Now on View: Sculptures from “The Tag Project”

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: MuseumLeave a Comment

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The installations mark the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, issued on February 19, 1942.

Wendy Maruyama, American (La Junta, Colorado, 1952 – ), Rohwer (The Tag Project) and Jerome (The Tag Project), 2011, tea- and coffee-stained cut paper, ink, string, thread, and metal, 144 inches x 24 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of the artist.

The Arkansas Arts Center recently acquired Rohwer and Jerome, two sculptures from The Tag Project by Wendy Maruyama. The two large installations are now on view at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Rohwer and Jerome are two of 10 pieces originally created as part of The Tag Project, each piece representing one of the 10 Japanese American Relocations Centers where people of Japanese ancestry were held during World War II. Rohwer and Jerome were two such camps, both located in southeast Arkansas. These sculptures represent the 16,000 people held at Rohwer and Jerome between October 1942 and November 1945, 64 percent of whom were American citizens.

“The Tag Project was started in New York, while I was an artist-in-residence at SUNY-Purchase. I was inspired by the thousands of folded origami cranes I saw 12 years before at the Hiroshima Peace memorial…All Japanese Americans from the West Coast were rounded up in 1942 and each was issued a tag and an ID number designating their destination: one of several internment camps, all in desolate deserted areas of the United States…I was taken by the physical weight of these tags when they were completed and hung, despite appearing to be light and airy. This struck me as being very relevant to the way the internment was perceived by the general American public. To this day it shocks me to still run into fellow Americans who had no clue that this had happened,” Maruyama said.

For The Tag Project, Maruyama and her team methodically recreated the identification tags given to nearly 120,000 Japanese Americans using the rosters of internees housed in the archives of the War Relocation Authority. They began by stamping each tag to replicate the appearance of the original tags. They then handwrote the name of a Japanese American internee, their unique identifying number, and the name of the camp to which they were ordered to report. The team bent and folded the tags, later placing them in a bath of coffee or tea to artificially age their appearance. Once fabricated, the artist then tied the tags with red cord to a steel armature, and the whole grouping hangs from the ceiling. Each sculpture is nearly 11 feet tall and weighs more than 50 pounds. In Maruyama’s words, “each group hovers or levitates on its own. They all look like large, looming ghost-like figures and they slowly rotate or move with the slightest breeze.” Perhaps also evocative of a grove of trees or a group of people, the sculptures rustle or murmur as they rotate, returning a voice to a once voiceless populace.

“I decided to donate Rowher and Jerome to the Arkansas Arts Center because I know the institution will give this work the needed visibility with respect to the two incarceration camps in Arkansas. I find it curious that two camps were located so far from the others, and in the South, no less.  Executive Order 9066 has become a part of Arkansas history, and connected to a much larger story especially during these trying times now,” Maruyama said.

Sunday, February 19 marks the 75th anniversary of Executive Order 9066, signed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor caused public panic about an invasion by the Japanese army. With the stated goal of protecting against espionage and sabotage, Executive Order 9066 allowed for military exclusion zones and the forced relocation and internment of nearly 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry by their own government between 1942 and 1946.

Rohwer and Jerome were both exhibited at the Arkansas Arts Center in 2013 as part of The Tag Project/Executive Order 9066, an exhibition organized by the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. The exhibition explored the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II through photographs and objects alongside all 10 pieces from The Tag Project.

Installation view of The Tag Project/Executive Order 9066 at the Arkansas Arts Center in 2013.

The Butler Center for Arkansas Studies also has an exhibition related to the Rohwer and Jerome on view currently. The American Dream Deferred: Japanese American Incarceration in WWII Arkansas is comprised of paintings, drawings, and other works of art produced by individuals held at Rohwer and Jerome during World War II. It will be on display from January 13 through June 24, 2017, in the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center’s Concordia Hall gallery located at 401 President Clinton Ave.

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From the Director: Arts Center Announces Design Architect

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Museum1 Comment

Photograph by Angela Jimenez Photography for Cooper-Hewitt

Studio Gang Architects. Photograph by Angela Jiminez. Courtesy of Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

Dear Patrons,

It is with great pride that I write to you today to announce the selection of Studio Gang as design architect for our upcoming building project.

