levitt Shell, Brooks Museum, and The Links at Overton Park. The short film will be shared by the park partners, and also be played on the two LED screens at Levitt Shell during their concert season.

Senior Graphic Design student Oziel Juarez designed the signs used throughout the park and on Poplar Avenue. His strong and simple “HEY!” theme with its eye-catching bright colors forces drivers and pedestrians to focus and pay attention.

The tragic death of MCA student Kelcie Ashmore in 2017 emphasized the need for increased pedestrian safety awareness near Overton Park. MCA and OPC worked with the City’s Engineering Office to increase safety at the Poplar and Tucker intersection, and continue to take steps to make sure students and community members stay safe with this new campaign.

“The well-being of our students is our number one priority,” President Laura Hine remarks. “We wanted our talented students to help others. Esme and Oziel have done an outstanding job, and remind us of the power of art and design to effect change in our communities.”

Artists have the unique ability to communicate in ways that others do not, and that is evident in the value these MCA students have added to this campaign, and the attention the campaign will garner because of their work.

See the video and signage photos below.


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