Arkansas Arts Center Delta Exhibition goes digital

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

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Virtual exhibition to feature work by 63 exceptional regional artists

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Artists featured in the 62nd Annual Delta Exhibition include:

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

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

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

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

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

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Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition provides a window into wonder

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Amid pandemic, Arkansas Arts Center creates innovative online art classes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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A note from the AAC

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

Dear friends,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Arkansas Arts Center creates connections in time of social distancing

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

Digital engagement provides community arts experiences

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Arkansas Arts Center Riverdale Location to close

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Community, Education, General, News, Programs

Dear Patron,

The Arkansas Arts Center continues to monitor the constantly shifting situation regarding the spread of COVID-19. Following guidance from the City of Little Rock and public health officials, the Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale location will be closed to the public starting close of business on Friday, March 13 and remain closed until further notice.

Your health and the health of our staff is our highest priority at this time. We have been taking proactive precautionary measures for the past several weeks, including implementing rigorous cleaning routines and staying up to date on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Arkansas Department of Health recommendations. While we don’t currently have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 connected to the AAC, we believe this time calls for us to postpone or minimize gatherings while maintaining the cleanest environment possible. We want to take all prudent steps to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community.

All programming through March 30 is canceled or postponed. We are continuing to closely monitor the situation, and will make updates about future programming in the coming weeks.

Below is a list of programs that are canceled or postponed:

Friday, March 13 – Monday, March 16: Museum School classes and workshops

Monday, March 16: Art Together at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Cox Building

Monday, March 16: Contemporaries “Night at the Museum School”

Wednesday, March 18: ArtStart! at CALS Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center

Friday, March 20 – Sunday, March 22: Pay What You Can performances of The Arkansas Story Porch and Wynken, Blynken, and Nod: A Play for the Very Young at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale Location

Monday, March 23 – Friday, March 27: Spring Break Camps, including Color Me Crazy and Cosplay Quest, at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Riverdale Location

Tuesday, April 7: Why Have You Not Heard of These Artists? An Overlooked Generation of Abstract Painters: A Conversation with Melissa Messina at CALS Ron Robinson Theatre

Please call (501) 372-4000 or email info@arkansasartscenter.org with any further questions or concerns.

Thank you for your continued support of the Arkansas Arts Center, and we hope to see you soon.

Take care,

Victoria Ramirez
Executive Director
Arkansas Arts Center

Arkansas Arts Center Collection on View

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Collection, Community, Exhibitions, Museum

From Paris, France to Washington D.C. to Cleveland, Ohio, works from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection have traveled near and far to be part of exhibitions across the country – and the world. Be sure to check out Contemporary British Studio Ceramics, currently on view at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and The Mighty Mississippi and Defender, both on view at the Clinton Presidential Center this spring. And if you happen to find yourself in Cleveland or Washington, D.C., be sure to stop in and see Diego Rivera’s Dos Mujeres or Edgar Degas’ Trois danseuses nues. 

Windgate Center of Art + Design, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
January 16 – March 7, 2020

Contemporary British Studio Ceramics from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection

What is it? 
A broad look at the diversity of 20th century British Studio Ceramics from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. The exhibition features both functional wares – bowls and teapots – alongside purely sculptural works – like Gordon Baldwin’s Untitled. 

Why here?
This exhibition is a great learning opportunity for students. The Windgate Center of Art + Design on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is a “teaching museum” – a resource for art students and the community alike. The exhibition illustrates a rich variety of techniques and forms, ranging from slab-building, hand-building and wheel throwing, to neriage and nerikomi –traditional Japanese methods using “marbleized” clay – to the 17th- and 18th-century “agatewares” of England. 

Why now?
Brad Cushman, gallery director at the Windgate Center, jumped at the opportunity to borrow this collection of ceramic works while the Arts Center’s building is under construction. The selection currently on view is only half of the works on loan to the Windgate Center – a second exhibition of studio ceramics from the AAC collection will be on view in the fall.

