Today I begin the first of what will be sporadic postings of artwork by Arkansans. So ... who did this sculpture? This is a pretty easy one!
Our faithful Fayetteville correspondent Dwain Cromwell sends along word about "Wheels," a silent art auction being held by the Bicycle Coalition in Fayetteville to fund its bicycle safety programs in the public schools. There will be art and music at the 7 to 9 p.m. event Friday, Sept. 3, at the Omni Center. Artists are posting their works on the "WHEELS: Art & Music for Safe Routes to School" page on Facebook, like Cindy Wiseman's (above, artist name corrected!).
Cromwell also sends this image, of Kelly Mulholland's wheel, along:
I said last week I'd post Brad Cushman's essay on "El Grito" and today I've been trying to figure out a way to do that. But it appears my best bet is to post the catalogue for UALR's show here.
The poster says it all.
Chad McGriff, the new executive director of ACAC (Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative), has announced that the performance/visual arts space is moving to 608 Main, across from RAO Video and the Arkansas Repertory Theater.
McGriff said the non-profit is leasing the space, which will feature a gallery on the ground floor. The basement will eventually be converted to studio space and McGriff will live on the top floor.
Clean-up of the building, which is 80 feet long and 24 feet wide, will start next week, and ACAC is looking for volunteer help.
The first big event in the new ACAC, which has been at 900 S. Rodney Parham Road for a year, will be a fund-raiser dinner with Graham Gordy, Lawrence Hamilton, Korto, Emily Galusha, Jamie Davidson and other local celebrities. Details are being firmed up now for the Sept. 23 event.
I just went out to UALR to see "El Grito (A Cry for Independence)," an exhibit of work by Chicano artists pulled together from artists and collections across the country by gallery director Brad Cushman and assistant Nathan Larson. The work in the galleries provokes thoughts about immigration, the maquiladoras in Mexico that assemble our the "Made in the USA" products with cheap labor, racist attitudes, what people will go through to make a better living and more. I was thinking about all that when I passed the construction site north of the Fine Arts Building. All the workers were Hispanic. And, ironically, they were taking down a fence.
In the slideshow above are images of work by Hugo Crosthwaite ("Atlanta," the graphite and charcoal collage of a man and a boy), Camilo Ontiveros ("No Benefits," altered roadsign in his Public Interventions series), Margarita Cabrera ("Nopal con Tunas," cactus sewn from Border Patrol uniform fabric), Vincent Valdez ("Stations," the lithograph of the boxer and Jesus, from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation), Nery Gabriel Lemus ("Four Migrating Black Bellied Whistling Ducks and Four Young Men," charcoal and ink-jet print) and Delilah Montoya ("Humane Borders Water Station," photograph of three water tanks, mounted on aluminum).
"Atlanta" is a hard piece to look at, which was the artist's intention. It is a 13-by-10 1/2-foot chaotic assemblage of drawings that functions to represent the chaos of life. "Humane Borders" is very affecting, the tanks marked "agua" placed in the vast arid Sonoran desert, where activists have placed water stations.
Brad Cushman has drafted an essay on all the work; will link when he says I can.
When the Scott family asked the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette to include this picture of Norman Scott with his obituary yesterday, the paper declined, saying it needed a "normal" picture. The family says this photo of Scott in google eyes, by Andrew Kilgore, was pretty much the norm for Scott, a funny man who liked to "laugh and dance and eat and drink," his son-in-law said. Scott, founder of Cantrell Gallery, died Aug. 24 of pancreatic cancer.
His obituary, sent to us by daughter Cindy Scott-Huisman, who operates the gallery with her mother, Helen, and husband, Clarke:
Norman Victor Scott
Born at home in Star City, Arkansas on April 8, 1939. His parents were the late Victor and Irene Meeks Scott. He grew up in Crossett and was strongly influenced by their family business, Ideal Lumber Company. After high school he went to Ouachita Baptist College and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics, and then he attended Law School at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.
Norman then moved to Little Rock and worked at several jobs, including the Arkansas State Purchasing Department where he was Assistant Purchasing Director. He always had a dream and vision of owning his own business. This led him to open a very small art gallery, Art Fair, on Seventh Street in Little Rock, in 1970. This is the business that grew into Cantrell Gallery, Little Rock’s oldest and largest gallery. At some point while owning the gallery, Norman began creating art himself. This became an absolute passion, enabling him to create an alter ego named Maurice and Maurice’s friend Ms. Dupree. Along with his talents in the field of visual arts, he also developed another creative outlet, which was cooking. His dream home, which was built in 1988, was designed with a second kitchen where he could make an elaborate meal and then shut the door on the mess.
Norman had a quirky sense of humor that manifested in his artwork and cooking.
He lived life to the fullest — enjoying every moment. He was a deeply spiritual person who believed in the absolute greatness of God, and he believed that everyone’s religious expressions are valid.
