Laman, at 2801 Orange St. in North Little Rock, opens an exhibition tomorrow of works by the clients of Birch Tree Communities, which serves people with serious mental illness, and the Arkansas State Hospital.
The art outreach at Birch Tree, a non-profit whose annual exhibition of work has brought more than $200,000 in sales to its clients, and the Creative Expressions Program at the State Hospital were designed to give people with mental illness a way to communicate their feelings and gain self-confidence. Jim Tindall is Birch Tree's artistic director, and Donala Jordan and Ariston Jacks run the State Hospital program.
The show runs through Oct. 20.
... the two Little Rock sales tax proposals pass. Mark Stodola noted that the city's contribution to the Arts Center has declined in recent years — by nearly $300,000 in the past decade — and said if the voters agree to proposed penny sales tax (3/8 for capital, 5/8 for operations) the city "will be able to increase that funding."
He got loud applause. The Arts Center hasn't issued a position on the taxes; the Museum of Discovery has publicly stated its support. The MOD also receives money from Little Rock.
The city's list of how it will spend the tax dollars includes $500,000 for MacArthur Park and museum operations, from the 3/8-cent capital tax.
ADDENDUM: That $500,000 would be over 10 years.
Last May, two anonymous donors gave the foundation challenge gifts of $1 million each. The board of directors of the foundation, the non-profit that contributes operating support to the Arts Center and holds its collection, met the challenge, raising $2 million from its membership and other long-time Arts Center supporters, Warren Stephens announced at the Arts Center's annual meeting just concluded.
"Based on the success of this campaign and the bright future we see ahead, the foundation directors unanimously agreed to gift two million one hundred seventy thousand dollars to the Arts Center," Stephens said in prepared remarks. "This gift will relieve the Arts Center from both the debt to the foundation and the interest payment on that debt. It will provide the opportunity for our new director and the Arts Center to move forward in the most positive way."
Stephens said after the meeting that he was not one of the two $1 million donors. He said the $2 milllion match came from directors (with full participation) and long-time supporters of the Arts Center, though he would not give a number. He said the anonymous gifts sparked a surge in giving, since donors knew their dollars would be matched.
Stephens, who is president of the foundation, also announced that the foundation acquired 197 works of art this year — 163 drawings, eight paintings, five photographs and 17 works of contemporary craft.
Twenty-three works were purchased with the help of various contributors. The remaining 174 works were donated to the Arts Center by Jackye and Curtis Finch Jr., John and Robyn Horn; the Diane and Sandy Besser Collection; by bequest from Elsie and Howard Stebbins; the Colleen Brown Wagner Trust, the Albert Pike Memorial Scottish Rite Temple, Mattie and Dr. Donald Leonard; artist John Falato, the Sam Francis Foundation; Arkansas Hospice; artist Donald Holden, Harmon-Meek Gallery, Jack Soultanian, artist Daniel Massad; artist Bruce Metcalf; Sue Williams, the Stonehill Family; Claire Shane Lohnes and artist Milly Moorhead West.
Heather Henson, the daughter of the late Jim Henson and an artist and puppeteer herself, opens UCA's Artist in Residence Series with a four-day film festival featuring marionette, finger puppet and paper cutout performances.
The films will be shown at 7 p.m. Sept. 12-15 in Stanley Russ Hall room 103, and a children's program at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 17 at the Faulkner County Library, 1900 Tyler St., Conway.
Henson will be joined by Tim Lagasse, a puppet master, filmmaker, editor and television director who has designed and built puppets for PBS, Nickelodeon, Disney and Comedy Central; Lyon Hill, a puppet-maker with Columbia Marionette Theatre, and Sam Hale, an illustrator, sculptor, puppet designer and builder.
An installation of found objects, sod, traditional garage sale signs, fencing and wire renderings and paintings of garage sale items by Joel Armstrong, John Brown University art professor, opens Sept. 15 at the sUgAR Gallery in Bentonville, the U of A's student gallery. The show opens Sept. 15; hours are 2-6 p.m. Thu.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. and 1-5 p.m. Sun. A garage sale event is planned from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Oct. 1, and a closing reception will be held 5:30-7:30 p.m. Oct. 9. Check out sUgAR here.
Hello, Candy fans. I thought I'd pass along this image of work I saw yesterday at the Museum of Northern Arizona because of the style's resemblance to a certain Arkansas painter of rivers.
Bruce Aiken has lived in Bright Angel Canyon along the Grand Canyon for more than 30 years. The image above does not do justice to the original's capture of light on the river. He sometimes paints on an enormous scale (as befits the subject matter); the work I like best is his quieter, subdued landscapes.
The Arkansas painter Aiken recalls is, of course, William McNamara.
Here's the second entry on UALR TV today: It's a 5-minute short on the printmakers' show in Gallery III of the Fine Arts Center. In this video, gallery director Brad Cushman talks about the imagery and techniques that the women in the show are using to talk about family, roots and culture. Delita Martin of Little Rock is one of the artists; the others are Rabea Ballin, Ann “Sole Sister” Johnson and Lovie Olivia. Another great show, another great video. Go see it and report back. I'll be absent from the blog for a few days.
UALR TV has posted this 3-minute video on the Fine Arts Center gallery exhibition of James Tisdale's ceramics, "Thoughts from China," featuring gallery assistant Nathan Larson. Larson describes affect Tisdale's time in China has had on his technique; the video is a great come-on. If you've seen the show, please comment below for fellow Candy fans.
