Arkansas Arts Center continues innovative online art classes

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Museum School

Adult classes and youth summer camps to be offered virtually

An imaginative slate of online classes and camps for youth and adults will continue this summer through the Arkansas Arts Center.

The Museum School will offer art classes for adults in four-week mini quarters: June 1–26, July 6–31 and August 3–28. Class offerings for the June mini quarter include courses in ceramics, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, art history and a continuation of the popular Business of Art series.

Online classes and camps are part of Arkansas Arts Center Amplified, through which the Arts Center remains committed to connecting the community to creative and engaging arts experiences online. The innovative slate of digital programming also includes signature juried exhibitions and social media initiatives. Through “AAC Amplified,” the Arts Center will continue to engage communities throughout Arkansas and beyond with art and creativity.

drawings from a spring Color Theory class
Students in Color Theory with Joel Boyd during the online spring quarter created drawings illustrating the principles of color theory. Photo courtesy of Joel Boyd.

“At the Arkansas Arts Center, we are always looking for innovative ways to make space for art and creativity,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said, “Through online programming, we are keeping our staff and community safe while expanding the reach of our mission to a wider audience.”

Online art and performance classes proved popular during a trial session that began in April. More than 200 students enrolled in online classes, including students new to the Museum School and students who joined from outside of Arkansas. The price point for these courses also remains lower than traditional studio classes, making them a perfect opportunity for students new to the art-making or to the Museum School.

“It is essential for us to find a way to continue being a place for our community to come together to make art and learn new skills,” Education and Programs Director Rana Edgar said. “We look forward to exploring all the ways we can connect, learn and create virtually this summer.

The Arkansas Arts Center’s summer camps for youth have also been reimagined for an online platform. The popular Junior Arts Academy for students ages 6–9 will run for four weeks in June (June 1–26) providing a visual arts and theatre experience for participants. Students will learn about a work from the AAC collection each week, have a story performed for them by Children’s Theatre and receive prompts to work on visual arts and theatre-based projects at their own pace throughout the week. At the end of each week the group will have a virtual “Play & Display,” where they will show off their creations. A box of supplies will be provided for all students in this program

For students ages 10–18, the Arkansas Arts Center is offering “Playmaking @ Home” July 6–31. In this program, students will participate in solo and ensemble theatre work in the comfort of their homes.  Students will receive weekly performance and design prompts and along with mentoring and feedback from theatre professionals.

The deadline to register for Junior Arts Online is May 29. The deadline to register for Playmaking @ Home is July 2.

The Museum School is supported by The Dorothea Lawrence Gilbert Fund for Art Enrichment and Outreach and LaRand Thomas. Junior Arts Online and Playmaking @Home are supported by the Schmieding Foundation. Scholarships for youth summer programs are supported by the Rebsamen Fund. Arkansas Arts Center Amplified is supported by Nucor Divisions – Arkansas.

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

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New Arts Center website tracks construction progress

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Building, Children's Theatre, Museum, Museum School

MacArthur Park project continues to evolve with opening expected in 2022

The Arkansas Arts Center has launched a new website to update the community on the transformational renovation of its MacArthur Park campus: reimagining.arkansasartscenter.org.

Designed by renowned architecture firm Studio Gang, the new building’s distinctive architectural identity signifies the Arts Center’s role as a cultural beacon for the future of Arkansas while celebrating the institution’s proud legacy. Scheduled to open in 2022, the project will strengthen the Arkansas Arts Center as the region’s leading visual and performing arts institution.

“The reimagined Arkansas Arts Center will be a place that showcases art that educates, inspires, provokes and beautifies our lives,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said. “This new website offers an extensive look at this new space and everything it will have to offer. It’s also an opportunity to recognize the supporters – both public and private – who are integral to the success of this project.”

At the site, foundations for the new additions have been installed, and construction on the steel structure for the second-floor gallery space and the curved walls of the building’s central axis – a key element of the project’s architecture – are in progress. The new website will be updated regularly with photos, videos and details on the phases of the construction project.

The transformation of the Arkansas Arts Center into a state-of-the-art facility is being realized through a $128 million special fundraising campaign, Reimagining the Arkansas Arts Center: Campaign for Our Cultural Future. The campaign will also provide transition and opening support, while also strengthening the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation’s endowment, yielding support for operations, exhibitions, acquisitions, and education and outreach programming in the new building. In October 2019, capital campaign co-chairs Harriet and Warren Stephens announced that the campaign has raised more than $122.7 million of its $128 million goal.