Studio Gang is recognized internationally for a design process that foregrounds the relationships between individuals, communities and environments. The firm has extensive knowledge in museum, theatre and artist studio spaces, with projects ranging from the Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Ill. to the Aqua Tower in Chicago to the expansion of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Founded by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang is an award-winning architecture and urbanism practice based out of Chicago and New York. A recipient of the 2013 National Design Award, Jeanne Gang was also named the 2016 Architect of the Year by the Architectural Review and the firm was awarded the 2016 Architizer A+ award for Firm of the Year.

Our selection committee felt Studio Gang was the best fit for the project, due to the firm’s elegant and smart approach to architecture, their understanding of the issues posed by the AAC’s current facility, their vision for the center as a cultural beacon for Central Arkansas and their commitment to sustainability and strength as urban planners. You can read more about Studio Gang here. An RFQ for a local architect to collaborate on the project will be issued later this month.

We had a number of highly qualified firms respond to our RFQ, and narrowing this impressive group down to the five finalists was extremely difficult. All five finalists were incredibly talented with international reputations and credentials, and we would have been well served by any one of them. You can read more about the selection process here.

This project is about more than just addressing the physical issues of our current building. It requires rethinking how the AAC fits into the downtown fabric. How can we best serve the community, and how do the AAC and MacArthur Park connect to other social and cultural nodes in downtown Little Rock? We want to do more than build, we want to transform the cultural experience.

As always, we are grateful to our members, who have supported and sustained the Arts Center as it has evolved over time. The Arts Center is a symbol of the importance that this community – and state – places on culture, arts education and quality of life, and we are on an exciting path to transform once again!

Todd Herman
Executive Director
Arkansas Arts Center

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Museum Shop Holiday Gift Guide

Author: Maria DavisonFiled under: Museum ShopLeave a Comment

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The holiday season is here, and the Arkansas Arts Center Museum Shop has a perfectly unique gift for everyone on your list. From hand-blown glass ornaments to limited edition art catalogs, the Museum Shop is your go-to for shopping this season. Here’s a look at a few of the great items you will find at the Museum Shop.


Shop one-of-a-kind ceramics, both functional and decorative, by local artists Adrian Quintanar, Julia Baugh and Jane Haskins.


Ceramics by Adrian Quintanar


Holiday trees look stunning with beautiful glass ornaments by Riley Art Glass Studio. Unique and colorful works by Arkansas artists James Hayes will brighten any decor.

Glass ornament by Riley Art Glass Studio

Glass ornament by Riley Art Glass Studio


Limited edition catalogs are the perfect gift for the art enthusiast in your life. Featuring work in the Arkansas Arts Center’s Collection and special exhibitions, included pieces by Thom Hall and Herman Maril.

Thom Hall Catalog

Thom Hall Catalog


Make a statement with stunning jewelry pieces. Shop necklaces, bracelets and earrings by local artists like Sarah Smith, Burke Johnston, and Melissa Orsini.

Necklace by Sarah Smith

Necklace by Sarah Smith


Fun and fanciful toys for kids both big and small are waiting for you at the Museum Shop.

Toys at the Museum Shop

Toys at the Museum Shop


Heber Spring’s own Lambrecht Gourmet Toffee makes the perfect gift for friends and family! Available in a variety of flavors.

Lambrecht Gourmet Toffee

Museum School

For those who prefer an experience to a thing, give the gift of a Museum School class. The Museum School offers more than 300 classes every year, in everything from painting to woodworking. View class schedules here.

Museum School class

Museum School class

Gift Memberships

Memberships are the gift that keep giving all year long. Arkansas Arts Center memberships have a range of benefits, including invitations to lectures, exhibition previews and other events, discounts on Museum School Classes, the Museum Shop and Canvas restaurant, and a subscription to Works magazine. See memberships here.

Season Tickets

Children’s Theatre season tickets make the perfect gift for the whole family. Ticket packages offer your family the ultimate flexibility to meet busy schedules and provide maximum savings. Get season tickets here.

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5 highlights from the AAC Collection on view now

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Collection, Museum

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While the Arkansas Arts Center is home to more than 12,000 works of art, we are particularly noted for our collection of drawings – drawing being loosely defined as a unique work of art on paper in any medium, including pencil, charcoal, ink, pastel, watercolor, silverpoint, acrylic, oil and collage. The drawings in our collection were created by a variety of artists, from Old Masters to contemporary artists, and they tackle a diverse subjects, spanning hundreds of years of artistic production. But they all have one thing in common: works on paper are extremely susceptible to light damage and can’t remain on display indefinitely.

