News & Press

20 Memphis Happenings: November 2014

November 15: Rodin Family Day at Dixon Gallery & GardensRodin Family Day from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will celebrate the works of French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Take the entire family and create unique art projects, meet special guests, check out art demonstrations, listen to live music, plus visit the elegant sculptures from their current exhibition, Rodin: The Human Experience. Free admission. Read more.

Nick Pena’s “Processing the Ideal” at the Dixon

Artist Nick Peña recently ordered a house online. It is a tiny house with pre-war moulding, bigger than a milk crate but smaller than two milk crates. It looks as if it was drawn directly from the Top Ten Suburban House Plans of 2003 and called something like "Timeless Country Victorian."  

For his installation, Our Xanadu, Peña surrounded his miniature exburb home with orange construction fencing and placed it atop a fabricated rock ledge — one of several that he bracketed to the wall of the Mallory/Wurtzburger Gallery at the Dixon for his exhibition, "Processing the Ideal." He calls the foam ledges his "glorified shelves" and positions them much higher than eye level. Read more

Dixon celebrates goldenrod in garden and gallery

August is the month of goldenrod flowers in our local fields. I have previously written about its attributes as a cultivated plant and cut flower and debunked the myth that this plant causes allergies.The scientific or Latin name is Solidago, and nearly 30 wild-growing species are native to our region. It is a common plant in gardens in England and throughout Europe, but does not yet enjoy mainstream acceptance as a cultivated plant here.I find that native plants often do not get the respect of gardeners if the plant is plentiful and growing wild in the local area; they are often considered to be weeds, but in reality all of our garden plants are the result of the selection and breeding of wild plants. Due to an art exhibition currently on display here at the Dixon, we are celebrating this plant like never before and are growing over 100 plants representing five cultivars that grow well in Mid-South gardens. Read more

Dixon opens first retrospective exhibit of impressionist Curran

Charles Courtney Curran exhibit at Dixon features the artist's perfect touch and high-minded aesthetic. Read more from The Commercial Appeal

“Charles Courtney Curran: Seeking the Ideal” at the Dixon

Cragsmoor, a tiny mountain art colony founded in the late 19th century atop the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County, New York, was created as a peaceful, unspoiled refuge for artists looking to escape the industrial creep of the modern world and reconnect with nature. Residents of the colony included explorer/painter Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh, renowned landscape artist George Inness Jr., and the Kentucky-born Impressionist, Charles Courtney Curran, a figure and landscape painter who is receiving his first major retrospective since 1942, courtesy of the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Read more

Memphis' 10 Unmissable Events and Festivals in August 2014

Memphis, Tennessee, is known for the sound of the Delta Blues and the taste of Southern barbecue. However, the city is also home to a thriving theatre scene centred in Midtown and a trendy gallery district in the Cooper-Young District. This comes together to make for a vibrant cultural scene year-round. Our picks for August’s top events showcase cultural variety Memphis has to offer, on and off the beaten path. Read more.

Memphis Milano: Bold color, extreme design

In late 1980, Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007), a well-known designer and architect in Milan, Italy, gathered together a group of younger colleagues to brainstorm a new international design style. Eager to break with the soothing neutralities of the period, the twenty- and thirty-somethings came up with Memphis, a radical approach to design that was colorful, fanciful, and often geometric. Whether they loved it or hated, critics dissected and published the new designs, which soon received international recognition. Read more

Rarely Seen Renoir

American audiences have a rare opportunity to view a fine portrait from Impressionist figure Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tennessee, is providing a temporary home for Renoir's "Woman with an Umbrella" (1873).  Read  more

The 2014 I Love Memphis Guide To Cheap Dates

Sometimes you want to show that special guy or lady how much you care, but you can't afford to take them to Restaurant Iris or hold their hand courtside seats to a Grizzlies game. Don't worry, though, because there are plenty of creative, ahem, cheap date ideas in Memphis. Read more

