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The Art Academy

08/02/2012, 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM      08/05/2012, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Location: Admission: $10, $8 Brooks members – map

Description: A new film from True Story Pictures, The Art Academy follows the improbable story of a tiny school that flourished and adapted over seven decades to become what it is today – the Memphis College of Art. Think of it as the little art school that could. In its original incarnation, the Memphis Academy of Arts was born out of a great schism between the old Victorian style of art education and the new Modernism of the 1930s. “It was a revolution,” as former student Carroll Cloar put it. From Mildred Hudson’s leadership during the war, to Ted Rust’s golden age, to Jeff Nesin’s expansion, the school has reinvented itself over and over again. The thread that connects the past to the present is a familial culture that embraces “the odd people out” and values a nurturing relationship between teacher and student.

Probably best known for its legendary faculty and iconic architecture, MCA has some surprises up its historical sleeve – masquerade balls, celebrity visits, indoor waterfalls, even a kidnapping. The Art Academy teases these stories out for audiences using archival footage, old and new interviews, narrative animations, and an original soundtrack by Steve Selvidge and Paul Taylor. As appropriate for a film about an art school, the documentary features fabulous art direction by recent grad Ryan McGahan. Producer/director Joann Self Selvidge insisted on hiring MCA alumni and students to support McGahan, and the team included Matt Pierson (illustration), Kong Wee Pang (illustration), Michael Shaw (storyboards and animation), Ashley Holmes (animation), Lauren Rae Holtermann (illustration), and Dominique Pere (illustration). Thanks to sponsor archer>malmo, a large portion of the animation was developed pro bono.

Director: Joann Self Selvidge U.S.A. | 2012 | 98 minutes

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