Meet the Speaker: Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

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

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Mangue Banzima

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

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

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

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

What’s your current role in fashion?

quistylemanguebanzima

Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

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

How did you first become interested in fashion?

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

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

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

quistylemanguebanzima-1

Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

How would you define street-wear?

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

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

quistylemanguebanzima-2

Photo courtesy Mangue Banzima, Qui Style

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

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

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

Share this Post

Tyke and Moppet

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

Tags: , , , ,

tyke-and-moppet-200x240

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


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

Tyke and Moppet

Devised by
AACCT

Created and Directed by
Katie Campbell

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

Musical Direction by
Rebecca Taylor

Set Design by
Drew Posey

Properties Design by
Miranda Young

Costume Design by
Nikki Webster

Lighting Design by
Mike Stacks

Performance Dates:
September 9-16

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

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


ORCHESTRA

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


PRODUCTION

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

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


Cast and Crew Profiles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Behind the Scenes

Set Design

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

Costume Design

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

Rehearsal

 

Share this Post

Getting Creative with Creating

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Adult Classes, Education, Faculty & Staff, General, Museum School, Youth ClassesLeave a Comment

Tags: , , , , , ,

By Robert Bean
Chair, AAC Museum School Drawing Department

Robert Bean teaches "Urban Sketchbook," a drawing class that goes beyond the classroom

Robert Bean teaches “Urban Sketchbook,” a drawing class that goes beyond the classroom

Artists use lots of materials to make their work. Sheet after sheet of paper. Roll after roll of canvas. A pound of clay here, a pound of clay there. It’s expensive. Period.

So what happens when you teach art? You need materials so students can grow into the creativity you see peeking out already. But those resources might be just out of your budget, or you don’t have easy access to them. What do you do?

I was lucky enough a few weeks ago to spend time with a room full of art educators, sharing with them some of the techniques, ideas and materials I’ve learned over the years, not only in my own teaching practices but within my own studio. Here are just a few of the ideas we covered in the workshop:

  • Layering is not only a great way to strengthen the student’s ability to focus, but it generally uses less consumables like paper. Developing exercises that push the student to work in layers – a drawing on top of a drawing on top of a drawing – allows the student to develop aspects of his or her visual vocabulary they may not otherwise get. Forcing the student to contend with the imagery he has already created and work over it, the student must make decisions on what stays and what disappears as new artwork is created on top. …And it saves paper!
  • Incorporating cross-discipline information into your teachings allows you to branch out in terms of materials used and ideas. It can also lengthen the process of individual projects. It broadens the student’s understanding not only of the visual arts and how they are made, but helps them see the why that often goes into the work. Find ways to incorporate literature and science into your art classroom. Have the students write passages that are combined with the images they’re creating. Teach them the science behind how paint is made. This all broadens their understanding and allows them to start making those logic leaps that are so sought after, and it also cuts down on your resource expenses and usage. If you can use notebook paper for writing passages, you aren’t spending money on the more expensive art paper, and if the student understands how paint is made and works, he or she will have a more responsible idea of how to use it.
  • Find and use materials that aren’t on the shelves of the art supply store, or find more creative ways to use the ones that are. Ever painted with coffee? It creates a beautiful sepia tone and can be controlled in terms of intensity simply by adding or removing water to the grounds. It can easily be drawn over with graphite or charcoal and can be incorporated as a stain into drawing exercises. If you make coffee in the morning, save the grounds, or simply go by a coffee shop and see if they will give you their used grounds. A little goes a long way. Learn how to really use the artist materials from the art supply store, and find new ways to double, or triple, their uses. Acrylic Gel Medium is a fantastic substance that can lengthen the life of your acrylic paints (and is cheaper than the paint), can be used as a glue, or in photo transfers, or in a dozen other creative and expressive ways. By gaining a greater understanding of the materials out there, or finding materials that aren’t often thought of as artist materials, you can reduce your dependence on the expensive store bought materials.
A sketch by Robert Bean

Sketch by Robert Bean

Being creative not only in your own artwork but in your use of materials and in your teaching methods is a must for the modern day teacher. We all have to make do with limited supplies for our students and stretch what we have a lot farther than we’d like. I’m proud that I got the opportunity to spend time with some of the educators here in Arkansas and share some of the things I’ve learned. Hopefully their classrooms will reflect some of these new ideas as they move forward this fall.