Some dahlia varieties thrive in a warm Southern climate

Many of you probably recall the 100,000 tulips that bloomed in 2012 as a special exhibition here at the Dixon. Most gardeners know that tulips are not ideally suited for our climate, though. In addition to our clay soils inhibiting essential drainage, our winters are not long enough for the bulbs to receive the minimum number of weeks of cold weather required for them to bloom the second year. Mid-Southerners generally treat them, as we did that year, as one-shot annuals that we plant in the late fall and admire their color in the spring. Read more

Memphis Comes to Memphis

By now I hope most everyone has read or heard about — or better yet seen — the Dixon Gallery and Gardens’ Memphis-Milano: 1980s Italian Design show, which opened on April 13th. If not, happily you’ll have plenty of time, as the exhibit runs until mid-July.The Dixon show is a retrospective look at the famously flamboyant furniture and other household objects produced in Milan, Italy, in the 1980s by a design movement that took on a name we can all appreciate — “Memphis.” It began in 1981 when Italian architect Ettore Sottsass gathered together a group of young international designers and architects, who produced fantastic original pieces distinguished by their bright colors, unique and inventive shapes, and the use of unexpected industrial materials. Read more

Sunday, May 18 - The Dixon will offer FREE admission as part of (AAMD) Art Museum Day

On Sunday, May 18, the Dixon will offer free admission as part of the Association of Art Museum Directors’ (AAMD) Art Museum Day, coinciding with International Museum Day on Sunday, May 18, 2014. Last year, The Dixon —along with more than 170 other AAMD member museums across North America—participated in Art Museum Day.   Art Museum Day emphasizes the essential role that art museums play in their communities, highlights the value of the visual arts in society, and provides new opportunities for audiences to participate in the wide-ranging programs offered by AAMD member museums. This year, The Dixon also invites visitors to share their experiences on Art Museum Day via social media with the hashtag #ArtMuseumDay.    AAMD represents 240 art museums across the United States, Canada, and Mexico—from regional museums to large museums in major urban centers. International Museum Day is organized annually around the world by the International Council of Museums (ICOM). AAMD’s Art Museum Day is an opportunity to focus attention on the role of art museums in North America, as part of ICOM’s global celebration.

Sofia Coppola Loves Memphis Design

As a kid in the ’80s, I was obsessed with Memphis design. I remember poring over Barbara Radice’s book for inspiration. And while I did not live in a real Ettore Sottsass madhouse, my mom indulged my passion by allowing me to make fake Memphis dressers with gray squiggles on them for my bedroom. Read more.

By Design “Memphis/Milano” at the Dixon.

I hate the way she licks stamps. I hate her furniture ...," says Danny DeVito in the 1986 film Ruthless People. The "she" in question is DeVito's wife (Bette Midler in some serious shoulder pads), and her hated furniture is selections from the 1980s Italian collection known as "Memphis." DeVito does his best throughout the film to do away with his wife, but without luck. The furniture apparently stuck around too: Through July 13th, you can see samples from the design line at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens as a part of the exhibition "Memphis/Milano: 1980s Italian Design." Read more.

Review: Tennessee Shakespeare's 'Shrew' is a don't-miss production

Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s “The Taming of the Shrew” is a knockout — cleverly conceived, expertly performed and a thoroughly satisfying entertainment. Read more.

Chantal Drake: FACES of Memphis

Many have toured the wonders of Dixon Gallery and Gardens, but few have taken a backstage look and met the people who create this magical experience. Slip behind the scenes with us as we talk to one of those pivotal staff members, Director of Communications Chantal Drake. Read more.

Save the Dates: 41 Memphis Events in May

May is a month full of music, food, festivals, and excitement in the Bluff City. With our hopes of the Grizzlies making their way through playoff season, our love of warm weather, live music, and great food, and our powerful belief in the 901, this is a great great time to be a Memphian! Make sure you fully immerse yourself into Memphis this month with these 40 events. Read more.