“Works on paper fade quickly in the light,” Curator of Drawings Ann Prentice Wagner said. “We want to grant access to these lovely works, but also to preserve them for future generations.”

So every six months, the exhibitions team reinstalls a different set of works from the collection in the galleries. The rapid reinstall schedule allows visitors to see, over time, a much larger selection of works from our collection. We’re also able to feature new acquisitions and highlight themes that complement our special exhibitions. We just completed the most recent reinstall of the AAC Collection, and with help from Wagner and Chief Curator Brian Lang, we’ve picked five favorites that you can see now.

The Circumnavigation of the Rose

For years, there was great consternation that no woman artist had ever been granted a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Finally, in 1953, Irene Rice Pereira and Loren MacIver shared the honor of having the first two one-woman exhibitions at the Whitney. This painting, recently conserved and re-framed by local conservator Norton Arts, is a beautiful example of the very abstract, conceptual work Pereira was producing at the time she was granted that exhibition. The title, The Circumnavigation of the Rose, refers to the compass rose and has to do with the artist’s spiritual journey through life. She explored these ideas both in her paintings and in her unpublished autobiography “Eastward Journey,” which was written in 1953.

Irene Rice Pereira (American, 1902-1971), The Circumnavigation of the Rose, circa 1955, oil on canvas, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Wanda Rock. 1981.038.001

Irene Rice Pereira, American (Boston, Massachusetts, 1902-1971, Marbella, Spain), The Circumnavigation of the Rose, circa 1950s, oil on canvas, 40 x 40 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Wanda Rock. 1981.038.001

Trompe L’Oeil Table

Wendell Castle’s 1978 Trompe L’Oeil Table is an exciting new acquisition into the Arkansas Arts Center Collection. Throughout his more than fifty-year career, Castle has sought an ongoing connection between furniture and sculpture, which he often views as interchangeable. In the process, his work has challenged public perceptions toward furniture as a metaphor of everyday life and the paradoxical relationship of form vs. function. Whether carved, laminated, manufactured, fabricated, or assembled, his designs reveal an incisive command of form and content, combined with a highly sophisticated and diverse use of materials and processes. Departing from the very fluid lines of his early organic pieces, by the mid-1970s and lasting into the early 1980s, Castle began to further push the “furniture as sculpture” dialogue by producing a number of trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) forms, such as Trompe L’oeil Table.

Wendell Castle, Trompe L’Oeil Table, 1978, stack-laminated and carved Walnut, 40 x 41 x 23 in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Tabriz Fund and with a gift from John and Robyn Horn. 2016.015.

Wendell Castle, American (Emporia, Kansas, 1932 – ), Trompe L’Oeil Table, 1978, walnut, stack-laminated and carved, 40 x 41 x 23 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Tabriz Fund and with a gift from John and Robyn Horn. 2016.015.

Untitled, From the Yes, Yes Series

Louis Watts’ Untitled, From the Yes, Yes Series was created using archival book-binding tape, thread and charcoal on paper. This drawing, which is by an outstanding local contemporary artist was original shown in the 2014 Delta Exhibition. It fits beautifully with the history of the grid in contemporary art that is also illustrated in this gallery by Louise Nevelson’s Tide Garden IV and Irene Rice Pereira’s The Circumnavigation of the Rose. The combination of precision, balance, and sheer beauty allows this drawing to break free of the cold grid to become vibrantly expressive.

Louis Watts, American (Little Rock, Arkansas, 1984 -) Untitled, from the Yes, Yes Series, 2014, archival book-binding tape, thread, and charcoal on paper, 50 x 38 ½ in. Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Tabriz Fund. 2015.029.

Dos Mujeres

Diego Rivera’s 1914 Dos Mujeres, a longtime favorite in the Arkansas Arts Center Collection, recently returned from a loan to the Columbus Museum of Art. Rivera painted Dos Mujeres in 1914 when he was living in Paris and exploring Cubism. Here, the artist shows people and objects from a variety of viewpoints, as the viewer glimpses them moving through space and time. The rooftops of the workshops and warehouses outside the window seem to invade the room. We see the woman in the blue dress at multiple moments – her blue dress appears to fragment across the painting’s surface as she gathers her long skirt and walks toward a friend seated opposite her. The seated woman’s face appears both in profile, looking towards her friend, and looking out at the viewer. Has she turned her head or have we stepped into the room with her?

