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Artist Exhibition To Address Effect of Print Media

Disappearing Ink promotional artIn an upcoming exhibition, the Art Museum at the University of Memphis is using public participation to address the changing face of print media and its effect on contemporary culture.

“Disappearing Ink” will be on display in AMUM March 29–June 28.

“Everything is changing so quickly, and we never seem to have the time to reflect upon those changes,” said John Salvest, professor of Art at Arkansas State University, who is curating the exhibition. “This project is an attempt to initiate an intergenerational conversation about a significant shift in how we transmit and save information. Among the questions ‘Disappearing Ink’ raises is what, if anything, will replace the printed newspaper as tangible evidence of individual and collective history?”

For the exhibition, the public can submit personally meaningful pieces involving print newspaper, such as clippings, pages and complete issues. They can also submit the items used in the presentation of these items—scrapbooks, bulletin boards, refrigerator doors, whatever has been used to preserve or display the pieces. All materials will be carefully catalogued and returned to the owner when the exhibition ends.

To participate, submit a written statement explaining the personal significance of the contribution and complete an official AMUM loan document by Feb. 1, 2014. The items collected will be arranged by Salvest with help from AMUM’s staff. An online archive of submissions will be created.

Salvest received an MFA in sculpture from the University of Iowa. He has presented in solo and group shows throughout the United States. He has curated several exhibitions, including “Kim Levin: Notes & Itineraries” that traveled internationally to critical acclaim. His work has been reviewed and featured in publications, such as Art in America and The New York Times.

For more information on this and other exhibitions, contact AMUM at or 901.678.2224.

U of M Opera Presents Così fan tutte

Cosí fan tutte cast shotIn November, the award-winning University of Memphis Opera staged a new production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Directed by Copeland Woodruff and conducted by Mark Ensley, Così fan tutte chronicles the experiences of two sisters who are tested by their lovers in a series of exercises crafted by the young men’s friend and the young ladies’ maid to expose the true nature of love, its blindness and its inherent fears.

First performed in 1790, the title of Mozart’s opera is loosely translated as “women are like that.” Although audiences at the time accepted it, the opera offended the sensibilities of many in the 19th century and it was not performed in the United States until 1922.

Mignon Dunn Conducts Master Class

Mignon Dunn head shotRenowned mezzo-soprano Mignon Dunn presented a master class in September at the Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music in Harris Concert Hall. During the master class, students performed a single prepared piece for Dunn and spectators, after which Dunn provided valuable critiques and advice. It was a rare opportunity to see the artist in an intimate setting and hear some of the outstanding students from the Scheidt School of Music.

Dunn is an artist-in-residence at the Scheidt School of Music and has taught on the faculties of the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, Brooklyn College and the Manhattan School of Music. She has performed leading roles in the most important opera houses of the world, including La Scala, Milan; the Vienna Staatsoper; and London’s Royal Opera and Covent Garden. Over a 35-year span, she sang more than 650 performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Center for Multimedia Arts Closed

After 10 years of service, the Center for Multimedia Arts closed its door in December. The center connected the University of Memphis to the community, bringing to light the advanced offerings available.

“People may have forgotten, but when the FedEx Institute opened in fall of 2003, its purposes were to serve as a gateway between the campus and surrounding community and as the campus showcase for innovative research. Dean Ranta recognized that the CMA was the opportunity for the CCFA to become substantively involved in such an institutionally important venture,” said Michael Schmidt, former CMA director. “ And indeed, our presence in the FedEx Institute brought CCFA faculty and students into contact and collaboration with regional, national and international partners as well as faculty and students from other colleges and schools on campus.”

CMA The center had many milestones since it opened in 2003:

  • UNICEF Canada invited Schmidt to deliver a one-hour presentation on SHELBY Child Impact Assessment this past May 2012 at the first international symposium to be held on child rights impact assessment. SHELBY is a Web-based application that foregrounds the needs of children and youth in decisions regarding safety, health, education and land use. The system generates child impact statements. It is the first software application of its kind in the U.S. The University of Memphis has submitted a full patent application for SHELBY with Schmidt as the inventor.
  • In 2007, CMA produced a one-hour documentary called “After the Storm” for the United Way of the MidSouth. It chronicled the experiences of Hurricane Katrina survivors who evacuated to the Midsouth, as well as the many ways area residents and United-Way funded agencies helped displaced citizens. “After the Storm” aired on WKNO during the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
  • CMA collaborated with Dr. Ray Barfield at St. Jude on creating a visual and interactive media to better convey the purposes and specifics of clinical trials to patients’ parents. The collaboration lasted from 2004-2010, started at St. Jude and continued at Duke Children’s Hospital. The result was the CMA’s engagement in the design of several prototypes for advancing pediatric bioethics. CMA received two Greenwall Foundation for Bioethics grants and contributed to journal articles and conference presentations about their work. The multidisciplinary work involved Dr. Mandy Young from the Department of Communication and Dr. Loel Kim from the Department of English.
  • In 2005, CMA created a digital jukebox for the museum’s “Hall of Records” exhibit.
  • From 2004-05, CMA collaborated with the Department of Art, College of Engineering and the U of M Information Technology Division to repair more than a dozen exhibits and media servers at the National Civil Rights Museum.


Department Brings Diversity to Entrepreneurship in Journalism Education

For many journalism students, starting a successful media business may be difficult. Helping them develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and culture is increasingly important when finding longstanding employment in traditional media is very difficult.

With this in mind, the University of Memphis Journalism Department partnered with Start Co., a local startup accelerator, to develop a new graduate certificate in entrepreneurial journalism and revamp one of the required courses in the department’s MA program. In spite of challenges to starting the program, such as limited resources, the department joined the growing population of journalism educators teaching entrepreneurship. 

Headed by journalism professors Dr. Carrie Brown and Dr. Lurene Kelley, the effort is special at the U of M because the student population has a diversity that other major journalism schools with entrepreneurial programs are often missing.

“Most encouraging is that the University of Memphis shows that injecting entrepreneurship into journalism curricula is possible outside of our more elite journalism schools, and importantly, our efforts help to ensure that the media future is rich with diversity and groups often underrepresented in legacy organizations,” Brown said. “Our student body is 42 percent African American. We draw a substantial number of first-generation college students and a wide range of income backgrounds as well.”

Chandra Towler, MA program alum, is working at a local social media agency using the skills she learned during her time at the University of Memphis.

“Through my course work in entrepreneurial journalism, I felt better prepared to bring creative and technology-driven ideas to my organization. Additionally, I believe if I needed to pursue entrepreneurship further and start my own business, I now have the foundation to make that happen.”

For more information about the program, contact Brown at 901.678.5475.


Dean Richard R. Ranta Receives Award

Ranta at Distinguished Achievement Award Luncheon

Dr. Richard R. Ranta, founding Dean of the College of Communication and Fine Arts, spoke to a packed room full of well-wishers during his acceptance speech for The Distinguished Achievement Award in the Creative and Performing Arts. Tickets for the event sold out in two days. Watch Ranta’s tribute video.

Artist Exhibition to Address Effect of Print Media

U of M Opera Presents Cosí fan tutte

Mignon Dunn Conducts Master Class

Center for Multimedia Arts Closed

Department Brings Diversity to Entrepreneurship in Journalism Education

Dean Richard R. Ranta Receives Award

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