'Memphis, Illustrated' showcases diverse local designs

However artful or artistic it may be, to be effective a poster must reveal a concept quickly. We value posters and illustrations by such artists as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Alphonse Mucha, Peter Max and Milton Glaser because their sense of color, movement and design — their individual style — draw our attention into the heart of the matter. Read more

Shakespeare's 'Shrew' gets modern update, Jazz Age setting at Dixon

here’s this thing about William Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”The play known for spirited jousting between two willful lovers seems to have run afoul of contemporary views.At least if you take Kate’s speech at the end of the play, with such passages as this: “Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper, thy head, thy sovereign .”This 16th century view of male superiority won’t garner much fan support these days, but Dan McCleary suggests we take a moment before making judgment.McCleary is founder and producing artistic director of the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, which is staging “Shrew” at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Read more.

Colorful, off-kilter: Memphis-Milano connection on display at Dixon Gallery

The commitment of Dixon Gallery and Gardens to objects and artifacts tends to fall under the areas of 18th century German porcelain and 19th century French jewelry. Longtime patrons may be surprised, then, at the snazzy shapes and Play-Doh colors featured in “Memphis Milano: 1980s Italian Design,” opening Sunday for display through July 13. Read more.

Find Fresh Art in Memphis

Some of the greatest artists in Memphis aren't in galleries right now, but you can still see their work. Arrange a time to check out the Scandinavian-inspired pottery of Brit McDaniel, the ceramic artisan behind Paper & Clay, at her Art Factory studio (email her through herEtsy page). Call painter Jared Small if you want to drop by his in-home studio, or visit one of his bad-dream images of run-down Memphis homes, where it’s displayed at the Brooks Museum. Email Gino Pambianchi to plan a drop-in at the work space where he draws animals with unnatural irregularities, like bats with poppy flowers for heads. Read more.

Novice wins Best in Show at Memphis flower fest

With its towering minimalism and economy of flowers, the winning arrangement at the Memphis Flower Show offered ample proof this year that the world of floral arrangement can be as much about fine art as it is about flowers.Organized by the Memphis Garden Club, the event atDixon Gallery & Gardens is one of only eight major shows held across the country through Garden Club of America. It features not only floral arrangement competitions, but also photography, pop art, and horticulture challenges. Read more

Flower show designers take on 'Memphis-Milano' exhibit for inspiration

Flower show designers take on ‘Memphis-Milano’ exhibit for inspiration. Floral designers from around the country descend on Dixon Gallery this weekend, and not to just look at the artwork. Their task: Make flower arrangements using the iconic furniture and decorative items in the upcoming“Memphis-Milano: 1980s Italian Design” exhibit as inspiration.About 65 designers are participating in the Memphis Flower Show event, held at the Dixon every other year since 1976. The exhibit, which opens April 13 and runs thorough July 13, is a retrospective look at the colorful furniture and other objects produced from 1981 to 1988 by the Memphis collective, architects and designers in Milan, Italy. Read more

Memphis moves up on the allergy capitals list

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -We are not number one yet. But, last year we were number eight in the nation. This year we are number two for the worst place in the United States for spring time allergies.Louisville grabbed the top spot and Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City and Jackson, Mississippi rounded out the top five.

So, what is it that makes Memphis a leader in the sneezing, watery eyes and wheezing department? It's the time of year we look forward to all winter long. We spend time outdoors on warm days with plenty of sunshine. But, something else comes along with the great weather. Allergies! It seems almost no one is immune.

Volunteers at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens say they sneeze, wheeze and have itchy eyes."I do and I've always had them. But, it seems like they are worse this year for some reason," says Kiersten Watkins.You might think it's the flowers that cause grief when it comes to allergies. But, the reality is it's our friends, the trees.Dale Skaggs says, "Trees, a lot of trees. The male flower on the oak trees hangs on branches. They hang down so they can be disbursed by the wind. And we breathe it in and it causes the allergies." Read more

Choose901: 25 Memphis Events in April You Won’t Want to Miss

This April is full of festivals, food, and fun. With the weather warming up in the Bluff City, Memphians cannot stand having to stay inside. Here are some reasons to enjoy the 901 this month. Read more. 