Diego Rivera (Mexican, Guanajuanto, Mexico, 1886 – 1957, Mexico City, Mexico), Dos Mujeres (Two Women), 1914, oil on canvas, 77 ¾ x 63 ½ in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Abby Rockefeller Mauzé. 1955.010.

Diego Rivera, Mexican (Guanajuanto, Mexico, 1886 – 1957, Mexico City, Mexico), Dos Mujeres (Two Women), 1914, oil on canvas, 77 ¾ x 63 ½ in., Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Abby Rockefeller Mauzé. 1955.010.

Shiva’s Night Sword

Artist William Harper has long had a penchant for the use of discarded objects in his work. The ultimate elevation of these objects to preciousness in his art is referenced in a series of works, including Shiva’s Night Sword, that he began working on following his return from a trip to India and Nepal in 1989. While this object isn’t technically a sword, its title alludes to the axe (parashu) – known as the most lethal close combat weapons of the epics – which is held in the hand of Shiva and often depicted in images and sculptures of the Hindu god. The purchase of this piece is made possible with funds donated in honor of Glass Fantasies artist Thom Hall, who had learned the cloisonné enamel technique from William Harper during a visiting artist workshop in the AAC Museum School in 1976.

William Harper, American (Bucyrus, Ohio, 1944 - ), Shiva’s Night Sword (Brooch), 1989, gold cloisonné enamel on fine silver, fine gold with 24 karat and 14 karat gold, and amethyst, 4 ½ x 2 ¼ x ¾ inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Thom Hall Acquisition Fund. 2016.022

William Harper, American (Bucyrus, Ohio, 1944 – ), Shiva’s Night Sword (Brooch), 1989, gold cloisonné enamel on fine silver and fine gold, 24 karat gold, 14 karat gold, and amethyst, 4 3/8 x 2 ¼ x 5/8 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Thom Hall Acquisition Fund. 2016.022

What’s your favorite work in the AAC collection? Let us know in the comments.

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How To: Designing an Exhibition

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Exhibitions, Museum

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By Keith Melton

Ever wondered how an exhibition is created? The finished gallery visitors come to see is the final piece in a long process. The exhibitions team – including exhibition designer Keith Melton – don’t just start hanging works on the walls and setting objects in cases. First, they plan. They decide on themes and colors. They carefully plot each work’s place on the wall or in a case. Melton has worked at the Arkansas Arts Center for almost 20 years, planning, designing and installing the exhibitions visitors come to see. 

Each individual exhibition presents a unique set of challenges, Melton says. Part of his job is to make sure that exhibitions develop in a cohesive way, working with every department to make sure that happens. With Little Dreams, many of the works are small, but reward careful looking on the part of the viewer.

Here’s a look at how Melton and the exhibitions team made Little Dreams in Glass and Metal: Enameling in America 1920 to the Present and Glass Fantasties: Enamels by Thom Hall into the beautiful exhibitions on view at the Arkansas Arts Center now through December 31.

The first step in the process is to plot out all the artworks to scale using a program called SketchUp, a 3D modeling application. We have been using SketchUp modeling for exhibition design for a couple of years now. We spent a good deal of time modeling the internal dimensions of the galleries, but once that was done, we are able to reuse the model for future exhibitions.


Sketchup models of exhibitions like "Little Dreams in Glass and Metal" and "Glass Fantasies" are used to guide the exhibitions team through the installation process.

Sketchup models of exhibitions like Little Dreams in Glass and Metal and Glass Fantasies: Enamels by Thom Hall are used to guide the exhibitions team through the installation process.

The second step in the process is to configure our repositionable wall components within the space and decide on the casework necessary for objects. All internal walls of our galleries are built in eight foot sections and can be reconfigured between exhibitions. We do this to accommodate exhibits of varying sizes and themes. Sometimes exhibits are very linear or chronological, so you need to create a path for the viewer to follow that order. Often exhibitions contain large works, which require longer viewing angles, or vistas. Some exhibitions, like Little Dreams, require an audience to look at smaller objects and study their details, so this exhibition was designed to create an intimate feeling where viewers come in close proximity to the art.
With Little Dreams, a theme developed based on the excellent design that already existed for the catalog, so we translated that theme to the exhibition space. The real challenge with this exhibition was finding a way to draw viewers into looking at the details, which are the heart of these enamel works. The casework we constructed allows safe, close viewing, so the exhibition design encourages more than just a quick lap around the gallery.

