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Hourly news and comment

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The guide to Arkansas entertainment

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On art in Arkansas

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Eat Arkansas

Friday Five: Christmas hangover edition

Holiday cheer can turn ugly once the presents are open and the party winds down. Here's your Friday open line with our guide to surviving the Christmas aftermath.

Last minute gift guide for hopeless procrastinators

Last minute gifts can be awesome — you just need to grab some of these local Arkansas delights.

Root Cafe the Growing America winner on HLN

How apt: The Root Cafe is the viewer-chosen winner of the documentary series "Growing America: A Journey to Success," on HLN TV. The show's idea: that MBAs from the country's most prestigious universities could help businesses to, well, leaf out.

Dining Review

Flyover territory: Flight Deck

December 25, 2014
Flyover territory: Flight Deck
Unless you're in East Little Rock or hungry for a veggie sandwich. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

A guide to New Year's Eve

December 25, 2014
A guide to New Year's Eve
Amasa Hines, Cory Branan, The Big Dam Horns, DJ Sno White and more. /more/

To-Do List

American Princes return to White Water

December 25, 2014
American Princes return to White Water
Also, Holiday Art Shows at Gallery 26, Hayes Carll at Revolution, Fresco Grey at Vino's, Big Boss Line at White Water and W. Kamau Bell at Juanita's. /more/

Columnists

Max Brantley

Easy on the pay raises

An independent commission appointed by the governor, legislative leaders and the chief justice began work last week to fulfill part of Issue 3, the constitutional amendment that eased term limits, banned lobbyist gifts to legislators (sort of) and provided a mechanism for pay raises. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Here's to Hutchinson, McCain and American revulsion at torture

On Nov. 16, 1776, Gen. George Washington stood on the Jersey Palisades and peered across the Hudson River through his telescope as the British tortured American militiamen who had surrendered and then put them to the sword. Hearing the screams of his men, according to an aide, Washington turned and sobbed "with the tenderness of a child." /more/

Gene Lyons

'Rape culture' merits scrutiny

If the great Rolling Stone campus rape hoax proved nothing else, it's that True Believers make lousy reporters. I've always found it useful to keep in mind what my brother and I call the state motto of our native New Jersey: "Oh yeah, who says?" /more/

Movie Reviews

'Hobbit' goes ka-bloom

December 25, 2014
'Hobbit' goes ka-bloom
Leaving story behind, trilogy finale overdoses on special effects. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Texas Bowl preview: Hogs over Horns

December 25, 2014
Texas Bowl preview: Hogs over Horns
Bowl games run the gamut, from the oddball and uninteresting to the compelling and rich (hat tip to Ron Burgundy). It's hard to imagine how Arkansas-Texas in any scenario would be a yawner, and the AdvoCare Texas Bowl next Monday night is a sellout for the first time in the game's relative infancy, so the appeal is unquestioned from the regional assessment and even on a broader scale will be embraced. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 14:26:00

The homeward bound open line

I'm off to the airport for a flight home to Little Rock. See you in the morning.

What I learned today: Lord & Taylor Department store begins each business day with the playing of the National Anthem, Nobody shouted "Let's Shop!" at its conclusion. But those of  us in the vestibule for store opening did get $20 door buster cards. Mine went unused.

 

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 07:08:00

The lonely progressives

An op-ed from the New York Times has some resonance in today's Arkansas. It's by a Nebraska "progressive" and her participation in groups that soldier on in a state that hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1936 and has an all-Republican congressional and state legislative membership. None of the Republicans acknowledges atmospheric change.

Occasionally, there's common purpose. Republicans have joined the fight in Nebraska against the Keystone XL pipeline.

Mostly, though, the old-timers of the small progressive community are the "royalty of lost causes." They lose, but they keep working. This year, though, was hard.

The best Democrats in anyone’s memory ran for governor and the United States Senate. Chuck Hassebrook, our gubernatorial candidate, had been the director of the Center for Rural Affairs, a respected nonprofit committed to small farmers, environmental stewardship and social and economic justice. Our Senate candidate, Dave Domina, born on a ranch in the Sand Hills, is the best trial lawyer in our state. His firm has represented landowners pro bono in their lawsuit against the pipeline company TransCanada and the state of Nebraska to stop Keystone XL. Both were trounced.

