Standout Profile for The Memphis Daily News
March 29, 2013
Willy Bearden is a local filmmaker best known for works such as his 2010 feature “One Came Home” and the Memphis Memoirs series on WKNO-TV.
He produced the video exhibitions for the Cotton Museum and has produced the New Year’s Eve telecast from Beale Street as well as the Blues Music Awards for the Blues Foundation.
The bearded and bespectacled Bearden is a renaissance man with a down-home flair whose talents extend far beyond any single medium.
“I’m a filmmaker, a writer and a storyteller, and I think all of these things are connected, at least as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “I couldn’t be a filmmaker if I weren’t a writer, and I couldn’t be a filmmaker if I didn’t know photography.”
And it’s his photography that will be in the spotlight during an opening reception Friday, March 29, at 6 p.m. at the Leadership Memphis Gallery 363 (365 S. Main St.) during the South Main Art Trolley Tour.
For the show, Bearden culled 10 years of photographs for the 20 or so to be edited, printed and framed.
“There’s a lot of work that goes into it,” Bearden said. “I’ve had a good time going through and choosing things, it’s been interesting to kind of walk back through the thousands of things I’ve shot.”
Ken Hall has partnered with Michel Allen in Allen Projects, a gallery and consulting firm, to curate shows for Leadership Memphis. The Bearden photography installation marks one year for such shows.
Hall has known Bearden for several years and was familiar with his video and production work, but when he saw the still photography for the first time, he wanted to showcase it to the public.
“I was just mesmerized by his great work in still photography,” Hall said. “So immediately – I think the next day – I called him for an exhibition at Gallery 363.”
Bearden, a Rolling Fork, Miss., native, spends a lot of time in the Delta and his photography represents this … (read more)