Museum School Profile: Jim D. Johnson

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Adult Classes, Education, Gallery, Museum SchoolLeave a Comment

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“HOME FOR OLD MUSEUM SCHOOL STUDENTS” Small 9-inch by 9-inch cartoons by Jim D. Johnson are on display in the Museum School Student Gallery through June 20

Jim D. Johnson of Little Rock, Ark., is considered an icon in the adverting and art worlds, having been honored nationally and globally. This year he will add one more award to his repertoire when he is inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Southwest Advertising Hall of Fame on June 25.

A long-time student of the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School, Johnson is best known as the co-founder of Cranford/Johnson Inc. 1961. Now known as CJRW, it is the state’s largest advertising, marketing and public relations agency.

Johnson’s career path to drawing and design was destined from an early age. As a fifth grader in Hot Springs, Ark., Johnson, encouraged by his teacher, entered a crayon drawing into a national competition…and won.

After studying art at the University of Arkansas, he began his professional career as a cartoonist and gag writer for Hallmark Cards in Kansas City.

Among Johnson’s accomplishments are designing the 1993 Presidential Inaugural Program for President Bill Clinton, as well as logos for the State of Arkansas, the Save Old Main Campaign at the University of Arkansas, Keep Arkansas Beautiful and the Arkansas Arts Center, among others. In 1994, he was awarded the AAF Silver Medal for career contributions and service. He also received a Special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Arkansas Arts Council.

Johnson started painting and working in acrylics and pastels as a student at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. In addition to his paintings, he creates small 9-inch by 9-inch original cartoons, many of which are on display in the AAC Museum School Student Gallery through June 20.

“I believe that to make someone laugh is to give them a wonderful gift,” Johnson said. “Visual art can evoke many emotions. But laughter and a sense of humor add flavor to life.”

The Arkansas Arts Center would like to extend a special thank you to Jim Johnson for his unwavering support and to congratulate him on this much deserved recognition.

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On the Other Side of the Lens

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Demo, Education, Faculty & Staff, Programs, UncategorizedLeave a Comment

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In May, tintype photography Keliy Staley-Anderson

In May, tintype photographer Keliy Staley-Anderson took photos of Arkansas Arts Center patrons.

As a working photographer, I often find myself amazed at what I can capture with an iPhone. The advancement of iPhone camera technology makes the ease of capturing a moment very simple for most of today’s society. But for me, the convenience of the 5.04-ounce savvy device will never take the place of the true artistic process and history of photography.

I was excited to see two outstanding photography exhibitions at the Arkansas Arts Center this year: Nathalia Edenmont: Force of Nature, January 19 – May 1, and Dorothea Lange’s America, February 26 – May 8. Adding to the education and photographic experience of these two exhibits, the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School invited Keliy Anderson-Staley to set up a tintype portrait photo booth May 5-8.

Like Keliy, my photographic work focuses on portraits. I often discourage the use of make-up artists, stylists or designers because my intent is to capture a person in their truest form. I’m inspired and captivated by the personality and style of others, thus encouraging me to reach out and ask to take someone’s photograph. My overall goal in photographing someone is to assist them in seeing the beauty I see in them. However, the art of portrait photography brings to light issues of self-confidence, personal approval, and self-love. My biggest struggle has always existed in breaking through walls and encouraging relaxation, comfort and ease during a portrait session.

Heather Canterbury, AAC visitor services supervisor and freelance photographer, posing for a tintype portrait

Tintype of Heather Canterbury, AAC Visitor Services supervisor and freelance photographer, by Keliy Anderson-Staley.

