Writer Paul Brady goes to colleague Doug Smith to find out a bit more about Bentonville's past. Read the story here. Spokesperson Laura Jacobs is quoted: "We're learning that this is many peoples' first experience with a museum."
The Bernice Garden, the public sculpture space created by Anita Davis on property she owns at Daisy Bates and Main Street, has issued the call for entries for the fourth round of sculptures to be placed there.
Any Arkansas artist or team of artists may enter. Winners will receive a stipend of $2,800, plus a $200 design fee to create a model for their project. Up to five sculptures will be considered. Deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, April 20.
Liz Sanders, coordinator, has the details; call her at 501-617-2511, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or go to the Bernice Garden website.
About the image above: The Bernice Garden's signature nest sculpture is the creation of Little Rock artist and UALR faculty member David H. Clemons; it got the attention of a real mockingbird.
"Facets of the Journey"
A preview of images from Grav Weldon's show at OW Pizza Downtown, Feb. 1-July 1.
His photographs on exhibit at Olde World Pizza, 1706 W. 3rd St., are posted on the slideshow portion of the home page.
At the opening of the "54th Delta Exhibition" and the "Masters of Watercolor" show.
A change from the release below: Entry deadline is now Feb. 5.
Bentonville gets yet another plug as a travel destination, this time from the Los Angeles Times, which includes Crystal Bridges Museum in its "12 places to visit in 2012." To wit:
Bentonville, Ark.: That's right, Bentonville, served by Northwest Arkansas Regional Airport. It's where Wal-Mart is headquartered, and it's where Alice Walton, of the chain's founding Walton family, has spent hundreds of millions of dollars to build Crystal Bridges, a new museum of American art, colonial to contemporary, on a 120-acre site. The collection, which opened Nov. 11, leans toward representational works with broad appeal. Norman Rockwell's "Rosie the Riveter" is here, as is Andy Warhol's "Dolly Parton." New Yorkers may scoff at this distant town as a cultural destination, but we out west should be above that. crystalbridges.org; free admission to the permanent collection.
(That's my emphasis in the paragraph above.)
Travel and Leisure magazine was the first out of the gate to urge folks to travel to Arkansas. Many others have followed.
Some years, the Arkansas Arts Center's Delta exhibit has had a distinctly Southern look about the art. (No surprise there.) But regionalism takes a back seat this year, its 54th: The best work in the show rises above Southern themes and whimsy; the work succeeds without funny words scrawled across the surface or white edges around the picture plane, part of the Southern code.
Robyn Horn's dramatic "Landslide," massive chunks of redwood fitted together, is masterful; the Little Rock woodworker's piece would suit the Museum of Modern Art's garden perfectly. I'm not sure why it wasn't the Grand Award winner, though the sculpture that did take the prize, Ron Moorhead's "9 Zen Nuns," striding female clay figures that recall the terracotta warriors of China, is strong. Niles Wallace's sculpture is the Delta's annual nod to the organic, a huge knot of bundled carpet circles that one can't help but like (and can't help but think a cat would, too).
The photography in the Delta is particularly strong. This year, the public can vote on a People's Choice Award; mine would be Steven Jones' "Taste." The Fort Smith photographer's archival pigmented print has the palette and lighting of a Vermeer, though not the subject matter: The photo is of a chilly naked woman clutching silverware at a table set with a bowl and salt and pepper shakers. The blur of the otherworldly green shakers, the detail of the napkin and the goosebumps on the (headless) figure's arms, the slant of light, the repetition of twos — breasts, fists, shakers — it's captivating.
Benjamin Krain's metallic endura print, an aerial view of Joplin after last year's devastating tornado there tornado, is a detailed shot that demands the viewer come close to see the homes turned to sticks or upended; cars overturned, people walking about, in a grid of destruction. Then stand back to see Kat Wilson's 48-by-60 inch "Rye Hill, Fort Smith," a "Where's Waldo" of the art world: The Fayetteville photographer has posed a couple in front of their fireplace with objects that define their lives — guitars, children's books and shoes and alphabet, elephant figurines — carefully arranged about them. Keliy Anderson-Staley of Russellville has made gorgeous wet-plate collodian portraits ("Kevin" and "Helen") that shimmer in places, much like the Chuck Close prints shone last year at the Arts Center. "Helen" is a Delta Award winner.