Robert Bean is chair of the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School drawing department. He teaches several adult classes including the popular Urban Sketchbook class. For more information and to register for Museum School classes, visit arkansasartscenter.org/museumschool or call 501.372.4000. The fall quarter begins September 10. 

Share this Post

A Year of Community Support, Fiscal Stability

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Adult Classes, Children's Theatre, Community, Education, Faculty & Staff, General, Museum, Museum School, Programs, Youth ClassesLeave a Comment

Tags: , , ,

AAC Executive Director Todd Herman with the 2016 Junior Arts Academy students

AAC Executive Director Todd Herman with the 2016 Junior Arts Academy students

The Arkansas Arts Center has finished its sixth consecutive year in the black in a year that has shown overwhelming community support, increased outreach and public approval of a bond issue to help fund a newly renovated museum.

Drawing Animals from Life students were treated to several species of models, including a kangaroo

Drawing Animals from Life students were treated to several species of models, including a kangaroo

“We took another giant step toward our goal of a renovated Arts Center with the successful public vote to bond the revenue from an existing sales tax on out of town visitors for the benefit of the Arkansas Arts Center, MacArthur Military Museum and Historic MacArthur Park,” said AAC Executive Director Todd Herman. “We are incredibly grateful to all who voted and supported this measure and set a course for our children and grandchildren’s cultural future.”

As the state’s leader in international, visual and performing arts, the AAC ended its 2015-16 fiscal year with 327,833 visitors to the main facility in historic MacArthur Park, with 308,955 Arkansans reached by statewide touring programs (an increase of more than 10,000) and a total of 640,016 visitors impacted by Arts Center programs.

Sixty-eight (68) Arkansas communities were visited by the AAC state services program across 48 counties, including 208 schools, and 40,162 people enjoyed live productions in the Children’s Theatre. More than 3,000 students enrolled in 428 adult and children’s Museum School and Theatre classes, an increase of almost 500 students over the past year.

Theatre on Tour performed Apollo to the Moon at Arkansas Children's Hospital

Theatre on Tour performed Apollo to the Moon at Arkansas Children’s Hospital

The Arts Center reaches communities throughout the state with programs such as Children’s Theatre on Tour. Theatre on Tour is often the first, or only, personal interaction with live theatre many students are given.

In the 2015-16 season, 34,073 audience members viewed Apollo: To the Moon, The Toymaker’s Apprentice or How the Camel Got His Hump, with 104 performances and two workshops in 49 communities throughout the state.

The Arts Center monitors each school’s percentage of eligibility rates for free and reduced lunches as a way of tracking the schools and communities it serves. The latest figures from the State Department of Education detail a 61% rate average across the state for free and reduced lunch eligibility percentages.

The average free and reduced lunch rate for public schools served by Theatre on Tour is 66.9%, higher than the state average of 61%. Some of the Arkansas communities served by the Children’s Theatre on Tour, including free and reduced lunch rates, include Arts & Science Center for Southeast AR, Pine Bluff (86.39%); Gardner Magnet Elementary, Hot Springs (88.41%); Harrisburg Elementary (80.05%); Western Hills Elementary School, Little Rock (88.64%); J. Austin White Cultural Center, Eudora (83.41%); Shirley Elementary School (85.78%) and West Memphis School District (73.97%).

The Arkansas Arts Center was voted "Best Fine Arts Program" by readers of Little Rock Family

The Arkansas Arts Center was voted 2016 “Best Fine Arts Program” by readers of Little Rock Family

In the 2015-16 season, 15,133 visitors viewed the Artmobile exhibition, Animals: Familiar & Fantastic at 28 venues in 25 communities throughout the state. The average free and reduced lunch rate for public schools served by the Artmobile is 63.63%, higher than the state average of 61%. Some of the Arkansas communities served by the Artmobile, including free and reduced lunch rates, include DeQueen Elementary School (77.86%); Gurdon School District (75.74%); Central Elementary School, Magnolia (70.55%); Landmark Elementary School, Little Rock (81.23%); West Side Elementary School, Greers Ferry (66.24%); Mountain View School District (65.62%) and Lamar School District (67.47%).