Edgar Hilaire Germain Degas, French (Paris, France, 1834 – 1917, Paris, France), Trois danseuses nues (Three Nude Dancers), circa 1903, charcoal on paper, 30 3/4 x 25 9/16 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Fred W. Allsopp Memorial Acquisition Fund. 1983.010.002

Degas at the Opera

National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 
March 1 – July 5, 2020

What is it?
Degas at the Opera presents an exploration of the famed French Impressionist’s love for the opera as it was depicted throughout his career. Degas’ Trois danseuses nues (Three Nude Dancers), a charcoal drawing from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection is featured in the exhibition. Made by Degas in the first few years of the 20th century, the drawing shows three dancers pausing for a moment as one leans down to adjust the ribbon on her shoe. 

Why here? 
The curators of Degas at the Opera were particularly interested in the Arts Center’s drawing because of its relationship to another Degas drawing in the Musée d’Orsay’s collection. The two drawings, presented side-by-side in the exhibition, depict the same group of dancers with one figure reaching down to adjust her ballet shoe. They’re both charcoal sketches – and together, they show how the artist was working out a composition before adding costumes, color and other details. 

Why now?
Degas at the Opera was organized by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opera. The exhibition was on view in Paris from last fall and continues its tour at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. this spring. 

Height x Width x Depth: Sculpture from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection

Bradbury Art Museum, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro, Arkansas

Courtesy of Hillary Brooks, Bradbury Art Museum

What is it?
Height x Width x Depth features 15 large-scale sculptural works from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. From Louise Nevelson’s monochromatic wood construction, Tide Garden IV, to Auguste Rodin’s bronze Bust of Young Balzac to ceramicist Jun Kaneko’s hand-built Untitled (Oval), the exhibition represents the breadth of sculptural works found in the Arts Center’s collection. The exhibition’s title, Height x Width x Depth, references not only the physicality of the objects on view but also the delightful depth of the Arts Center’s collection. 

Why here?
Curator Les Christensen sought an opportunity to create a cohesive exhibition that would also represent as many basic materials and methods in three-dimensional art as possible for the on-campus museum. And Height x Width x Depth does just that – combining additive, subtractive and constructive processes and figurative and abstract forms to create a broad look at modern and contemporary sculpture.

Why now?
The logistics of loaning and installing large-scale sculptural works can be challenging – making short-term loans less practical. With an extended loan period (Height x Width x Depth will be on view at the Bradbury Art Museum for two years), this was the perfect opportunity for these works to spend some time in Jonesboro. 

The Mighty Mississippi: HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta

Carroll Cloar, American, (Earle, Arkansas, 1913 – 1993, Memphis, Tennessee), The Big Cypress, 1964, casein tempera on board, 16 x 11 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John Pope Matthews. 1993.061.003

Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas
December 14, 2019 – March 22, 2020 

What is it?
The Mighty Mississippi: HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta presents elements of culture from the last 120 years with roots in Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana. The exhibition features a selection of visual art that brings visitors face-to-face with the privilege and poverty that define life in the Southern Delta, including 12 paintings, drawings, photographs and craft objects from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. 

Why here?
The Mighty Mississippi is part of the Clinton Presidential Center’s Fusion: Arts and Humanities Arkansas series which explores heritage, culture and human achievement by weaving the arts and humanities together. HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta  is the fourth installment in the series. 

Why now?
The Arkansas Arts Center’s collection includes a variety of works that fit the Fusion theme, The HeART and Soul of the Southern Delta. Works by Carroll Cloar, William E. Davis and Robbie McClaran – among others – explore the history, landscape and people of the Southern Delta and add depth to the Clinton Center’s exploration of history, music and culture in the region. 

Defender

Clinton Presidential Center, Little Rock, Arkansas

David L. Deming, American (Cleveland, Ohio, 1943 – ), Defender, 1986, painted steel, 96 x 48 x 48 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Frank Ribelin. 1989.045

What is it?
Defender, David Deming’s imposing abstract steel sculpture, is on view in the Clinton Presidential Center’s second-floor galleries. Stationed in front of a bank of windows, the sculpture’s heavy limbs appear to struggle to break free from their base and walk across the gallery. 