Through the project website, the community can also learn how to support the campaignto establish a significant architectural treasure in the heart of Arkansas that serves the community, stimulates tourism, and drives the economy. Recognition opportunities are available to honor gifts at every donation level.

“The plans for the newly reimagined Arkansas Arts Center are transformative,” Warren Stephens said. “We believe in the Arkansas Arts Center and know together we can make it a thriving and influential cultural institution for present and future generations.”

Studio Gang’s design for the reimagined Arkansas Arts Center creates a space where people can enjoy all the benefits of engaging with the arts. The new building will feature two entrances – the north courtyard entrance features a nod to past in the beautifully preserved 1937 façade of the Museum of Fine Arts. The south entrance opens into MacArthur Park. Prominent glass-enclosed spaces at either entrance welcome visitors into the building from MacArthur Park at the south and downtown Little Rock at the north.

Inside, visitors will find expertly lit galleries to feature the Arts Center’s 14,000-work collection of international art. A full schedule of dynamic special exhibitions will celebrate the artistic history and current work of the Delta region while bringing world-class exhibitions from around the world to Little Rock. The Museum School will feature fully equipped studios for drawing, painting, printmaking, ceramics, glass, wood, and metalsmithing classes for children and adults, along with a gallery space for displaying student work. State-of-the-art main stage and black box theatre spaces will host Children’s Theatre programming, films and performing arts events. The innovative “Living Room” will create space for community and social gatherings, quiet reflection, and everything in between with views of downtown Little Rock. A full-service restaurant will feature indoor and shaded outdoor seating overlooking MacArthur Park. The design also includes a Museum Shop, collections research room, and a lecture hall for public programs.

The project also features a revitalized MacArthur Park landscape, designed by Kate Orff and SCAPE. The landscape, inspired by Little Rock’s unique ecologies, will expand the connections between the building and MacArthur Park through native and sustainable planting and water reclamation. Landscape pathways, a great lawn and open areas will allow for vibrant, outdoor community programming.

Studio Gang is an architecture and urban design practice headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York, San Francisco and Paris. Founded and led by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang’s award-winning work ranges in scale and typology from the 82-story Aqua Tower to the 14-acre Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo, both located in Chicago. Gang has been recognized for a design process that foregrounds the relationship among people and their environments, and is the only architect named to TIME Magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2019. Studio Gang is currently designing cultural and civic projects across the Americas, including an expansion to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, a new Center for the University of Chicago in Paris, a new United States Embassy in Brasilia, and a Global Terminal at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago. This is Studio Gang’s first project in Arkansas.

SCAPE, founded by landscape architect and MacArthur Fellow Kate Orff, is a design-driven landscape architecture and urban design studio based in New York. They believe landscape architecture can enable positive change in communities through the creation of regenerative living infrastructure and public landscapes. SCAPE works to integrate natural cycles and systems into environments across all scales, from the urban pocket-park to the regional ecological plan. They do this through diverse forms of landscape architecture – built landscapes, planning frameworks, research, books, and installations – with the goal of connecting people to their immediate environment and creating dynamic and adaptive landscapes of the future.

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

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Amid a pandemic, Arkansas Arts Center works to amplify art

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Children's Theatre, Collection, Community, Delta 62, Delta Exhibition, Education, Exhibitions, Museum, Museum School, Uncategorized

The center is keeping its community connected to the arts through a swift pivot to digital initiatives

Shortly after closures swept through the country – and hit Little Rock – in mid-March due to Covid-19, the Arkansas Arts Center swiftly adjusted all their plans in an effort to keep the community connected to the arts. While the Arkansas Arts Center’s in-person programs are postponed, the center is offering creative and engaging arts experiences where many Central Arkansas residents are now spending the majority of their time – online.

“Arkansas Arts Center Amplified” began as a Facebook group to feature artist demonstrations, highlights of artworks from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, Children’s Theatre performances and episodes of “Our Work Continues,” an original web series developed by the center. Within a few weeks, more than 1,000 people joined the group, and “Arkansas Arts Center Amplified” expanded into an innovative slate of online programming.