Upon hearing about the photo booth, I immediately reserved a time slot. As a photographer, I rarely find myself in front of a camera; therefore, I wanted to relish this experience and remain true to myself. On the day of my sitting, I happened to be wearing a dark blue blazer over a sleeveless, beige top. After thumbing through Keliy’s book, On a Wet Bough, I decided to take off my blazer, revealing an arm of tattoos. I sat in a chair placed in front of a beige backdrop and managed to sit still as Keliy focused the lens. As she prepared the plate, I attempted to keep my composure. She returned to the camera and asked me to sit still for 8 seconds while the plate was exposed to light. Although I felt slightly vulnerable under the bright set lights, there was a hint of empowerment, too. With my shoulders aligned, back straight and eyes piercing through the lens, I felt strong. Just as quickly as she had begun, Keliy capped the camera and told me the process was complete.

She immediately began developing the photograph. I didn’t have to wait long since collodion is an immediate process. As I stared at the metal plate, expecting to cringe, I breathed a sigh of relief as I recognized myself. Because of the asymmetry of my face, I often feel as if I’m looking at a stranger when I view myself in photographs, like listening to a recording of your voice. However, this experience was different because I recognized myself. The tintype was truer to how I see myself every day. This was me.

My portrait sitting with Keliy proved to be a personal learning experience. By being on the other side of the camera, I was able to gain a new perspective. My insecurities have been difficult to overcome when placed in front of a camera, but beauty, like most things, is all about perspective. And making the simple move to the front of the lens provided me a whole new focus.

A Brief History of Tintype…

The Harry Ransom Center, located at The University of Texas at Austin, houses the earliest known surviving photograph made in a camera. Joseph Nicéphore Niépce coined the term “heliography” to identify his process and approach to creating the first photograph in 1826/1827.

The wet-plate collodion process was invented in 1851 by Frederick Scott Archer. However, it was not until 1853 that Adolphe-Alexandre Martin described the tintype process, and then in 1856 it was patented by Hamilton Smith in the United States and by William Kloen in the United Kingdom. The process originated as melainotype, then ferrotype and ending with the name of tintype; however, no actual tin is used in the process.

Because tintypes were reproduced on metals and proved relatively cheap with quick results, the tintype process made it possible for the general public to have their portrait taken. The tintype is a positive image on a metal plate. The plate is coated in collodion, sensitized for three minutes in silver nitrate and then developed and fixed.

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Portrait of a Patron: Windgate Charitable Foundation

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Community, Events, General, Museum, Support, Uncategorized, VolunteerLeave a Comment

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15015858270_bf6fe88a28_oAt this Saturday’s Beaux Arts Ball, the Arkansas Arts Center and the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas are proud to introduce a new arts patron recognition event—Portrait of a Patron (POP!). The addition of the Portrait of a Patron (POP!) Awards is a way for the AAC to pay homage to those who have contributed both to the Arts Center’s continued success and its existence. The event which begins with an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, will honor Jeane Hamilton, Winthrop Rockefeller and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

The Windgate Charitable Foundation will receive the Portrait of a Patron Award for Philanthropy. “The Windgate Charitable Foundation has been, and continues to be, a champion of the arts within Arkansas and throughout the country,” said Todd Herman, AAC executive director. “They have supported—at a significant level—a number of educational and art initiatives at the Arts Center with the belief that the arts can positively change lives.”

Founded in 1993 in Siloam Springs, Ark., by the Bill and Deede Hutcheson family, Windgate has supported countless organizations across the country, but local groups like the Arkansas Arts Center, UALR and Thea Foundation have also benefited from their generosity.

At the AAC, Windgate gifts have supported a multitude of efforts including the AAC Foundation endowment, the Museum School, acquisitions and sponsorship of major exhibitions like Kenwood House.

Join us Saturday, May 21 as we extend our appreciation to the Windgate Charitable Foundation at the POP! Beaux Arts Ball. Music will be provided by the Arkansas Symphony Big Band, accompanied by a DJ.

Tickets to the event are $150 per person and all members and friends of the Arkansas Arts Center are invited. For tickets or more information, please call 501-396-0345 or visit arkansasartscenter.org/beauxartsball.