Docents volunteer to lead school and other tours of the AAC collection and traveling exhibitions all year long

Volunteer docents lead school and other tours of the AAC collection and traveling exhibitions throughout the year

“We are thrilled by the increases in outreach and by our impact to more than half a million Arkansans over the past year,” Herman said. “We saw increased attendance to our Children’s Theatre productions and our youth programs, and student registrations in the Museum School were the highest they’ve been in the past six years. We feel strongly that arts education is an important part of a child’s development – and we are very pleased to be a key participant in their growth as citizens of the world.”

Herman’s presentation to the Arkansas Arts Center Board of Directors, sponsors, government officials and Foundation on August 22 also highlighted the acquisition of 187 works of art, including 29 purchases and 158 donations of art. Foundation President Bobby Tucker discussed the growing national and international reputation of the Arkansas Arts Center collection, as evidenced by the increasing number of requested loans of artwork from other museums, including the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia, the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn, the Burchfield Penney Art Center at Buffalo State College, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio and Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art in New York.

The AAC is proud to offer free educational programs, including Super Sunday Free Family Funday

The AAC is proud to offer free educational programs, including Super Sunday Free Family Funday

Herman presented the 2015-2016 Arkansas Arts Center “Employee of the Year” award to Marketing Coordinator Daniella Napolitano.

“Daniella is the first to volunteer to provide support to special events or educational programming, and her enthusiasm, creative ideas and collaborative spirit inspire us all,” said Angel Galloway, director of marketing and communications at the AAC. As an artist herself, Daniella truly understands the value and impact of vibrant cultural institutions, and she works incredibly hard in continually keeping the Arts Center relevant and engaging to our members and patrons.”

The “Winthrop Rockefeller Memorial Award” is presented each year to honor those who serve and support the arts and the Arkansas Arts Center beyond the normal call of duty, a duty so well demonstrated by the late Winthrop Rockefeller for whom the award is named. The awardees are selected by a committee of past recipients, who are by definition the experts in public service through the arts.

Herman presented the 2015-2016 Winthrop Rockefeller Award to Terri Erwin.

Share this Post

Back to School in a Big Rig

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

Tags: , , ,

By Jessica Wright
Senior Education Specialist

Each season, the Artmobile features a themed exhibition of curated works from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation collection. With more than 13,000 pieces in the collection, narrowing down the list to 13-15 artworks is an endeavor that involves a lot of planning, preparation and participation among multiple departments. While students rest over the summer months, we are busy taking down the previous year’s exhibition, completing any needed maintenance to the gallery and preparing an entirely new set of artworks for the upcoming school year. But who picks the works and how

Chris Cunningham, American (Austin, Texas, 1960 - ), Ol' Red, 2001, clay, metal, rubber, 3 x 6 x 12 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchased with Gallery Contributions, 29th Annual Toys Designed by Artists Exhibition. 2002.008.0002

From the upcoming Artmobile exhibition Visual Voyages: Chris Cunningham, American (Austin, Texas, 1960 – ), Ol’ Red, 2001, clay, metal, rubber, 3 x 6 x 12 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchased with Gallery Contributions, 29th Annual Toys Designed by Artists Exhibition. 2002.008.0002

It all starts with a theme. Artmobile themes are selected for their appeal among a wide audience, but are primarily chosen based on their potential for educational connections. Once a theme is selected, I review all items (yes, all 13,000+ of them!) in the collection database, making note of pieces which have the potential to illustrate the theme.

Narrowing it down. After narrowing it down to 25-30 pieces, the registrar for collections eliminates any pieces reserved for another show or those that require rest after previous exhibition. That list is then sent to the curators who visit the vaults to survey each work. The condition of an artwork must be reviewed for any show, but the Artmobile requires further considerations such as ability to withstand the rigorous demands of a year on the road.

Bringing it all together. After curator approval, the preparator drafts plans to frame and securely display artworks for travel. At this stage, I also work with the exhibition designer and marketing to develop an overall look for the exhibition as well as complementary graphics and text panels. It isn’t always easy to guide a group of 20-30 students through such a small space so we must be especially careful when placing works on the walls.

