The Arkansas Arts Center is calling for entries to its "Toys Designed by Artists" exhibit, an annual show original to the Arts Center. The juror will be Jim Bartz, a toy artist (and musician) who teaches in Northern California. The AAC is going to spend $2,500 to purchase pieces for its collection, like Hal Poth's "Rocking Frog" above.
The details: The deadline is Sept. 3. Artists may submit up to three entries, all completed within the last two years. All entries must be completed online, with uploaded images. There's an entry fee of $15 for one and $10 for each additional entry. Go here to register and for more information.
In announcing a loan to the Toledo Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art today revealed another work in its collection: Maxfield Parrish's "The Lantern Bearers," an oil on canvas on board painted in 1908. The painting was originally created a 1910 issue of Collier's magazine.
If what it cost is a measure of what it's worth, it's a big deal. It was bought at auction in New York in 2006 for $4.2 million, surely by Alice Walton, though that information is confidential. A press release from the museum calls the painting "lyrical."
Crystal Bridges has also loaned its Norman Rockwell acquisition "Rosie the Riveter" to the Toledo museum.
Here, the press release from Crystal Bridges:
BENTONVILLE, Ark., July 28, 2010 — Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will share important works of art by America’s most beloved artist-illustrators with the Toledo Museum of Art. Maxfield Parrish’s lyrical nocturne The Lantern Bearers (1908), originally created as a frontispiece for the December 10, 1910 issue of Collier’s magazine, and Norman Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter (1943), an iconic representation of the American work ethic that provided the May 29, 1943 cover of the Saturday Evening Post, will go on display in Toledo beginning August 17.
“In the world of art today, there is a revived interest in process, virtuosic painting and craft that has inspired a reinvestigation of illustrators as artists,” said Don Bacigalupi, director of Crystal Bridges. “We are pleased to contribute to the dialog through this partnership with our colleagues at the Toledo Museum of Art.”
Collaborating with other institutions is an important focus of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Since 2005 Crystal Bridges has loaned 68 works of art to 38 institutions. Currently, 34 works from the Museum’s collection are on loan at 15 institutions throughout the United States and abroad.
Widely regarded as one of the most popular American illustrators in the first half of the 20th century, Maxfield Parrish (1870 — 1966) was renowned for his idealized neo-classical imagery, meticulous craftsmanship and luminous, richly saturated colors. In The Lantern Bearers, a group of Pierrot or clown figures ascend a set of stairs. The golden lanterns that they hold create a strong diagonal composition offset by a single sphere — the moon? — on the right. The clowns appear to be identical, suggesting the employment of simultaneous narrative, where multiple scenes from a sequence in time are presented in a single image.
“The detailed representational style juxtaposed with a flat, almost medieval sky create spatial ambiguities that are most interesting,” Bacigalupi said. “This work has a stage-set, dream-world quality that is compelling.”
Coy Ludwig, a leading Parrish scholar and author of Maxfield Parrish (1973), described The Lantern Bearers as “a stellar example of Maxfield Parrish's remarkable ability to combine imaginative design and dazzling technique to create an eye-catching and immediately appealing composition. Known primarily through reproductions, it is fortunate that The Lantern Bearers now has become part of a collection where its unique qualities only visible in the original painting may be enjoyed by the public."
Parrish achieved the glowing blues and yellows in this work by layering pure pigment and varnish repeatedly on a white ground, a time-consuming technique inspired by Old Master painters. He also took photographs and worked from them; the seated figure in the lower left of the painting is based on a photograph of Susan Lewin, a favorite model who was employed as a housekeeper in the Parrish household for many years.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to cultured parents who encouraged his talent, Maxfield Parrish attended Haverford College and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts before embarking on an artistic career that lasted more than half a century and helped to define the Golden Age of American illustration. Books illustrated by Parrish include L. Frank Baum’s Mother Goose in Prose (1897), Eugene Field’s Poems of Childhood (1904), The Golden Treasury of Songs and Lyrics (1911) and The Knave of Hearts (1925). Parrish’s work also graced the popular magazines of the day, including Harper’s Weekly, Life, Scribner’s Magazine, Century Magazine, St. Nicholas and Ladies’ Home Journal. The Lantern Bearers dates from a six-year exclusive contract with Collier’s magazine, an arrangement that gave Parrish the freedom to refine his technique. Parrish also designed advertisements for companies such as Jell-O, Colgate, Fisk Tires, Oneida Silversmiths, Wanamaker’s and General Electric.