"Little Dreams in Glass and Metal" installed at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Little Dreams in Glass and Metal installed at the Arkansas Arts Center.

SketchUp has become a very valuable tool. We use it for designing the entire room, as well as minor things such as risers, which are the boosters we use to elevate objects to the correct height for visitors. The ability to predict and adapt our space was something that used to involve a lot of educated-guessing. Since we have been using this program, we have more confidence coming in to our exhibits on how they will look when finished. This technique allows us to predict how many works fit on a wall, gives an indication of how they will interact with each other. This reduces a lot of the guessing and changing things around at the last minute that was common just a few years ago. Whenever we move objects ‘virtually’ around on a screen, it greatly reduces the wear and tear of moving the actual art objects once they are here on-site. This keeps delicate artworks much safer. We can efficiently move artworks from a crate directly to a designated location. We are able to solve design details in advance, reduce uncertainties, and operate efficiently because we develop detailed installation plans. I think using this technology has provided a huge boost to our process and improves the visitor experience.


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Oh, The Things I’ve Seen: An Essay by Thom Hall

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Blog Menu Recent Post Top Level, Exhibitions, Faculty & Staff, MuseumLeave a Comment

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By Thom Hall

Thom Hall, longtime registrar and artist at the Arkansas Arts Center, wrote this essay when he retired last year. In the essay, he explores the exponential growth of the collection over the course of his time here. He also writes about growing as an artist in his own right. Throughout his artistic career, he worked in a variety of mediums – from painting and drawing to enameling. While he is often best known for his narrative figural paintings and drawings, Hall’s enamel works present a fascinating world of memories, dreams and desires. We brought this essay out to celebrate the first comprehensive exhibition to explore Hall’s enamel work, Glass Fantasies: Enamels by Thom Hall, which opens at the Arkansas Arts Center Friday, October 7 and runs though December 31.

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, The Ocean Park Series, 1972, gouache on paper, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Tabriz Fund and Museum Purchase Plan of the NEA. 1974.011.005

Richard Diebenkorn, Untitled, The Ocean Park Series, 1972, gouache on paper, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Tabriz Fund and Museum Purchase Plan of the NEA. 1974.011.005

When I joined the staff in 1975 the drawing collection consisted of about 600 works. Most were regional works, and in truth, only 10 were by important artists: Willem de Kooning, Richard Diebenkorn, Morris Graves, Robert Gwathmey, Jacob Lawrence, René Magritte, Georgia O’Keeffe, Philip Pearlstein, Mark Tobey and Andrew Wyeth. With Townsend Wolfe’s leadership, drawings became the primary focus of the collection in 1971, so these 10 works were particularly significant in that they represented the broad scope the collection would have. What a great beginning!

During my 40 years here I’ve worked on great exhibitions and witnessed amazing growth of the collection and the institution. The Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery opened in 1982. The next year we published the first major catalogue of the collection featuring 10 amazing new acquisitions by Max Beckmann, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Edgar Degas, Alberto Giacometti, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Rembrandt, and Vincent van Gogh. We circulated 20th Century American Drawings to 12 museums in 1984-1987. The National Drawing Invitational debuted in 1986 to strengthen our focus as a major drawing center. In 1991 we organized the first retrospective of drawings by Will Barnet with most of the works ultimately entering the collection.

Paul Signac, Juan les pins, 1914, watercolor, pencil on paper, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of James T. Dyke. 2001.019.006

Paul Signac, Juan les pins, 1914, watercolor, pencil on paper, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of James T. Dyke. 2001.019.006

The growth of the collection has been staggering – today we have over 5,200 drawings, over 1,100 contemporary craft objects, some very important paintings and many other works of art. As registrar I’ve been involved with cataloging acquisitions, managing the collection database, organizing shipping and storage, coordinating production of exhibition catalogues including editing a few of them, and more and more and then some. I have been fortunate to work directly with donors, patrons, scholars, museum and gallery personnel all over the world, and visitors and students of all ages.

