That's a question that the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies art administrator Colin Thompson would like answered. The Butler Center has been given two large, framed pencil drawings by the Museum of Discovery, which is deaccessioning its collection thanks to a mission overhaul, signed by Kate Hannebaum, one in 1892 and the other in 1893. The fragile drawings (one is damaged) are on paper mounted on canvas, and depict Arkansas hunters. They look like drawings made from daguerreotypes or some other photographic medium.
P.S.: I should mention that the drawing above is titled at the bottom center of the drawing "Hunting in Arkansas."
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has put another acquisition up on its website, and it's one that hints of things to come at the opening Nov. 11: It's a Nick Cave soundsuit, and it seems like a natural that L.A.'s Killsonic improv orchestra that has provided music to soundsuit performances should appear in Bentonville for the festivities.
Nick Cave is a Chicago artist who creates layered materials both as sculpture and as costumes that make sound when the wearer — looking like a dyed Yeti — moves. The UCLA video shows dance students enjoying the costumes; the brief shot at the opening includes a piece that looks much like CBMAA's new acquisition.
What a contrast to other pieces of art whose acquisition at a Sotheby's auction were revealed in Rebecca Mead's New Yorker interview with Alice Walton, the founder of the museum. (Great interview; must have a subscription to read it, but here's an abstract.) They include Gari Melcher's "Portrait of Mrs. H," below. (I reported on the Fraad auction, which is where and others in an article on the museum in 2007. Note the comment at the end of the story that disdained the idea of a museum in Bentonville, and said great works of art didn't belong there. Excuse me?)
The Butler Center's Concordia Hall, the gallery that fronts Clinton, has a great show right now, by Melverue Abraham, Rex Deloney, LaToya Hobbs, Ariston Jacks, Sondra Strong, Kalari Turner, and Michael Worsham, all African-American artists who are members of Visual Images that Affect Lives (V.I.T.A.L.).
ckout giant woodcut-imaged portraits are here, Abraham has her loving work, including an experimental piece made of roofing material
I couldn't take a decent picture of Jack's triptych "Capitalism Over Tradition" (1773), (2009) and (1887), but it's quite a masterpiece, combining images of black women and symbols of American wealth — Ben Franklin, etc. Rex Delony's oils and watercolor are strong as ever, scenes of family. Kalari Turner has two collages — again, couldn't get a good shot of them! — of silhouetted women, very neatly done. Hobbs' knoand quite interesting. Strong uses heavily black-lined and near cartoon-like images to portray women and children (though she shies from faces, something she needs to just jump in and do). Michael Worsham's off-kilter compositions and child close-ups are terrific.
So go. And when you do, check out the exhibit in the Atrium, work by Robin Tucker. (More on that later).
Calling all muralists! The Southside Main Street Project is tired of looking at the blank United Systems wall at 1201 S. Main St., across from Community Bakery! It's issued a request for proposals from artists interested in designing a mural for that wall and expects to spend between $10,000 and $15,000 realizing the work. Fund-raising has begun.
Artists should have experience designing murals and should submit at least 10 color images of the work. To get more about the selection criteria and the project, go here.
SOMA's Wall Mural Design Committee will start accepting proposals Friday, July 1; Aug. 31 is the deadline to submit.
Hillis Schild, chair of SOMA, expressed appreciation for United Systems for agreeing to the project in a press release announcing the call for artists.
Starting next week at Thea, kids are going to make art, get a little art history and, for the younger kids, get to dress up! The older kids will have more challenging art projects.
The Thea Foundation's first summer art classes will feature a theme — "Time Travel Adventure" — reflecting the art history that will be woven in, and they'll run July 11-14 and 18-21. Teachers will be from the North Little Rock and Pulaski County school districts.
Classes for children entering grades 3-6 will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Students entering 7th-9th grade will be in class from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Classes are limited to 15 students; call 379-9512 or e-mail email@example.com for more information, or to contribute to a scholarship fund to make the classes accessible to those who can't afford the $75 fee.
Those teachers: Anna Wingfield (North Heights Elementary); Betsy Clemons (Lakewood Middle School) and Jonathan Kaplan (Oakbrooke Elementary).
Artist V.L. Cox wrapped work today at the Arkansas Juvenile Assessment and Treatment Center in Alexander, where for a week she's worked with the kids detained there on a mural project. It was the second mural project there; the first, funded by UALR's Criminal Justice Center, was such a success with the kids that the state Department of Youth Services decided to do the second.