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Portrait of a Patron: Winthrop Rockefeller

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Community, Events, General, Museum, Support, Uncategorized, VolunteerLeave a Comment

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Former Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller

Former Arkansas Governor Winthrop Rockefeller

The Arkansas Arts Center and the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas are proud to introduce a new arts patron recognition event—Portrait of a Patron (POP!)—as part of its biennial Beaux Arts Ball fundraiser. The event which begins with an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, will honor Jeane Hamilton, Winthrop Rockefeller and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

The addition of the Portrait of a Patron (POP!) Awards is a way for the AAC to pay homage to those who have contributed both to the Arts Center’s continued success and its existence.

“It’s safe to say the Arts Center would not exist without the generosity and vision of Winthrop Rockefeller,” said Todd Herman, AAC executive director. “He led the charge to make an Arts Center for all of Arkansas a reality. Arkansans—and the arts—were lucky he decided to make the Natural State his home.”

Rockefeller, who served as governor of Arkansas from 1967-1971, will be honored with a posthumous Portrait of a Patron Award for Philanthropy and Service.

The Artmobile has been traveling across Arkansas and serving Arkansans across the state since the 1960s.

The Artmobile has been serving Arkansans across the state since the 1960s.

Members of the Junior League of Little Rock, including fellow POP Award recipient Jeane Hamilton, first approached Rockefeller about the idea of creating an arts center. It was Rockefeller who insisted it be called the Arkansas Arts Center, to ensure it wold serve the entire state. In doing so, the AAC Artmobile was also established, and continues to travel every corner of the state today.

His support continues today through members of the Rockefeller family as well as the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation.

Join us Saturday, May 21 as we express our appreciation for this great leader and the entire Rockefeller family at the POP! Beaux Arts Ball. Music will be provided by the Arkansas Symphony Big Band, accompanied by a DJ. Sweet and savory heavy hors d’ oeuvres will be served with a gourmet breakfast from RH Catering to cap off the evening.

Tickets to the event are $150 per person and all members and friends of the Arkansas Arts Center are invited. For tickets or more information, please call 501-396-0345 or visit arkansasartscenter.org/beauxartsball.

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Portrait of a Patron: Jeane Hamilton

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Community, Events, General, Museum, Support, Uncategorized, VolunteerLeave a Comment

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Jeanne Hamilton speaks at the Clinton School November 5, 2015. Photo credit: Nelson Chenault

Jeanne Hamilton speaks at the Clinton School November 5, 2015. Photo credit: Nelson Chenault

The Arkansas Arts Center and the Fine Arts Club of Arkansas are proud to introduce a new arts patron recognition event—Portrait of a Patron (POP!)—as part of its biennial Beaux Arts Ball fundraiser. The event which begins with an awards ceremony at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, will honor Jeane Hamilton, Winthrop Rockefeller and the Windgate Charitable Foundation.

The addition of the Portrait of a Patron (POP!) Awards is a way for the AAC to pay homage to those who have contributed both to the Arts Center’s continued success and its existence. As a founding member of the Arts Center, with more than 20,000 hours of recorded volunteer time, it’s obvious why Jeane Hamilton is receiving the inaugural Portrait of a Patron Award for Service.

“You cannot mention the founding of the Arts Center without including Jeane Hamilton,” said Todd Herman, AAC executive director. “One of the three women from the Junior League who presented the idea of an arts center to Winthrop Rockefeller, Jeane has been an indefatigable supporter of the Arts Center and its programs ever since. Her face and positive attitude have graced nearly every event and program at the Arts Center for the past 50 years.”

One of Jeane’s most significant contributions was the AAC Traveling Seminar program. Over 35 years, Jeane led 99 trips, 76 international and 23 domestic. The group traveled to China in 1975 and was the first non-official U.S. group to be given permission to visit the country.

And at 90 years young, her support and passion for the Arts Center is just as strong today as it was nearly six decades ago. You’ll see her at lectures, exhibition openings and Board of Trustees meetings.