In the 1920s Parrish turned his energy to making paintings to be sold as reproductions, favoring nudes in fantastic settings that were widely distributed through prints, posters and calendars that provided a comfortable income. After declaring “I’m done with girls on rocks!” to the Associated Press in 1931, Parrish focused on landscapes. He lived in Plainfield, N.H. and painted until four years before his death at age 95.
Maxfield Parrish’s work was featured most recently in Fantasies and Fairy-Tales: Maxfield Parrish and the Art of the Print, April 29 — July 11, 2010, organized by the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, N.Y. His work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, N.Y.; the National Museum of American Illustration, Newport, R.I.; the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover, N.H. and the Cornish Colony Museum, Windsor, Vt.
The Walton Arts Center sent out a news release today saying the deadline for site proposals for a bigger and better arts center is 5 p.m. Monday. The proposals will be posted the following day on the arts center's website.
There are 15 criteria for the site, the WAC says. The most important one: That the Arts Center be built in Bentonville.
The WAC doesn't say that, but the Walton family, whose foundation funds the Arts Center, recently announced if the new arts center isn't built in Walmartville, forget any future dough.
So where do YOU think WAC will choose to build? Bentonville, of course. I'll be even more specific: I'll guess they'll go with the Waltons' 100 acres in the middle of Bentonville, next to Alice Walton's future Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which has been in construction for three years. By the time the WAC money is raised, they ought to have construction wrinkles on the hard-to-build-on property ironed out.
Here's the press release:
Walton Arts Center update on expansion site selection process
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS—July 27, 2010—The proposal submission phase of Walton Arts Center’s expansion site selection process will close at 5pm on Monday, August 2, 2010. On August 3, Walton Arts Center will make the proposals available via our website, www.waltonartscenter.org.
The expansion site selection process began in March 2010 with the release of 15 site selection criteria. The process has been open to cities, municipalities, individuals and developers to submit site proposals through an online form. Walton Arts Center has received, to date, more than 20 proposals and we expect to receive additional submissions up to the close of business on August 2.
The next phase of the selection process will involve review and assessment of all the proposals using the 15 site selection criteria. Walton Arts Center’s Facilities Committee will meet in September to review the proposals. The Facilities Committee and staff will work with the submitting individuals and entities over the coming months to clarify, seek additional details or specifics as needed, and work to narrow down the proposals to a few sites. The goal of the evaluation phase is for the Facilities Committee to recommend 1-3 sites to the full Board of Directors for final consideration. The Facilities Committee expects this recommendation to come to the Board before the end of December.
For additional information about the process or the site proposals, please contact Terri Trotter, 479-571-2739 /firstname.lastname@example.org or Jodi Beznoska, 479-571-2755 / email@example.com.
Walton Arts Center is Arkansas' premier center for the performing arts and entertainment. Each year more than 140,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend over 350 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, graduations and more. Approximately 20,000 students and teachers from 30 school districts participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and over 300 volunteers donate more than 15,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 50% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit www.waltonartscenter.org.
The Thea Foundation announced today that an anonymous gift of $109,000 to its Thea's Closet program has made it possible for the foundation to supply 66 public schools in Sebastian and Crawford Counties with a year's worth of art supplies.
The foundation keeps plugging away at its mission, to bring the educational, cultural and developmental benefits of the visual and performing arts to students across Arkansas. It's the only foundation of its kind in the state that acts on the idea that art can be life-changing, and it does it with constancy and only modest recognition.
The press release:
THEA FOUNDATION ANNOUNCES ART SUPPLIES DONATION TO ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN SEBASTIAN AND CRAWFORD COUNTIES
The Thea’s Art Closet program will be providing quality art supplies for the 2010/2011 school year to all sixty six Sebastian and Crawford Counties’ public schools. Official announcements for Sebastian County and Crawford County took place with a meeting of superintendents in both locations in mid-July.
THEA Foundation, a non-profit organization that advocates the importance of art education in the academic and social development of children, purchased and donated the supplies to art teachers through a $109,500 anonymous donation. Sixty-six schools (every public school) in Sebastian and Crawford Counties will receive a year worth of art supplies. The quality supplies will be delivered in August of 2010. Each school will receive supplies varying from high quality colored pencils, paper, paints, to modeling clay. The high schools will also receive a technology element to include digital cameras for students to utilize in projects. The supplies delivered are catered to the age level of the public school (elementary, intermediate, junior high, and high school) with teacher input on desired supplies.
