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Summer Conversations at The Brooks

The Brooks Museum of Art is hosting a number of interesting conversations and presentations over the summer.

First up, GrrlPunch Magazine is hosting a group gallery walk and discussion about inspiration and bold female artists.

Later this month, Brooks executive director Dr. Emily Ballew Neff will give a talk on the architecture of art museums.

In August, there’s a Q & A with the Swiss design firm that gets to bring to life the Brooks Museum’s future downtown home “Brooks on the Bluff.” Artist E.V. Day will discuss her installation Divas Ascending, which is the next to be featured in the Brooks Rotunda Project series.

In September, avid art collector and affable Memphian Elliot Perry will sit in conversation with Memphis-born, New York-based artist Derek Fordjour.

All of these events are free to attend.

Wednesday, July 17 | 6 p.m. 

Café Conversations: Grrlpunch

GrrlPunch is on online feminist magazine founded in Memphis, and a worldwide community for young creatives to empower one another through their various art forms. Join GrrlPunch Editor-in-Chief Lucy Hargrove and Managing Editor Emily Zachry for a walkthrough of art in the Contemporary Gallery by female artists who made bold artistic choices. After the gallery walk, the group will transition to the café for an open conversation about the mission of GrrlPunch and artwork in the permanent collection that inspires Hargrove and Zachry.

This event is free. No reservations required.

Wednesday, July 31 | 6:30 p.m.

Talk: Architecture of Art Museums 101 with Dr. Emily Ballew Neff.

From the Louvre to the Guggenheim to Crystal Bridges, some of the most stunning architecture in the world belongs to art museums. Brooks Executive Director Dr. Emily Ballew Neff’s “richly-illustrated talk” will guide you through some of the most striking achievements in art museum architecture. While you’re there, you’ll get some insight into the plans for the future downtown home of the Brooks Museum to be designed by Herzog & de Meuron, with archimania as the Architect of Record. There’s a reception beforehand, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited.  

Wednesday, August 14 | 6:30 p.m.

Talk:  The Architecture of Herzog & de Meuron with Ascan Mergenthaler, Senior Partner at Herzog & de Meuron.

Speaking of “Brooks on the Bluff,” you can join in a Q & A with the Basel, Switzerland firm that has been tapped to design the museum’s new home. Ascan Mergenthaler, Senior Partner at Herzog & de Meuron and Partner-in-Charge of “Brooks on the Bluff,” will provide an overview of the firm’s work around the world including Tate Modern, London; Parrish Art Museum, Long Island; Pérez Art Museum, Miami; the de Young Museum in San Francisco, and such iconic buildings as the 2008 Olympic National Stadium in Beijing, affectionately dubbed the “Bird’s Nest.” Reception at 5:30 p.m.

This event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited.

© Adriano A. Biondo,

Wednesday, August 28 | 6:30 p.m.

Artist Talk: E.V. Day

New York-based artist E.V. Day is the next artist to install a Rotunda Project for the Brooks. Her work explores themes of sexuality and humor while employing gravity-defying suspension techniques. During this talk, she’ll discuss her rotunda installation, Divas Ascending. This series of sculptures transform familiar icons of women’s empowerment and entrapment into new objects that confound conventional readings of these clichés. Using tension to suspend, stretch, and shred garments and to create forms that the artist likens to futurist abstract paintings in three dimensions, Day has created work that transforms rigid symbols into a range of emotions: anxiety, ecstasy, liberation, and release. Reception beforehand at 5:30 p.m. This event is free and open to the public; however, space is limited.

Wednesday, September 18 | 6:30 p.m.

Artist Talk: Derek Fordjour with Elliot Perry

Co-presented by Locate Projects.

The Wall Street Journal recently declared Memphis born, New York-based artist Derek Fordjour is “one of the art world’s most coveted newcomers.” Fordjour is an interdisciplinary artist whose work in video/film, sculpture, and painting appears in several public and private collections, including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, where he recently debuted an outdoor mural, Half Mast, which reflected on mass shootings and the constant threat of violence against Black and Brown bodies. Collector Elliot Perry will lead the conversation with Fordjour. This event is free.

Derek Fordjour, Three Bend Deep (2019). Acrylic, charcoal, oil pastel and foil on newspaper mounted on canvas. Courtesy of

The Brooks Museum is open Wednesdays – Sundays. Admission is free every Wednesday thanks to Orion Federal Credit Union. Check out the current exhibitions at the museum and stay up-to-date on special events by following The Brooks on Facebook and Instagram.

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