Arkansas Arts Center announces Delta Exhibition artists

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum

Julie Darling, Obscurity Often Brings Safety, 2018, charcoal, graphite, ink, gouache, gesso on Stonehenge, 30 x 44 inches

The Arkansas Arts Center’s 61st Annual Delta Exhibition will feature work by 49 exceptional artists from the Mississippi Delta region. The exhibition will be on view May 3 through June 30, 2019

Guest juror Kevin Cole selected 50 artworks by 49 artists, representing 10 states. The works were chosen from more than a thousand entries by 408 artists. Cole will also name a $2,500 Grand Award and two $750 Delta Awards. A $250 Contemporaries Delta Award will be selected by the Contemporaries, an auxiliary membership group of the Arkansas Arts Center.

Award winners will be announced at a member preview and reception at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 2 in the Children’s Theatre. Guests will then be invited to the Jeannette Edris Rockefeller and Townsend Wolfe Galleries to view the exhibition. Artists and Arkansas Arts Center members are invited to attend.

Joshua Asante, My Selves in Constant Dissonance, My Selves in Perfected Harmony (Blythe’s Illuminated Heart), 2018, archival pigment print, 48 x 36 x 1 inch

Showcasing artists living and working 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 features work in an array of media to provide a snapshot of the Delta region now – while reflecting on the region’s strong traditions of craftsmanship and observation.

“Every year, the Delta Exhibition provides a glimpse at some of the most important work being created in this part of the country now,” said Brian Lang, Arkansas Arts Center Chief Curator and Windgate Foundation Curator of Contemporary Craft. “We’re thrilled to be able to present this noteworthy and dynamic selection of works at the Arts Center this summer.”

Kenneth Baskin, Mechanical Movements “Balance,” 2019, soda-fired stoneware, 15 x 19 x 6 inches

The 61st Annual Delta Exhibition will be the last major exhibition on view before the Arkansas Arts Center’s upcoming renovation and expansion project. Groundbreaking on the transformational renovation project is scheduled for this fall. Continuing its long and illustrious history, the Delta Exhibition will pop up at locations across Central Arkansas and beyond while the Arts Center’s MacArthur Park building is under construction.

Cole, the show’s juror, is an Atlanta-based artist best known for sculptural works, paintings, and intentional use of color. An Arkansas native, Cole’s work was featured in the 42nd Annual Delta Exhibition (1999) at the Arkansas Arts Center. His work can be found in notable public and private collections across the country, including the Dayton Art Institute, the High Museum of Art, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture. His work can also be found in the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection; his mixed-media work Touch by Faith III is currently on view in POP! Out of the Vault. Cole has been a member of AfriCOBRA since 2003 and was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2018.

Kim Brecklein, Mikee’s Future, 2017, oil on canvas, 18 x 14 x .5 inches

Artists featured in the 61st Annual Delta Exhibition include:

  • John Ahlen of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Joshua Asante of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Carrie Ballinger Porter of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Loren Bartnicke of Auburn, N.Y.
  • Kenneth Baskin of Lake Charles, La.
  • Zachary Blair of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Kim Brecklein of Harrison, Ark.
  • Cynthia Buob of Columbus, Miss.
  • Debra Callahan of Jonesboro, Ark.
  • Olevia “Libby” Caston of Russellville, Ark.
  • Julie Darling of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Karen DeJarnette of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Virmarie DePoyster of North Little Rock, Ark.
  • Dylan Eakin of Seattle, Wash.
  • Ivy-Jade Edwards of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Scinthya Edwards of Helena, Ark.
  • DebiLynn Fendley of Arkadelphia, Ark.
  • Bryan Frazier of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Janet Goodyear of Eureka Springs, Ark.
  • John Green of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Alice Guffey Miller of Monticello, Ark.
  • Heather Christine Guenard of Cabot, Ark.
  • Pam-ela Harrelson of Dallas, Texas
  • Carol Hart of Fayetteville, Ark.
  • Amber Imrie of Sunnyvale, Calif.
  • Sherry Leedy of Kansas City, Mo.
  • Mark Lewis of Tulsa, Okla.
  • Jason McCann of Maumelle, Ark.
  • Keith Melton of North Little Rock, Ark.
  • Daniella Napolitano of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Dale Newkirk of Hammond, La.
  • Kevin O’Brien of Ocean Springs, Miss.
  • Mark Payne of Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • Rashawn Penister of Pine Bluff, Ark.
  • Yelena Petroukhina of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Jason Rankin of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Zachary Roach of Memphis, Tenn.
  • Jay Sage of Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Ray Scott of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Sandra Sell of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Hunter Stamps of Lexington, Ky.
  • Laura Terry of West Fork, Ark.
  • Holly Tilley of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Mabry Turner of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Katelyn Vaughan of Monroe, La.
  • Michael Warrick of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Laura Welshans of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Nancy Wilson of Little Rock, Ark.
  • Emily Wood of Little Rock, Ark.
Sherry Leedy, Tilt, 2017, soft pastel on paper, 30 x 34 inches

The 61st Annual Delta Exhibition is sponsored (at this time) by Isabel and John Ed Anthony; Bank OZK; Philip R. Jonsson Foundation; Lisenne Rockefeller; Dianne and Bobby Tucker; Terri and Chuck Erwin; Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP; the AAC Contemporaries; Phyllis and Michael Barrier; Robert Chandler; Sandra and Bob Connor; East Harding Construction; Barbara Rogers Hoover; Don A. Tilton, The Capitol Group. The Grand Award is supported by The John William Linn Endowment Fund. The exhibition is supported by the Andre Simon Memorial Trust in memory of everyone who has died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). Reception support is provided by Catfish Farmers of America.