WMC-TV: Food Truck Fridays is Back!

EAST MEMPHIS (WMC-TV) – Bring on the street meat. And fruits. And veggies – and park that food truck at the Dixon! Dixon Gallery & Gardens, 4339 Park Ave., announced the triumphant return of Food Truck Fridays, starting Friday, April 4.Every Friday from April through September, Dixon will host one of Shelby County's permitted food trucks and members of Memphis Food Truckers Alliance. Food Truck Fridays last through lunch: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.The Dixon's gardens admission will be free during that period, but you do have to pay the food truckers (gallery admission will also still require a fee). Read more

Choose901: Food Truck Fridays

What a great way to start the weekend by having lunch from a Memphis food truck! Starting April 4th, every Friday from 11:30 am-1:30 pm, Food Truck Fridays return to the Dixon! Admission to the garden is free and seats will be available! Read more

March in the Garden: Stunning new varieties of Heucheras gaining many fans

March in the Garden: Stunning new varieties of Heucheras gaining many fans

New varieties sure to attract fans

By Dale Skaggs - Dixon Director of Horticulture / Special to the Commercial Appeal

If you garden for very long, it will happen sooner or later: You will get bitten by the plant bug. This is not a pest you will need to eradicate with sprays, but this condition will cost you lots of money and take years to get past.I am referring to an obsession with a particular plant. Groups of people have urges to buy and learn all about the varieties and cultivars of a particular plant.Consider hostas. As a teenager I remember that most folks knew about two kinds: green and variegated. As the number of varieties has rapidly expanded over the last several years, a huge national organization has grown to promote and educate the public about hostas. My friend Felder Rushing likens these national plant groups to the fanaticism of staunch sports fans rooting for their teams. Our local hosta society has hundreds of members.The Dixon Gardens staff still jokes about my witch hazel phase, which resulted in my purchasing three plants of over 30 different varieties in my desire to collect all of them. I neglected to think through our limited space, which precluded our planting 90 witch hazels in our gardens.One of our key gardeners at the Dixon has recently become smitten with Heucheras. The evolution of this plant over the past few decades has been amazing. I remember these plants as mostly green clumps of rounded foliage and tiny flowers. Heucheras are a genus of plants with 37 wild-growing species, all of which are native to the United States. Read more

Choose901: Get to Know the Dixon

The Dixon Gallery & Gardens in East Memphis is home to great art and acres of natural beauty. So whether you're looking for a place to escape the weather, or a good way to enjoy the next sunny day, The Dixon has something for you. Let Eso show you around in this video.

African-American sculpture expands Dixon collection in multiple ways

Augusta Savage’s “Gamin,” a groundbreaking gallery exhibition at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, celebrates the acquisition of a key work created by a classically trained African-American sculptor at the turning point of her career. In a brilliant installation, this central icon is surrounded by two dozen works by other important 20th century black artists on loan from the Horseman Foundation for American Art.

“Gamin” is the first work by an African-American artist to enter the permanent collection at the Dixon, but the sculpture broadens the gallery’s collection in other ways as well. “We’re always looking to diversify,” explained associate curator Julie Novarese Pierotti. “This sculpture is an important work to add to our collection for many reasons. It’s our first work by an African-American artist, and we’re pretty slim on works by female artists. We also don’t have too many sculptures. Above all, we were looking for the right work to add to our permanent collection. The sculpture opens so many doors for exploring new possibilities.”

Dixon director Kevin Sharp noted: “‘Gamin’ struck me as a perfect acquisition for the Dixon. We welcomed the opportunity to buy such a good cast with an excellent finish. Then we got interested in the entire career of Augusta Savage and the context in which the sculpture was made. This sculpture was the springboard for her European study. She wound up studying with a student of Rodin in France.” Read more

30 Things You Need To Know About Memphis Before You Move There

5 Things To Do This Weekend: 2/14 – 2/16

Be inspired by the Dixon's Color! American Photography Transformed exhibit, get a sneak peek at Ballet Memphis's World Wonders performance at 10:30, enjoy live music, participate in art and garden activities, learn about photography, watch art demos, have tasty snacks and much more. Read more

