Mission Moment

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Mission Moments, Quote

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In our Mission Moments section, we share the ways we realize the mission of the Arkansas Arts Center everyday.


I appreciate such a warm, personal thank you letter. I am very impressed with the quality of everything at the Arkansas Arts Center and all the personal touches. My granddaughter loves the children’s plays; they provide a special time for us – a precious gift at such an affordable price. When I fully retire, I hope to attend more events and also volunteer. I also hope to leave the Arts Center a gift in my will. I am wondering if you have a pledge program for people with modest incomes who want to give a lasting gift when they die. I am not a wealthy person but being a member of the Arts Center enriches my life. Thank you.

– S.R., Little Rock

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Voices of the Delta: Wayne Amedee

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Image, Museum, Voices of the Delta

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Wayne Amedee, born in White Castle, Louisiana, lives in New Orleans, Louisiana, Chrysalis XII, 2016, digital imagery, paper collage, foil, and acrylic on paper, 39.5 x 28 inches


My most recent body of work is Chrysalis, a group of collages with acrylic paint, foil candy wrappers, small photos, and fragments of written text. In 2013, I found my late wife’s collection of foil candy wrappers. I didn’t know that she had been collecting them over more than 20 years. I knew I needed to incorporate this foil into artwork, more than just recycling. Secreted away into these works are images of her hands and her handwritten notes. While it began as a personal reflection for myself only, I realized over time that it needed to be shared.

– Wayne Amedee


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Voices of the Delta: Dennis McCann

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Image, Museum, Voices of the Delta

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Dennis McCann, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Maumelle, Arkansas, Working Class, 2016, pastel on paper, 37 x 42 inches

Dennis McCann, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Maumelle, Arkansas, Blue, 2016, pastel on paper, 20 x 44 inches

Dennis McCann, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Maumelle, Arkansas,
O”
, 2016, pastel on paper, 30 x 30 inches


Like most artists, my work has periods of change or growth as I adapt to new techniques and experiences. These changes deal mostly with subject matter, scale, and process. Most of my artwork uses strong sunlight and shadows to establish interesting compositions.

I am currently working on a series of figurative images from both current and old photographs. These images emphasize interesting shapes created by the play of light over the human figure, and other objects. They represent “a slice of life” both past and present. Using playful colors on the figures sometimes creates an abstract quality in a realistic setting. The old black and white photos also complement the use of charcoal as a medium.

I am also working on a series of images from neon signs. In these, I focus on a portion of the sign, creating an almost abstract quality. As in my other work, these works rely heavily on light, contrast, and shapes.

To create my artwork, I generally work in my studio, using photographs. The large paper is pinned to the wall and I listen to music while I draw or paint. Each piece is a representation of the photo and I make adjustments to the composition based on intensity of light, color or subject complexity.

– Dennis McCann


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Voices of the Delta: David Bailin

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Museum, Voices of the Delta

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I have never thought much about memory and personality, never considered the role memory plays in personality and the preservation and continuity of that personality in lived space. As an artist who is now witnessing the shattering of my father’s personhood through the shattering of his memory, the question is, how to convey this devastating personal, human, experience without relying on visual clichés.

The final image in any of my drawings is largely the result of the pentimenti that moved the narrative along but did not resolve it. The under-drawing is part of the overall look and meaning of the work – it adds tonality and narrative depth. Sometimes though, the drawing fails as the pentimenti overpowers the final image, mirroring it like quicksand under a surface of marks and wipeouts.

However, these failed to drawings, with their layers of partially rendered scenes and gestures, gave me my visual and technical cues for this work. The frustration of trying to define what was not yet formed yet was intimated by what went earlier, the back-and-forth process of drawing in and erasing out, having an idea or image revealing itself one minute only to fall back into obscurity the next, mimics what I see happening to my father in his heroic effort to recognize in the moment his own personal narrative and memories.

Only ghosts are left

– David Bailin


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Voices of the Delta: Robin Parker

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Image, Museum, Quote, Voices of the Delta

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Robin Parker, born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, Fumage #1 (Can you see the faces?), 2017, smoke on canvas, 36 x 36 inches


It is said that the average person only looks at a work of art for 15 – 30 seconds. With this piece, as with others in my series, “The Smokes,” I hope to challenge that. My objective is to engage the viewers and to let their eyes wander and discover what’s there, besides just smoke.

After many years of painting impressionist landscapes, I felt it was time to step outside the box and try something very different. With “The Smokes,” there are no rules to follow, no limitations, only complete creative freedom.

How long did you look?

– Robin Parker



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Voices of the Delta: Patrick Fleming

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Image, Museum, Quote, Voices of the Delta

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Patrick Fleming, born in Hammond, Indiana, lives in Roland, Arkansas, Sandra’s Garden, 2015, oil on canvas, 54 x 61 inches


I’ve challenged myself with the perception of negative space to illuminate the duality of human nature; the presence of vice and value, pure love and pure hate. Articulating these oppositional concepts, I’ve taken the canvas and fabricated an opposing abstract image, utilizing dimensional canvases. My inspiration comes from French author, Charles Baudelaire, and his book of poems, titled Flowers of Evil. The dichotomy of sensual pleasure and malevolent allure depicted through evil flowers mirrors the struggle within every human. Is the separation vital, or an obstacle to overcome, allowing the viewer to perceive these pieces according their own interpretation.

– Patrick Fleming

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Voices of the Delta: Critz Campbell

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Image, Museum, Quote, Voices of the Delta

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Critz Campbell, born in Columbus, Mississippi, lives in Mississippi State, Mississippi, Harold House, 2015, marquetry (inlaid ash, cherry, oak and maple), 80 x 80 x 2 inches


I am striving to add my voice to a rich southern vocabulary through measured craft and familiar form. Like the great writers of the South, I employ metaphor, Southern vernacular and Gothic imagery to reflect start Southern places that are simultaneously haunting and sublime. My current work employs a modified form of traditional woodworking called marquetry. Each piece is a study of the Southern landscape, home, family and fragments of its beautiful complexity.

– Critz Campbell


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