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Modernist drawings, contemporary craft and local artists featured in Arkansas Arts Center Collection recent acquisitions

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Collection, Museum

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Arkansas Arts Center curators are always looking for new works to add to the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection, especially works that add depth and context to the collection, challenge existing narratives, and use innovative techniques and materials. Here’s a look at a selection of recent acquisitions that have added to the Arts Center’s holdings of drawings and contemporary craft objects, as well as its collection of works by iconic modernist John Marin.

St. Martin-in-the-Field, Trafalgar Square, London by John Marin

John Marin, American (Rutherford, New Jersey, 1870 – 1953, Cape Split, Maine), St. Martin-in-the-Field, Trafalgar Square, London, 1908, watercolor on paper, 15 x 11 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase. 2018.011

A 1908 Marin watercolor – from the artists early career in Paris – depicts Trafalgar Square in London. The watercolor is an addition to the Arts Center’s exceptional collection of works by Marin, which includes nearly 300 drawings, watercolors and etchings. The acquisition of St. Martin-in-the-Field is key to completing the story of Marin’s career in the AAC Collection. Previously, the collection didn’t include any of Marin’s rare watercolors made in London, where he first experimented in the modernist style.

Orchid Transformation #2 and Headdress #2 by Susan Schwalb

With the acquisition of two works by metalpoint artist Susan Schwalb, the Arts Center continues to grow its exceptional collection of work in the medium. The 1978 Orchid Transformation #2 is from early in Schwalb’s career in metalpoint. From her first series in metalpoint, Orchid Transformation #2 is inspired in part by Georgia O’Keeffe’s well-known and loved depictions of flowers. With her 1979 Headdress #2, Schwalb used a candle to burn away part of the paper and create graceful lines of sooty smoke. Following the smoke with lines in metalpoint, she violated the history of preciousness and perfection historically associated with the medium. Both works were featured in A Luminous Line: Forty Years of Metalpoint Drawings by Susan Schwalb at the Arkansas Arts Center last year.

Mantle by Andrew Hayes

Mantle by Andrew Hayes
Andrew Hayes, American (Tucson, Arizona, 1981 – ), Mantle, 2014, fabricated steel and book paper, 34 x 6 x 5 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase. 2018.014

An addition to the contemporary craft collection, Andrew Hayes’ 2014 Mantle in fabricated steel and book paper. A one-time industrial welder, Hayes became a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts and continued to develop his style, exploring a variety of a materials and techniques. In this work he faces the challenge of marrying the rigid qualities of metal with the delicacy of the book page.

New Skin by Lisa Krannichfeld

New Skin by Lisa Krannichfeld
Lisa Krannichfeld, American (Little Rock, Arkansas, 1983 – ), New Skin, 2018, Chinese ink, watercolor, acrylic, paper collage, and toned cyanotype on paper mounted to board and covered with resin, 36 x 36 x 2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase. 2018.012

Little Rock artist Lisa Krannichfeld won the Grand Award in the 60th Annual Delta Exhibition with New Skin, and now the work is joining the Arkansas Arts Center Collection. Across her work, Krannichfeld refutes historic depictions of women as passive subjects to be gazed upon, evident in their confrontational and, at times, defiant expressions. With this mixed-media drawing, Krannichfeld’s innovative use of materials and unique feminist vision are fully on display.

Always Facing South Bear by Aaron Calvert

Always Facing South Bear by Aaron Calvert
Aaron Calvert, American (Medina, Ohio, 1973 – ), Always Facing South Bear, 2017, glazed stoneware, 40 x 23 x 13 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase. 2018.013

Also acquired out of the 60th Annual Delta Exhibition was Aaron Calvert’s stoneware Always Facing South Bear. Calvert, based in Arkadelphia, Ark., is a professor of ceramics at Henderson State University. Always Facing South Bear was awarded an honorable mention in the Delta, and was acquired in honor of former AAC Executive Director Todd Herman.

Still Life with Fruit (from Derriere Le Miroir) by Georges Braque

Georges Braque, French (Argenteuil-sur-Seine, France, 1882 – 1963, Paris, France), Still Life with Fruit (from Derriere Le Miroir), circa 1955, color lithograph on paper, 20 1/4 x 17 1/4 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Jeane Hamilton. 2018.016.001

As co-inventor of Cubism, Georges Braque’s work provides a window into one of the most important movements in Modern art. This lithograph, Still Life with Fruit, was originally published by French art dealer and publisher Aimé Maeght in the magazine Derriere Le Miroir, and joins two prints and two drawings by Braque in the Arkansas Arts Center Collection.

Footprints in Amber by David Ambrose

David Ambrose, American (1960 – ), Footprints in Amber, 2011, watercolor and gouache on pierced paper, 20 1/2 x 14 1/2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of William and Tammy O’Shaughnessy. 2018.019

In works like Footprints in Amber, New Jersey artist David Ambrose takes abstraction in a new direction – straight into the paper. This work is an example of Ambrose’s distinctive pierced works, in which he works watercolor and gouache through holes in the paper so that linked but quite different images appear on the front and back. Inspired by Gothic architecture and lace-making, Ambrose uses innovative techniques to achieve these elaborate or improvisational compositions.

Wildflower, Jamaica Bay by Mary Reilly

Mary Reilly, American (New York, New York, 1963 – ), Wildflower, Jamaica Bay, 2011, graphite on paper, 18 x 13 3/8 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Garvey|Simon. 2018.017

Mary Reilly’s exquisite drawings of trees and flowers have been popular with Collectors Show & Sale visitors for years, and now her work joins the Arkansas Arts Center Collection. Reilly, who is based in New York, studied at the School of Visual Arts, Art Students League and the National Academy School of Fine Arts. After a short stint as a graphic designer, Reilly turned to fine art. Her often photo-realistic graphite drawings capture the tranquility, beauty and mystery of the natural world.