Why here?
Defender was briefly installed on the White House grounds during the Clinton presidency. In 1995, former Arts Center director Townsend Wolfe curated an exhibition of 20th-century American sculpture to grace the White House grounds. True to its title, Defender stood sentinel near the garden entrance, serving as a sort of protector to the first family and guests.

Why now?
The Arts Center is always looking for ways to build relationships and partnerships with our arts and cultural neighbors in Little Rock and beyond. Installing Defender at the Clinton Center presented an opportunity to show a work from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection that has a distinct connection to the Clinton Center’s mission.

Dos Mujeres

Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio

Diego Rivera, Mexican (Guanajuato, Mexico, 1886 – 1957, Mexico City, Mexico), Dos Mujeres (Two Women), 1914, oil on canvas, 77 3/4 x 63 1/2 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of Abby Rockefeller Mauzé. 1955.010

What is it?
Diego Rivera’s 1914 cubist masterpiece, Dos Mujeres, is on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland, Ohio. The painting, which came to the Arts Center in 1955, was painted while Rivera was working in Paris and exploring Cubism. It depicts two women in Rivera’s apartment with the Montparnasse rooftops clearly visible through the windows. 

Why here?
The Cleveland Museum of Art has extensive holdings of painting by the Cubists – Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Juan Gris, among others. Dos Mujeres was informed by the work of these masters of the movement – and its visit to Cleveland will allow it to spend some time in conversation with these other great works. 

Why now?
The Arts Center’s renovation schedule provided the perfect opportunity for the Cleveland Museum of Art to borrow this exceptional work. In return, the Arts Center will host reciprocal loans from Cleveland’s collection after the new MacArthur Park building opens in 2022. 

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Contemporary craft objects on view at 15 CALS locations

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Collection, Community, Museum, Traveling Exhibitions

On view at Main Library: Viola Frey, American (Lodi, California, 1933 – 2004, Oakland, California), Western Civilization: Processional, 2002, slip-cast and hand-built glazed ceramic, 39 x 75 x 22 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Tabriz Fund. 2006.021.a–h

Works from the Arkansas Arts Center’s exceptional collection of contemporary craft objects are on view at 15 Central Arkansas Library System Locations. Carefully selected for their community relevance, each installation includes works that reference the environment, history and mission of the library branch where they’re located, illustrating the incredible diversity of the Arts Center’s craft collection.

This partnership between between the Arkansas Arts Center and the Central Arkansas Library System is designed to build long-term creative connections between the two Central Arkansas cultural organizations.

“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 allows us to display nearly 10 percent of our 1,500-object craft collection.”

What is Contemporary Craft?
Have you ever wondered what we mean when we talk about contemporary craft? The word “craft” historically refers to objects made from traditional materials – ceramic, glass, fiber, metal, and wood – including both functional wares and sculptural objects. Whatever their use, all of these objects invite us to consider texture, form, function as well as the role of the maker and the processes used to create the object. The Arts Center’s contemporary craft collection, in particular, focuses on works that represent exemplary craftsmanship or a unique approach to materials.

At Main Library in downtown Little Rock, visitors will find large-scale ceramic sculptures installed throughout the building, principally in elevator lobby areas and on the main floor.

On view at Roberts Library: Wendy Maruyama, American (La Junta, Colorado, 1952 – ), Rohwer (The Tag Project), 2011, tea- and coffee-stained cut paper, ink, string, thread, and metal, 144 x 24 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Gift of the artist. 2017.001.001

At Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History & Art, two sculptures from Wendy Maruyama’s The Tag Project honor Japanese Americans sent to Arkansas internment camps during World War II. The works, titled Rohwer (The Tag Project) and Jerome (The Tag Project), are part of a series of works representing each of the ten American internment camps. The sculptures are made of tea- and coffee-stained reproduction tags, each bearing the name and unique number of people interned at Rohwer and Jerome in Arkansas.