As part of Arkansas Arts Center Amplified, the 59th Young Arkansas Artists and the 62nd Annual Delta – two of the Arts Center’s popular exhibitions – will move to an online format, expanding the exhibitions’ in new and exciting ways. Across the state, Arkansans can experience the talent and creativity of these Young Arkansas Artists from their homes. Moving the Delta Exhibition online offers regional artists an international platform to showcase their work.

Art instructors designed Museum School classes to be taught via Zoom, and class offerings include ceramics, painting, drawing, color theory, sculpture and the business or art along with theatre classes for both youth and adults. More than 200 students are currently enrolled in online classes, including students joining the class from out of state.

Museum School ceramics instructors plan a new course designed specifically for Zoom.

“The Arkansas Arts Center exists to connect our community with art and creativity. We are continuing to fulfill that mission despite these challenging circumstances,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said. “In any museum or cultural organization, staff make the magic happen. The Arts Center’s staff is incredibly talented, and during quarantine, our employees, artists, and instructors have done some of the most impressive work I have seen in my 25-year museum career.”

Through “Arkansas Arts Center Amplified,” the Arts Center will continue to offer engaging arts experiences online while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities recommend social distancing.

In the “Amplified” Facebook group, Museum School instructors have filmed videos from their homes offering step-by-step art projects, prompts and artist demonstrations, and hashtags are being used by museums across the country and the world offer opportunities to share art. #MuseumMomentsofZen focuses on calming artworks and #MuseumfromHome offers an opportunity to share favorite Arkansas Arts Center Collection works.

The digital Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition will be on view beginning May 9. Each year, art teachers and instructors throughout Arkansas submit their students’ work, and a panel of art professionals selects works to be included in the exhibition. The Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition showcases artwork from kindergarten through high school in a wide range of mediums and techniques – from crayon and pastel to collage and sculpture. The exhibition’s new digital format offers increased accessibility to the exhibition – both to families and students as well as educators as classroom instruction moves online for the foreseeable future.

Sage Holoch, Tiger Tales, Oil Pastel and Tempera, 18 x 12 inches, 2nd Grade, Indian Hills Elementary

The digital 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition, organized in collaboration with Historic Arkansas Museum, Thea Foundation, ACANSA Gallery and the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Library, will be available beginning June 19. Like Young Arkansas Artists, this digital format for Delta also offers increased accessibility to an exhibition that represents the entire Mississippi Delta region. As one of the longest-running and most prestigious juried art exhibitions in the region, the Annual Delta Exhibition represents the Arts Center’s commitment to artists living and working in our community today – and to continuing to grow artistic talent in the region.

Leah Grant, Notice, 2019, cyanotype and screenprint, 30 x 22 inches

Showcasing artists born in or living in Arkansas and its border states, the Annual Delta Exhibition presents a vision of contemporary art in the American South. Founded in 1958, the exhibition provides a unique snapshot of the Delta region and features work in all media. The exhibition reflects the region’s strong traditions of craftsmanship and observation, combined with an innovative use of materials and an experimental approach to subject matter.

The Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale location remains closed while City of Little Rock and public health officials continue to recommend social distancing. More about future programming – both digital and in-person – will be available at arkansasartscenter.org.

Arkansas Arts Center Amplified education and engagement programs are supported by Nucor Divisions – Arkansas and the Schmieding Foundation. 

Young Arkansas Artists is supported by Isabel and John Ed Anthony; Ces and Drew Kelso; JC Thompson Trust; Trinity Foundation; Barbara House; Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.; Dale and Lee Ronnel; and Pat Wilson. Awards are supported by Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Mid-Southern Watercolorists.

The 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition is supported by Mrs. Lisenne Rockefeller; Terri and Chuck Erwin; Judy Fletcher, In Memory of John R. Fletcher; Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP; JC Thompson Trust; Dianne and Bobby Tucker; AAC Contemporaries; Bank OZK; Phyllis and Michael Barrier; East Harding Construction; Marion W. Fulk; Barbara House; Don Tilton; and the Andre Simon Memorial Trust in memory of everyone who has died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The Grand Award is supported by The John William Linn Endowment Fund.

The Museum School is supported by The Dorothea Lawrence Gilbert Fund for Art Enrichment and Outreach and LaRand Thomas.