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Arkansas Arts Center finds temporary home in Riverdale

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Building, Museum School, News

Ceramics students work in the Museum School clay studios.

The Arkansas Arts Center will temporarily relocate to 2510 Cantrell Road in the Riverdale Shopping Center for two and a half years during the Arts Center’s upcoming renovation and expansion project.

The temporary location is approximately three miles from the Arts Center’s MacArthur Park site. It will include studio space for Museum School classes, design and rehearsal space for the Children’s Theatre, and additional flexible spaces for offices, retail, facilities storage and educational programs.

“The AAC’s impact in our community, both in Central Arkansas and across the state, is immense and enduring,” said Merritt Dyke, President of the AAC board of trustees. “In addition to the nearly 200,000 visitors to MacArthur Park, the AAC’s statewide outreach numbers approach half a million people. We’ve been working with numerous community partners to ensure that we can continue to fulfill our mission and to serve these people while the AAC is under construction.”

“The support we’ve received throughout this endeavor has been overwhelming, and we are grateful to Harriet and Warren Stephens who are chairing our lead gifts capital campaign,” Dyke said. “Without their leadership, this project would not be where it is today. I am greatly appreciative to the AAC and Foundation boards, staff, and all our community partners for their role in realizing this important vision.”

Youth students in the Museum School learn to draw self portraits.

The Arkansas Arts Center’s staff of approximately 100 full-and part-time employees will office out of the Riverdale location during the renovation. Groundbreaking on the Arts Center’s transformational building project is scheduled for fall 2019. The MacArthur Park facility will be available for all regular summer programming, with the new temporary Riverdale location opening in September. The renovation and expansion of the MacArthur Park building is anticipated to be completed in early 2022.

“The Arts Center’s programs are a vital part of our community,” said Bobby Tucker, Chairman of the AAC Foundation board. “We feel it’s of maximum importance that they continue to be offered while the center is under construction. Our commitment to the success of this transformational building project in MacArthur Park is unwavering, as is our commitment to the organization.”

Q: What will the new building look like?

A: Architects from Studio Gang and SCAPE Studios presented a concept design in February 2018 that included a transformational design and a variety of improvements across the Arts Center’s MacArthur Park facility. Learn more about the concept design.

The Cantrell Road location will offer convenient and secure parking and new amenities for AAC program participants. With 15,200 square feet of studio space, the Museum School will offer nearly all its current program of classes and workshops, including drawing, painting, ceramics, jewelry, glass, small metals, woodworking and printmaking for its nearly 3,000 yearly students. Fall Quarter classes are projected to begin in the Riverdale location in September.

“We’ve been working diligently for more than a year to ensure that our students have a creative space with the equipment needed to continue to engage in our classes in a temporary location,” said Rana Edgar, Director of Education and Programs. “Over the next two and a half years, we plan to welcome our students into well-appointed studios, with all our core classes currently being offered, in addition to offering expanded opportunities to build their talents.”

READ MORE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

In the Children’s Theatre’s 14,200 square-foot workshop, theatre staff will create sets, sew costumes, and build props for Children’s Theatre productions, including touring programs. Children’s Theatre on Tour, part of the AAC’s Statewide ArtsReach program, serves more than 35,000 students and families in communities across Arkansas every year with traveling professional theatre productions.

Children’s Theatre Costume Designer Erin Larkin sketches costume ideas for Hansel and Gretel’s Gingerbread Games, which was on stage at the Children’s Theatre last fall.

“The work of the Children’s Theatre team doesn’t stop when the stage lights go down in MacArthur Park,” said Bradley Anderson, Artistic Director in the Children’s Theatre. “We create theatre productions each season that travel the state, in addition to our local summer theatre academies, theatre classes and performances at the Arts Center. This move will allow those programs to continue – and possibly even expand.”

The AAC Museum Shop will also move its retail storefront into 1,500 square feet of space, joining many other local restaurants and businesses in the area. Administrative, facilities, equipment storage and flexible educational spaces will round out a total of 65,000 square feet of space at the temporary facility.

The move is one piece of the Arkansas Arts Center’s commitment to remaining accessible to the community while its MacArthur Park facility is under construction, and to working with arts partners across the region to expand programming reach.

“The AAC is more than any one space or one building. Our programs will continue to span across communities and extend across the state over the next two and a half years,” said Laine Harber, AAC Interim Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer. “This would not be possible without the commitment and dedication of our board leadership in continuing to fulfill our mission and vision while we undergo these much-needed renovations.”

Arts Center exhibition programs will also pop up in locations across Central Arkansas and beyond, including the continuation of the popular Delta and Young Arkansas Artists exhibitions. Last year the Arkansas Arts Center and the Central Arkansas Library System launched a long-term partnership to build valuable creative connections between two Central Arkansas cultural institutions.

Learn more about the Arts Center’s partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System.

Members of the Central Arkansas community will soon begin to see works from the Arkansas Arts Center’s extensive collection of contemporary craft objects on view at 15 CALS locations, with each installation carefully curated to the environment, history and mission of each individual library branch. Arts Center youth and adult programs will also be available at neighborhood libraries, with programs carefully selected to fit the branch community. Works from the collection will also travel to other institutions across the country and across Arkansas.

More details about additional programs and partnerships locally and across the state will continue to be announced throughout 2019.

