Voices of the Delta: Ron Burcham

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

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Ron Burcham, born in Benton, Arkansas, lives in Benton, Arkansas, Bonaire, 2017, red grandis eucalyptis and white oak, 48 x 24 x 38 inches


From an old-growth White Oak tree to a bridge timber, to being repurposed as a support member in a barn, it was decades before the wood became mine. When I cut into it, I discovered the beautiful wood that started and sustained the Arts and Crafts movement. As a novice woodworker, I didn’t realize what I had and made things a lesser-quality wood would have been better suited for. But one valuable insight I gained was that every piece of wood has a story, which inspired my love of wood and woodworking.

Trees stand in one place and witness history. Around the world, trees form sacred groves, observing rites and rituals. Trees can also be transformed into some of the most beautiful objects in our lives. This is why I have a reverence for wood.

– Ron Burcham

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Voices of the Delta: Bryan Clifton

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

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Bryan Clifton, born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, Chirinos, 2015, inkjet print, 16 x 20 inches


As a documentary photographer, I capture nonfiction. Life as it Is.

With a focus on international aid and development, I have traveled across five continents documenting the human impact of community development agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), non-profits and progressive for-profits—those that do well by doing good.

I am particularly inspired by telling visual stories about people who achieve a dignified and sustainable livelihood when empowered with a few tools, and barriers to their progress are removed. This work has nurtured a passion in me for supporting organizations that recognize how lives can be positively influenced by respectful and conscientious business practices.

– Bryan Clifton


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Voices of the Delta: LaDawna Whiteside

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

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LaDawna Whiteside, born in Durant, Oklahoma, lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Body: Flesh and Bone, 2016, graphite on paper, 96 x 96 inches, Contemporaries Award Winner


Body: Flesh and Bone is an abstract, genderless, figurative drawing composition. Figure drawing requires that one look at shape relationships to construct form. Whether it is toward the goals of form, function or both, most everyone has the capacity to build a body to a certain degree. Aside from natural or unnatural vulnerabilities, we are each given a starting point or framework that can be transformed into a version that is healthy or not, based on personal quests and
decisions.

From my mind, to my body, standing, squatting, stretching, I make graphite marks using a hard edge as a boundary line. Amidst varied speed and pressure points, each mark is birthed and brought to rest with weight and movement, resembling the weaving process. Ann Hamilton
makes a connection between the woven material and touch in her work habitus as she states, ‘cloth is the body’s first architecture; it protects, conceals and reveals; it carries a body’s weight, swaddles at birth, covers in sleep and in death.’

As the human body is continually moving and changing positions and dimensions over time, Body: Flesh and Bone is an installation that is intended to shift each time it is reconstructed for a new environment. For now, this installation is a living drawing and as in contemporary physiology, contains varied interchangeable parts. What meaning can be captured from the sense of touch within what we make? What can the living sense when visually interpreting residual physical traces in drawings? Through the meditative yet thoughtful experience of making, I build and think as I draw.

Genderless, the abstract drawing installation aims to open up ideas about the body beyond sexuality toward functional human figure in action. What are the challenges that we face as individuals with our own bodies? Beyond the body as a figurative object, I am most interested in how we connect our mind and body as a form of human need to be a moving, thinking machine. As in this drawing installation, bodies have lines and curves with varied shapes and dimensions. Learning about the body by placing emphasis on wellness, form and function is essential to building a body that is most viable to live in.

Crafting ourselves is a starting place for individuals to express who they are and what they are about. Body: Flesh and Bone intends to capture through touch, from mind to hand, an abstracted human form as if mapping a capacity to reconstruct our anatomy using centrifugal forces in dynamic perception.

– LaDawna Whiteside


Abstraction

Body Building

Beyond Gender


Artist LaDawna Whiteside

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Voices of the Delta: Dennis McCann

Author: Maria DavisonFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Image, Museum, Quote, Voices of the Delta

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Dennis McCann, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, Working Class, 2017, pastel on paper, 37 x 42 inches

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

Dennis McCann, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Little Rock, 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: Alex Moomey

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

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Alex Moomey, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, The Summer Project Series: Eric Resting, 2016, photograph, 16 x 20 inches

Alex Moomey, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, The Summer Project Series: Brandon Texting, 2016, photograph, 16 x 20 inches


Alex Moomey believes in the joy of bringing one’s own interpretations to an image. Inspirations are contemporary photographers like Ryan McGinley, Gregory Crewdson, and Wolfgang Tillmans to name a few. Alex Moomey’s photographs in natural, domestic, and sometimes urban spaces often include nude bodies. A strong sense towards light, texture, and mood suggest ambiguous narratives and explore the unexpected possibilities of staged scenarios.
— Alex Moomey

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Voices of the Delta: Mike Graves

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

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Mike Graves, born in Stuttgart, Arkansas, lives in Little Rock, Arkansas, View from Window – Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2017, oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

While in Philadelphia several years ago, and visiting all of the museums back to back, I was taken by something in one of the galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art – a window! Normally you don’t see windows in a gallery – at least in the older museums. I pondered it for a minute and then took a photo, as the contrast of not only the window being there, but that the blue sky contrasting with the dark ebony window frame, seemed rather stark and in the moment, appeared to me as art. I eventually decided to paint this unlikely occurrence.
— Mike Graves

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Voices of the Delta: Carlyle Wolfe

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

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Carlyle Wolfe, born in Gainesville, Florida, lives in Oxford, Mississippi, Fall, 2016, stainless steel cutouts suspended with synthetic line, 144 x 198 x 8 inches, Delta Award

Carlyle Wolfe, born in Gainesville, Florida, lives in Oxford, Mississippi, Magnolias, 2016, stainless steel cutouts suspended with synthetic line, 144 x 198 x 8 inches


My paintings and works on paper are about awareness of the natural world—becoming progressively, cyclically more present to its rhythms, gaining deeper understanding of its design, and acquiring direct experiential knowledge of its mysterious beauty.

For the last 15 years, I have been making contour line drawings of plants. From the drawings, I isolate silhouette shapes that I cut out of paper and use as stencils to make oil paintings and works on paper – or cut out of metal to make sculptures. My work is cumulative in nature – gradually marking time and seasonal change, unity and variety, individual and collective beauty.

I see my work, my inquiries fitting into a lineage of naturalist artists, poets, explorers, and thinkers.

— Carlyle Wolfe


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