Arkansas Arts Center programs are also supported in part by: Arkansas Arts Center Foundation; Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees; City of Little Rock; City of North Little Rock; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Arkansas Arts Center Delta Exhibition goes digital

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 62, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum, News, Voices of the Delta

Tags: , ,

Virtual exhibition to feature work by 63 exceptional regional artists

Leah Grant, Notice, 2019, cyanotype and screenprint, 30 x 22 inches

In a creative reimagining, the Arkansas Arts Center’s 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition will be hosted in a digital format during this time of ongoing social distancing. The exhibition, organized in collaboration with Historic Arkansas Museum, Thea Foundation, ACANSA Gallery and the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Library, will be open for online viewing beginning June 19.

The Delta Exhibition is now part of the Arts Center’s new digital engagement initiative “Arkansas Arts Center Amplified’ through which the center is bringing engaging art experiences where many people are now spending much of their time – online. In addition to the center’s popular Young Arkansas Artists digital exhibition, the new digital format for Delta also offers increased accessibility to an exhibition that represents the entire Mississippi Delta region.

Elizabeth Weber, Social Distancing, 2019, leaf skeletons, honey locust thorns, wool roving, and dandelion wishes, 9 ½ x 12 x 12 inches

As one of the longest-running and most prestigious juried art exhibitions in the region, the Annual Delta Exhibition represents the Arts Center’s commitment to artists living and working in our community today – and to continuing to grow artistic talent in the region. Ensuring the exhibition’s continuity is part of the Arts Center’s mission to remain vibrant, accessible and community-oriented while the MacArthur Park building is under construction.

“The Delta Exhibition is an integral piece of the Arkansas Arts Center’s legacy. We are proud to present an innovative solution to continue the exhibition during this time,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said. “Along with our creative arts partners, we look forward to showcasing art that will educate and inspire, especially amid challenging circumstances.”

With the Arts Center’s galleries under construction, the center partnered with Historic Arkansas Museum, Thea Foundation, ACANSA Gallery and the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Library to host the exhibition across the community. While the exhibition moves online, these community partners remain integral to continued community outreach and engagement with the exhibition.

Stephanie Williams, The Woodsman and the Crane, 2019, pen and sharpie on newspaper, 11 x 22 ½ inches

“Historic Arkansas Museum is delighted to partner with the Arkansas Arts Center for the 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition,” said Swannee Bennett, Historic Arkansas Museum Director and Chief Curator. “This collaboration is a marvelous example of what the Arkansas arts community can accomplish by working together to elevate the work of the most talented artists working in the region today.”

“Enriching our community with thought-provoking, contemporary art is a top priority for Thea Foundation, and we’re deeply honored to be a part of this team offering what we know will be an impactful showcase of Southern talent,” Thea Foundation Executive Director Nick Leopoulos said.

Aaron Bleidt, Drawn to the Moon, 2019, freehand digital drawing and archival pigment ink print on paper, 36 x 24 inches

“The Argenta Arts District is thrilled to be a partner for the Arkansas Arts Center’s signature event, the Delta Exhibition,” arts promoter John Gaudin said. “The creative and community-oriented team that has come together around this exhibition is uniquely suited to build a valuable exhibition experience during this time.” 

Showcasing artists born in or living in Arkansas and its border states, the Annual Delta Exhibition presents a vision of contemporary art in the American South. Founded in 1958, the exhibition provides a unique snapshot of the Delta region and features work in all media. The exhibition reflects the region’s strong traditions of craftsmanship and observation, combined with an innovative use of materials and an experimental approach to subject matter.

Stefanie Fedor, Executive Director of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, served as juror for the Arkansas Arts Center’s 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition. Fedor selected 63 works to be featured in the exhibition from 772 entries by 348 artists. Fedor will also name a Grand Award winner and two Delta Award winners. The Contemporaries, an auxiliary membership group of the Arkansas Arts Center, will also select a Contemporaries Award winner. Fedor will announce the award winners in a virtual event on June 18. Additional online programming around the exhibition will be announced in the coming weeks.