Response from art teacher Laura Donoho that recently received her supply list for Albert Pike Elementary School in Fort Smith, AR:
Thank You all very much from the bottom of my heart! I teach at Albert Pike Elementary School in Fort Smith, AR and my students are amazing artists.There are so many great and interesting projects that I would like to do with the students. Now, I will be able to do so!
Response from art teacher Gail Boyle that recently received her supply list for Butterfield Junior High in Van Buren, AR:
I just wanted to thank you for the art supplies that you will be sending to our school in the fall. The supplies on the list will be perfect for my classes, and will enable my students to do more art activities than in the past. Please pass on my whole-hearted thanks to the generous donor; this grant will enrich the creativity of hundreds of children in my school alone! As my students like to tell me…Art
Budget constraints have often created difficulty for schools to properly fund art education in public schools. Many times teachers are forced to use personal money to purchase the art supplies for their students.
Art education is critical to the development and confidence our youth, and these art supplies are the teacher’s tools to help their students dream and feel good about themselves, said Paul Leopoulos, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the THEA Foundation. Because of the anonymous donor’s generosity, the public schools in these counties now have the resources to help students achieve more in the classroom and in life.
Recent studies indicate that students who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, four times more likely to participate in math and science fairs and three times more likely to win an award for school attendance.
THEA Foundation, based in North Little Rock, was founded in 2001 following the untimely death of Leopoulos’ 17-year-old daughter, Thea, who was an accomplished artist, actress and writer.
“When Thea found her hidden talents in art, drama and writing it changed every aspect of her life in such a short amount of time,” Leopoulos said. “She had confidence and her self-actualization process took off like a rocket. She discovered something exciting and it taught our family the importance of art in a young person’s life.
The mission of the THEA Foundation is to advocate the importance of the arts in the development of our youth through educational and promotional activities and to encourage individual participation in art through scholarship, partnership, and other programs. Programs include THEA’s Scholarship Program, Thea’s Art Closet, Art Across Arkansas, Workshops and much more. For more information on the THEA Foundation visitwww.theafoundation.org or call 501-379-9512.
V.L. Cox is announcing an upcoming show at the Thea Foundation in which she'll be showing her screen door portraits exclusively. No abstracts in this show. Cox frames paintings of people — many African American women — looking through screen doors, a nostalgic representation of an earlier time in the South. From a news release:
“I hope to portray a Southern, more simple way of life. I hope you can appreciate the originality of each door and the historic value they represent. I take great pride in doing something so unique in the art world that is a reflection of our American past. — V.L. Cox”
That's the amount the Arkansas Arts Center has had to add to its negative bottom line for the fiscal year ended June 30, thanks to some irregular bookkeeping, and perhaps spending, by its former financial manager.
The Arts Center's books have gotten a "complete clean-up," board member Mary Ellen Vangilder said, by staff, including new deputy director for operations Laine Harber. A three-year look back found that former operations chief Rocky Nickles had inappropriately capitalized items that should have been expensed — for example, adding the cost of paint to the value of fixed assets rather than including it under expenses. It was revealed earlier in the week that Nickles had charged to the Arts Center's account since 2007 a total of $378,684, of which only $287,995.15 can be validated as proper Arts Center charges.
That puts the Arts Center in the hole a little over $2 million for the fiscal year. It had anticipated being $1.7 million short, thanks to $750,000 in promised gifts that never materialized, but were put on the balance sheet in '09, and other shortfalls. The Arts Center's debt stands at $2.7 million, the bulk of that from loans to the Arts Center from the private foundation that contributes to its operations.
Viola Frey’s giant ceramic sculptures of men and women are among the underappreciated wonders of late-20th-century art. Rising 11 feet and higher, wearing business suits and ties and nondescript dresses, they have a spookily imposing physical presence and a clunky, cartoonish ugliness.
When one of your employees doesn't turn in receipts for $27,000 plus, and spends more than $8,000 on things that appear to be personal — like luggage, you've got a problem with oversight.
That's the Arts Center story today.
Rocky Nickles, the deputy director of operations for the Arts Center who was fired in February, put $378,684.05 in charges on the Arts Center's credit card from 2007 to 2009. Of that $287,955.15 looks like Arts Center expenses. Auditors who examined the charges said another $27,511 was for lunches, $3,938.05 for gas, $8,506.91 personal, $27,665.75 had no receipts and $27,107.07 they deemed "unknown."