Norman’s faithful partner through his entire adult endeavors is his wife, Helen Reed Scott. Their children: Angela Scott Johnson and Cindy Scott-Huisman with her husband Clarke Huisman, have been a vital, joyful part of their lives. They have four grandchildren who call him Ralph: Jonathan Johnson, Kelsie Johnson, Christian Huisman and Levi Johnson. They have always known that they could do anything they wanted to when they were at their Ralph’s house. A younger brother, Bill Scott, preceded Norman in death. Bill’s widow, Marsha and Bill had one son, Matt. Norman also has a much younger brother who was a great deal like the son he never had, Steve Scott. There are many fond memories of family fun with Steve, his wife Julie and their three sons Clark, Don and Ben.
Norman always enjoyed a good party, many of which were at their home. His formula for a good party was good friends, good food, good drinks and good music. So what better way to send him on his journey than a good party? If you knew him or wish you had known him, please join his family and friends for a celebration of his life on Saturday, September 11 at 7pm at Cantrell Gallery. There will be a memorial service at Second Presbyterian Church, Thursday August 26 at 7pm in the main sanctuary.
Some of the organizations he supported and loved were Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, Humane Society of Pulaski County and Second Presbyterian Church. Goodbye Norman. We love you.
Artists whose works are in "True Grit" include Judith Brodsky, Peter Campus, Warrington Colescott, Larry Edwards and Lee Friedlander. Artists Les Christenson and John Salvest curated the show to pose these questions:
"What fuels the unwavering devotion of these artists to work and career? ... In a culture preoccupied with newness and mesmerized by youth, isn’t there still something to be learned from that which endures?"
There's a reception tonight at 5 p.m.
Lee Rosenbaum, in her CultureGrrl Blog today, writes about the judge's slightly murky ruling about what Fisk University can do with its Stieglitz collection — can it still be sold to Alice Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville? In response to an Association of Art Museum Directors statement on last week's ruling, CultureGrrl writes:
The court, in fact, has not prohibited Fisk from pursuing the $30-million sale of a half-share of its collection—-a transaction that would not just "undermine" but decimate O'Keeffe's written no-sale stipulation. What the court did say in its 21-page decision is that it will not "approve the Crystal Bridges Agreement, as written [emphasis added]." ...
On pages 13-15 of the above-linked decision, the judge clearly delineates the eight changes that she seeks in the Crystal Bridges deal, the first of which involves insuring that the Bentonville, AR, museum does not eventually acquire more than a half-share in the Stieglitz collection, by lending money to Fisk and "obtain[ing] a security interest in the debtor's [Fisk's] undivided 50% interest of the artwork." She warns of the possibility that, if Fisk were to default on such loans, Crystal Bridges could eventually seize 100% ownership of the collection ...
Stay tuned. Will work by Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, Charles DeMuth, and John Marin be available for viewing in Bentonville? (We already know there will be a Hartley: "Hall of the Mountain King," one of the first acquisitions announced.)
The Arts Center has a great exhibit in its main galleries (Wolfe and Rockefeller) that I'm betting will be a huge crowd-pleaser: "Bigger, Better, More: The Art of Viola Frey." Some will compare it favorably to the former show in that space, World of the Pharaohs, which put the Arts Center's finances in the ditch, though the two really shouldn't be compared. I have to say, however, Frey is more fun.
Frey (pronounced Fry) fixed her star in the (mostly male) galaxy of American ceramic artists with monumental ceramic figures and assemblages of kitsch figurines. “Bigger, Better, More” features paintings, sculpture, vessels and wall-mounted plates; contributing pieces to the exibit are the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.; the Butler Institute of American Art and other fine arts collections. It’s a significant show that offers a rare opportunity to walk among, and be dwarfed by, the work of the late California artist.
Frey’s bulky and flattened colossi, glazed in bright colors; her bricolage pieces that combine mermaids, roosters, China goddesses and the like, and her wall-sized paintings fill the Rockefeller and Wolfe galleries with Cubist sensibilities and the color and gesture of Matisse. It is work that is both personal, reflecting the role of men and women in her life, and iconic, thanks to her obsession with junk. An example here of the two combined is the 7-foot-tall, 7-foot-tall “Family Portrait,” in which men in suits and women in dresses stand amid a cluster of nostalgia — the Mandarin figurine, the boy with a bat, a milkmaid.
Frey’s hand-built figures have wide-eyed expressions and stiff forms; she worked in sections of clay so massive the figures had to be cut apart before they could be fired and glazed. Frey applies paint to the sculpture as Cezanne or Picasso would to plane, giving her figures green cheeks, yellow noses, red hands, blue shadows. Male figures more than eight feet tall take an intimidating pose, arms akimbo and heads tilted down toward the viewer. She often represents women in flowered dresses and hats and heels, drawn from the women in her life, who were strong in their own way. “Double Grandmothers with Black and White Dresses,” two 7-foot-plus women with forearms extended, dominate the space around them.