The center is for high-risk kids. The teen-agers who worked with Cox were those who'd earned the privilege with behavior and grades. A couple of boys I talked to there said they learned some things from Cox about painting — like the benefits of tape to demarcate a line — and that part of the reason they liked the program was that it brought some of the more "mature" kids together. They also praised the project for its organization, which gave structure to their day. Sometimes, the kids get rowdy waiting for something to start, one young man said.
During the first mural project, a group of boys who normally fought dropped the conflict once they started painting. "They were calmed and stayed focused — like meditation," Cox said, and the DYS and center personnel agreed. "I've never been treated with more respect," she said. She said she had her own rough times during childhood — she was raised by her grandmother: "I can relate."
Cox took some of her artwork to Alexander to show her painters — her screen doors and abstract work as well. She also took her high school yearbook to prove to them she was on the basketball team. It didn't feel like a detention center as the kids gathered around to look at the Arkadelphia High yearbook ("you all had color [photos] back then?" one teen-ager remarked). It felt like a normal gathering of kids. That's good.
The campus is one of just a few nationally with its own Boys and Girls Club, which offers music classes as well. Adam Baldwin with DYS, noting the high-risk population, said the programming was just what the kids needed and DYS hoped to do more with Cox and the Dream Big Project of the Thea Foundation.
The Dixon Gallery and Gardens in Memphis opens its exhibit "Jean-Louis Forain: La Comedie Francaise" with special events Saturday and Sunday, including a black-tie opening gala with the great-granddaughter of Forain and Priscilla Presley, just to name a couple, at 6:30 p.m. Saturday and the official opening at 1 p.m. Sunday, with a 4 p.m. lecture by that great-granddaughter, Mme. Florence Valdes-Forain and a reception for members from 5 to 7 p.m.
You can brush up on your Forain at the Arts Center tomorrow night at the Au Revoir party — there's a drawing by the artist as well as a drawing of the artist by Vuillard — before dashing over to Memphis.
The exhibition will include 125 paintings, pastels, prints and decorative objects, the Dixon news release says; the Dixon itself owns 60 works by Forain.
It will be quite a year for Impressionist paintings in the South. The Brooks Museum in Memphis is hosting its own show, "The Impressionist Revolution," opening July 16. If you buy a ticket to either the Brooks or Dixon exhibits, you get in the other free.
M2 Gallery, in the Pleasant Ridge shopping center on Cantrell, is having its second annual "Relief on the Ridge" fund-raiser for the Red Cross tomorrow night.
The silent auction of art and other donated items runs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and every penny goes to the Red Cross. While you're bidding, M2 will serve munchies donated by Capi's, Bonefish Grill, Bar Louie, Istanbul, Panera Bread, Cupcakes on the Ridge, Chick-fil-A and Fresh Market. Libations will be available.
If you don't buy, you can still donate.
I had a nice talk with Little Rock potter Fletcher Larkin at Argenta ArtWalk last Friday night and learned this: He's looking for red clay.
Larkin was demonstrating at the potter's wheel in front of the Laman Library and talking about his use of Arkansas materials in his ceramic pieces. He uses ground novaculite from the 3M quarry in the Ouachitas, clay that fires up white from Acme Brick in Malvern, syenite from Granite Mountain and wood ash from Whole Hog Barbecue. He's using these materials for flux, to lower the firing temperature of the pieces, but the novaculite also makes a nice translucent white glaze, he said.
Now he's looking for a plentiful source of Arkansas red clay for his stoneware teapots and cups and bowls, which he sells from Fox Pass Pottery, his family's business in Hot Springs. This should appeal to locavores: Locally grown foods served on plates made from local dirt and rock!
Some of his work, photographed by Laman Library gallery coordinator Debra Wood:
On Saturday, the David Zwirner Gallery in Soho will screen the documentary "Marfa Voices," about Donald Judd and his impact on the small Texas town he moved to from New York City. Marina Cashdan writes in the Huffington Post that thanks to Judd, who bought 15 buildings for both living and studio spaces, Marfa is now known "within the international art world set."
The documentary will talk about the changes that art tourism brought to the little West Texas town, where galleries began to bloom like cacti after a rain thanks to the arts focus Judd brought there. Is there a parallel to Crystal Bridges and Bentonville? Bentonville was in no danger of drying up and blowing away, but the people of Marfa have been affected by Judd's art as well as the economic boost.
