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U of M graduates, faculty receive ArtsMemphis grants

The recipients of ArtsMemphis’ 2019 ArtsAccelerator Grant awards have a distinct University of Memphis flavor.

Four of the six grant-winners from ArtsMemphis, a nonprofit that provides grants to local arts organizations and artists, have either taught at or graduated from the U of M’s Department of Art: Jed Jackson, Chuck Johnson, Lacy Mitcham, and Juan Rojo. The other grant-winners are Sharon Havelka and Aisha Raison.


Jackson, a former chair of the Department of Art, has been on the U of M faculty since 1999 and owns a lengthy list of awards and recognitions for his paintings.

Johnson earned his bachelor of fine art degree (1975) and master of fine art degree (1977) from the U of M. His paintings “layer organic life forms onto the surface with layers of china markers, graphite, oils and wax. The veiling of colors produces a dramatic field of depth, while floating compositions keep the piece light,” he writes on his website.

Mitcham graduated from the U of M in 2018 with a master of fine art degree in studio arts and has served as an adjunct professor at the university.

Rojo owns a master of art in teaching and has previously taught at the U of M.

The ArtsAccelerator Grants are designed to give artists an opportunity to expand their work and advance their artistic careers. Each recipient receives $5,000. ArtsMemphis has awarded $135,000 in ArtsAccelerator Grants to 31 artists since the program began in 2013.

— Phillip Tutor, CCFA media coordinator,

Published inDepartment of Art

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