Memphis College of Art Premieres “The Art Academy: A History of Memphis College of Art”


Contact: Cara Sievers
Director of College Communications
(901) 272-5111

April 20, 2012

Memphis College of Art Premieres “The Art Academy: A History of Memphis College of Art”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — In partnership with Indie Memphis and True Story Pictures, Memphis College of Art is honored to announce the premiere of True Story Pictures’ new documentary, “The Art Academy: A History of Memphis College of Art.” The film premieres at the Studio on the Square on Wednesday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m. In addition to the screening, there will be a free art exhibit and silent auction in the theatre lobby from noon to 10 p.m. that day, with an informal reception at 6 p.m. prior to the screening. Proceeds of the silent auction will benefit Memphis College of Art.

“The Art Academy” follows the improbable story of a tiny school that flourished and adapted over seven decades to become what it is today—the Memphis College of Art. Think of it as the little art school that could. In its original incarnation, the Memphis Academy of Arts was born out of a great schism between the old Victorian style of art education and the new Modernism of the 1930s. “It was a revolution,” as former student Carroll Cloar put it.

Probably best known for its legendary faculty and iconic architecture, MCA has some surprises up its historical sleeve—masquerade balls, celebrity visits, indoor waterfalls, even a kidnapping. “The Art Academy” teases these stories out for audiences using archival footage, old and new interviews, narrative animations, and an original soundtrack by Steve Selvidge and Paul Taylor.

As appropriate for a film about an art school, the documentary features cutting-edge art direction by recent grad Ryan McGahan. Producer/director Joann Self Selvidge insisted on hiring MCA alumni to support McGahan, and the team includes Matt Pierson (illustration), Kong Wee Pang (illustration and animation), Michael Shaw (storyboards and animations), and Lauren Rae Holtermann (illustration). Thanks to sponsor Archer Malmo, a large portion of the animation was developed pro bono.

Tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Seating is limited.

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.

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