The audit was turned over to police on Tuesday.
Bob Birch said today that under proper Arts Center procedure, the charges would have been provided former Executive Director Nan Plummer for approval. Birch said police will determine whether they were. Plummer resigned in April. Perhaps now we know why — she realized she had not kept close enough tabs on her employee, at a cost to the Arts Center.
Michelle Renee, who is one of the organizers of The Art Show coming up at the Riviera Condominiums (see previous post), emails to say that the $10 ticket admits folks for both nights, not just one. My post was unclear on that point.
A correction, too: She also notes that the winner of each night's drawing will get a painting of their choice, not one created for the drawing by Elizabeth Weber. The value of the painting is $300.
This post gives me the opportunity to put up another image of work to be in the show, a silver bracelet by Teresa Smith:
There will be a $10 charge to see "The Art Show," coming up July 30 and 31 at the Riviera Condominiums. Charging people to see private exhibits has always seemed weird to me — sort of like Dillard's charging a fee to shop. Then again, bars charge covers to see musical talent. So I asked Michelle Renee, artist and the publicity person for the show, for her thoughts about charging admission to an exhibit.
(More on jump)
An update: Stephano says Dow and his wife, Lauren, will be in attendance at the gallery's reception Oct. 15; Dow is bringing other work with him then.
The San Francisco blog "Art is Moving" is interviewing artists across the country and two of those interviews — with Eureka Springs artist Rebecca J. Becker and UALR artist and gallery director Brad Cushman — have been posted, along with images of their work.
Cushman on his influences:
It really depends on the project I am working on at the time. I collect inspiration from family photos, found photos and objects, weathered billboards, interactions with friends and strangers. I love kitsch too — growing up with MAD magazine, Saturday Night Live, TV Sitcoms, The Rocky Horror Picture Show etc. At the age of five, I swam with the Monkees — literally the “rock” group at a hotel in St. Louis, had a crush on Elizabeth Montgomery on Bewitched, saw Cher tell Sonny to “fuck off” at the Illinois State Fair and went to see Rock Husdon and Carol Burnett in the musical I do, I do in the 1970s. LOL
Becker on how we should react to corporate support of exhibits, such as those backed by British Petroleum:
The article [in the Guardian] raises interesting questions, but shouldn't we — all of us — be looking at ourselves a bit?
Do we drive?
Have completely plastic-free computers?
Use acrylic paint?
BP could not exist if hundreds of thousands of us didn't enable them to do so.
The money BP provides the Tate comes from us.
Should I not sell a painting to a couple who walk into the gallery, because they drove to town in an SUV?
Eureka Springs (where I live) spends a good deal of money enticing people to come here — and that advertising allows me to survive as an artist, because it works — people do come. Roughly 2,500 people live here — many of us, artists — and nearly a million people visit every year. Not one of them comes on foot.
Ketz Gallery is celebrating the opening of "View from the Road," paintings by Tim Jacob, with a reception tonight, in advance of Friday's Argenta ArtWalk. Jacob paints scenes of rural and urban Arkansas as viewed by the highway in what Ketz calls "watery overlays." The reception tonight is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.; on Friday, it's 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Arkansas Business writer Jan Cottingham scored interviews with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art director Don Bacigalupi and American art authority John Wilmderding about the contemporary trend the museum acquisitions are taking. Wilmderding influenced museum founder Alice Walton's early collecting. Recently announced acquisitions have Bacigalupi's fingerprints on them. Most interesting is the discussion on Walton's effect on the art market. Says Wilmderding:
"She will not spend 'at any cost.' There have been things that we have passed up that drive me crazy. You think, 'Well, you can afford to buy it; get it. It's going to be worth the inflated price someday.' But she's been really tough.
"It's had an important effect on dealers in the market," Wilmerding said. "Dealers can't just assume Alice Walton is going to buy anything. ... She's exercised restraint all along the way. And I don't mean simply only buying bargains but just being absolutely ruthless on realistic market values.
Bacigalupi says the museum may open at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012. Then the new Walton Arts Center will begin to rise next to it on the Walton's hundred-acre woods. Right?
A&E Feature / To-Do List / In Brief / Movie Reviews / Music Reviews / Theater Reviews / A&E News / Art Notes / Graham Gordy / Books / Media / Dining Reviews / Dining Guide / What's Cookin' / Calendar / The Televisionist / Movie Listings / Gallery Listings