Work by Henri Linton, V.L. Cox, George ("Blue Dog") Rodrigue and other artists in its permanent collection help the Thea Foundation celebrate its 10th anniversary tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Acoustic performer Audrey Dean Kelley will provide the music.
Tonight's featured artist at Ketz, 705 Main St., North Little Rock, is Matthew Castellano, whose exhibition "Tour de World" features 20 vintage photos combined with drawings of bikes and foreign stamps. Castellano says his work reflects the "skater/street art culture"; the current show is in honor of his photographer grandfather, Richard Naylor.
Also at Ketz: Work by John Kushmaul, Louise Harris, Michael Lindas, Jenell Richards and Caren Garner.
Ketz is celebrating Argenta ArtWalk from 5 to 8 p.m.
Thea Foundation, which is celebrating its 10th year, will feature works from its collection by Henri Linton, V.L. Cox, bronzes from Royal's Light and Time Design Studio, "Blue Dog" artist George Rodrigue and others in its gallery space at 401 Main. Audrey Dean Kelley will provide live music for the evening, 5:30-8 p.m. at all venues.
Ketz is featuring "Matthew Castellano's Tour de World," the artist's homage to his grandfather in the form of historical photographs combined with bike drawings and stamps from foreign countries. New-to-the-gallery artist Caren Garner and regular John Kushmaul will also have work on display and Ketz says it will serve "summer libations and delicacies." That could be lemonade and watercress sandwiches or booze and cool crudities ... you'll only know which it is by going and finding out.
Laman Library's Argenta branch is featuring the pop collages of former Hollywood cameraman Byron Werner, and G.T.F.A. continues its show of landscapes by Charles Harrington and adds work by Robyn Horn, J.O. Buckley and Robert Rector.
Claytime Studios, Argenta Bead and the "Gathering of Artists" independents are also on the ArtWalk roster.
Some information from today's meeting of the executive and finance meetings of the Arkansas Arts Center's board of directors: The Arts Center has narrowed its candidates for its director of development position and hopes to have someone in place soon, members of the board of directors said today. This is a crucial position for the Arts Center (for any arts center): In July, the first month of the Arts Center's fiscal year, development revenue was running more than $150,000 under budget. Things are not as bad as that number would suggest, Arts Center's finance person Laine Harber said; some of the grants and donations that were expected in July are late, including board of director pledges of about $66,000.
A strong finish to "The Impressionists and Their Influence," a ticketed show, and a tight rein on the budget reduced last fiscal year's losses to $51,000, a big improvement over fiscal year 09-10's loss of $2 million, finance committee chair Mary Ellen Vangilder pointed out.
Director Todd Herman has been busy identifying his priorities for fall, including incorporating more of the permanent collection into the exhibitions; filling chief curatorial positions; seeing where the facility needs upgrades (including art storage, which he said is almost dangerously lacking in space); improving public awareness with signage, a more dynamic website and by capitalizing on attention being drawn to Arkansas by the opening of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in November; and doing an economic impact study with The Rep, Symphony and the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau. Herman has hit the ground running.
The 54th annual Delta Exhibition of work by regional artists opens next January; artists have until Oct. 14 to enter up to three entries in the show. This year's juror: Tom Butler, executive director of the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Ga. (amd the former boss of the Arts Center's new director, Todd Herman). Butler organized the exhibition “Lines of Discovery: 225 Years of American Drawing" at the Arts Center in 2007.
Artists born or living in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas are eligible to enter. To see the guidelines and get entry information, go to www.arkarts.com. Exhibition dates are Jan. 27-March 28, 2012.
For more information, visit www.arkarts.com, e-mail email@example.com or call 501-396-0375.
John Salvest, professor of art at Arkansas State University and a master of conceptual art, will erect a temporary public art piece, "IOU/USA," in Kansas City's Penn Valley/Memorial Hill Park. The work will consist of 105 steel shipping containers in various colors, stacked 15 across and seven high. The letters I O U will be spelled out by the containers on one side and U S A on the other. Salvest on the exhibit, which will be installed Sept. 2 and run through Oct. 16:
“The placement of the project near a regional branch of the Federal Reserve Bank, one of
the main components of national economic policy, comes at a time when concern about the
United States’ ballooning federal budget and foreign trade deficits is a major part of the
national conversation. Its location between the Fed and the Pioneer Mother Memorial is also
fitting in that, whereas the permanent public monument rightfully celebrates America’s and
Kansas City’s triumphant past, the temporary public sculpture may generate meaningful
discussion about where we, as a nation, are heading.”
The piece is paired with a separate work, "New Cornucopia," a single shipping container with its contents spilling out into a gallery at Grand Arts, a modern day reference to global production of plenitude.
Update: Read more about Salvest here.
James Tisdale's terra cotta figures, new work inspired by his 2010 residency in Jingdezhen, China, go on exhibit today in Gallery II of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Tisdale, the Ceramic Program Coordinator at the Austin Museum of Art, said the residency "taught me to refine, to shed and to simplify my life and in turn my work."
His figures often wear what might be read as jester's hats, but the expressions on the faces aren't meant to amuse; looks like the joke's on them. Will write more after I get to UALR to see what promises to be excellent work, especially for eccentric figurine fanatics like yours truly.
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