VOL. 131 | NO. 111 | Friday, June 3, 2016
Midtown Artist Prepares Cooper-Young Festival Poster
By Andy Meek
Jenean Morrison, a Midtown-based artist and surface and textile designer, has come full circle. She’s been a professional artist “in one form or another” for years, she says. More than a decade ago, she started selling products like handmade journals at the Cooper-Young Festival.
And later this year, her design handiwork will be used to promote the 2016 Cooper Young Festival via the event’s annual poster design.
“I’m so excited,” Morrison said a few days before turning in her design as this year’s poster artist. “They didn’t really tell me what to put on it. I pretty much had a blank canvas. I drew a lot of things that represent the neighborhood to me and things I love about the neighborhood – the character, how you can walk to all the different restaurants – and combined a lot of that in a poster format.”
Her poster will be unveiled at a party in August at CoWork Memphis, 902 S. Cooper St. This year’s festival is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., with a rain date of Sept. 18.
The festival – the largest single-day event held each year in the city – celebrates a Memphis neighborhood that dates back more than a century, sitting at the intersection of art, culture, commerce and good food. According to Tamara Cook, director of the Cooper-Young Business Association, a police estimate put the number of attendees at last year’s festival at 140,000.
This year’s bash will also have three days’ worth of events linked to it. On Sept. 15, CoWork Memphis is hosting an art invitational that will spotlight more than 25 artists who live and work in Cooper-Young. The next day, Sept. 16, some 2,000 participants will run in the Cooper-Young Festival Friday 4-miler.
The festival day on Saturday will be comprised of the usual combination of free, family-friendly music, arts and crafts.
It’s all in celebration of what the neighborhood has become – a bustling community of small businesses, artists and creatives, families and everyone else who calls it home. That includes Morrison, whose studio is at 893 S. Cooper.
Among her creations, she’s tapped into the resurgent popularity of coloring books – specifically, the kind being produced for adults – and has some of her own that have reached Amazon bestseller lists.
Recently, she was also one of 16 artists chosen to participate in Adobe’s “Make It on Mobile” summit – a two-day exploration of creativity on mobile devices held at the Cooper Hewitt Museum in New York.
She does everything from painting one day to spending the next working largely on the computer. She’s also a fan of working on the iPad in Adobe mobile apps.
“Being an artist in Memphis is great,” says Morrison, whose work is carried locally at places such as the Five in One Social Club and the Booksellers at Laurelwood. “I work from my studio in Cooper-Young, and just being here I can connect with several manufacturers in the Memphis area.
“I also especially love working in Midtown. There’s great food, everyone’s friendly – it’s got everything. I’ve been going to the festival ever since I’ve been in Memphis in the late ’80s. It’s so fun and a great place to see old friends.”