Artists featured in the 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition include:

  • Oluwatobi Adewumi of McNeil, Ark.
  • John Allison of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Joe Barnett of Little Rock, Ark.
  • James P. Bell of Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Deitra Blackwell of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Scott Blair of Kansas City, Mo.
  • Aaron Bleidt of Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Joel Boyd of Little Rock Ark.
  • Robbie Brindley of Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Brian Bundren of Henderson, Tenn.
  • Cynthia Buob of Columbus, Miss.
  • Aaron Calvert of Russellville, Ark.
  • Dean Dablow of Ruston, La.
  • Anais Dasse of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Tessa Davidson of Cabot, Ark.
  • Britynn Davis of Roland, Ark.
  • Don DuMont of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Margo Duvall of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Robert Fairchild of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Thomas Faulkner of Ruston, La.
  • Johnny Ferrell of Benton, Ark.
  • David Foss of Bella Vista, Ark.
  • William Goodman of Jackson, Miss.
  • Leah Grant of Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Wade Hampton of Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Sharon Havelka of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Robin Hazard of Rockport, Texas
  • Reece Henderson of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Anton Hoeger of Canton, Texas
  • Dawn Holder of Clarksville, Ark.
  • Jeanie Hursley of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Tim Hursley of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Chris Hynes of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Jed Jackson of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Ajamu Kojo of Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Cynthia Kresse of Eureka Springs, Ark.
  • John Lasater of Siloam Springs, Ark.
  • Deborah Lillie of Thibodaux, La.
  • Jeff Mickey of Hammond, La.
  • Joe Morzuch of Starkville, Miss.
  • David Mudrinich of Russellville, Ark.
  • Greely Myatt of West Memphis, Ark.
  • Dale Newkirk of Covington, La.
  • Liz Noble of Columbus, Ohio
  • Kayla O’Neal of Shongaloo, La.
  • Ray Allen Parker of Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Ed Pennebaker of Clinton, Ark.
  • Lee Robertson of Batesville, Ark.
  • David Rose of Hot Springs, Ark.
  • Euphus Ruth of Greenville, Miss.
  • Barbara Satterfield of Conway, Ark.
  • Justin Shaw of Warrensburg, Mo.
  • Chassidy Siratt of Donaldson, Ark.
  • Derek Slagle of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Steve Spencer of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Marilyn Avery Turner of Knoxville, Tenn.
  • Anna Wagner of Cabot, Ark.
  • Louis Watts of Burlington, N.C.
  • Elizabeth Weber of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Mildred West of Oxford, Miss.
  • Stephanie Williams of North Little Rock, Ark.
  • Steven Wise of Rogers, Ark.
  • Anna Zusman of Magnolia, Ark.

The 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition is organized by the Arkansas Arts Center in collaboration with Historic Arkansas Museum, Thea Foundation, ACANSA Gallery and the Argenta Branch of the William F. Laman Library.

Anton Hoeger, Woman with Red Shoes, 2019, oil on canvas, 43 1/3 x 43 1/3 inches

The exhibition is supported by Mrs. Lisenne Rockefeller; Terri and Chuck Erwin; Judy Fletcher, In Memory of John R. Fletcher; Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP; JC Thompson Trust; Dianne and Bobby Tucker; AAC Contemporaries; Bank OZK; Phyllis and Michael Barrier; East Harding Construction; Marion W. Fulk; Barbara House; Don Tilton; and the Andre Simon Memorial Trust in memory of everyone who has died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The Grand Award is supported by The John William Linn Endowment Fund.

Arkansas Arts Center programs are also supported in part by: Arkansas Arts Center Foundation; Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees; City of Little Rock; City of North Little Rock; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition provides a window into wonder

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Education, Exhibitions, Gallery, Museum, News, Youth & Family

See the world through the eyes of young artists as popular annual exhibition moves online

Ruth Rodriguez, Go-Go Juice, White Charcoal, 8 x 12 inches, 11th Grade, Greene County Tech

The creativity of Arkansas students statewide will be on view in the Arkansas Arts Center’s Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition May 9 – August 2. This popular annual exhibition and associated events will move to a digital format to maintain social distancing.  

Each year, art teachers and instructors throughout Arkansas submit their students’ work, and a panel of art professionals selects works to be included in the exhibition. The Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition showcases artwork from kindergarten through high school in a wide range of mediums and techniques – from crayon and pastel to collage and sculpture.

Dalton Crook, Mr. Ostrich, Acrylic, 18 x 24 inches, Kindergarten, Miss Selma’s Schools

The exhibition is now part of the Arts Center’s new digital engagement initiative “Arkansas Arts Center Amplified’ through which the center is committed to bringing engaging art experiences where many people are now spending much of their time – online. The new digital format offers increased accessibility to the exhibition – both to families and students as well as educators as classroom instruction moves online for the foreseeable future.