If you friend Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, you might get updates on the collection, if the recent posting is any indication. An 1830 family portrait by Edward Dalton Marchant went up yesterday and Theodore Robinson's "World's Columbian Exposition" was posted June 14.
I'll save you the trouble of switching over to Facebook by putting their information on the paintings here. On the Marchant:
Little-known, but talented Edward Dalton Marchant, painted this oil at age 24 in 1830 and it stayed in the Thomas family until 1980. Samuel Beals Thomas commissioned the portrait and displayed it at the family business and home, “Thomas’ Exchange Coffee House and Inn” on Lincoln Square in Worcester, Massachusetts. Samuel and wife, Sarah, adopted Pauline and Abigail after their father, Samuel’s brother, died.
And on the Robinson, contributed by UA associate professor of American art history Dr. Leo G. Mazow:
Three of Robinson’s works had been selected for display at the exposition held in Chicago and he visited the fairgrounds in May of 1893, shortly before the opening. Later that year, painter-muralist Francis David Millet*, the exposition’s director of decoration, commissioned a painting, most likely for reproduction, from Robinson. Although Robinson preferred to work outside, in front of his subject, he based his composition on a photograph of the grounds. He corresponded with his mentor, Claude Monet, about painting from a photograph and his frustration completing the commission. In the end, Robinson did the best he could, painting in way he was not used to, interpreting the exposition’s Greek and Roman inspired architecture “through the au courant [fashionable] lens of impressionism, conceiving the grounds as an atmospheric tableau of cascading natural and man-made forms. With its pulsating hues, middle-class subject matter, and outdoor setting, ‘World’s Columbian Exposition’ certainly counts as a monument of American impressionism.”
* Millet died on the Titanic.
This is probably the painting the curator referred to during the press tour in May when he said he was looking forward to getting a landscape by an artist whose mentor was Monet. Two readers guessed Theodore Robinson, and I think they should contribute their comments to Eye Candy more often!
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art's membership brochure has on its cover a picture of a couple with a large abstract painting behind them. It's Adolph Gottlieb's "Trinity," which was sold just weeks ago — May 11 — at auction at Sotheby's.
This 1962 painting — which is a New-York-School-sized 185 inches wide by 80 inches high — was sold by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Auction price paid: $1,142,500. Read more about Adolph Gottlieb here. Alice Walton isn't cooling off; she's collecting with passion.
Seeing the Gottlieb on the brochure distracted me a bit from the purpose of my requesting it — to find out what membership fees will be in the museum. Students may join for $35, individuals for $55, families for $75, and then there are various levels of sponsorship, up to the $20,000 Director's Guild. Memberships are tax deductible, the brochure says. The museum has chosen the weekend of uniquely American holiday — Independence Day — to launch the membership drive; events in Northwest Arkansas are planned July 1-4.
The perks of membership: Complimentary or discounted tickets to select exhibitions, invitations to member-only events, a complimentary subscription to Museum Magazine and a 10 percent discount in the Museum Store.
Boswell-Mourot Fine Art, 5815 Kavanaugh in the Heights, is hosting a silent auction fund-raiser for the Arkansas State Hospital Creative Expressions program tonight from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (which means if you do Argenta ArtWalk, you can also go to Boswell-Mourot, and vice versa).
"Art Musings: Creative People Cooperate" will feature 32 paintings by the clients of the Expressions program. A quote from the press release by client TLW: "If some of the more creative people would cooperate, it would be easier to see heaven from earth, wouldn’t it?”
Ariston Jacks, whose work can be seen at the Butler Galleries this month, is the art coordinator for the program, founded by Donala Jordan.
The 6th annual Arkansas Sculpture Invitational opens tomorrow in Morrilton's Rialto Gallery; Arkansas artists and artists who reside in the Mid America Arts Alliance states were invited.
The exhibit space is at 101 E. Railroad Ave. Hours for the exhibit are 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $5 unless you're under 14 (free). A catalogue comes with the price of admission.
The "Best of the South" show continues at Greg Thompson Fine Art, but work by artists new to the gallery will also be exhibited tonight, including work by Robyn Horn, Rebecca Thompson and Robert Rector. Such art to see tonight at Argenta ArtWalk! It's 5-8 p.m. on Main Street, where independent artists will be showing their art and crafts.
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