Justin Tyler Bryant, Roosevelt (detail), 2019, graphite and charcoal on bristol paper.

Delta Voices: Artists of the Mid-South

The Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts is proud to present Delta Voices: Artists of the Mid-South, a limited podcast and video series highlighting emerging artists.

The four Delta Voices participants, which include artists working in photography, drawing, painting, performance, video and installation, represent the outstanding artwork made throughout the Mid-South today.

Each of the four episodes features an artist selected by curators at participating institutions across the Mid-South. Delta Voices will allow for deeper engagement with the art, craft, and inspiration of the featured artists through short videos, conversation between artists and curators, and more.

Founded in 1958, the Delta Exhibition is one of the longest-running and most prestigious juried exhibitions in the region, and represents AMFA’s commitment to artists born in or living in Arkansas and its border states. The program is part of the Museum’s continued commitment to grow and support artistic talent in the Delta region.

Catherine Elizabeth Patton &
the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Catherine Elizabeth Patton was selected to participate in Delta Voices by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. She is a self-taught concept and portrait photographer from Memphis, Tennessee. Patton has shown extensively in Memphis at venues including the Memphis College of Art, the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and the CMPLX. She was awarded a 2018 ArtsMemphis Arts Accelerator grant and served as a 2019 UrbanArt Commission Billboard Series artist. Watch the final video in the Delta Voices series to see her creative process in action.

Join Catherine Elizabeth Patton and Theresa Bembnister, associate curator at the AMFA, for a discussion on Patton’s photography, the intentionality of film, the importance of mental health to her practice, and her experience showing her work on a billboard. Listen to the final episode of the Delta Voices podcast now on Spotify.

Check out the extended interview with Patton and Bembnister on the blog for a deeper discussion about vulnerability, finding the perfect location for a photoshoot, and the challenges and the opportunities of being an artist in the Mid-South.

Catherine Elizabeth Patton, Cameron Bethany on Orange Steps (detail), 2017, 24 x 36 in., inkjet print

Aaron R. Turner &
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Turner was selected to participate in Delta Voices by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. A photographer and educator based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Turner leads the Center for Photographers of Color at the University of Arkansas. He draws upon his own experiences as an artist from the Arkansas Delta to create documentary photographs recording the present and abstract photographs investigating the past. Watch the third video in the Delta Voices series to see his creative process in action.

Join Aaron R. Turner and Alejo Benedetti, associate curator of contemporary art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, as they discuss the two main series that make up the artist’s practice. In Black Alchemy, Turner creates black-and-white still life abstractions by photographing images projected on top of layered strips of paper and reflective materials. For Yesterday Once More (Family, The South), he documents his relatives and scenes of everyday life in the Delta. Listen to the third episode of the Delta Voices podcast now on Spotify.

Check out the extended interview with Turner and Benedetti on the blog to learn how Turner got his start in photography and to hear about the opportunities he sees to combine art and living in Arkansas.

Aaron R. Turner, Seen #2 from the series Black Alchemy Vol. 2 (detail), 2018, 20 in. x 16 in., archival inkjet print

Alexis McGrigg &
the Mississippi Museum of Art

McGrigg was selected to participate in Delta Voices by the Mississippi Museum of Art. Working in painting, drawing, photography, video, installation and performance, McGrigg investigates themes of blackness, spirituality and space. The result is heavenly, reminiscent of the nighttime sky, with an ambiguous form glowing in the middle of the composition. Watch the second video in the Delta Voices series to see McGrigg’s creative process in action.

Join Alexis McGrigg and Christina McField, former Andrew W. Mellon Post-Baccalaureate Curatorial Fellow at the Mississippi Museum of Art, for a discussion of McGrigg’s work made by dripping dyes on canvas or paper, intuitively pouring pigment in a circular motion to build layers of splatters, streaks, and drips in a palette of violets and indigos. Listen to the second episode of the Delta Voices podcast now on Spotify.

Check out the extended interview with McGrigg and McField on the blog for a deeper discussion about thriving in a smaller art community and the challenges McGrigg has gone through by being an artist from the Mid-South.

Alexis McGrigg, In Waiting (detail), Procion dye on canvas, 2021

Justin Tyler Bryant & AMFA

Bryant collects and tells stories that preserve the history of Black residents of rural Arkansas, stories that may not otherwise be documented and shared. He’s an artist who amplifies the voices of other people through his own work. Watch the first video in the Delta Voices series to see Bryant’s creative process in action.

Join Justin Tyler Bryant and Theresa Bembnister, associate curator at the AMFA, for a discussion of Bryant’s works on paper, socially engaged art, and the revitalization of a historically segregated school in Stuttgart, Arkansas. Listen to the first episode of the Delta Voices podcast now on Spotify.

Check out the extended interview with Bryant and Bembnister on the blog for a deep dive exploration of Bryant’s practice and the development of his creative vision in rural Arkansas.

Justin Tyler Bryant, Megan (detail), Watercolor, 2020
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Delta Voices: Artists of the Mid-South’s presenting sponsor is Bank OZK. Additional support is provided by Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP; Judy C. Thompson Trust; Barbara House; and the Andre Simon Memorial Trust Fund in memory of everyone who has died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).