DMC Announces Pop-Up Preview for George Hunt's National Blues Music Art Museum

June 28th, 2018

The Downtown Memphis Commission, in conjunction with artist George Hunt and LongRiver Entertainment  Group, announced today a pop-up preview of Hunt’s  vision for a National Blues Music Art Museum in Memphis.

OPEN ON MAIN Initiative Continues as Incubator for Creative Retail Business

The Downtown Memphis Commission, in conjunction with artist George Hunt and LongRiver Entertainment Group, announced a pop-up preview of Hunt’s vision for a National Blues Music Art Museum in Memphis.

The preview installation at 100 Peabody Place is part of the Downtown Commission’s OPEN ON MAIN pop-up initiative to give creatives and creative ideas an opportunity to get Main Street exposure for a month. George Hunt’s project will run the month of July, expecting to open on July 3.

Hunt’s National Blues Music Art Museum is primarily and fundamentally an art museum intended to fascinate, educate, and entertain music fans and tourists with images and stories of the history of Blues Music over the past 150 years. The museum will tell the story of the history and importance of Blues Music through artistic images that have been produced by a variety of artists, sculptors, photographers, folk artists, indigenous peoples, entertainers, and festivals.

George Hunt’s bold, colorful original paintings will be a strong anchor for the museum. Hunt has created more than 35 large, new, original paintings over the past five years specifically for the National Blues Music Art Museum. His images spanning 26 years of highly collectible Beale Street Music Festival Posters will also be an important exhibit in the museum.

David Simmons, head of LongRiver Entertainment Group, is designing and curating the museum, as well as spearheading the development of the project. Both Hunt and Simmons have been creating and collecting images of blues music and culture for decades, and the National Blues Music Art Museum will showcase these images to the public in a way that will be enjoyable to view simply as art and folk art images. Accompanying this incredible art will be a storyline that links the important evolutionary stages of the history of the Blues.

In the pop-up on Main Street, visitors can expect to see a dozen or more large, original George Hunt paintings that have not been available to the public before. A sampling of Stephen Hudson’s unique and highly crafted hydrostone castings of bluesmen from the 1990s will be displayed along with other folk-style and African art. Simmons’ extensive personal collection of blues photography, along with photographs on loan from his earlier Blues & Legends Hall of Fame Museum will draw visitors into a face-to-face relationship with blues greats ranging from WC Handy to BB King and Howlin’ Wolf. Photographers include Marc Norberg, Ernest Withers, Yancy Allison, Steve Roberts, David Horwitz and others.

Hunt plans to include a working art studio and a strong educational program as components in the permanent Museum. Hunt taught high school art for more than 30 years at Carver High School in Memphis.

Admission to the museum pop-up is free and visitors will have the opportunity to meet the artist George Hunt. It will be open Monday-Thursday 10 am-6 pm, Friday and Saturday until 7:30 pm. Sunday hours will vary.

Planned Permanent Exhibits for National Blues Music Art Museum

I. George Hunt - Master of Blues Art (original paintings, MIM festival posters)

II. From Africa to Beale Street (large wood carved statuary, masks & instruments

   from Africa)

III. The History of Beale Street (photos, WC Handy sheet music & memorabilia,

    show bills)

IV. A Collection of American Blues Folk Art (carvings, decorated guitars, paintings,


V. Stephen Hudson Interprets the Blues (extensive collection of hydrostone


VI. Black Memorabilia from Plantation Era thru1940s ( figurines, dolls, quilts,

   books, etc.)

VII. Photography - Blues Masters (David Horwicz, Marc Norberg, Ernest Withers-

    rare historic photos from the past 6-7 decades)

VIII. Blues Festival Poster Art (New Orleans Jazz Fest, Telluride Blues, Chicago

     Blues, King Biscuit Blues Festival and more)

IX. Blues Goes West Coast --Psychedelic Poster from Filmore West

X. Blues Album Covers, Rare Records & Sheet Music 1912 - Current

XI. Show Bills and Promotional Art for Recordings, Shows, and Entertainers.

Reference:,, on facebook Blues Music Art Museum

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