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Arkansas Arts Center announces Delta Exhibition juror

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 61, Delta 61, Delta Exhibition, Exhibitions, Museum

60th Annual Delta Exhibition, 2018

Atlanta-based artist Kevin Cole will serve as guest juror for the 61st Annual Delta Exhibition, on view May 3 through June 30 at the Arkansas Arts Center. The deadline for artists to submit the work to be considered for the exhibition is February 13, 2019.

Kevin Cole is a contemporary artist best known for sculptural works, paintings, and intentional use of color. An Arkansas native, Kevin Cole received his B.S. in art education from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (1982), an M.A. in art education and painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1983), and an M.F.A. in drawing from Northern Illinois University (1985). Over the past 32 years, he has received 27 grants and fellowships, 75 awards in art, 51 teaching awards, and more than 45 public art commissions.

Kevin Cole
Kevin Cole

Cole’s artwork has been featured in more than 475 national and international exhibitions, including the 42nd Annual Delta Exhibition (1999) at the Arkansas Arts Center. His work can be found in notable private and public collections including: the Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas; the Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, Ohio; the David C. Driskell Center, University of Maryland at College Park; the Georgia Museum of Art, Athens, Georgia; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia; the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, Georgia; the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.; the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Tampa Museum of Art, Florida; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut; among others. Cole has been a member of AfriCOBRA since 2003 and was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2018.

Among his public commissions are a fifteen-story mural commissioned by the Coca-Cola Company for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games in Atlanta and a twenty-foot high by fifty-five feet long sculpture commission at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Atlanta. His recent sculpture, When My Scars are my Testimony, is featured in the 2019 Atlanta Biennial at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center.

Showcasing artists living and working 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.

“As one of the most anticipated Arkansas Arts Center events of the year, the Annual Delta Exhibition offers a unique look of the artistic talent located in the Delta region,” said Brian J. Lang, Chief Curator and Windgate Foundation Curator of Contemporary Craft. “This exhibition gives artists the opportunity to lead and inspire their communities through art, education and cultural excellence.”

The competition is open to all artists who live in or were born in one of the following states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas. All work must be completed during the last two years and must not have been exhibited previously at the Arkansas Arts Center.

Cole will select the artworks to be exhibited as well as a $2,500 Grand Award and two $750 Delta Awards. Additionally, a $250 Contemporaries Delta Award will be selected by the Contemporaries, an auxiliary membership group of the Arkansas Arts Center.

Interested parties may enter their information and upload images of their work at ArkansasArtsCenter.org/delta by February 13, 2019. The entry fee is $20 for one entry and $10 for each additional entry. Artists may submit up to three entries. Notifications will be emailed on March 1 and all accepted work must be received by March 24. Artists will be responsible for all shipping arrangements.  This year’s exhibition will be on view May 3 – June 30, 2019.

The 61st Annual Delta Exhibition is sponsored (at this time) by Isabel and John Ed Anthony; Bank OZK; Philip R. Jonsson Foundation; Mrs. Lisenne Rockefeller; Dianne and Bobby Tucker; Terri and Chuck Erwin; Friday, Eldredge & Clark, LLP; the AAC Contemporaries; Phyllis and Michael Barrier; Sandra and Bob Connor; East Harding Construction; Barbara Rogers Hoover; and Don A. Tilton, The Capitol Group. The Grand Award is supported by The John William Linn Endowment Fund. The exhibition is supported by the Andre Simon Memorial Trust in memory of everyone who has died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Submit your work to be considered for the 61st Annual Delta Exhibition.

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Unique Exhibition Holds a Mirror to the Life of Iconic Artist Frida Kahlo

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Exhibitions, Museum, News

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The Arkansas Arts Center presents a rare opportunity to see one of Mexico’s greatest painters captured by some of the 20th century’s most important photographers. Photographing Frida: Portraits of Frida Kahlo/Fotografiando Frida: Retratos de Frida Kahlo,  the first exhibition about Frida Kahlo to appear at the Arkansas Arts Center, will be on view February 1 through April 14, 2019.

Nickolas Muray, American (Szeged, Hungary, 1892 – 1965, New York, New York), Frida with Magenta Rebozo “Classic,” 1939, color carbon print, 14 ½ x 11 ½ inches. Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, New York.

Photographing Frida: Portraits of Frida Kahlo features 65 images of Kahlo as art and artist. The photographs document Kahlo’s life as seen by the greatest photographers of the time – Lola and Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Imogen Cunningham, Emmy Lou Packard, Graciela Iturbide, Nickolas Muray, and Edward Weston, among others. From casual snapshots to intimate family photographs to artfully posed studio portraits, viewers will see the full spectrum of Kahlo’s life, from self-assured adolescent, to influential artist, fashion icon and passionate lover, as she takes on a mythic presence in our collective imagination.

In the hands of photojournalists, friends and artists, the camera allowed Kahlo to explore her own image and identity, document her marriage to the great muralist Diego Rivera, express her strong political views, and artfully reveal her life-long struggle to overcome her physical challenges. In the process, she ultimately defined the principal subject of her own art – herself.

Edward Weston, American (Highland Park, Illinois, 1886 – 1958, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California), Frida Kahlo, 1930 (printed 2004), selenium-toned gelatin silver print repro copy, 9 ¼ x 7 ¾ inches. Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, New York.

Photographing Frida is an opportunity to see Frida Kahlo as you’ve never seen her before,” Chief Curator Brian J. Lang said. “These images defined not only the way the world saw her – and continues to see her – but how she saw and depicted herself through her own work.”

Frida Kahlo was born in Coyoacán, Mexico City, Mexico in 1907. Her father, Guillermo Kahlo, was a photographer, and often photographed the young Frida. Through her father’s portraits, she became acquainted with the power of her own image.

