Art by Architects designed to please

Architecture Month breaks ground with a grand party

September 22, 2005

Architects, architecture enthusiasts, collectors of art and people who just like to support the cause came together for a great party when AIA Memphis and Memphis Heritage Inc. kicked off the second annual Architecture Month in Memphis.

Brought back to life after almost a decade, Art by Architects has now become the official kickoff event for Architecture Month (September).

Pianist DiAnne Price performed in the Midtown gallery at Askew Nixon Ferguson while guests enjoyed great art, food and wine. The silent auction included over 35 works of various media, including oil painting, watercolor, photography and sculpture. All were created by architects and others representing local firms who have a passion for the arts or are artists such as Laurin McCracken, AIA of Looney Ricks Kiss Architects, architect Terry E. DeWitt, AIA, Monty Shane Johnson of CM Design and Clark A. Buchner III of Atkins Buchner Price Architects, who emerged as the winner with the Best of Show Award. Buchner garnered the most votes as artist by the viewing public at the event, and two of his photographs tied for the highest number of votes per entry.

June West, executive director of Memphis Heritage Inc., also auctioned a historical architectural element, a piece bleached terracotta from the Baptist complex that was recently razed. The proceeds go to support other Architecture Month programs, such as the Architecture Tour, which is designed to introduce the public to the built environment in which we work, live and play.

On Saturday, 12:30-4:30 p.m., this year's tour will explore architectural examples that have been renovated and restored to house some of Memphis's great companies and nonprofit organizations Downtown. On site, at the buildings listed below, will be architectural drawings, plans, photographs and other items highlighting the buildings' histories, their past and current owners, the renovation process and the design solutions. These buildings serve as terrific examples of how it can and should be done, giving our architectural past a future. Tour tickets cost $10 and are available at any of these locations.

Burch Porter & Johnson (formerly the Tennessee Club, built 1890) -- 130 N. Court

Junior Achievement Exchange City (formerly a cotton warehouse, built 1924) -- 307 Madison

Ericson Group Inc. (formerly the Farrell-Calhoun Paint office and warehouse, built 1912 and 1920) -- 400 N. Front

AIA Memphis/Urban Art Commission (formerly the Memphis Press-Scimitar office, built 1902) -- 8 S. Third

Kress Building (built 1927) -- 9 Main

For information call Heather Baugus, executive director AIA Memphis, at 525-3818.

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