In Color: Dixon photography exhibit instructs on evolution of color

“Color! American Photography Transformed,” at Dixon Gallery and Gardens through March 23, lives up to its title. Its more than 70 images provide plenty of color, often brilliant and dazzling, and offer a lesson in how the slow and painstaking development of pigmentation from the medium’s black and white origins affected a cultural revolution. As far as media are concerned — photography, cinema, television, magazines, the Internet — we live in a world of color. Read more

Dale Skaggs: January was true test of which plants are winter-hardy

Gardens and the weather are inextricably connected. Although no record for low temperatures was broken, this January was colder than in the past few years. The polar vortex certainly has had an impact on heating bills and has put a damper on our ability to enjoy the outdoors. Read more

Body of Work: Haley Morris-Cafiero’s “Wait Watchers”

It has been about a year since photographer and Memphis College of Art professor Haley Morris-Cafiero's work went viral. On February 7, 2013, an article about Morris-Cafiero's photography and accompanying images appeared on The Huffington Post under the headline "Haley Morris-Cafiero, Photographer, Explores Fat Stigma in 'Wait Watchers' Series." Read more

Wait Watchers on Live at 9

A professor at the Memphis College of Art is getting national attention for a collection of photographs. They’ve gone viral online and even landed her on network TV. See full interview here

Color! on Live at 9

Color is very important in photography today, especially when you look closer at how new it is and how much it has changed over the years.  See the full interview here

Dixon exhibit traces rise of color photography

When Museum of Modern Art curator John Szarkowski devoted an exhibition to the color photography of the then-unknown William Eggleston in 1976, the storm of criticism was intense. The exhibition, said one commentator, was “the most hated show of the year.” Color photography was the purview of slick magazine advertising and fashion layouts, not meant for museums and galleries. Read more

Snapshot art opens international dialogue about body image

When photographer Haley Morris-Cafiero speaks of her body of work, the concept becomes literal and extremely personal. Blurring the lines between fine art, performance art and what she calls “social experiment,” the Memphis College of Art assistant professor has made her weight the focus of a series of environmental self-portraits that reveal, with alternately humorous and disturbing candid-camera frankness, the often less than sympathetic reactions that accompany the sight of an obese woman. Read more

New acquistion and exhibition at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens

MEMPHIS, TN.- The Dixon Gallery and Gardens welcomes Augusta Savage’s Gamin on January 19 – March 23, 2014. Celebrating the Dixon’s recent acquisition of this landmark sculpture, this exhibition looks at Savage and Gamin and their place in the larger context of early twentieth century African American art. Read more

52 things to do in Memphis, one for every week of the year

Pretend you’re a millionaire and can buy any painting or sculpture you like. Visit Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, and other galleries around town, and study the works of art carefully because you can only buy one. It will really give you a new perspective on the sheer amount of wonderful art on view here. Read more

Tennessee Shakespeare Company to put on 'It's a Wonderful Life' at Dixon Gallery

On Nov. 20 - Dec. 8, the Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s stage production of “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” will run at Dixon Gallery and Gardens. Read more.

5 Things To Do This Weekend: 11/15 – 11/17

The Dixon's Fall Family Day, Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dixon Gallery and Gardens, free, all ages, great for kids!

Kids can make fall-themed crafts, see Hattiloo Theatre perform scenes from Charlotte's Web, and watch local artist Frank D. Robinson give demonstrations, and everybody can see the Dixon grounds for free. Read more

Green Thumb: Time is now to plant harbingers of spring — daffodil

Daffodils at Dixon Gallery and Gardens cheerfully announce the end of winter and the beginning of spring and its wonders. Plant bulbs now for your spring greeting, and the Mid-South Daffodil Society will have a wide variety of Memphis climate-friendly cultivars for sale at the Dixon on Saturday. Read more

Eye of the Beholder

At The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, the “Ashe to Amen” exhibition interprets the Bible from an African-American perspective. Read more