Kahlo’s short life was punctuated by struggles with physical ailments. She was born with spina bifida, a congenital spinal condition that affected her health throughout her life. She contracted polio as a child, which left her right leg shorter and weaker than the left. At age 18, Kahlo was severely injured in a near-fatal bus accident, fracturing several ribs, both her legs, as well as her collarbone and pelvis. The effects of the injuries lasted a lifetime, informing her art and the identity she honed through photography.

In 1929, Kahlo married muralist Diego Rivera. Throughout their tumultuous marriage, the couple was often photographed together, both in Mexico and in the United States. Rivera was a major presence, both in Kahlo’s life and in the photographs that document their life. As they traveled through Mexico and the United States, “Frida and Diego” – as they were affectionately known – became a source of fascination and intrigue for the paparazzi: Kahlo, stunning in her Tehuana dresses, beribboned hair and beaded jewelry, accompanied her famous muralist husband. Photos of their second wedding (the couple divorced in 1939, only to remarry a year later) in California were captured by American press photographers.

Victor Reyes, Diego And His Bride Frida, Mexico, 1929, vintage gelatin silver print, 5 ¾ x 3 ¾ inches. Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, New York.

The exhibition reveals Kahlo’s fascination with fashion – as self-expression, political expression, and a means for concealing her physical disabilities. She was often photographed wearing traditional Mexican clothing – Tehuana dresses, huipils and rebozos, and beaded jewelry. Under the voluminous skirts and flowing dresses, she was able to hide the injuries that had affected her since youth. The pre-Hispanic clothing she was so fond of allowed her to express her belief in mexicanidad – the nationalist movement that found its inspiration in pre-Columbian Mexico after the end of the Mexican Revolution.

Kahlo continued to be photographed until her death in 1954. To each photographer she encountered, Salomon Grimberg writes, she became something new – ever present and continually beguiling – but made different through their lens. In the process, she herself became a work of art.

“I insist that Frida was a special being, not a person one ran into every day,” photographer Lola Álvarez Bravo said. “When she spoke, when she moved, when she painted, when she expressed herself, she already was inspiring something. To me, she was like birds and flowers and knitted quilts, a Mexican mood concentrated in an epoch and all expressed through her. She was like that.”

Emmy Lou Packard, American (El Centro, California, 1914 – 1998, San Francisco, California) Frida Kahlo and Emmy Lou Packard, Coyoacán, Mexico, 1941, platinum print, 10 ½ x 10 ½ inches. Courtesy of Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, New York.

Photographing Frida features images by Lola Álvarez Bravo, Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Florence Arquin, Lucienne Bloch, Imogen Cunningham, Gisèle Freund, Hector Garcia, Juan Guzman, Graciela Iturbide, Peter Juley, Guillermo Kahlo, Bernice Kolko, Leo Matiz, Nickolas Muray, Emmy Lou Packard, Victor Reyes, Bernard Silberstein, Edward Weston and Guillermo Zamora. A fully-illustrated catalogue, Mirror, Mirror: Portraits of Frida Kahlo, featuring an essay by Salomon Grimberg, a noted authority on Latin American art, accompanies the exhibition.

Photographing Frida: Portraits of Frida Kahlo/Fotografiando Frida: Retratos de Frida Kahlo is organized by the Arkansas Arts Center in collaboration with Throckmorton Fine Art, New York, New York. The exhibition is sponsored by Bank of America; JC Thompson Trust; Judy Fletcher, In Memory of John R. Fletcher; Belinda Shults; Laura Sandage Harden and Lon Clark; Holleman & Associates, P.A.; Barbara House; and Rhonda and Tim Jordan. Additional support by Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock.

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Arkansas Arts Center to expand into community with collection on view, continued programs during future renovation

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Building, Collection, Education, Museum, News, Programs

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CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter at Art Start at the Arkansas Arts Center on October 17.

Select programs and craft collection will move to CALS locations during construction on MacArthur Park facility

The Arkansas Arts Center and the Central Arkansas Library System are launching a long-term partnership to build valuable creative connections between two Central Arkansas cultural institutions.

This collaboration with CALS is the first of several community partnerships the Arkansas Arts Center will offer as its building in MacArthur Park undergoes a transformational renovation. Beginning in the fall of 2019, arts patrons will find Arts Center collection works and programming at a variety of locations around Arkansas, including 15 Central Arkansas Library System locations. More details about additional partnerships will continue to be announced throughout 2019.

“CALS has always served as a partner and host for our regional arts institutions. Our many branch locations provide a perfect venue to share with local neighborhoods the cultural richness of the Arkansas Arts Center’s collection,” CALS Executive Director Nate Coulter said. “We are also delighted to enable the continuation of the Arts Center’s educational programs during their construction process, thanks to our many community classrooms and meeting spaces. It is our pleasure to collaborate with the Arts Center to support our arts community, and we know CALS patrons will greatly enjoy these classes as an addition to our regular library programming.”

Beginning in early 2019, patrons of CALS branches will see works from the Arkansas Arts Center’s extensive collection of contemporary craft objects as they browse their neighborhood libraries. Nearly 10% of the craft collection’s 1,500 works will be on view at all 14 CALS branches, as well as the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, with each installation carefully curated to the environment, history and mission of each individual library branch. These installations in communities across Central Arkansas will show off the incredible diversity of the Arts Center’s collection of contemporary craft objects.

“Between one and three percent of a museum’s collection is on view at any given time,” said Brian J. Lang, Chief Curator and Windgate Foundation Curator of Contemporary Craft. “This partnership with CALS will enable us to keep a significant portion of our craft collection accessible and visible to the community while our building is under construction.”

