Widely acclaimed Memphis artist Carl Moore was celebrated Tuesday evening at the unveiling of his Memphis in May International Festival poster honoring the Republic of Ghana in West Africa.
Moore’s acrylic-on-canvas creation was inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape and the endless, pageantry of indigenous, colorful plant life, according to the artist.
“I have never been to Ghana. So I did an extensive amount of research, quite a lot of research and sketches,” said Moore. “I had purposed in my mind to simply present Ghana in its best light.”
So many elements could have been included, such as social justice, culture, humanitarianism and history, he said.
“They send a message, but sometimes too many of those aspects all together can be overwhelming. This work is not so much a message as it is just a celebration of the aesthetic beauty of the country.
“Wonderful elements of art, industry, culture and resources make up Ghana’s unique beauty,” Moore said. “There is a message, and it’s a simple message. I want everyone to see and appreciate the vast beauty of Ghana and plan to visit.”
Moore attended the Chicago Art Institute and graduated from the Memphis College of Art with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees of Fine Art in Painting and Illustration. He has participated in over 150 solo and group exhibitions and serves on numerous boards and committees that support and promote the arts.
Additionally, he curates exhibitions for several nonprofit and alternative gallery spaces.
Moore’s work is some of the more highly visible creations in the local art community, but said he was still pleasantly surprised to be chosen for the 2020 poster creation.
“It’s always nice surprise when someone is thinking about you when you’re not actually there,” said Moore. “There are so many gifted artists here. It was both a surprise and an honor.”
Moore describes his art as a form of visual communication using simplicity and depth to express social and ethical issues, and uses color and composition to express mood, situation and ideas, and by placing people and objects in common and uncommon situations.
He explained what the prominent features in the poster mean.
“The gold, oval objects are cocoa beans. When they are opened, the dark, brown shell reveals a golden interior. The bird and flower represent the indigenous elements of exotic and unique birds and flowers found in Ghana. The monument represents freedom and justice, and of course, displaying the country’s flag on its wall.”
James L. Holt, president and CEO of Memphis in May International Festival, said, “With each year’s work created by a local artist and saluting our honored country, the Fine Arts Program is another facet of our mission to promote cultural exchange in Memphis. …
“Given the tremendous level of local excitement surrounding this year’s salute to Ghana, we expect Mr. Moore’s artwork to be one of our most popular posters yet.”
The 2020 Memphis in May Fine Arts Poster is sponsored by Farris Bobango PLC, and is available for $35, with the limited edition signed and numbered collector’s poster for $65 at 1910 Frameworks, the Official Framer of Memphis in May.
The poster will be available at the Memphis in May office at 56 S. Front Street, and online at www.memphisinmay.org, starting May 1.
MIM Festival dates
* Month-long Salute to Ghana: May 1-31, 2020
* Beale Street Music Festival: May 1-3, 2020
* World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest: May 13-16, 2020 Great American River Run: May 23, 2020.