Memphis in May International Festival has announced the unveiling of the twenty-eighth and final original artwork celebrating the Beale Street Music Festival by acclaimed Memphis artist George Hunt. Mr. Hunt’s paintings have become an important and recognizable part of the branding for the festival and for representing Memphis culture.
The unveiling event will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, April 19, at 5:30 p.m. at the Renasant Convention Center, 255 N. Main St, Riverview Lobby, in downtown Memphis. A retrospective exhibition of Hunt’s colorful Beale Street Music Festival paintings will open at the Renasant Convention Center and will be on permanent display for all to see and enjoy.
“We mourn the loss of our long-time friend, artist George Hunt, who passed away in 2020.” said James L. Holt, President & CEO “The festival had taken delivery of his final painting, fittingly titled “Greatest Hits”, which was not released because of the pandemic and we’re now able to release his final work for his many fans”. Hunt was the official artist of the Beale Street Music Festival, creating a unique painting for each festival since 1992.
Fans and collectors of Mr. Hunt’s past Beale Street Music Festival work will recognize the characters in the 2020 painting titled, “Greatest Hits,” as it features some of his favorite and most memorable musicians and singers from his last 27 years of painting for the festival. The poster featuring Mr. Hunt’s 2022 artwork and this year’s Beale Street Music Festival lineup can be purchased in Midtown at 1910 Frameworks, “The Official Framer of Memphis in May.” Posters will be available for purchase at www.memphisinmay.org beginning May 1.
About the Artist, George Hunt: (1940-2020) Born in rural Lake Charles, Louisiana, Hunt’s earliest artistic experiments consisted of drawings, paintings, and magazine collages inspired by many well-known artists, including Picasso. Hunt received his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Arkansas and Master of Arts from the University of Memphis. For over thirty-five years, Hunt taught art at Memphis’ Carver High School.
Hunt’s exuberant style is represented in many commissions and museum collections, including The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Chicago Blues Festival, New York’s International Art Expo, and Bravo Television Network to name a few. In 2003, Hunt was commissioned to paint the “Year of the Blues,” which was featured in Radio City Music Hall at the official kick-off celebration. Hunt’s painting America Cares (1997), hung in the White House and was featured on a 2005 United States Postage Stamp as part of a series celebrating the nation’s civil rights movement.