Lang, along with the Arts Center’s team of curators, registrars and preparators, has spent the last year meeting with CALS staff and visiting each library in the system to discuss goals and develop plans for collaborations that will benefit Central Arkansas communities. Carefully selected for their relevance and community value, the works will allow library managers to draw inspiration to plan programming around the collections. These long-term partnerships are designed to continue, even after the Arkansas Arts Center’s reopening, scheduled for spring 2022.

“It’s been a welcome challenge for me as a curator to use our collection in engaging and innovative ways that will be of interest to CALS and its patrons,” Lang said.

“Rohwer” and “Jerome” from Wendy Maruyama’s “The Tag Project” are on view at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.

The CALS Main Library in downtown Little Rock will feature large scale sculptures in metal and wood. Across the street at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, two sculptures from artist Wendy Maruyama’s The Tag Project, installed in July 2018, will remain on view. At the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center, visitors will find a selection of whimsical Toys Designed by Artists, works that challenge children and adults alike to imagine beautifully-crafted toys as artistic expressions of personal experience. Judy Onofrio’s Just Pretending, a found-object assemblage sculpture depicting a mermaid, will also take up residence at the Children’s Library.

Some installations will reference the accomplishments of the libraries’ namesake patrons. At the Adolphine Fletcher Terry Library in West Little Rock, the Arts Center will pay tribute to the noted women’s rights and integration advocate with works from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection by women artists working in ceramic. At the John Gould Fletcher Library – named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning author – an installation will feature craft objects that incorporate text.

The Roosevelt Thompson Library in Chenal will include a selection of teapots from the AAC collection. The Amy Sanders Library in Sherwood, which focuses on STEM programs, will install works made using recycled materials. The Sue Cowan Williams Library – near Dunbar Garden – will feature garden-themed works.

Other installations will connect with the land or industry of the library’s neighborhood. The Dee Brown Library in Southwest Little Rock will feature a woodland-themed installation of wood-fired stoneware. Surrounded by pine trees, the Millie Brooks Library in Wrightsville will feature works inspired by pine, including turned wood, coiled baskets and wall pieces. At the Max Milam Library in Perryville, works in metal will connect to the area’s long agricultural history. Near the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville, the Esther DeWitt Nixon Library will feature works that explore the military experience and military history.

“The hope is that this program will be our opportunity to integrate into the fabric of our community,” Lang said. “We hope to introduce people to the rich diversity of our collection, as well as inspire people who might not already know about the Arts Center to stay connected and visit these works in our new space.”

Beginning in September 2019, CALS patrons will also find some of their favorite Arts Center youth and adult programs at their neighborhood libraries, with programs carefully placed to fit the communities already present at each library.

“We’re always looking for meaningful ways to engage audiences with the arts,” said Rana Edgar, Arkansas Arts Center Director of Education and Programs. “Partnering with CALS will allow us to reach new audiences while continuing some of the programming Arts Center patrons have come to know and love.”

Art Start, a collaboration between the Arkansas Arts Center and CALS, will be moving to the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center. The program, designed for toddlers and pre-school-aged children, includes stories about art and artists, gallery activities and art-making projects. Other youth classes and programs that will move to the Children’s Library include the ever-popular Me & My Grown Up and Spring Break youth camp. After-school youth classes in a variety of media will also be held at the Terry, Maumelle, Sanders and Dee Brown libraries.

Terry, Maumelle, Dee Brown and Main libraries will also host a variety of classes and workshops in a range of two-dimensional media for adults.

Little Rock artist Lisa Krannichfeld gives a Feed Your Mind Friday talk on her 60th Delta Grand Award-winning piece, New Skin.

Feed Your Mind Fridays, monthly free gallery talks offered during the lunch hour, and docent tours will continue at the Main Library. Art Together, a partnership with Alzheimer’s Arkansas to provide an art experience for adults with dementia-spectrum disorders and their care partners, will be offered at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies. Young Arkansas Artists, an annual exhibition of youth artwork from across the state – a perennial favorite Arts Center exhibition – will also be on view at CALS.

“The partnership is an opportunity to foster greater engagement with CALS and AAC,” said Nathan James, CALS deputy executive director of technology & digital innovation. “There may be CALS patrons who have never taken advantage of the wealth of opportunities AAC offers, and likewise there may be AAC members who haven’t explored the programs, services, and collection CALS offers. We can build a community actively involved with both organizations, and more importantly, build relationships and understanding between the people who make Central Arkansas such a vibrant place to call home.”

This collaboration between the Arkansas Arts Center and CALS is one of the many opportunities that will allow the Arts Center to remain vibrant and community-oriented while its building undergoes renovation.

“Partnerships within our community have always been critical to our mission,” said Laine Harber, Arkansas Arts Center interim executive director. “As we look toward the future, we want to continue to build the Arts Center into a true community gathering space. During our construction process, we look forward to building community with our many partners across the state.”

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Arkansas Arts Center announces partnership with Nabholz | Pepper | Doyne

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Building

The Arkansas Arts Center announced Monday the selection of tri-venture Nabholz Construction, Pepper Construction, and Doyne Construction Company to serve as the construction management team for the Arts Center’s transformational building project.

Nabholz | Pepper | Doyne has nearly 200 years of combined construction experience and an exceptional portfolio of work on museum, learning, and performance spaces. Collectively, they have built or renovated more than 2.5 million square feet of museum space. Nabholz | Pepper | Doyne has strong existing connections with lead architect Studio Gang and associate architect Polk, Stanley, Wilcox, as well as established relationships with local subcontractors and regional and national suppliers. Their expertise in museum MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) systems and LEED certification, high-performance and environmentally friendly construction methods make them the ideal team to complete this project. Additionally, their use of virtual construction technology, including model-based estimating and scheduling, will allow them to integrate seamlessly with project architects and design partners.