Thomas Hart Benton, American (Neosho, Missouri, 1889 - 1975, Kansas City, Missouri), Lonesome Road, 1945, lithograph, 9 5/8 x 12 1/2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Noland Blass, Jr. 1979.075

From the upcoming Artmobile exhibition Visual Voyages: Thomas Hart Benton, American (Neosho, Missouri, 1889 – 1975, Kansas City, Missouri), Lonesome Road, 1945, lithograph, 9 5/8 x 12 1/2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Noland Blass, Jr. 1979.075

Creating the curriculum. After finalizing the list of artworks, the Artmobile educator creates a new curriculum guide. Since the majority of the Artmobile’s destinations are schools, we strive to ensure the mobile gallery will be an extension of classroom learning. Common Core State Standards and the Arkansas Curriculum Frameworks are used to create lesson plans and activities. The curriculum encourages creative and critical thinking while inspiring personal and thoughtful art-making responses. These connections are a reminder that art is not just about drawing “pretty” pictures, but about recording and responding to the world around us and our experiences within it.

Keep on movin’. As soon as one exhibition has been installed and begins its journey across the state, we immediately begin preparations for the next show. Just as the wheels of the Artmobile keep moving—carrying a collection of artworks to all corners of the state—we continue plans for bigger and better experiences aboard our mobile gallery. We hope to see you soon!


visual-voyages-02
Visual Voyages, the 2016-2017 Artmobile exhibition, highlights various artistic methods and techniques used to reimagine landscapes, consider the effects of travel on society, and explore the fathoms of our imaginations.
VISUAL VOYAGES IS SPONSORED BY:
Bank of America 
Horace C. Cabe Foundation
Anthony Timberlands, Inc. | Deltic Timber Corporation | Entergy Arkansas, Inc. | Union Pacific Foundation
Bemis Company Foundation | Electric Cooperatives of Arkansas | Endeavor Foundation | Kum & Go | The Ross Foundation
Sheridan Garrison Foundation

Share this Post

Meet the Speaker: Melissa Messina, Mildred Thompson Estate

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

Tags: , , , ,

Melissa Messina, Curator, Mildred Thompson Estate

Melissa Messina, Curator, Mildred Thompson Estate

LECTURE & LATE NIGHT WITH MELISSA MESSINA
Searching for Mildred Thompson: An Artist’s Legacy Project
Thursday, July 21
Arkansas Arts Center Atrium
5:30 p.m. Wine Reception | 6 p.m. Lecture | 7-9 p.m.  Late Night 

As part of a Lecture & Late Night on Thursday, July 21, Melissa Messina, a seasoned arts professional and curator of the Mildred Thompson Estate, will discuss her curatorial venture to reclaim a lost figure of American abstraction, Mildred Thompson.

Read about Messina’s interest in Thompson’s life and works below, and then join us for her lecture this week! Stay after the lecture and tour the galleries, enjoy dinner at Best Impressions and shop in The Museum Shop. The Arkansas Arts Center will be open until 9 p.m. Free for members, $10 for nonmembers; seating is limited, reservations are required: 501.372.4000. 

How and when did you first become familiar with Mildred and her work?

My life changed the day I met Mildred Thompson. I had just bravely switched majors from a practical design degree to fine art ­­and began my studies at the Atlanta College of Art in 1997. I showed up on the first day and, due to a computer glitch, none of the courses I had registered for were in the system. The registrar, apologetic and feeling terribly for me, slotted me into Mildred’s drawing class “Making the Invisible Visible,” which I didn’t know at the time was quite hard to get into. Mildred used to say, “what you are looking for is looking for you,” so perhaps it was fate!

Mildred’s lectures and courses are the stuff of art school legend. I immediately fell in love with her – knowing even at my young age that she was ahead of her time and out of this world! I took every class she offered twice, even set up independent studies so I could continue my education with her. As her pupil and mentee it was very important for me to learn about her work as well.

How would you define your personal relationship with her?

Mildred became a friend and mentor, and I spent as much time as I could with her until her passing in 2003. She was a true educator. Her personality and ideas were magnetic and students young and old flocked to learn from her. I adored her and was grateful to be taken under her wing. She opened up my mind and creative practice in ways I am still discovering today.

For those unfamiliar with Mildred, what three words would you use to describe her works?

Unique, dynamic and expressive. Though words do not do the work justice, I will do my best to more fully describe it during my talk!

What is the ultimate goal of the Mildred Thompson Legacy Project?

The goal for the legacy project is to provide platforms to generate broader interest for this historically important artist. This is happening through public speaking engagements and other programming, as well as research, writing, curatorial pursuits and acquisitions. The project also seeks to raise money for archival documentation and other collections management needs related to preserving her inventory.