The figurines appear in her two-dimensional work — as themselves as objects, filling a room from which a man is fleeing (“Studio View”), or as subject, creating a garden tableau of jointed doll, fawn, little girl (“China Goddess Painting”) — representations of representations of archetypes. Frey also makes monuments of her assemblages — in “Junkman,” she’s stacked slipcasts of Woody Woodpecker, a train, a putti, a horse head, the tugboat “Little Toot,” glazed the sculpture in white and painted over it in China paint. For all her love of massive form, Frey has a beautiful line.
An excellent catalog that accompanies the exhibit (available for sale in the gift shop) discusses the largest painting in the exhibit, "Studio View: Man in Doorway," in which a man heads for the doorway to leave a room swirling in hundreds of objects:
"For Frey, figure and figurine, person and sculpture, were compellingly conflated, as she danced her life with a her ultimate partner, art. Ambitious and ambiguous this epic painting is a final, frenetic assertion of how idiosyncratic, confrontational, and — even when it depicts departure — how emphatically and intensely personal the art of Viola Frey can be."
The show runs through Nov. 28.
Sorry, Candy fans, for the lack of postings. I've been slaving away over a review of "Bigger, Better, More" at the Arts Center. You'll see it here soon.
In the meantime, here's some news: Retired Arkansas State University art professor Evan Lindquist will be honored with the Society of American Graphic Artists' Lifetime Achievement Award at a dinner in New York on Oct. 22.
According to an announcement e-mailed to me by Chuck Kaufman, former arts writer for the (real) Arkansas Gazette and longtime friend of Lindquist's, Lindquist's prints can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence, Italy, Reina Sophia in Madrid, the Nelson-Atkins Gallery in Kansas City and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.
Lindquist initiated ASU's "Delta National Small Prints Exhibition" in 1996, which has brought from contemporary printmakers across the country to the university. He retired in 2003 and still lives in Jonesboro.
Walton sought to obtain an undivided interest in the collection, 101 works from the Alfred Stieglitz Collection donated to the school by artist (and Stieglitz's wife) Georgia O'Keeffe, for $30 million. The work was valued at $72 million, and Fisk sought to sell to Walton because of financial difficulties the school is in. The work would have been exhibited at Walton's Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, which she's building in Bentonville. Of particular interest to Walton is O'Keeffe's work "Radiator Building," itself worth $20 million, according to some appraisers.
Thanks to social networking and my friendship with Fayetteville art maven Shannon Mitchell, I can blog about the exhibits in the galleries of Fayetteville Underground (now on their mailing list I hope!): "Ghosts in the Landscape No. 2," photographs by Christian Demare in the Hive; "Continental Shift," works from the Seattle-based collective in the Revolver; "Reclaimed Surfaces," paintings on found objects by Gregory Moore in the Vault, and "Let's Eat," vessels by Karan Freeman in the E Street Gallery. They all look great — and they're only up through August, it looks like. At 6:30 on Aug. 26, Moore and Leilani Law will give gallery talks, Moore on his work, Law on "Continental Shift." Take a look at the FU's blog and let me know what you think (especially love to hear from Fayettevillians who've seen the work in person).
Dwain Cromwell e-mailed to draw my attention to a piece Moore did on an elevator panel:
Highpoints in Argenta's ArtWalk tonight: The dedication of the art park and its sculpture by Kevin Kresse, painting demonstrations, a birthday anniversary, watermelon mojitos and a new venue — lots of reasons to brave the heat.
At 6 p.m., an hour in to the monthly event, the CityGrove Townhome Art Park at Maple and Fifth will be dedicated. Kresse's Mother Earth and Father Moon sculptures bookend this park next to the residential development.
In the 700 block of Main, Ketz Gallery (705) will celebrate its first year in business with "Summertime Blues," a show and sale (portion of proceeds to KABF blues programming) by John Kushmaul, Rene Hein, Michael Lindas and others. There will be libations there and at Argenta Bead Company next door, which will offer mojitos and an ICE resin demonstration at 6:30 p.m. Join in for $3 and make a resin cross.
In the 500 block, Marlene Gremillion will give a watercolor demonstration in front of the Argenta branch of the Laman Library (506).
A block south, the Thea Foundation (401 Main) will feature the exhibit "Classroom to Canvas," work by art teachers Jenny Delgado (her work above), Lori Kirchner, Erica Jewell and Ashley Robinson. Devin Matthews will perform on classical guitar between 6 and 7:30 p.m. On Thea's second floor (entrance on Fourth Street), Robin Steves, Joel Boyd, Catherine Burton and Morgan Coven will have their studios open. Greg Thompson (429 Main) continues its exhibit of work by Roger Carlisle, "Light in the Landscape." One could hope the gallery owners' new baby would be on exhibit as well, at least for a little while.
There will also be the artists and crafters of "A Gathering of Artists," independents displaying their work in tents up and down Main.
Happy Hour in the Heights starts in about half an hour; at Stephano's Gallery, painter and sculptor Robert Sherman will be on hand to talk about his work. The event runs 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Kavanaugh Boulevard gallery.
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