The team has collectively built a world-class portfolio of museums and art spaces. In a joint venture with Linbeck, Nabholz constructed Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. Crystal Bridges, designed by Moshe Safdie and completed in 2010, features galleries, classrooms, a library, lecture hall, curatorial wing, reception and hospitality wing, and multi-purpose great hall.

Pepper has also previously worked with the design architect on the Studio Gang-designed Nature Boardwalk in Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo. This project included the restoration and enhancement of Lincoln Park’s South Pond, changing it from a shallow 6.4-acre open water body into a 5.3-acre pond with an average depth of six feet. A recycled plastic boardwalk was built around the pond both on water and wetland-based plants. In addition, an open-air pavilion was built along with a freestanding single-use toilet facility and ticket-selling booth.

Pepper Construction’s museum experience includes St. Louis Museum of Art’s 2013 renovation and expansion. The most significant expansion in the museum’s history, the David Chipperfield-designed modern structure adjoined the museum’s main building, constructed for the 1904 World’s Fair. The expansion added 21 new gallery spaces, expanded public amenities, and connected the museum’s main and lower levels with construction of a new Grand Stair. Additionally, Pepper oversaw construction of a 140-seat restaurant and 60-seat café, new underground parking garage, along with renovation of the Museum Shop, auditorium, and education space.

Pepper also served as the construction manager for the Grand Rapids Art Museum. The 125,000-square-foot building features 20,000 square feet of gallery and exhibition space and is the world’s first LEED Gold museum, earning this accreditation with energy-efficient lighting, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, as well as strict recycling systems for water and operational supplies. The three-story concrete and glass structure is organized around a 5,0000-square foot central pavilion of glass and light-colored architectural concrete flanked by a reflecting pool with a water wall and pocket park, open-air sculpture courtyard, and dining terraces. The museum also has a multi-use auditorium, education center, art reference library, café, and conference rooms.

Also in Pepper’s portfolio is Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, built to house the expanding collection of the Davenport Museum of Art. Part of a riverfront revitalization project, the four-floor, 99,515-square foot building features a rooftop winter garden for temporary collections; a 110-seat, 1,200-square foot auditorium; 20,600 square feet of gallery space; common areas; office space; and 35,000 square feet of underground parking. On the back of the museum, a grand staircase leading to the main lobby and a restaurant cuts directly into the facade and offers sweeping views of the river. The project also included construction of a café, office space, classrooms, a research library and studios.

Nabholz and Doyne had previously entered into a joint venture to construct the new Windgate Center for Art and Design at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The 65,000-square foot facility is comprised of two buildings connected by a main gallery and administrative wing. The project features 13 studios, eight classrooms, 21 faculty and staff offices, two galleries totaling a combined 2,000 square feet, an archival storage facility, an art history reading room, a lecture hall, and 30 process and support rooms. Other features include a fine arts foundry, a makerspace and fabrication lab with 3D printers, laser cutters, and a 12,308-square foot courtyard.

In 2017 Nabholz worked on the renovation of the Griffin Building in the Murphy Arts District in El Dorado, Ark. The old open-air filling station, showroom, warehouse and automotive shop became a restaurant and live music venue enclosed by a glass curtain wall. The building boasts a commercial kitchen and VIP area for events. For live music events, the old warehouse can seat 1,800 with a standing capacity of 2,400.

Between the three firms, their respective portfolios also include additions and renovations to the Art Institute of Chicago; construction of the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs, Ark.; construction of the Scott Family Amazeum in Bentonville, Ark.; an addition and renovation of the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Mo.; construction of Little Rock Southwest High School, the South Wing addition and Energy Building expansion at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock, Ark.; renovation of the Chicago Children’s Theatre in Chicago, Ill.; and historical preservation and addition at the Haish Memorial Library in Dekalb, Ill.

The Arts Center also announced the selection of six specialty consultants that will be working on the project:

  • Anderson Engineering Consultants, Inc. will serve as the Geotechnical Engineering Consultant, providing analysis of the geology and soils upon which the building will be sited.
  • Terracon will serve as Environmental Consultant, providing assessments of types, locations and estimated quantities of hazardous materials resident in existing construction.
  • CTEH will serve as Industrial Hygienist, evaluating art school processes, including chemicals, paints, powders, elevated temperatures, gases, etc. and provide design criteria for special ventilation requirements associated with art school studios.
  • Peters & Associates will serve as Traffic Engineering Consultant, providing vehicular traffic analysis to support and understand the impact of the design on traffic patterns and flows.
  • Manask & Associates will serve as Food Service Consultant, providing an evaluation of the restaurant/café operational potential based upon an analysis of market conditions, patron base and demographics, and food industry trends. Manask & Associates will also serve as Retail and Design Services Consultant, assisting with merchandising concepts and advising the design team on millwork, storage, lighting, displays and point of sale locations, as well as specialized design of restaurant layout and interiors.
  • Layne Consultants International will serve as Security Consultant, assessing the physical security needs of the AAC and providing specialized guidance to the design team to ensure appropriate means of establishing security perimeters within the AAC are incorporated into the design, as well as surveillance systems using the most current technologies.

Future consultant selections will include signage consultants, commissioning agents, and owner’s testing services.

The construction managers and consultants will work to realize the concept design presented by lead architect Studio Gang and landscape architect SCAPE Studio. The striking architectural design strengthens the connections between the visual and performing arts in an inclusive space that welcomes a diverse community.

The $70 million construction budget will be realized as combination of public and private funds. Groundbreaking is scheduled for fall 2019. The project is anticipated to be completed in early 2022. During construction, the Arts Center is working with arts partners to provide programming in locations throughout the city.