Art Feature: So Be It

Originally displayed at New York's Museum of Biblical Art last spring, "Ashe to Amen: African Americans and Biblical Imagery," now on display at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, is an exhibition of rare understanding, drawing together the work of artists who articulate the divine without disavowing the mundane. Read more

Bright Spot: Ashe To Amen

It’s easy to find a church or place of worship in Memphis.To celebrate and recognize the city’s rich and diverse church community, the Dixon Gallery is featuring an exhibit that showcases African-American artists’ interpretations of religious imagery and stories.That’s why the Ashe to Amen exhibit is this week’s Bright Spot.

See full interview here

5 Things to Do In Memphis This Weekend: 10/28 – 10/30

Art on Fire, Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Friday, 7 p.m., $75 

Don't be sad because it's a little bit cold – it's just going to make Art on Fire even better (because, really, who wants to stand around a bonfire when it's 80 degrees). Tickets to the outdoor event include food, drinks, a bonfire, live music, and an auction. Read more

Ashe to Amen curator paints an inviting picture of special exhibit

When word gets out that Leslie King-Hammond is going to be in a city and is going to speak, lovers of art usually show up in ample numbers. They know that in the world of art history experts, she is a curator who knows her stuff. Read more

Ashe to Amen on Live at 9

A very special art exhibit is going on display this weekend in Memphis.It’s organized by the Museum of Biblical Art in New York, and contains a remarkable wealth, of African American works.  See full interview here. 

Dixon showcases African-American religious art

The Bible is such a transcendent trove of religious themes, stories, parables and allegories that artists through the ages have been unable to resist using those narratives and ideas as inspiration for a wide variety of works. In fact, in the Middle Ages and early Renaissance, religious art dominated most aspects of European culture, until humanism tipped the scale toward portraiture and landscape. Still, religious imagery has been a vital part of artistic endeavor up to the present. Read more

The Word Made Flesh

Dr. Leslie King-Hammond, the founding director of the Center for Race and Culture at the Maryland Institute College of Art, doesn't just want to share some extraordinary artwork in a variety of media. She wants to share their hidden messages. King-Hammond curated "Ashe to Amen," a biblically inspired show opening at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens Sunday, October 20th.  Read more

Dixon Gallery and Gardens brings back ‘Made in Dixon’

The Dixon has brought back its “Made in Dixon” program, an effort to publicly acknowledge and display the work of participants in the Dixon’s 14 educational programs in the past year. “Made in Dixon” is returning to the Dixon’s Mallory and Wurtzburger Galleries through Oct. 20, and it’s showcasing more than 200 works of art from more than 300 participants. Read more

Scorecard-featured chef to host Garden to Table dinner

His menu changes five to six times a year to keep in step with Mid-South farms and seasonal foods. Ryan Trimm, executive chef and owner of Sweet Grass/Next Door and Southward Fare & Libations, will prepare the meal at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens Garden To Table Dinner, Friday, Sept. 27, starting at 6 p.m. Read more

The Dixon's French Masterpieces are back!

September in the Garden: Homemade planters nature-friendly by Dale Skaggs

We at Dixon Gallery and Gardens have offered more than a dozen workshops in which participants make a lightweight planter known as a hypertufa trough. Cast from natural materials, the troughs look like stone and replace the hard rock that was mined and carved to make troughs for livestock. Mining this variety of limestone can dramatically impact the beauty of places from which the rock is taken. Read more

Beer Fest Taps Creativity of Local Brewers

Dixon Gallery and Gardens will host its annual Art on Tap event for the 18th consecutive year on Friday, Sept. 6. The beer-tasting extravaganza will feature offerings from local breweries and eateries, as well as live music and other entertainment. Read more

Women to Watch: Julie Pierotti

Green Thumb: Bonsai trees take center stage at Memphis' Dixon Gallery

English roses are among October's stars at Dixon Gallery and Gardens

Review: Art reflects Gullah roots of 'Jonathan Green'

