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Ross Gallery Opens New Exhibits by Crosthwait, Murray

MEMPHIS — The Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery at Christian Brothers University announces the opening of two exhibits on October 13. In the main gallery, “Forgotten Fables and Footlong Fractals” will showcase roughly 30 multi-media works by Jimmy Crosthwait. In the gallery foyer, “Noumenon and Beyond” will feature 18 paintings by Tom Murray. An opening reception for both exhibitions will be held on Friday, October 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and both will be on display through December 6.

Local artistic and musical icon Jimmy Crosthwait has been honing his artistic practice since the 1960s. Early in his career, he focused on the craft of puppetry, creating handmade puppets that have delighted audiences old and young for decades. Over the years, his artwork evolved into kinetic collages of motorized light-and-motion constructions and a series of abstract marionettes that he calls ‘Zen chimes.’ “Forgotten Fables and Footlong Fractals” will showcase a variety of Crosthwait’s work, including his marionettes and Zen chimes, a series of pen-and-ink “maze” drawings, and sculptural pieces.

Crosthwait’s artwork has been exhibited at the University of Memphis, Rhodes College, Christian Brothers University, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis College of Art, Marshall Arts Gallery, Cooper-Young Gallery, and Southside Gallery in Oxford, MS. His work is in the collections of Cybill Shepherd; the late, great Robin Williams; Henry Turley; the Downing Pryor Collection; and film director  Kirt Gunn.    

“My artwork is still evolving,” Crosthwait says. “Essentially, my work is a marriage between two qualities: strength and delicacy. And, although my work has elements that might seem Eastern, or Native American—perhaps even Mayan—I hope that the cultural elements dissolve along with any particular ‘timeline’ and create for the viewer a sense of mystery and timelessness. I know that when I am working, time really does—like magic—disappear.”

Another artistic element in Crosthwaite's life is music. As a percussionist, he has played and recorded with such legendary bluesmen as Bukka White, Furry Lewis, Rev. Robert Wilkins, Sleepy John Estes, and Hammy Nixon. In the '70s, '80s, and '90s, he was part of the Memphis underground group, Mudboy and the Neutrons, and now plays with the Sons of Mudboy.

After retiring in 2003 and being exposed to the Memphis art scene, Tom Murray began to explore his lifelong interest in painting. Murray began to paint in June of 2007 and has painted every day since. He maintains a full-time studio at Marshall Arts in the Edge District. He is mostly self-taught and heavily influenced by the writings of Wassily Kandinsky and by his fellow artists at Marshall Arts. His view of the world around him is informed by the writings of Native American author Vine DeLoria Jr. and those of other Native writers, as well as the teachings of the Buddha. Murray works in a variety of media, including acrylic paint and oil pastels on canvas or paper.

The Beverly & Sam Ross Gallery is located on the lower level of Plough Memorial Library in the center of the CBU campus on the Buckman Quadrangle, easily accessible from the Central Avenue parking lot. All exhibits are free and open to the public.

For more information, please contact:

Catherine B. Peña
Gallery Director
(901) 321-3243

Posted by Cory Dugan at 9:54 AM