Memphis College of Art’s Summer Art Camp Introduces Mascot, Gus the Pirate Octopus

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

May 10, 2017



Gus the PIrate Octopus

Memphis College of Art’s Summer Art Camp Introduces Mascot, Gus the Pirate Octopus

Mascot created as art ambassador to the community; will make appearances throughout the summer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 10, 2017) — Memphis College of Art (MCA) today introduced its newest member of the Summer Art Camp team—Gus the Pirate Octopus. Gus, created by a current MCA student and an MCA alumna, is a community art ambassador to show how art can be brought to life and engage with the community. Gus will make one of his first public appearances on Wednesday, May 10 during New Ballet Ensemble’s Family Day at the Levitt Shell in Overton Park from 5:30–7 p.m.

Gus’s story begins with MCA alumna and award-winning artist Kong Wee Pang, who designed the octopus as part of MCA’s promotional materials for the 2017 Summer Art Camp. During the spring semester, administrators at the college engaged current MCA student and costume designer Henry Wilkinson to bring the octopus to life. Wilkinson collaborated with Pang and the college’s Marketing department to create the mascot costume.

“We are so pleased with how Gus turned out. Henry executed our vision for the octopus perfectly, and working on this project with him has captured the spirit of creativity that courses through our campus on a daily basis,” said Cece Palazola, MCA’s director of Community Education. “Gus is an example of how we can bring art to life and make art work fun.”

Gus will visit various locations around Memphis to generate enthusiasm and awareness about art for camp-age students (ages 3-18), and encourage them to participate in MCA’s Summer Art Camp. Planned appearances include Overton Park, Shelby Farms, Beale Street Landing, area schools and other locations. Families will be invited to take their picture with Gus and use #GusTheOctopus on social media. More information on Gus’ appearances and activities will be posted on the college’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

MCA’s newly accredited Summer Art Camp has developed 12 new courses for this year’s camp. New courses include Design Thinking, Digital Painting, Animation, Kinetic Sculpture and Fashion Design in addition to the existing classes focused around drawing and painting, clay sculpture, photography and international art. The entire class catalog may be viewed here. Starting on June 5, MCA will offer six weeklong sessions extending into July, with full- and half-day options, as well as the option for extended care in the mornings and afternoons.

To learn more about Summer Art Camp, or to register, please visit:

Photo: Gus the Octopus poses with his creator and MCA student Henry Wilkinson

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.

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