Life journey in clay and love at the Dixon

'Memphis Vive: Latino Art' exhibit offers diversity in style, medium

Late Summer Picks that Keep the Kids Cool

365 Things to Do in Memphis #198: Visit the Dixon’s Edible Garden

George W. Bush Talks Post-White House Life in Memphis

Bush family to visit Memphis

Heat and drought-tolerant plants are stars in mid-summer garden

Memphis Vive: Arte Latino en el Medio

Dixon Garden Party With Anthropologie

Dixon Gallery and Gardens Plus More Barbecue

Fashion Fridays, Anthropologie, Dixon

Green Thumb: Edibles join ornamentals in garden

Dixon Gallery and Gardens announces acquisition in memory of John Buchanan

Former President George W. Bush to appear at private Baptist hospital

Green Thumb: Society honors rose royalty

Speed Art Museum hosts Impressionist collection French masters on tour at Louisville museum

At the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, Ky., the beauty of Paris is on full display in a major exhibition of Impressionist paintings.

"Renoir to Chagall: Paris and the Allure of Color" highlights the work of modern French masters such as Edgar Degas, Claude Monet, Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne.

"Impressionism is one of the most beloved periods in art history, and (this exhibition) presents works from the most celebrated artists from this era," said Ruth Cloudman, chief curator.

Founded in 1925, Speed is Kentucky's largest art museum.

Last year, the museum held an exhibition of Impressionist landscapes. This show offers a wider range of paintings, such as portraits, still lifes and scenes of daily life -- including the ballets, cafes and glittering boulevards of Paris.

The exhibition includes more than 80 paintings, 55 of which are on loan from the Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis, Tenn.

The tour starts with a Pierre-Auguste Renoir portrait and ends with a gallery of Parisian streetscapes. One room is devoted to paintings of the Paris ballet.

"It's a wonderful way for our visitors to get an entree in Impressionism and Post-impressionism and show the many different subjects that intrigued them," Cloudman said.

Visitors who want to deepen their understanding of the exhibition can sign up for special activities.

One is "Lunch with the Impressionists," a four-hour session for adults that includes an exhibition tour and art lesson.

Children can try Impressionist painting classes, offered Saturday afternoons in the Art Sparks Family Studio.

Kids also will enjoy the museum's Quick Start Story Gallery, which encourages visitors to make up stories about the artwork they see.

Here's how to get most out of this weekend's trio of tempting plant sales

Everywhere gardeners go in April, little pots of promise seem to pull at the purse strings.

Nowhere will this be more obvious than at the uncommon convergence of plant sales this weekend at three major centers for public horticulture -- the Memphis Botanic Garden, Lichterman Nature Center and Dixon Gallery and Gardens.

Not only do the sales offer some of the best selections of plants we will see anywhere, but they also give gardeners the opportunity to support the horticultural programs at all three attractions through our purchases.

The staffs are producing and procuring more plants than ever in anticipation of an uptick in sales.

Those plans paired with unusually mild temperatures in spring and winter are responsible for plants that are bigger and stronger, as well as more numerous.

Such a shopping bonanza can be as overwhelming as it is exciting.

"A true plant lover will go to all three," said Suzy Askew, plant activities coordinator at Lichterman Nature Center. "Each has its own specialties."

And, she could add, its own personality.

"Spring's Best Plant Sale" is the name the Memphis Botanic Garden bestows on its one-stop supermarket featuring a huge selection of annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, ornamental grasses and tropicals, as well as gardening supplies like tools, accessories and soil mixes.

Organizers describe Dixon's Wildflower Sale, which has been more than wildflowers for many years, as a "high-class nursery" offering the cutting-edge plants featured in gardening magazines.

"It's like shopping at a great Internet nursery without the waiting or the shipping costs," said Ellen LeBlond, a plant sale adviser.

Lichterman's sale has been tweaked to make shopping easy for beginners, those with special focuses like attracting butterflies, those seeking tough, locally raised plants or those shopping on a budget.

For the very best selection at any of the sales, it's best to shop early. But organizers predict plenty of plants will be available even in the closing hours of their sales.