The strength of David Bailin's Delta Award-winning "Cars" is its near monochromatic field — coffee and charcoal and water are his media — interrupted by a clearly-drawn hand covering a central figure's face.
I'm not sure why Eszter Sziksz didn't win some kind of recognition for her mesmerizing 9-minute video of screen-printed ice — that's right, ice discs with images on them — melting and, in reverse, refreezing to their original state.
Besides the winner, other strong ceramics included Aaron Calvert's "Drift," of a leaf-tattoed man and a mummy in canoe. It's quasi-mesoamerican in style; the frog the man is offering on a leaf is wonderful. Great work.
The exhibition runs through March 28 in the Townsend Wolfe Gallery. You'll pass through "Masters of American Watercolor," works from the Arts Center's collection, to get there. Review on that excellent show in future. There's a slideshow of more work from the Delta here.
Hugg & Hall mobile storage are join the shipping container movement, building a new facility for their business almost entirely out of the steel boxes.
Two container homes at 21st Street and Commerce in the Pettaway neighborhood downtown are thought to be the first two containers adapted for living space in Little Rock. (If anybody knows of others, would love to know about it.) Each of those homes use four containers to make 1,300 square feet of living space. The Hugg and Hall building will include a 3,200-square-foot-office building and a 5,000-square-foot workshop.
The availability of the containers stems from the fact that the U.S. imports more than it exports, I'm told, and the containers sit empty at the ports. That they're being recycled as permanent structures is a green idea. They look good, too.
Kalispera! V.L. Cox is showing "Iliad" and "Odyssey," two new large-scale works, tonight in her studio at 401 Maple St., NLR, and she promises "you will never think of Ancient Greece the same way again!" Above is a detail from one of the works.
Her studio will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Wine and Mediterranean hors d'oeuvres will be served.
The Windgate Foundation has issued a challenge grant of $100,000 to the Arkansas Arts Center as a match for "new money" — from new donors, members who've let their memberships lapse, etc. It's not a billion, which the Walton Family Foundation has poured into Crystal Bridges Museum, but it will be a refreshing sip for the Arts Center.
Also at the board meeting yesterday, where a bequest of $225,000 was announced, director Todd Herman revealed that the Arts Center Foundation has made seven new acquisitions for the permanent collection.
In what I hope to make a regular feature on works of art in Arkansas museums, here's some information about one of those acquisitions, the Alfonso Ossorio above, sent to Eye Candy by Herman:
Born into a wealthy family in the Philippines, Alfonso Ossorio was educated in England and came to the U.S. at the age of 14. He studied Fine Art at Harvard University and the Rhode Island School of Design. During World War II, Ossorio worked as a medical illustrator specializing in arterio-vascular and neuro-surgery. After the war, Ossorio incorporated this training into a style that relied heavily on the surrealist influences coming out of Europe—the result of avant-garde artists and psychoanalysts fleeing Europe during the War—that was fueling a new group of artists in New York in the 1940s. Members of that group, including Ossorio, Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, and Barnett Newman would go on to form the nucleus of the Abstract Expressionist movement. A year after this drawing was executed, Ossorio met Jackson Pollock and the two became life-long friends. Not only did Ossorio actively collect Pollock’s work, his own style began to take on the ‘all over’ gestural signature that Pollock made famous. In this drawing, however, Ossorio combines his training as a medical illustrator, his fascination with the interlocking rhythms of medieval illuminated manuscripts, the symbolic world of the subconscious and his ongoing struggles with the human conditions of life, death, spirituality and the wounds of the world.