I have particularly enjoyed working on some special collections that you all should know are available to enrich your lives: the Paul Signac Collection of Watercolors and Drawings (132 plus 1 print) given by James T. Dyke; the drawing collection of Faces and Self-Portraits assembled by Jackye and Curtis Finch (150 of the 400 count collection already given to the AAC); 290 John Marin watercolors and drawings given by Norma Marin; 150 contemporary craft objects given by John and Robyn Horn; 85 Will Barnet drawings and prints – most given by the artist; 31 works by Arthur Dove (28 given by the artist’s son); 150+ post-minimalist drawings given by Wynn Kramarsky;  1,300 works by Peter Takal; 50 sketches by Seymour Lipton; 26 Arnold Bittleman drawings; 2,400 Disfarmer negatives and contact prints; almost 400 drawings and craft objects given by Diane and Sandy Besser; 140+ watercolors by Robert Andrew Parker;  the Impressionist Paintings on loan from the Jackson T. Stephens Charitable Trust for Art – and I could go on.

Who could image working with all these amazing objects and the amazing people connected to them! I have escorted Arts Center art from Florida to New York and to Paris, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan.

I’ve grown as an artist and exhibited my work consistently. Early on I was in the AAC Delta and Prints, Drawings & Crafts shows, and I had a solo show of my drawings at Tatistcheff Gallery in New York in 2005. I have work in the Finch, Dyke, Horn, and AAC collections, and one of my cloisonné enamel paintings from 1989 was recently acquired by the Enamel Arts Foundation in Los Angeles. I have certainly been validated for my unique vision. Retirement from my job here will let me focus on drawing in my studio – my hands are eager.

I will miss my daily contact with the treasures of the vaults, and I will miss the interaction with the passionate art lovers I have encountered throughout the years through my work at the Arts Center – I’ve been blessed. Art makes life better, so open your eyes and your hearts and let it touch you.

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Meet the Speaker: Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Education, Events, General, ProgramsLeave a Comment

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Mangue Banzima

Mangue Banzima is a stylist and fashion expert, as well as the founder of Qui Style.

Street Denim by Mangue Banzima, Qui Style
Thursday, September 29
Arkansas Arts Center Atrium
5:30 p.m. Wine Reception | 6 p.m. Lecture | 7-9 p.m.  Late Night 

As part of an Art After Hours event on Thursday, September 29, Mangue Banzima, a stylist and consultant, will continue the Art of Fashion lecture series with a discussion of denim in the fashion world.

Read about Banzima’s experiences in fashion and how denim has remained relevant for so long, and then join us for his lecture this week! Stay after the lecture and tour the galleries, including Cut, Pieced, and Stitched: Denim Drawings by Jim Arendt, enjoy dinner at the restaurant and shop in The Museum Shop. The Arkansas Arts Center will be open until 9 p.m. Free for members, $10 for nonmembers; seating is limited, reservations are required: 501.372.4000. 

What’s your current role in fashion?


Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

Aside from styling and working on the business side of fashion, I also focus on documenting trends on the street. Trend forecasting is where it all begins before the design process, from production to distribution to the consumer. The research process is what leads to data collection that helps inform the consumer’s interests, needs and desire. My role is to carefully edit and deliver the current and future trends based on an ongoing research.

How did you first become interested in fashion?

I became interested in fashion at age 10. My interest grew because of the love for people and especially the way in which they present themselves and express their ideas, emotions and sense of style to the world. Traveling also encouraged my interest, as I noticed more and more that, from culture to culture, people wear different garments, materials and designs. For example the way people dress in say Senegal is different than the way people dress in Japan. Fashion is important; it plays many roles in our lives culturally, economically and sometimes politically as well.

Which celebrities or designers best reflect your personal style/aesthetic?

There are a lot of celebrities and designers with a great sense of style and aesthetic, but as far as reflecting my personal style, hands down I like Owzald Boteng and Thom Browne.


Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

How would you define street-wear?

I define street-wear as a new business casual. The term “street-wear” is broad as some people will refer to it as casual wear and often associate it with urban centers. There are shirts and sweats in the street-wear category but luxury brands refuse to accept this notion simply because they want to stick to their price point, image of luxury lifestyle and brand loyalty. For example Givenchy sells t-shirts but will never refer to it as street-wear due to the extra social value added and its brand perception. There are street-wear brands like Hood By Air which is becoming a global brand for selling street-wear at the same price point as some of the established luxury brands.

