If you’ve already seen the current show at Rhodes’ Clough-Hanson Gallery, explored the Brooks Museum of Art, and exhausted the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis still has plenty of art spaces to check out. Here are five alternative art galleries that should be on your must-see list.
Glitch operates out of the home of Adam Farmer, an art school graduate who wanted to see a more chaotic space for the alternative arts in Memphis. Past events have included the shows “Houseplant,” “IT’S A MISTAKE,” and “THE TRUTH IS A BURDEN.” At each show, artists are encouraged to make permanent alterations to Farmer’s house, adding to it each show like an ever-growing sketchbook of multimedia art. The gallery’s sense of humor manifests itself in the event descriptions and in the atmosphere of the house itself.
Beige is an alternative art space run by Rhodes’ own Joel Parsons, director of the Clough-Hanson Gallery on campus, and Steven McMahon. The gallery’s websitedescribes itself as “a peripheral space for otherwise art, performance, and hospitality,” but the gallery is much more than that. The owners of Beige also run the Sugarbaker-Milk Fund, a microgrant for emerging queer artists in the Mid-South. For the queer community, the art space provides an opportunity to showcase their personal experiences and work in a safe space.
Jay Etkin Gallery
The Jay Etkin Gallery is in Cooper-Young, right down the road from Rhodes. Located in a storefront, the gallery is a more traditional space, but the artwork isn’t always the traditional Memphis fare. Etkin’s gallery features local, regional, and international contemporary artists, but also vintage African tribal art. In the heart of the Cooper-Young arts district, this gallery is a perfect place to stop in to experience some culturally stimulating art.
Southfork is self-described as “a private residence with dedicated space to showing art without any overt commercial ambitions.” Started by Rhodes alumna Lauren Kennedy, Southfork works in conjunction with Beige art gallery, as well as several other galleries in the area. With a unique sense of humor and an interesting use of apartment space, Southfork exists in its own atmosphere of Southern charm and great art. Similar to Beige, the artwork is juxtaposed with the interior of Kennedy’s living space, as opposed to Glitch, which uses almost the entire home as a gallery space.
The Wrong Again Gallery
Perhaps the most bizarre space of these five galleries, The Wrong Again Gallery occupies a doorway and 2 inches of floor space in the studio of Greely Myatt on Marshall Avenue. The tiny space creates a completely foreign experience to the traditional gallery. Artists are not present at their openings, but rather Skype in on a large projector screen to talk with gallery visitors. The gallery is based on The Wrong Gallery in New York City, which boasted a whopping 2 and a half square feet of floor space.
Be sure to check out Trolley Night on Main for more traditional gallery experiences and Downtown Memphis culture!
By Margaret Tronsor ’17