Mildred Thompson’s contribution to the history of abstraction, and African American art, is only now being more fully examined. And I am very grateful to the Arkansas Arts Center for the opportunity to introduce Mildred and her work to your community.

Share this Post

PokéStop by the Arts Center

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: GeneralLeave a Comment

Tags: , , ,

There are several Pokestops and two gyms in MacArthur Park

There are several PokéStops and two gyms in MacArthur Park

Pokémon Go is giving people another great reason to visit the Arkansas Arts Center—PokéStops.The Arkansas Arts Center has a grand total of FIVE PokéStops, plus several more in neighboring MacArthur Park. In fact, in the Park are two gyms: the Arkansas Korean War Memorial and MacArthur Park South Fountain.

Most of the PokéStops at the Arts Center can be accessed outside, but inside—along with free WiFi and incredible art—are Pokémon, just begging to be captured.

The five PokéStops include:
– Carrie Remmel Dickinson Fountain
– Winthrop Rockefeller bust (Actually located on the third floor, but accessible to visitors from galleries and the lower lobby.)
– Fountains near the Lower Lobby/Children’s Theatre entrance
– Harold Day’s Untitled sculpture in the parking lot, near the Lower Lobby/Children’s Theatre entrance
– Arkansas Arts Center sign, corner of 9th and Commerce Streets

So come explore the Arts Center and help lead your Pokémon Go team to victory!

Oddish visits the 58th Annual Delta Exhibition

Oddish visits the 58th Annual Delta Exhibition

Kids in the Drawing Animals from Life class with Pidgey

Kids in the Drawing Animals from Life class with Pidgey

Rattata explores the AAC Collection

Rattata explores the AAC Collection

Zubat helps prep art for hanging and storage

Zubat helps prep art for hanging and storage

Share this Post

Drain Smart – Painting with a purpose

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Community, GeneralLeave a Comment

Tags: , ,

Daniella Napolitano's design, "Sunset Herons," won the public vote for the 2015 Drain Smart Rivermarket District

Daniella Napolitano’s design, “Sunset Herons,” won the public vote for the 2015 Drain Smart Rivermarket District

Now in its second year, the Arkansas Arts Center is proud to be a supporter of the Drain Smart Central Arkansas program, an engaging public education/environmental program that uses art to communicate the function and importance of local storm drains. Like many cities, Little Rock’s municipal storm drains are a direct link to our streams, rivers and lakes. Many residents have a misconception that the storm drains are part of our sanitary sewer system that lead to the wastewater treatment plant, which leads them to misuse storm drains–thinking it’s a “safe” way to dispose of waste. When pollutants are disposed of via storm drains, they end up directly in our waterways. Drain Smart calls attention to this issue by showcasing original murals by local artists on storm drains to educate the public about runoff water and the effects on local water resources, like Fourche Creek and the Arkansas River.

Members of the Arts Center staff are actively engaged in the project, including Daniella Napolitano, marketing coordinator.

AAC security officer Emmanuel Rice paints "Grandpa Catfish" for the 2016 Drain Smart competition

AAC security officer Emmanuel Rice paints “Grandpa Catfish” for the 2016 Drain Smart competition

“I first got involved with Drain Smart last year when AnDi Tompkins, AAC Museum School manager, forwarded an email calling for artists to submit design proposals for an environmental program,” Napolitano said. “I submitted my design proposal that night thinking it would be the perfect way to combine my interest in nature conservation with my love of art. My design, ‘Sunset Herons,’ focused on animals native to Arkansas. After the designs were completed, a public vote was held to award top prizes and my drain was voted the best in the River Market district. You can still see it on the corner of President Clinton Avenue and Cumberland Street.”

This year, Napolitano serves on the Drain Smart committee, providing an artist’s perspective. Additionally, one of the Arts Center’s security officers, Emmanuel Rice, was selected to paint a Drain Smart mural – keeping the tradition of AAC participation alive. His design “Grandpa Catfish” can be seen on South Main in front of Booker T. Washington Elementary.

On Tuesday, June 14, the 2nd Annual Drain Smart Unveiling Party & Fundraiser will be held at the Former Juanita’s location at 614 President Clinton Ave. The party is free and offers the public a chance to meet the 2016 Drain Smart Artists and to vote for their favorite drains. Please join us in congratulating these great Arkansas artists and their support of this great cause.

For more information, visit the Drain Smart website, drain-smart.org.

Share this Post