There’s no denying that Memphis is an art town — both for collectors and as an incubator for new artists. The city is rich with traditional art galleries, including David Lusk Gallery, L Ross, Jay Etkin, Art Village and many others.
Beyond traditional outlets, though, there are a number of unusual spots in which to find art to love in Memphis. We’ve rounded up five fabulous local businesses that offer their wall space for local artists to showcase their work. While each gallery offers a different slice of art with a Memphis connection, all are must-adds to your list of art spaces to visit.
242 S. Cooper St., Memphis, TN 38104 • (901) 276-3937
Hours: Monday through Wednesday & Friday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
It’s clear to see why a Midtown optical shop decided to dedicate its open wall space to the work of local artists. “I consider eyewear art for the face,” says Robbie Johnson Weinberg, who owns Eclectic Eye along with her husband, Mike. “It’s a natural complement to our buying process and environment here.” Johnson Weinberg says the shop hosts six to eight artists a year, focusing on those from the Memphis area, or who live elsewhere but have a Memphis connection.
Current exhibit: Mary-Ellen Kelly: “Shaken, Not Stirred,” through April 13, 2016
Levy Gallery at the Buckman Performing & Fine Arts Center
60 Perkins Extended, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 537-1472
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. For access to the gallery, check in at the reception desk at the school.
Attached to St. Mary’s Episcopal School, the Levy Gallery is located in the lobby of the Buckman Performing & Fine Arts Center on the school’s south campus. Throughout the year, Levy hosts a handful of exhibitions featuring primarily regional artists in its small, yet superb, space, exhibiting every medium from glass to fabric to photography. The work of the school’s Louise T. Archer Artist in Residence is also exhibited, if the honored artist works in the visual arts. Exhibit receptions are open to the public. Learn more on the Levy Gallery website.
Current exhibit: New works by Emily Ozier, through April 4, 2016
575 S. Mendenhall, Memphis, TN 38117 • (901) 578-2787
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
It makes perfect sense that an arts organization dedicated not only to funding the arts, but also to making art accessible to all, designed its office space to also function as a gallery to display the works of Memphis artists. ArtsMemphis holds exhibits every quarter as part of its Gallery-in-Residence Series, and the public is invited to drop by on weekdays during regular business hours to view the exhibitions. The exhibition calendar can be found online here.
Through March 18, 2016: “Assembled: New works on Canvas,” curated by Lester Julian Merriweather
Gallery Ten Ninety One at WKNO Studios
7151 Cherry Farms Road, Cordova, TN 38016 • (901) 458-2521
Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
When WKNO moved from its on-campus location at the University of Memphis to a business park off Whitten Road, it moved into a dramatic contemporary building that features long walls perfect for exhibiting artwork. Gallery Ten Ninety One (named for WKNO-FM’s frequency, 109.1), puts on exhibitions that feature the members of local community art associations, professional artists, costumes from local dramatic productions and more. An exhibition calendar can be found here.
Current exhibit: New works by Tim Andrews and Joel Hilgenberg, through March 31, 2016
Memphis Botanic Garden
750 Cherry Road, Memphis TN 38117 • (901) 636-4100
Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Central Standard Time/winter), 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Central Daylight Time)
The Memphis Botanic Garden features not one, but two galleries. The first gallery (open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m during winter hours, and until 6:00 p.m. during Central Daylight Time) flows through the main halls of the Visitors Center. The MBG’s smaller exhibition space is within Fratelli’s Café in the lobby of the Visitors Center. Fratelli’s is open Monday through Saturday for lunch only, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Emerging and established artists, or those with art collections not for sale, are welcome to submit exhibit proposals.
Current exhibits: “The Memphis 10,” featuring the artwork of 10 female artists, in the Visitors Center Gallery through March 28, 2016. “Favorite Things by the Student of the Fred Rawlinson Atelier,” in the Fratelli’s Café Gallery through March 29, 2016
In addition to these great local spots to scope out art, one well-known name in the Memphis art gallery scene is enjoying a new home. Be sure to check out the new location for David Lusk Gallery, located at 97 Tillman St., Memphis, TN 38111. Check out our photo gallery from the grand opening here.
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