Memphis Brooks Museum invites citizens to watch African artist create mural

Memphis Brooks Museum invites citizens to watch African artist create mural

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art wants to inspire you! You're invited to watch Nigerian-born, Washington D.C.-based artist, Victor Ekpuk create a mural in the museum's new African Gallery on the third floor across from the hands-on family art gallery-Inside Art.

Ekpuk will transform a 58-foot wall with a re-imagining of graphic symbols from diverse cultures, forming an interplay of art and writing. He'll paint Drawing Memory from March 6-17 and will also be the subject of a gallery talk during the annual ChalkFest on Saturday, March 11 at 1 p.m.

Ekpuk says his art is inspired by nsibidi, a sacred means of communication among male secret societies in southeastern Nigeria and evolves out of the graphic writing and systems of nsidbidi, embracing a wider spectrum of meaning to communicate universal themes.

"The subject matter of my work deals with the human condition explained through themes that are both universal and specific: family, gender, politics, culture and identity," Ekpuk explains.

"Our centennial year continues with the re-imagining of our African Gallery. Victor's art will set the stage for the Brooks' collection of the Art of Africa in a dynamic, thought-provoking way," Executive Director Emily Ballew Neff said.

The mural begins the renovation of the African Gallery, which culminates in the Fall 2017 with a reinstallation organized by Dr. Christa Clarke, Senior Curator, Arts of Global African, Newark Museum and president-election, Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC) and AAMC Foundation.

"We are thrilled to be reinstalling the African Gallery with Drawing Memory as the centerpiece. Victor has been an artist in residence at museums across the country and visitors have been inspired and deeply moved by watching him work," Chief Curator Marina Pacini said. "Memphians too will enjoy the experience of seeing a work of art being made, especially one that is designed specifically for the Brooks and the city. The process is fascinating, which is why we will post time-lapse footage of his progress daily."

Ekpuk's work can also been seen in the Smithsonian Institution of National Museum of African Art, Newark Museum, The World Bank, Hood Museum, Krannert Art Museum, United States Art in Embassies Art Collection and Fidelity Investment Art Collection.

For more information about the Brooks and all other exhibitions and programs, call 901.544.6200 or visit

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