ABOUT NABHOLZ

Since 1949, the Nabholz name has been synonymous with quality, service, and integrity in the construction industry. Committed to serving clients at every turn, we have become experts in commercial, industrial, civil, and environmental construction and draw from an unmatched pool of knowledge and experience on each new project we undertake. We share our clients’ passion for creating unique culture experiences in our communities, a passion we have cultivated on past projects including the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (a Linbeck-Nabholz Joint Venture), Scott Family Amazeum, Mid-America Science Museum, and University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Windgate Center of Art + Design. Additionally, our construction experience includes highly technical and conservation-based construction, with projects Arkansas Children’s Northwest, Arkansas Children’s South Wing and Energy Building Expansion, and the UALR Energy Conservation Project acting as our precedent. With offices in Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, and Oklahoma and over 1,100 highly skilled professional and craftworkers working towards a common goal, Nabholz continues to lead the construction industry forward. Learn more at www.nabholz.com.

ABOUT PEPPER CONSTRUCTION

Pepper Construction, one of nation’s largest contractors, is on the forefront of new markets and methods, leading the industry in virtual technologies, lean and sustainable construction. For more than 30 years, Pepper has been working with some of the country’s leading cultural institutions, forging a stronger bond between art, education and the community.  In addition to the Arkansas Arts Center, we have been privileged to work with such recognizable names as The School of the Art Institute, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Children’s Theatre, St. Louis Art Museum, Grand Rapids Art Museum and The Figge Art Museum, among others. The firm’s current projects include The 1060 Project at Wrigley Field; Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, which will be the first net-zero zoo; the new academic and residence hall at University of Illinois at Chicago; and multiple projects at Northwestern University. Now in their third generation of family leadership, Pepper serves clients across the country from offices in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin in markets such as education, healthcare, manufacturing and light industrial, multifamily residential, data centers, entertainment, hospitality, interiors and retail, among others. For more information, please visit www.pepperconstruction.com.

ABOUT DOYNE CONSTRUCTION COMPANY

Doyne Construction Company, Inc. was formed in 1983 to provide quality construction, meaningful employment, and community engagement for our home communities. Through careful planning and controlled growth, the company now performs work throughout the entire state of Arkansas and in surrounding states of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Florida. We’ve made our name in both the public and private sectors, serving clients on projects ranging from site development to residential apartments and subdivisions; commercial, institutional, and industrial buildings; and everything in-between. We’re proud to offer general construction services, design-build services, construction management services, facilities maintenance, and contract administration.

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AAC Contemporaries present the 6th Annual Fountain Fest

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Events

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The Arkansas Arts Center’s Contemporaries return to the Carrie Remmel Dickinson Fountain this fall with the 6th Annual Fountain Fest. The fundraiser – featuring food, music, art and libations – will center around the reveal of a surprise art installation in the fountain on Thursday, October 25.

“Fountain Fest is back, bigger and better than ever,” Contemporaries President Jessie McLarty said. “But Fountain Fest is also more than just a great party – funds raised will support our efforts to expand the Arkansas Arts Center Collection and provide exceptional arts programming in Little Rock.”

The 6th Annual Fountain Fest will feature food from Fassler Hall, beer by Flyway Brewing Company and Stone’s Throw Brewing, cocktails by Roxor Gin and ice cream by Loblolly Creamery. Local duo Luke Johnson and Brian Nahlen will provide music. Museum School instructors and students will assist with a variety of art-making activities and games. SoMa’s Electric Ghost will demonstrate screen printing-techniques on limited edition Fountain Fest t-shirts. The Arkansas Arts Center Artmobile will also be onsite for attendees to view its current exhibition, Who, What, Wear.

“Fountain Fest is the perfect way for the community to engage with everything the Arts Center and the Contemporaries have to offer,” Fountain Fest Chair Stacy Grobmyer said. “And tickets are only $25? What a deal!”

Fountain Fest will begin at 5:30 p.m. on October 25 around the Carrie Remmel Dickinson Fountain in front of the Arkansas Arts Center. Event tickets are $25 and can be purchased at arkansasartscenter.org/fountain-fest or by calling (501) 372-4000. Sponsorship opportunities are still available; for more information contact Spencer Jansen at (501) 396-0337.

The event will also feature a raffle for a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle 23yr Bourbon, generously donated by 107 Liquor. Barrel-aged for 23 years, the whiskey is lyrically described: “See a deep amber red. Taste the various hints of caramel, ripe apples, cherries, oak wood and tobacco with a hint of chocolate. This bourbon finishes with a long-lasting and pleasant taste. Starts with a lot of wood flavors but leads to a nice sweet caramel finish.” Raffle tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at arkansasartscenter.org/fountain-fest or at the event. The winner does not have to be present to win.

Fountain Fest provides an opportunity for the community to engage with the Contemporaries, an affiliate-membership group of the Arkansas Arts Center made up of art enthusiasts who wish to expand their knowledge and appreciation of the arts. The Contemporaries programs provide young professionals with an opportunity to experience the Arkansas Arts Center and become involved with the local art community. Through exclusive tours of the Arts Center, private homes and local galleries, the Contemporaries develop a more informed appreciation of art. The funds raised at Fountain Fest support acquisitions on behalf of the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection and other programming that supports the Arts Center.

The 6th Annual Fountain Fest is chaired by Stacy Grobmyer and Heather Wardle. Fountain Fest is sponsored by CenterPoint Energy and Party City. In-kind sponsors are 107 Liquor; Fassler Hall; Flyway Brewing Company; Moon Distributors; O’Connor Distributing; Roxor Gin; and Stone’s Throw Brewing.

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