MCA Announces Water, Bones and Blood: NIA Artist Collective Exhibit

Contact: Carrie Corbett VP for Communications & Marketing (901)272-5111

Sept. 23, 2015

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Memphis College of Art Announces Water, Bones and Blood: NIA Artist Collective Exhibit

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis College of Art will present the Water, Bones and Blood: NIA Artist Collective Exhibit from Oct. 5–Nov. 1 in the Hyde Gallery of the Nesin Graduate School, 477 S. Main St. An opening reception will be held Friday, Oct. 23 from 5–9 p.m.

The exhibit centers around three elements that unify humankind—water, bones and blood. “It goes without saying that we as a society are bombarded with imagery and commentary that are divisive in nature and presentation; politics, economics, sexuality and—probably the most concerning to many members of NIA Artist Collective—race relations,” said NIA spokeswoman Shalishah “Petey” Franklin. The group views this show as an opportunity to present content that affects and impacts all humanity.

The NIA Artist Collective was first established in 2001 by artists Lester Julian Merriweather, frank d. robinson, jr., Vitus Shell, Jerry Lynn and Terry Lynn. Swahili for “purpose,” NIA provides an outlet for artists of African-American descent to collaborate with and mentor one another in artistic skill, self-promotion, and supporting themselves as artists. The group has included more than 40 artists over the past 14 years, all connected to Memphis in some way. Notable shows outside of Memphis include Church Inc. Contemporary Religious Visions at the Hiram Van Memorial Gallery in Nashville, Tenn., Sugar Ditch Rich at the Tunica Museum in Tunica, Miss., and Southern Trees Bear Strange Fruit at the Langston Hughes Center in Buffalo, N.Y. and the Savacou Gallery in New York City.

Artists featured in Water, Bones and Blood include Ashley (Picassa) Brown, Jamond Bullock (Alivepaint), John Bullock, Itshanapa Dail Chambers, Benin Ford, Shalishah “Petey” Franklin, Jerry Lynn, Terry Lynn, Edwin McSwine, Lester Julian Merriweather, Darlene Newman, Myke Newman, frank d. robinson, jr., Vitus Shell, RaEisha Strong, Siphne Sylve and Michael Yates.

Gallery hours for the Water, Bones and Blood: NIA Artist Collective Exhibit are Monday–Friday, noon – 5 p.m. and Saturday, noon – 7 p.m. For additional information, visit

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

Memphis College of Art does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or other status protected by law. Additional Information