Broad Ave. open­ing doors for Art Walk

> Glass blow­ing, photography and paint­ing on dis­play

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - Art - By Bill El­lis

Spe­cial to The Com­mer­cial Ap­peal

Five art-re­lated busi­nesses took part in the first Broad Av­enue Art Walk, a num­ber that has more than dou­bled in what is now an an­nual cel­e­bra­tion of the bur­geon­ing arts district.

At tonight’s 4th an­nual Broad Av­enue Art Walk, 12 busi­nesses will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. flaunt­ing their artis­tic wares with ex­hibits, demon­stra­tions and live mu­sic.

“A lot of peo­ple re­flect on this area as the South Main of five years ago,” says Pat Brown, busi­ness man­ager at Broad gallery T Clifton Art, who com­pares the de­vel­op­ment of the Broad arts district to that of South Main, which has branded it­self in large part through art re­tail en­ter­prises and gal­leries and has its own monthly art walk.

“Where I think we’re a lit­tle dif­fer­ent is we’ve got the true artist colony where you’ve got crafts­men work­ing day-to-day,” she adds, not­ing that the Mem­phis City Coun­cil of­fi­cially rec­og­nized Broad as an arts district in March.

An­chored by food-and-drink main­stays The Cove and Broad­way Pizza House, Broad’s art res­i­dents run the gamut from more com­mer­cial-ori­ented gal­leries such as T Clifton Art to ex­per­i­men­tal art spa­ces such as Odessa and Ma­te­rial to a va­ri­ety of art and ar­ti­san work­shops such as Metal Works and Archi­cast to ad­ver­tis­ing firm Splash Creative and the Ur­banArt Com­mis­sion.

T Clifton’s name­sake artist Tom Clifton cred­its the growth of the district to the ex­ten­sion of Sam Cooper Boule­vard. Yet when the high­way first cut through, he thought the area would die.

“And in a way it did, which was a great ad­van­tage for artists, be­cause this area sud­denly started gen­tri­fy­ing,” he says. “And that wouldn’t have hap­pened oth­er­wise. The more peo­ple that come to the street and see what’s go­ing on, the more peo­ple are in­ter­ested in mov­ing to the street.”

Tonight’s art walk ac­tiv­i­ties fea­ture a show at T Clifton Art, “Dark Days/White Nights,” that is the first Amer­i­can ex­hi­bi­tion by Rus­sian painter Yan Kar­povich (see side­bar). Pho­to­graphic ex­hibits in­clude An­nette El­iz­a­beth Four­ne­tat at Weaver & As­so­ci­ates, Paula Cravens at West Memo­ri­als, and David Nester at Metal Works.

Also on board are all things Greely My­att at Ma­te­rial and Ur­banArt; Jeanne Reynolds at Splash Creative; enam­els and paint­ings by Mar­garet Wil­mot and her daugh­ter Leigh Wil­mot at Wil­mot Orig­i­nals Work; comic art at Adam Shaw Stu­dio; glass blow­ing at Stu­dio 1688; and black­smith demon­stra­tions at Metal Works. Sched­uled mu­sic in­cludes Sul­tana and Michaela Caitlin at The Cove and the Bluff City Back­slid­ers at Odessa.

With the growth of the district, Brown notes that it now has the chal­lenge to main­tain a cer­tain com­mer­cial vi­a­bil­ity while at the same time pre­serv­ing its charm and af­ford­abil­ity — things that made it at­trac­tive to artists in the first place.

“Find­ing that bal­ance will be very key,” she says.

“Red Dawn” (left) and “Sanc­tu­ary” are part of Rus­sian painter Yan Kar­povich’s Amer­i­can de­but exhibit “Dark Days/White Nights,” dis­played tonight at T Clifton Art for the 4th An­nual Broad Ave. Art Walk.

St. Peters­burg-based artist Yan Kar­povich uses the word “seren­ity” to de­scribe his paint­ings.

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