Join us Saturday, May 21 as we thank Jeane for her service at the POP! Beaux Arts Ball. Music will be provided by the Arkansas Symphony Big Band, accompanied by a DJ. Sweet and savory heavy hors d’ oeuvres will be served with a gourmet breakfast from RH Catering to cap off the evening.

Tickets to the event are $150 per person and all members and friends of the Arkansas Arts Center are invited. For tickets or more information, please call 501-396-0345 or visit arkansasartscenter.org/beauxartsball.

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FOCC Congratulates Eleanor Lux, 2016 Arkansas Living Treasure

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Community, General

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Eleanor Lux, American (Memphis, Tennessee, born 1940), "Electric Storm," Feb. 15th, woven seed beads, 17 x 6 x 1/2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, 23rd Regional Craft Biennial. 1994.027.002

Eleanor Lux, American (Memphis, Tennessee, born 1940), Electric Storm, Feb. 15th, woven seed beads, 17 x 6 x 1/2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, 23rd Regional Craft Biennial. 1994.027.002

The Friends of Contemporary Craft congratulates Eureka Springs artist, Eleanor Lux, for having been selected as the 2016 Arkansas Living Treasure. Lux is a weaver and bead worker, as well as a jewelry maker and mixed media artist. Her 50 years of artistic accomplishments, along with her dedication to teaching the craft to others, have earned her this distinguished title. She is now the third artist from Eureka Springs to receive this award, joining woodworker Doug Stowe and wooden plane maker Larry Williams.

“Eleanor’s work is long familiar to visitors of the Arkansas Arts Center through her participation in numerous Regional Craft Biennial exhibitions,” said Brian J. Lang, chief curator and curator of contemporary craft. “This honor is a testament to her dedication to advancing an appreciation of the fiber arts as well as her artistic vision.”

Now in its 15th year, the Arkansas Living Treasure program recognizes an Arkansan who is outstanding in the creation of a traditional craft and has significantly contributed to the preservation of the art form. An independent panel of craft and folk art professionals selects the recipient based on the quality of work, community outreach and overall contribution to the field of traditional crafts.

Raised in Memphis, Lux developed an appreciation for the arts at an early age. “When I was 4 years old, I would lie on the floor for hours and hours coloring with crayons creating my own designs. That’s when I knew I wanted to be an artist,” she said.

At 12, she began attending the Memphis Art Academy. In high school, she taught art to young students during the summers. After graduating from Memphis State University in 1961 with a degree in printmaking and history, she took her first weaving course at the Art Academy.

She also had a penchant for stained glass work and worked at a stained glass window factory in Memphis for 10 years, creating designs in watercolor primarily for church windows.

In 1970, she and her two children moved to Eureka Springs where she found work demonstrating weaving techniques at craft shows and local businesses. “I fell in love with Eureka Springs,” she said. “The artists are not competitive like they are in big cities. They all support each other here.”

In 1978, she bought an old vacant grocery store that has now become the Lux Weaving Studio. The turn-of-the-century pink house is a cornerstone in the Eureka Springs arts community.

Eleanor Lux, American (Memphis, Tennessee, born 1940), "An Offering of Myrrh," beads, thread (peyote stich & right angle weave), 7 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, 25th Regional Craft Biennial. 1998.011.004

Eleanor Lux, American (Memphis, Tennessee, born 1940), An Offering of Myrrh, beads, thread (peyote stich & right angle weave), 7 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, 25th Regional Craft Biennial. 1998.011.004

Lux creates seamless rugs, custom window shades, tapestries and other functional fiber art pieces. She works with two spinning wheels and five looms, one of which is more than 150 years old and was found sitting in a mud puddle in the parking lot of an old junk store in Rogers, Ark.

“The owner said he wanted $75 for it. And I said, ‘All I have is $60 and it’s my grocery money.’ He said he would take it! So I loaded it in my car and then had to explain to my husband that I spent the grocery money on the loom. He looked at it and said, ‘It was worth it. We’ll have potato soup this week.’”

