CODA and Center City Commission Present Downtown Storefront Art Project

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Publication Date: 7/16/2007

Rhodes′ Center for the Outreach and Development of the Arts (CODA) and the Center City Commission are pleased to announce the first two installations of the Downtown Storefront Art Project with work by Mel Spillman at 77 South Main St. and Dwayne Butcher at the corner of South Main St. and Union Avenue.

The project intends to bring life back to the Main Street corridor between Adams and Peabody and consists of a number of collaborations with local artists and property owners to install artwork in the windows of empty buildings.

Spillman has created four collages on wood panels for the building that used to house Debbie’s Hair Affair. Drawing on the history of the space, Spillman has worked with advertisements from circa 1950 to create works reminiscent of the heyday of the space. Butcher has made a series of 68 intricate drawings in response to the title of the former business "Smooth Moves" that once resided in his installation space.

The Downtown Storefront Art Project is organized by Rhodes CODA Fellow Lauren Kennedy ′08 and will continue with works by additional artists throughout the 2007-2008 academic year. The CODA Fellows program mentors undergraduate students in the principles of aesthetics, cultural policy and professional practice with which the art invigorate culture and enlighten lives.

In addition to sponsorship from CODA and the CCC, the Downtown Storefront Art Project is supported by the Greater Memphis Arts Council and the Leadership Academy, whose 2006 program participants Wes Meador and Carmel Morgan first initiated the concept and remain key project consultants.