The evening after this dismal election, we met for our usual potluck. At first, a few of us tried to point out slivers of silver linings, but then one of our members said flatly, “We are doomed.” What followed was a sad discussion of our broken political system, big money in politics, Fox News and four more years of inaction on environmental issues. This was the first meeting in my memory in which I felt worse at the end instead of better.

Sound familiar?

The writer ends on an upbeat note with some small environmental victories and a couple of promising candidates. They'll soldier on. Surrender isn't an option.

 

Saturday, December 27, 2014 - 06:37:00

Five in Arkansas family killed in Indiana crash

Five members of a Rogers, Ark., family returning home from Michigan were killed Friday when their car crossed a median of a freeway in Indiana and was struck by an oncoming truck.

 

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Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 14:14:00

'American Encounters' finale coming from Louvre to CBM in May

click to enlarge William Sidney Mount, "Fruit Piece Apples on Tin Cup,"
  • William Sidney Mount, "Fruit Piece Apples on Tin Cup,"

The final "American Encounters" collaboration of the Musee du Louvre, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Terra Foundation for American Art comes to Arkansas next year when "The Simple Pleasures of Still Life" opens May 16 at CBM in Bentonville. Its first showing is Feb. 5-April 27 at the Louvre.  

Included in the exhibition are 10 masterworks that, according to Crystal Bridges, "speak to the diversity of the still-life genre in the U.S." They include works by De Scott Evans, Martin Johnson Heade, Joseph Biays Ord, William Sydney Mount, Raphaelle Peale, John Haberle, William Michael Harnett, George Cope, John-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin and Abraham Mignon.

Crystal Bridges' contributions to the show include Peale’s "Corn and Cantaloupe" (ca. 1813), Haberle’s "Small Change" (1887), and Evans’ "Daisies" (ca. 1885). From the museum:

Peale is considered one of America’s first painters of still lifes. He appropriated the traditional European format small tabletop still life and adapted it to highlight characteristically American products such as corn, yams, and canteloupe. Haberle’s illusionistic money painting addresses controversial monetary politics and historic events of the time. Evans’s Daisies continues the tradition of Dutch vanitas still lifes such as Jan II de Heem’s Vanitas with a Bouquet of Flowers and Pipe, 1685, also included in the exhibition. However, instead of exotic flowers, Evans’s humble American bouquet comprises common, uncultivated flowers and celebrates the beauty of the native plants. Together, these works provide a focused examination of the development of a distinctly American voice within the still-life tradition.

A MutualArt.com piece quotes Louvre curator Guillaume Faroult as saying the collaboration "over the past four years has allowed for unprecedented opportunities for scholarship, engagement and creative exchange. Collectively, we have been able to provide a much richer, holistic narrative of the development of American art than any of the institutions could have presented alone."

The Louvre's contributions to the exhibition include Chardin's "Pipes and Drinking Pitcher" (1737) and Mignon's "Flowers in a Crystal Vase Standing on a Stone Pedestal, with a Dragonfly." From the Terra Foundation: Mount's "Apples on a Tin Cup" (1864) and "Still Life with Apple Blossoms in a Nautilus Shell" (1870). From the High: Harnett's "Still Life with Bust of Dante" (1883), Ord's "Still Life with Shells" (c. 1840), Cope's "A Pair of Spectacles" (1897) and Harnett's "Still Life with Bust of Dante" (1883).

Previous "American Encounters" collaborative shows include "Anglo-American Portraiture in an Era of Revolution" (2014-15); "Genre Painting and Everyday Life" (2013-14); and "New Frontier: Thomas Cole and the Birth of Landscape Painting in America"  (2012-13). 