She discovered her passion for beading after attending a two-week beading class at the Penland School of Craft in North Carolina. “Technically beading is also weaving because I’m weaving with a needle through each glass bead. It combines my two loves,” she said.

Lux creates sculptural beadwork using mostly seed beads. She has won numerous awards for her work and has published dozens of articles in books and publications.

In 2000, she co-founded the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, where she serves as a board member and instructor. She also teaches students in her studio and at art schools throughout the country.

A world traveler, Lux even teaches beading while she is on the road. She has taught beading classes in Africa and Central America, most recently in Mexico and Ghana.

“Just about everywhere I go, if I’m not asked to teach a beading class, I will end up offering one,” she said. “I can’t bring a loom with me so I bring my beads and share with the world my beading techniques and my love for Arkansas.”

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Artmobile Profile: Leslie Stewart, Cook Elementary

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Artmobile, Collection, Community, Education, General, Traveling ExhibitionsLeave a Comment

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Leslie Stewart, art educator at Cook Elementary

Leslie Stewart, art educator at Cook Elementary

Leslie Stewart, art educator at Cook Elementary school in Fort Smith, brought the Artmobile to her school because many students may otherwise never have an opportunity to visit an art museum.

“It’s my responsibility to provide art experiences for them, and here was one put right in front of me,” Stewart says. She shared the provided curriculum guide with teachers in all grades and subjects, but was especially pleased with the quality of the gallery tours led by Artmobile Specialist Katie Combs. “She was fantastic with all grade levels! The discussions she led were gracefully guided with each new class,” Stewart says. “I may have begun the conversation with the students, but she continued and enhanced the experience for the students beautifully.”

Stewart notes that parents were appreciative of such a wonderful experience. “When my artists go home talking about art, or the experiences I’ve given them, or families have discussions about art at the elementary level, I know I’ve done my job. In these days of standardized testing, where it often seems creativity and artistic activities have been removed from the regular classroom, art class is more important than ever… I cannot do it completely without outside resources.”

Help us keep the wheels rolling!

On April 7, visit ArkansasGives.org between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to make a contribution to the Arkansas Arts Center. Giving on this day through ArkansasGives.org will help the Arkansas Arts Center qualify for additional bonus dollars from the Arkansas Community Foundation. Your entire donation goes to the Arkansas Arts Center, and will also qualify us for a share of the nonprofit bonus pool.

Click here to sign up for a one-time e-mail reminder to give on April 7.

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How does the AAC serve the entire state? The Artmobile!

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Artmobile, Community, General, Theater on Tour, Traveling Exhibitions, VideoLeave a Comment

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Did you know the Arkansas Arts Center is the only cultural institution to serve the entire state? It’s true. And how do we do it? With the Artmobile of course!

The Arkansas Arts Center’s Artmobile has been serving the state for more than 50 years and is one of the nation’s few mobile art museums. This unique gallery space features themed exhibitions of works from the Arkansas Arts Center’s permanent collection, carefully selected for their artistic integrity and educational value, and travels with an art educator to schools, community colleges, public libraries, festivals and fairs across the state.

The Children’s Theatre on Tour brings to life exciting new works as well as classics of children’s literature. Recognized by the Drama League as one of the best regional theatre companies in America, the award-winning Children’s Theatre acting company tours the state offering three productions a year.

Both outreach programs feature online curriculum guides for educators created by the Arkansas Arts Center, as well as lesson plans designed to enrich both teacher and student.

Help us keep the wheels rolling!

On April 7, visit ArkansasGives.org between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. to make a contribution to the Arkansas Arts Center. Giving on this day through ArkansasGives.org will help the Arkansas Arts Center qualify for additional bonus dollars from the Arkansas Community Foundation. Your entire donation goes to the Arkansas Arts Center, and will also qualify us for a share of the nonprofit bonus pool.

Click here to sign up for a one-time e-mail reminder to give on April 7.

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