“Art for Communities Poster” Benefits VECA


Publication Date: 9/10/2009

Lee displays his winning design “Candied Trees” in front of the homes on Tutwiler Avenue that inspired the art and where Lee also lives. Photo by Liz Daggett

Local artist Anthony Lee is the winner of the “Art for Communities Poster Contest” presented by Rhodes′ CODA and Urban Studies programs and the Vollintine-Evergreen Community Association (VECA).

In March artists were asked to submit artwork reflecting the community, and then in May, nine submissions were displayed at a VECA ice cream social where the neighborhood residents voted Lee’s “Candied Trees” the winning entry. He received a $200 artist fee.

His work has been made into a poster that Rhodes students and VECA board members will sell beginning September 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at a Wolf River Days event (620 N. Avalon).  Proceeds will benefit the VECA Welcome Center.

The goal for the “Art for Communities Poster” initiative is to focus on a different neighborhood each year and to show how art can help communities to express their unique identities as well as benefit them financially.

Lee’s poster is a hyper-colored, fanciful representation of the historic 1920s housing of VECA. “It captures the intimacy and friendliness of our neighborhood,” said Vollintine Evergreen resident Mary Wilder. Adds resident Paul Herron, “Our neighborhood faces the ordinary challenges of city life, but our residents work together to make it a happy place.”

Owner of the Marshall Arts gallery in Memphis, Lee has a combination of artistic talent as well as business and project management sensibilities. His work reflects on issues of family and civil rights history, with many pieces involving themes of education and progress.

Currently commissioned to complete a mural in the Cooper-Young district of Memphis, he was an associate artist on the 2009 Rhodes-Hill Mural. Other public art activities include being the City Public Art Project Awardee for the MATA Train Station Wall and Pierotti Park in Memphis.

Lee grew up in north Memphis, and after graduating from Central High School, he attended North Carolina State University School of Design and served three years in the 82nd Airborne Division. Lee currently lives on Tutwiler Avenue.

His roles as a Mid-South Scholastic Art Competition judge at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and as a volunteer with Springdale’s Afterschool Arts Program also have provided experience with school children.

For more information on how to purchase Lee’s poster can contact Liz Daggett at 901-843-3448 or daggette@rhodes.edu and at the VECA Welcome Center (1680 Jackson Ave.) at 901-276-1782 or VECA@VECA-neighborhood.org

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