 

Monday, December 22, 2014 - 16:52:00

Live: Weedhorse, Flat Top Tony and John Neal Rock and Roll at Revolution (Photos)

click to enlarge John Neal Rock and Roll - SHAYNE GRAY
  • Shayne Gray
  • John Neal Rock and Roll

I arrived at The Rev Room Friday at 7:15 p.m., as a bartender was setting up for a busy night. I saw Mark Colbert (soundman) and Mark Sadler (lighting) and we talked shop a while. I saw Samantha "Sam" Allen (venue manager) and we caught up as well. Soon I met and interviewed Richie Barnard, the website coordinator for the Little Rock Scene, whose 10 Year Anniversary we were here to celebrate. In 2004, Barnard and Brett McDonald enjoyed Little Rock music so much they created the website to post local live music happenings. "I wanted to do something for the local scene," Richie told me. Now Brett is basically the website domain owner and Richie is the driving force behind it all. He said he updates the site a few hours every Sunday morning from his current home near Sacramento, Calif.

Richie hasn't been back to Little Rock in the past two years, but he seemed excited to go to as many local shows as possible while in town for the holidays visiting family. He said, "I'm really looking forward to the White Water Tavern show this coming Tuesday, The Moving Front.” When asked what he likes most about the Arkansas music scene, he replied, "Music for me is a sort of escape and there's something about live music that helps me really escape, yet feel part of the moment at the same time. I am also constantly amazed there are such good quality bands here with great recordings.” Feel free to contact Richie through the website. He seemed to be inspired simply by watching the growth of the site and of interest in Arkansas music.

The bands performing at the party were Weedhorse, Flat Top Tony and the Purple Canoes and John Neal Rock and Roll. I talked with a few members before the show.

click to enlarge Weedhorse - SHAYNE GRAY
  • Shayne Gray
  • Weedhorse

/more/  

 

Friday, December 19, 2014 - 17:40:00

About that $4.5 million Noguchi table Alice Walton may have bought

click to enlarge Noguchi.jpg

Max Brantley posted on the Arkansas Blog news from BLOUIN ARTINFO
while I was out about the auction of an Isamu Noguchi table that sources say Alice Walton was the high bidder on — paying $4,450,500. 

"The Goodyear Table, for A. Conger Goodyear,” which has a stack-laminated rosewood base and the original Herculite plate glass top, was manufactured in 1939. Art collector Ronald Lauder (of Estee Lauder bucks) is said to have consigned the piece to the Phillips auction house

The table is a little too early to be appropriate for the Usonian home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright that is moving to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville (the Bachman Wilson House, built in 1954). So maybe it's for Walton's home, if the sources are correct that she won the bidding. Besides, the house apparently comes with furniture.

However, if Walton was looking for tables to fit the Wright home era, maybe she also bought the "Managing Committee Table," designed by Balkrishna Doshi and Le Corbusier, 1953-54. The auction house estimated it would sell for $300,000 to $400,000, but the winning bid was $1.8 million.

click to enlarge "Managing Committee Table," designed by Balkrishna Doshi and Le Corbusier
  • "Managing Committee Table," designed by Balkrishna Doshi and Le Corbusier

 

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  • Opinions split within GOP on "law and order" issues. Where will Asa stand?

    The New York Times reports that some Republicans are trending away from the lock-em-up-and-throw-away-the-key approach to criminal justice embraced by the party's old guard, in part out of a recognition that minority votes matter now more than ever. Asa Hutchinson wants to reach out to black voters — what better place to start?
  • U.S. growth rate highest in ten years; Arkansas economy also looking up

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  • Here's to Hutchinson, McCain and American revulsion at torture

    On Nov. 16, 1776, Gen. George Washington stood on the Jersey Palisades and peered across the Hudson River through his telescope as the British tortured American militiamen who had surrendered and then put them to the sword. Hearing the screams of his men, according to an aide, Washington turned and sobbed "with the tenderness of a child."
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Cover Story

Best and worst 2014

December 25, 2014
Best and worst 2014
It's our annual roundup of the year's dumbest, weirdest, oddest, strangest and all-around Arkansasiest. /more/

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Arkansas Reporter

The Internet gap in Arkansas education

December 25, 2014
The Internet gap in Arkansas education
In which a state agency and the telecom industry gouge public schools for millions. /more/
 

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