Preston Drum’s “Seen You Sigh, Seen You Smile” To Open In Alumni Gallery

Contact: Carrie Corbett
Director of College Communications
(901) 272-5111

March 19, 2014

Preston_Drum_Phenomenon_2014_ “Phenomenon” by Preston Drum

Preston Drum’s Seen You Sigh, Seen You Smile To Open In Alumni Gallery

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis College of Art announces Seen You Sigh, Seen You Smile, an exhibition of work by Preston Drum in the Alumni Gallery, 1930 Poplar Ave., Overton Park. The exhibition will be on view April 3 through May 11, with a reception on Friday, April 11, 6–8 p.m.

Drum was born and raised in Charlotte, N.C., the son of two “ex-hippies.” He has had a strong love for music, art and horticulture since his first steps through his mother’s garden. Drum has written, performed and recorded music with several bands including Weekenders, the Pelicans, Preston Drum & the Hit Pause and, most recently, with the Twin Cities band, Naptaker. He obtained his BFA from Memphis College of Art in 2006 and currently paints and plays music full time in Minneapolis.

Seen You Sigh, Seen You Smile is a series of what Drum calls POSTCARD paintings inspired by Memphis. “For eight years I have experimented with painting on old photographs, junk mail, recycled postcards and other refuse,” says Drum. “I utilize a variety of traditional and nontraditional materials including acrylic paint, sumi ink and household garbage. The POSTCARDS assume many forms—portrait, still life, landscape, graffiti and pure abstraction. Their ability to float between the world of high art and kitsch intrigues me and offers a sturdy platform from which I can explore the condition of our modern society.”

Drum pulls the topics of his paintings from a variety of sources, finding meaningful connections in pop culture, the media and his daily interactions with people. He keeps a record of his ideas in a sketchbook which serves as a reference as he executes his final pieces straight onto the surface in an expressionistic, free-flowing manner, often painting over old paintings and scratching through layers to revel the painting’s past. Drum believes that it is not enough for artists to dwell on form. “I think we should utilize our unique position as the shepherds of culture to explore critical questions about our society. The reason I make art is centered in the simple urge to relate to my surroundings. I want to inspire those who encounter my work to make the world a better place.”

The Alumni Gallery is open for viewing on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. MCA exhibitions are free and open to the public.

Photo: Preston Drum, Phenomenon, 2014, mixed media on recycled postcard, 4” x 6”

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