Beverly + Sam Ross Gallery
NOTE: Due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines, viewings are available to the public by appointment only. Please contact Scott Carter, Gallery Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment. Appointment requests should be made at least 24 hours in advance. Requests for visits on the weekend should be made during the week prior, and any requests received on the weekend will be reviewed the next business day.
KENNETH WAYNE ALEXANDER II
ROME: A Study of The Changing America
MARCH 13 – APRIL 16, 2021
Kenneth Alexander is a painter, motion artist, and curator based in Memphis, TN. He fuses anime and digital art with his traditional style to create a new vision often drawn from his dreams. Growing up in South Memphis, Kenneth was in constant pursuit of an art community. After being accepted into a local performing arts high school, he never looked back.
Alexander’s artwork has been shown in over two dozen exhibitions, including “Surreal Kingdoms” at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, garnering him national attention. Being a juror for the 2016 and 2021 Mid-South Scholastic Art Competition — and being the keynote speaker in the former — he has changed lives of young aspiring artists by awarding them scholarships for their hard work and dedication. After curating “Unfolding: The Next Chapter in Memphis,” an ArtsMemphis exhibition for the Bicentennial of Memphis, he has spread influence and inspiration to working artists all around the city. This has, is turn, landed him more curatorial work for outside projects.
Alexander is also well known for his work as a set designer and art director on networks like NBC, Apple TV, and BET. He draws inspiration from some of the great surrealists, namely Salvador Dali, but he is ultimately pioneering the way in a new age of digital art.
“In the past four years, we have seen significant change. Some more desirable than others. As a response from the former president’s line of service: civil unrest, his collusion tactics, and unlawful acts became the norm for the country. As the president became less involved in foreign politics and focused on creating in-land problems, his supporters became detached from healthy progression. Almost an equal mirror from the reign of Nero, where a significant portion of Rome burned through the height of his rule. A rule of tyranny, civil unrest, government incompetence, and in turn, eventual change through the cooperation of the Roman people.
“In the present day, unemployment and misleading speeches rose to one of the highest levels in American history. But in the midst of it all, the American people were given time to self-reflect and slowly grow. The energy of America has been in a constant influx of change. While the president’s supporters ignite unrest and insurgence, the rest of the nation found it was time to focus more on building equality and peace through the emerging chaos.” — Kenneth Wayne Alexander II
“As one of the working artists in my city who takes leadership within their roles, I feel that it is my duty to share my knowledge and what I learned within my journey with the youth of Memphis. I did not get here without having good, caring people around me to help me see what’s in the future ahead of me. So, I want to instill individualism and self-identity through the imagination and foundation of art. As an artist who fused traditional art, music and digital art styles to create a new vision; NOVI arts was born, and from this merge, it has grown into its own landmark name. As I progressed in my style, so did the imagination. I applied the digital aspect of motion within this signature style.” — Kenneth Wayne Alexander IIKENNETH ALEXANDER @noviartwork
The Beverly + Sam Ross Gallery is located on the lower level of Plough Memorial Library in the center of campus on the Buckman Quadrangle, easily accessible from the Central Avenue parking lot and the East Parkway entrance. All exhibits are free and open to the public.