What is it about denim—how has it remained popular for so long?


Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

Denim is our everyday uniform. As we see the growth of tech start ups and other industries, employers promote denim as their business casual wear. The emergence of fast fashion is also making denim more popular and relevant simply because people have easy access to a broad range of easy styles, from jackets to jumpsuits. Experts argue that denim sales will decrease in sales revenue, and this could be true. But I personally think it will fluctuate depending on the geographic region and economic and social trends.

What’s the most original way you’ve seen denim worn?

The most original way I’ve seen denim worn is layering denim on denim which can be really wonderful if one takes into consideration the different shades and shales/styles of denim and wears it just right. Lately I enjoy seeing women creatively wear their cropped shoulder tops or off-shoulder tops with denim shorts, pants or even a skirt. Men tend to simplify this type of look with a simple t-shirt .

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Tyke and Moppet

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Children's Theatre, General, Shows, Youth & FamilyLeave a Comment

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Tyke and MoppetCome meet Tyke and Moppet: two lovable characters who explore an exciting new world together. Toddlers and preschoolers will delight in this highly interactive, multi-sensory and whimsical journey through friendship. Young ones will become part of the play as Tyke and Moppet romp around and among the audience.

Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre
Bradley D. Anderson, Artistic Director

Tyke and Moppet

Devised by

Created and Directed by
Katie Campbell

Music Composition by
Geoffrey Eggleston, Aleigha Morton
Grace Taylor, Rebecca Taylor

Musical Direction by
Rebecca Taylor

Set Design by
Drew Posey

Properties Design by
Miranda Young

Costume Design by
Nikki Webster

Lighting Design by
Mike Stacks

Performance Dates:
September 9-16

Performance Times:
Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m. & 12 p.m. | Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m.

Arkansas Arts Center programs are supported in part by: the City of Little Rock; the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; the City of North Little Rock; and the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Ukelele ………… Ruby Reeves
Keyboard ………… Rebecca Taylor
Live Foley ………… Choley-Rei Brown, Adison DeClerk Halbert, Stephen Jones, Ruby Reeves,
Mady Reyes, Grace Taylor, Rebecca Taylor, Walt Wenger


Technical Director ………… Drew Posey
Properties Master ………… Miranda Young
Electrician ………… Mike Stacks
Stage Manager ………… Stephen Jones
Props Construction ………… Miranda Young, Mark Hansen
Costume Construction ………… Kenny Barrn, Erin Larkin, Ceanne Warner,
Nikki Webster, Tyler Wisdom
Set Construction ………… Drew Posey
Scenic Assistant ………… Paige Carpenter

The AAC Children’s Theatre extends a special thanks to the volunteer cast and crew members for their extensive support and participation.

Cast and Crew Profiles

Chloey-Rei Brown (Ensemble) is excited to be making her debut performance in the Arkansas Art Center’s production of Tyke and Moppet. Chloey is a 3rd grader at Gibbs Magnet School in Little Rock.  She enjoys playing all sports, writing, cooking and creating short films with her four siblings. Chloey would like to thank the Arts Center for this opportunity, as well as her big sister for encouraging her to audition.

Katie Campbell (Director) is a director, performer and teaching artist. She is originally from North Carolina but has found an artistic home in Little Rock as a company member with the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre and improviser with ImprovLittleRock and The Joint Venture. She is a 2015 Jim Henson Foundation Family Grant recipient for her original puppet play, The Ugly Duckling. Additionally, she is the co-founder and co-director of the youth improv comedy company, Armadillo Rodeo. She has directed for AACCT, Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, Wayne State University (Mich.), Shake on the Lake (N.Y.), PRF Productions (Pa.), The North Carolina Theatre for Young People and THTR 232 (N.C.). Favorite directing credits include Cat in the Hat, James and the Giant Peach, Go, Dog. Go!The Giver and The Comedy of Errors. She has an MFA in directing theatre for young audiences from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a BA in theatre arts from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Geoffrey Eggleston (Tyke) likes Little Rock so much that he drove all the way back from South Dakota for his second season with the Children’s Theatre! Last year, his favorite roles were Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Joe in Schoolhouse Rock Live! and MacDonald McGregor in The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. He has a BFA in musical theater from Millikin University. Geoffrey also regularly performs locally as a stand-up comedian.