Making a shopping list helps as long as you know what you want to buy and you allow yourself to be a little impulsive. Some of the best plants in our gardens are the previously unknowns we discover at sales, often at the urging of volunteers who have the plants in their own gardens.

It's also a good idea to consult the detailed plant lists published at the websites of the Dixon ( and Lichterman Nature Center (

The Dixon's site features color photos of many plants on the list.

In addition to its overall list, this year Lichterman will distribute smaller lists to customers highlighting "Must Have" plants recommended for specific conditions and/or interests of gardeners, such as attracting butterflies or hummingbirds, surviving in sun or shade or being suitable for young or beginner gardeners. There's also a list of plants likely to sell out the first day.

"We want it to be easy, convenient and helpful," Askew said.

Here's a road map of the sales to guide you in getting the most from your shopping dollars and hours.

Spring's Best Plant Sale

Where: Memphis Botanic Garden, 750 Cherry in Audubon Park.

When: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. today and Saturday; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

Highlights: Shoppers will find plant-savvy volunteers assigned to help customers make plant choices, as well as vendors offering garden tools, bird houses, unique rocks, fairy houses, decorative accessories, locally raised honey and more.

Plants: 10,000 annual ornamentals, as well as vegetables, herbs and mushroom-growing kits; more than 500 iris rhizomes priced at $4; conifers, Japanese maples and other trees from Fantastic Plants; thornless blackberries, heirloom tomatoes and several fig varieties; sedums in hypertufa pots; tree-form panicle hydrangeas; orchids from the Botanic Garden's greenhouse, native wildflowers including yellow wood poppies; dwarf buddleias, fragrant Abbeville Blue vitex, ornamental grasses and yellow (sulphureum) epimediums.

Tip: If you have limited time and need to find a wide variety of merchandise, this is the place to go. It's the only sale open on Sunday.

Wildflower Plant Sale

Where: Dixon Gallery and Gardens, 4339 Park.

When: 8 a.m.-4 p.m. today and Saturday.

Highlights: Although woodland wildflowers and other native plants are available, the sale now features distinctive and top- performing shrubs, trees, perennials, biennials and vines.

Plants: 25 varieties of hydrangeas including Ryan Gainey and Brussels Lace; 30 kinds of boxwood, many types of hostas, including the gigantic Empress Wu; witch hazels, ornamental blueberries, tardiva hydrangeas trained into standards; astilbes, edgeworthia (paper bush), Harry Lauder's walking stick, native sunflowers, salvias.

Tip: About 85 percent of the plants offered at the sale have been grown at the Dixon from seeds or cuttings. Checkout will be faster with new bar code labels, scanners and credit card machines. Carts are being provided by Brussel's Bonsai Nursery in Olive Branch. Prices range from $3.50 to $100-plus.

Lichterman Plant Sale

Where: Lichterman Nature Center, 5992 Quince.

When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. today, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday; reopens at 2 p.m. for half-price sale until 4 p.m.

Highlights: Volunteers have propagated a big supply of the past year's best-selling heat-tolerant fuchsias, ranging in size from 4-inch pots to hanging baskets.

Plants: White trilliums, yellow wood poppies, daffodils, Italian arums, 30 varieties of salvia, Echinacea tennesseensis (Tennessee coneflower), spigelia, native sunflowers, tropical milkweed, turk's cap, spiderwort, dwarf red buckeye, rose campion, evening primrose, scented geraniums, native arborescens hydrangeas, Harry's Garnet itea, baptisia, goldenrod, clethra (summersweet), coleus standards for containers, scented geraniums, five fig varieties, brugmansia and datura angel trumpets, ninebark and sedums.

Tip: Beginning gardeners will find help in selecting the right plants for the right places and plants that are sure to bring satisfying results this season.

Bargain hunters will like the regular prices, $4-$16, and love the half-price sale.

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Coming Up
Monday Closed
Tuesday - Saturday 10am - 5pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Third Thursdays: Open until 8pm
Special / Holiday Hours

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