Standing in his red Bacco Bucci loafers, Deumaine Reeder checked out "Tossed," a painting by Terry Lynn of a pair of red Nike Air Jordan tennis shoes hanging on a tree limb above a group of people. Deumaine and Kayla Lyons were among the guests at the opening reception of "Twin Homecoming," an exhibit of paintings by Terry and his twin brother, Jerry Lynn, Friday at David Lusk Gallery.
Deumaine, 17, who studies art at Overton High School, interpreted the group below the shoes to be 1960s-era black people. "The modern-day world is all about shoes for African-Americans (young men)," he said. "You look at the people standing there. They fought for you to be able to buy those shoes."
Terry offered his interpretation of the painting: The figures are a group of spectators and the shoes symbolize a young black male, he said. Those people watching the shoes hanging from the tree represent the Jim Crow era when it was "not shoes hanging from trees, but young black men," Terry said. The shoes represent "how people have struggled and lost their lives for us as a race of people to be able to vote and participate in the American dream."
"Homecoming" marks the first time Terry and Jerry have exhibited works under their own names instead of strictly as Twin, which means they painted the works together. There is one painting in the show signed "Twin," but the other works were individually done.
"I think it was a natural evolution," Terry said. "We always worked together and sold our paintings as a collaborative thing. The subject matter from both of us has always been influenced by the South, growing up in Arlington, Tenn. I've always had a connection to Southern history and Southern culture, and I think that's always going to be reflective in some way. My work is moving more to a contemporary view of the South."
Jerry said his work also is contemporary, but, he added, "I'm in a happy spot in my life right now. I'm a family man now. I have a daughter, a son and a beautiful wife. When I'm creating work, I'm creating work they will be proud of. I'm creating images they will be happy to see."
His daughter, Alannah, 6, is one of his influences. "For the most part, you don't see a lot of black women in contemporary art, a positive black image. That's something I'm delving into right now. I didn't touch on it a lot in the show, but it's definitely on the radar."
Jerry said he and Terry probably will collaborate on a painting for a charity event or other function, but, he added, "Right now I'm having a lot of fun doing Jerry."
"Homecoming" is on view through Feb. 4.
Junior League of Memphis' "M-town Countdown: Tonight We're Gonna Party like it's 1922" event Dec. 31 wasn't just a New Year's Eve party; the party at Memphis Pink Palace Museum also celebrated the 90th anniversary of the organization in Memphis.
According to Amy Stack, the organization's communications director, the event recognized the legacy Junior League has left and the challenge ahead to improve the city.
Proceeds from the party will support the work of the Junior League to provide volunteers and funding for community projects.
They may have partied separately on New Year's Eve, but fans and representatives from Tulsa and Iowa State partied together the night before the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at the 54th Presidents' Gala Dec. 30 at The Peabody.
Ray Pohlman, this year's AutoZone Liberty Bowl president, presented the Outstanding Achievement Award to The Temptations. The four-time Grammy award-winning group performed at the event, which also included music by Andy Childs and Hudson & Saleeby.
Steve Ehrhart, Liberty Bowl executive director, attended with his wife, Mary. Charlotte Neal and Wanda Barzizza were the event chairwomen.
Cover photo: Three Memphis artists: Jared Small (from left), Elisha Gold and Bienvenido Howard at the "Homecoming" preview party.