A selection of whimsical toys from past Toys Designed by Artists exhibitions is on view at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center. At the base of the grand stair, visitors will also find Judy Onofrio’s Just Pretending. Fondly known as “The Mermaid,” Onofrio’s found-object assemblage sculpture is a favorite of Arts Center visitors.

On view at Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center: Judy Onofrio, American (New London, Connecticut, 1939 – ), Just Pretending, 1995, mixed media, assembled found objects, 86 x 50 x 32 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchased with a gift from the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust, Barry B. Findley and Katie Speer, Trustees. 1996.024

Named after the noted women’s rights and integration advocate, Adolphine Fletcher Terry Library features a selection of ceramics made by significant women artists, including Anne Hirondelle, Betty Woodman, Karen Karnes, Laurie Spencer, and Rosemary Fisher.

At Amy Sanders Library in Sherwood, a selection of basketry and fiber works made from repurposed or recycled materials will complement the library’s active STEM education program.

To complement Roosevelt Thompson Library’s robust menu of culinary-themed events (including programs focused on tea), “Teapots at Thompson” features nearly 25 craft teapots in a variety of media.

Surrounded by forest, “A Woodland DEE-Light” at Dee Brown Library features an installation of works made from wood, containing references to wood, as well as ceramics made in wood-fired kilns. Margaret Keelan’s Young Girl with Moths, a ceramic work made to look as if it is carved from wood will be on view at Dee Brown.

At Max Milam Library, located in Perryville’s rich agricultural community, an installation of works in metal is inspired by the weathered metal machinery dotting the rural landscape.

Inspired by the building’s sleek contemporary concrete-and-glass design, the installation at Sid McMath Library features a selection of notable works in glass spanning a century of American studio glass production. Works on view include George Thiewes’ Oval Form, and several examples by Louis Comfort Tiffany.

At the Esther DeWitt Nixon Library, which serves Jacksonville and the Little Rock Air Force Base, visitors will find artwork inspired by the military experience and aviation. Terry Lee Dill’s Homage to J. Smith – World War I Tank depicts an abstracted tank in cast iron and bronze and Larry Page’s Captain Sky Teapot shows a pilot at the helm of an airplane.

On view at Fletcher Library: Jack Earl, American (Uniopolis, Ohio, 1934 – ), D.O.G., 1980, glazed & china painted clay, 16 3/4 x 12 1/2 x 13 3/4 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, Stephens Inc. City Trust Grant. 1986.002

Named for Pulitzer-Prize winning author, John Gould Fletcher Library will host a selection of works that celebrate and illustrate the power of language and the written word. The installation includes Jack Earl’s whimsical ceramic dog wearing glasses that spell D-0-G.

Maumelle Library, located adjacent to Lake Valencia, features an installation titled “Gone Fishin’,” which includes several works with a boating and fishing theme. Among them are Katie Hudnall’s Monster Fishing Kit in wood, metal and glass, and Bill Griffith’s stoneware Boat Form.

At Wrightsville’s Millie Brooks Library, an installation of works made from pine and other natural materials echoes the tall stands of pine trees that surround the building. The installation features a basket made from white oak, coralberry, and waxed linen thread by Arkansas Living Treasure Leon Niehues; a coiled pine needle basket by Neil Prince; and a wall sculpture made from coconut fibers by Romanian artist Ritzi Jacobi.

The Sue Cowan Williams Library, located near Dunbar Garden, will feature garden-themed works. The ceramics on view include floral imagery, fruits, vegetables, birds, and bees, all celebrating the natural abundance of the Earth. Farraday Newsome’s ceramic vases depict garden themes, and Jesse Small’s Flower Ghosts each explore a different floral pattern.

Fitting beautifully into Oley E. Rooker Library’s soaring, light-filled reading room is a monumental ceramic sculpture, Coupling by American artist Patti Warashina.

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