“The Arkansas Arts Center remains committed to our community. I commend Arts Center staff for their work developing an innovative, technology-based solution that ensures the continuity of this treasured exhibition,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said. “Young Arkansas Artists offers us an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of young artists, and the remarkable talent, creativity and perspective of these students is an absolute joy to experience.”

Kylie Manes, Hopeless Manic, Batik, 18 x 24 inches, 10th Grade, Norfork High School

This year, the panel selected 65 works from 478 entries. Guest juror Jonathan Wright, associate professor of art at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, selected a Best in Class and two Honorable Mention awards for each grade. Wright also selected the recipients of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Award for Achievement in Watercolor and Ray Smenner Award for Achievement in Painting. Members of the Arkansas Art Educators Association also selected one Teacher’s Choice award from each grade. Each winning artist’s school receives a monetary award to support its art program funded by Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Young Arkansas Artists awards will be presented at a virtual awards ceremony and family festival at 11 a.m. on May 9. The awards ceremony will be hosted via Zoom with art activities using household objects available on Arkansas Arts Center social media channels. The digital exhibition will be open for online viewing beginning May 9.

Sage Holoch, Tiger Tales, Oil Pastel and Tempera, 18 x 12 inches, 2nd Grade, Indian Hills Elementary

Young Arkansas Artists is supported by Isabel and John Ed Anthony; Ces and Drew Kelso; JC Thompson Trust; Trinity Foundation; Barbara House; Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C.; Dale and Lee Ronnel; and Pat Wilson. Awards are supported by Arkansas Children’s Hospital and Mid-Southern Watercolorists.

Arkansas Arts Center programs are supported in part by: Arkansas Arts Center Foundation; Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees; City of Little Rock; City of North Little Rock; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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Amid pandemic, Arkansas Arts Center creates innovative online art classes

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Adult Classes, Education, Museum School, Youth & Family, Youth Classes

Museum School partners with local business to offer students curbside pickup for art supplies

A creative team of artists and instructors at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School have found new ways to offer art-making and learning opportunities online during this time of social distancing.

An imaginative schedule of classes will be held via video-conferencing platform Zoom. Class offerings include ceramics, painting, drawing, color theory and sculpture along with theatre classes for both youth and adults. The Museum School’s popular Business of Art Series will continue virtually, with opportunities to explore ethics, copyright, social media and more. Moving art-making experiences out of the studios and into students’ living rooms also offers new opportunities to explore the home environment through still life or sculpture. Theatre classes for youth will offer a structured environment for families to explore together without leaving their homes as well as opportunities for teens to explore plays, musical theatre and digital storytelling.

For classes that require specific supplies, the Museum School has partnered with local art supply store, Art Outfitters, to create supply kits that will be available for curbside pickup at the store’s downtown Little Rock location.

The Museum School’s spring quarter classes were canceled for the safety of students, faculty and AAC staff following guidance from public health officials. But the Arkansas Arts Center is committed to remaining connected to its community during this time.

“These are unprecedented times,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said, “but the Arts Center is an important piece of our community’s creative life. Amid uncertainty, we will always find a way to make space for art and creativity. Our connection to the arts is the very thing that reminds us of our humanity and resilience.”

Online class offerings are being introduced at a lower in price point and in a shorter time frame than standard Museum School offerings – making them perfect for those who are new to art-making or the Museum School.

“In uncertain times, the arts are vital – the artists and instructors in the Museum School are very conscious of that,” said Rana Edgar, Director of Education and Programs. “We knew it was essential for us to find a way to continue being a place for our community to come together – even virtually – to have new experiences or hone new skills.”

Registration for online classes is open now. Classes begin April 20 and will run for four weeks.

The Arkansas Arts Center is committed to offering engaging arts experiences online while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities recommend social distancing.  The Arts Center has also launched a new Facebook group, Arkansas Arts Center Amplified, to feature artist demonstrations, highlights of artworks from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, Children’s Theatre performances and episodes of “Our Work Continues,” an original web series developed by the center.

Following guidance from the City of Little Rock and public health officials, the Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale location is closed until further notice. The Arts Center will continue to provide updates about future programming in the coming weeks.

Arkansas Arts Center programs are supported in part by: Arkansas Arts Center Foundation; City of Little Rock; City of North Little Rock; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum School is supported by The Dorothea Lawrence Gilbert Fund for Art Enrichment and Outreach and LaRand Thomas. 

