Exhibitions: Tunisian Mosaics

Check out this behind-the-scenes look at what inspires our Chief Curator, Marina Pacini! Her work with Tunisian mosaics has been an extraordinary project that has left the Brooks staff and visitors alike in awe.

When Memphis in May announced that Tunisia was the country that would be celebrated in 2010, I contacted John Salvest, Professor of Sculpture at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. I knew that in 2005 John had spent six weeks in Tunisia with Les Christensen, his wife who is also a sculptor, on a project funded by the Middle East Studies Committee at Arkansas State University. Therefore, he would be a great resource for ideas on what kind of exhibition the Brooks should consider mounting during the festival. Having gone to Tunisia to look at mosaics because of the nature of his own work—objects made with matches, cigarette butts, chewed gum, and pills among other things—he naturally recommended an exhibition of mosaics.

I wanted John to show some of his work and give a talk in conjunction with the mosaic exhibition to demonstrate that this ancient art form is still relevant today. For a variety of reasons, it wasn’t possible to do either so instead I offered John the opportunity of showing his map of the United States made of plastic bottle caps after the mosaics returned to Tunisia. Because of the size of the gallery, he will be installing an expanded version of the map the week of June 7th. Two other pieces will also be hung on the wall. He will be giving a gallery talk on Thursday, June 10 at 6 pm but reservations are required because of the size of the gallery. Please call 901-544-6242.

You can check out John’s work and preview Consumo Ergo Sum here.

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