Adison DeClerk Halbert (Ensemble) is excited to be making her debut appearance in the Arkansas Arts Center’s production of Tyke and Moppet.  Adison is a 6th grader at Holy Souls School. She enjoys volleyball, rock climbing, dancing/singing and hula hooping. Adison loves writing songs, creating stories and performing in front of friends and family. Adison is always ready to try something new and would like to thank the Arkansas Arts Center, as well as her family, for supporting her in her new adventure.

Stephen Jones (Stage Manager/Production Apprentice) is thrilled to be starting his first season with AACCT! In May, he graduated from New York University with a degree in film/TV production. While in NYC, he worked with TADA! Youth Theater, where he helped manage drama classes for kids ages 3-14, and Opening Act, an after-school theatre program for underserved students. Stephen co-founded Half-Empty Productions, a local theatre company dedicated to producing original works by Arkansas writers.

Aleigha Morton (Moppet) is more than happy to return to the AACCT for a sixth season! She received a BFA in acting from Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. She recently appeared as Elizabeth in The Adventures of Peter Rabbit. Favorite roles include Pierre the Troll in The Three Little Pigs and Three Billy Goats Gruff and Dori in Schoolhouse Rock Live!

Ruby Reeves (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her debut at the Arkansas Arts Center in their production of Tyke and Moppet. Ruby is a 5th grade homeschooler and she loves singing while playing piano, guitar or ukulele as well as making music creations on the app, Theatre credits include Really RosieOnce on This Island, Annie Jr. and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. She is also excited to be a part of the upcoming The Christmas Story at The Rep. Ruby would like to thank the directors for giving her this opportunity.

Mady Reyes (Ensemble) is proud to have her breakout performance at the Arkansas Arts Center in the production of Tyke and Moppet. Mady is a 4th grade student at ESTEM Charter School. She enjoys writing and directing plays with her friends at school during free time, participates in gymnastics and looks forward to Junior Arts Academy at the AAC every summer. Mady thanks the Arkansas Arts Center for the opportunity to collaborate on this original production and appreciates the support of her family and teachers.

Grace Taylor (Ensemble/Performance Apprentice) is tickled pink to be joining the rest of the AACCT team for its 2016-2017 season. She recently graduated from Southeast Missouri State University’s Conservatory of Theatre & Dance with a BFA in musical theatre. She has spent the past few summers at Ozark Actors Theatre in Rolla, Mo. performing in a variety of musicals, including Damn Yankees, Meet Me in St. Louis and Annie Get Your Gun. Favorite shows at her alma mater include On the Town, Legally Blonde, Peter Pan and The King & I. Grace has also served as instructor for various theatre academies and her resume includes quite a few stints as dance captain. She is delighted to call the AACCT and Little Rock home for this next chapter of her life! Many thanks to friends and family for always supporting her dreams.

Rebecca Taylor (Ensemble/Performance Apprentice) is thrilled to be making her debut with Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre. She recently graduated from Southeast Missouri State University with a BFA in musical theatre, was an Honors Scholar and achieved the rank of summa cum laude. Rebecca loves diving into many different facets of theatre; in addition to performing, she also has extensive scenic, carpentry and properties experience. Select performance credits: On the Town (Lucy Schmeeler); Stop Kiss (Mrs. Winsley); The King & I; Hairspray and Peter Pan. Rebecca spent this past summer working and frolicking in the wilderness of Vermont at Dorset Theatre Festival. Vielen Dank to my incredibly patient and loving family, devoted friends and amazing colleagues … past, present and future!

Walt Wenger (Ensemble) is thrilled to be making his Arkansas Arts Center debut in Tike and Moppet. Walt is a 2nd grader at Indian Hills Elementary School. He enjoys writing books, plays, and movies and creating his own short films at home. Theatre credits include The Fairytale Play. Walt would like to thank the Arkansas Arts Center for this opportunity.

Behind the Scenes

Set Design

“Being a part of the collaboration process on Tyke & Moppet was a new and exciting opportunity. I was unaware that theatre for an audience as young as 2-years old existed, so it was a foreign medium to me. Exploring the possibilities of bringing magic to the mundane allowed us to create a world that is grounded yet wonderfully fantastical.” – Drew Posey, Technical Director

Costume Design

Original Tyke and Moppet sketches, fabric swatches and costume collages by costume designer, Nikki Webster.



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