MCA News

Disconnect/Reconnect: Horn Island 33

Disconnect/Reconnect: Horn Island 33

Explore. Discover. Create. MCA’s Horn Island is more than a trip. It’s a tradition.

This unique, signature program sets MCA apart from any other college. For more than thirty years, students have followed in the footsteps of American artist Walter Anderson to Horn Island, a remote barrier island off of the coast of Mississippi. Participants leave cell phones, bathrooms, and expectations behind.

It sounds daunting, but, as alumnus Casey Matthews said in a recent Country Roads article, “It’s taking yourself out of the mundane day-to-day activities and placing yourself in this different situation where you’re subject to a higher power—in this case nature. The island is more relevant today than it’s ever been. Because we’re so connected to everything.”

The experience of disconnecting and getting back to nature reflects the unique philosophy of MCA: Challenge leads to creativity and triumph.

Associate Professor and Horn Island Director Don DuMont explains why unplugging is key: “One must disconnect in order to reconnect. That is what the island can provide – the chance to get away, to look inward as well as outward, and to focus on one’s surroundings. That’s when creative transformation takes place.”

Horn Island isn’t a vacation. It’s an artistic journey. This year, over 40 participants made the 11-day excursion, immersing themselves in the isolation and beauty of the island.

Horn Island is open to students (supported by sponsors), alumni, faculty, and staff. Following the trip, participants create works of art inspired by their experience on the island. Those works culminate in a popular and beloved yearly exhibition, celebrated this year as “Horn Island 33” for its thirty-third installment.

Select Horn Island works from previous years are exhibited at the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs, Mississippi through August 22. The exhibition brochure for “The Islanders: Memphis College of Art and Horn Island” has quotes and images from our artists.

Horn Island 33 opens in Rust Hall’s Upper, Lower and Alumni Galleries on August 14 and runs until September 29. The Horn Island 33 Reception, held on Saturday, August 26 from 5:30-8:30pm, features grilled SPAM, an island tradition.The reception is free and open to the public. Artwork will be on sale while the exhibit is on view, and remaining artworks will be listed on from October 9 to October 30. Visit for more details.

Kevin Mitchell Reveals Home as Haven for the Different

Contact: Marilyn Koester
Communications Manager (901) 272-5113

June 8, 2017




Kevin Mitchell Reveals Home as Haven for the Different

Home>House Exhibit on View at MCA Gallery of Playhouse on the Square

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (June 8, 2017) — Home>House, a new exhibit by artist Kevin Mitchell, will be on view in the MCA Gallery of Playhouse on the Square from June 9 to July 30. In Home>House, Mitchell examines the idea of the home as a place of retreat. This concept of the home providing structure, strength, and support, while the outside world becomes unpredictable and hostile, is at the center of his work. As Mitchell explains, “The home as a haven is especially for those whose community is often viewed anomalistic and peripheral by mainstream society. I use a variety of media to explore color, texture, and form as they relate to the ideas of impermanence and chaos, safety and sanity, exclusion and inclusion.”

Kevin Mitchell is a native of Florence, Alabama, but moved to Memphis in 1991 where he works still as an artist, teacher, and sufferer of the Memphis heat. Mitchell works in the fields of Graphic Design and Advertising, while also enjoying a very busy studio practice. He can most likely be found enjoying his studio, upcycling found furniture, or constructing art. Also, Mitchell serves as a mentor to his students as Creative Director for Memphis College of Art’s External Partnerships and Creative in Residence.

Playhouse on the Square is a part of Circuit Playhouse Inc., which includes both Playhouse on the Square and The Circuit Playhouse. Over the past forty years, the theaters have brought forth over 744 shows since 1969. It is located at 66 South Cooper Street, Memphis, Tennessee 38104.

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. 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 Follow us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @memphisart.

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