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A note from the AAC

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Building, Children's Theatre, Community, Education, Museum, Museum School, Support

Dear friends,

In times of uncertainty, the arts can play an important role in bringing us hope, solace and a sense of community. While the Arkansas Arts Center’s in-person programs are postponed, we are offering creative and engaging arts experiences where many people are now gathering for conversation and connection – online.

Two weeks ago, the Arkansas Arts Center launched Arkansas Arts Center Amplified, a new Facebook group featuring highlights of artworks from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, Children’s Theatre performances, artist demonstrations and episodes of “Our Work Continues,” our original web series documenting our move to Riverdale and ongoing programming.

Arkansas Arts Center Amplified will continue to offer engaging arts experiences online while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities recommend social distancing. Following guidance from the City of Little Rock and public health officials, the Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale location is closed to the public until further notice, and we will continue to provide updates about future programming in the coming weeks.

The Arts Center has also donated gloves and masks from exhibition and Museum School supplies to local hospitals to aid and protect our local healthcare professionals, including providing 800 particulate masks and 900 gloves to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Additionally, Museum School and Children’s Theatre staff have been utilizing fabric supplies and sewing masks at home to provide to the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

During this time, I want you to know that construction on the reimagined Arkansas Arts Center in MacArthur Park continues on schedule, with additional health and safety precautions in place to ensure the safety of those working on site. The renovated Arkansas Arts Center is scheduled to reopen in Spring of 2022.

Your membership is a vital part of sustaining the Arts Center at this critical time. We are continuing to pay the salaries of our staff, our Museum School instructors and theatre artists during our closure, and we are hard at work on ways to provide you with exclusive member events and benefits in a digital format. Thank you for your ongoing support.

On a global scale, what we are experiencing right now is unprecedented. Our arts community, like so many others, is facing historic challenges. Our connection to the arts is the very thing that reminds us of our humanity and our resilience.

If you have ever considered becoming a member or making a donation, we ask that you join us now. We are committed to standing alongside our community as we emerge from this moment, but we need your help to do it. Together, we can ensure the continued growth of the Arts Center and the arts in Arkansas.

Please stay well, and we hope to see you very soon,
Executive Director Victoria Ramirez and the staff of the Arkansas Arts Center

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Arkansas Arts Center creates connections in time of social distancing

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Building, Children's Theatre, Community, Museum, Museum School, News

Digital engagement provides community arts experiences

While the Arkansas Arts Center’s in-person programs are postponed, the center is offering creative and engaging arts experiences where many Central Arkansas residents are now spending the majority of their time – online.

Last week, the Arkansas Arts Center launched Arkansas Arts Center Amplified, a new Facebook group featuring artist demonstrations, highlights of artworks from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, Children’s Theatre performances and episodes of “Our Work Continues,” an original web series developed by the center.

Museum School instructors have filmed videos from their homes offering step-by-step art projects, prompts and artist demonstrations, and hashtags are being used by museums across the country and the world offer opportunities to share art. #MuseumMomentsofZen focuses on calming artworks and #MuseumfromHome offers an opportunity to share favorite Arkansas Arts Center Collection works.

For many parents navigating working from home with young children, the center offers online performances and art activities utilizing commonly found items.

The Children’s Theatre, unable to continue its touring shows during this time, hosted a Facebook Watch Party of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod: A Play for the Very Young on Saturday. The Watch Party was followed by a live-stream Q&A with Interim Artistic Director Katie Campbell and an at-home art activity led by Museum School Associate Director Miranda Young. Both videos are available for viewing in the new Facebook group.

The Arts Center has also donated gloves, masks and respirators from exhibition and Museum School supplies to local hospitals to aid and protect our local healthcare professionals, including providing 800 particulate masks and 900 gloves to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Additionally, Museum School and Children’s Theatre staff have been utilizing fabric supplies and sewing masks at home to provide to the Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System.

Arkansas Arts Center Amplified will continue to offer engaging arts experiences online while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local public health authorities recommend social distancing. Following guidance from the City of Little Rock and public health officials, the Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale location is closed until further notice. The center will continue to provide updates about future programming in the coming weeks. 

During this time, construction on the reimagined Arkansas Arts Center in MacArthur Park continues with additional health and safety precautions in place to ensure the safety of those working on site. Increased precautions include additional hand-washing stations and OSHA trainings, social distancing and increased shifts, with fewer workers on site at any given time. The renovated Arkansas Arts Center is scheduled to reopen in Spring of 2022.

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