A sharp-eyed fan of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art asked on the museum's Facebook page when Robert Indiana's 1999 "Love" sculpture would be installed. The museum said it would announce something shortly on new sculpture installations, but sharp-eyed fan had apparently looked at the trails map on the website and seen that "Love" is planned for a trail tucked in the woods south of the museum and east of the trail to the rear entrance of the museum. (See map).
Phillips de Pury & Co., New York, sold one of Indiana's "Love" editions for $1.3 million last May. (Polychrome aluminum.
96 x 96 x 48 in., stamped 1966-1999.) Christie's sold another, for $4.1 million (144 x 144 x 72 in.). But the latter was stamped 1990; CBM's trails map dates its "Love" as 1999. So it looks like Alice Walton got a deal. Eight by eight by four feet is a fine scale for a path in the Ozark woods.
Arkansas Arts Center Director Tod Herman announced today at a meeting of the Center board of directors that the facility has received a bequest of $225,000 from the estate of Norris Taylor, a CPA from Fort Smith. Taylor's interest in the Arts Center was spurred by a sister who once taught at the Arts Center.
The gift comes in handy; it's approximately the sum the Arts Center is behind in its budget for the year. The AAC will use it to update its 12-year-old dinosaur of a website and make pre-pays on upcoming exhibits.
Herman also talked about a special exhibition he wants to bring to the Arts Center in the summer of 2013, as the Arts Center concludes its celebration of its 50th anniversary — 48 works by Rembrandt, van Dyck, Gainesborough and others from Kenwood House in North London. The show is expensive — $365,000 — and will cost another $90,000 to install, but Herman told the board that he had already received two pledges for $100,000. Though the board doesn't have to vote on exhibitions, board chairman Chucki Bradbury asked that it do so in this case as a show of support and commitment, and the show got unanimous approval from directors. The expense for the exhibition is paltry compared to the $1.7 million budget for the snakebit "World of the Pharaohs," but the board's vote demonstrates it's paying attention.
Board member emerita Jeane Hamilton noted that the new Arts Center's first exhibit in 1963 was "Four Centuries of European Art," and she said it would be a "fitting kickoff to the next 50 years" to exhibit of works of such magnitude. A self-portrait of Rembrandt will be included; it will be exhibited at the Metropolitan this April before joining the other works at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
The rest of the tentative exhibit schedule includes a photographic study of tattoo art by Mark Perrott later this year; blown glass sculpture designed by children and a Smithsonian exhibit on printmaking; installation art about Japanese internment by Wendy Maruyama (to be paired with a show of Edward Weston photographs made to illustrate Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass") in 2013 and a show of 1940s work by Mark Rothko in 2014.
Gallery 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., opens "Dream, Float Burn," an exhibition of recent paintings by Stephen Cefalo, Saturday with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Eli Ramsey will provide the music.
Cefalo, who teaches at the Museum School at the Arkansas Arts Center, paints contemporary subjects with Old Master technique. I don't need to say more, because Cefalo has made a video preview of the show:
Ketz Gallery, 705 Main St., is calling its annual "Out of the Box Show and Sale" of works by gallery artists, including Sulac, Matthew Gore and others an exhibition "with a cutting edge." Check it out tonight from 5-8 p.m. with other Argenta ArtWalkers.
"Modern Day Diana," photographs by Margaret LeJeune, is on exhibit at the Thea Center, 401 Main St., North Little Rock, which will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight for Argenta ArtWalk.
LeJeune's work features women hunter's some posed with their weapons, some in interior spaces decorated with their trophies. The photographs explore the dichotomy of femininity and the hunt: one woman, in a skirt and with a flower in her hair, is posed under her trophies; another sits at a sewing machine set beneath her gun rack, repairing her overalls.
LeJeune is assistant professor of art at Lyon College.
Also at Thea tonight: Ceramic bowls by art students of Matt Teravest of Hall High and Bonni Mogstad of Parkview Magnet school. The project was an effort to teach the students about philanthropy; the bowls will be sold for $20 each to benefit the Arkansas Food Bank. (I'm not sure that's a lesson all artists, tired of being asked to donate their work for benefits, would appreciate, but it still sounds like a nice way to help out the food bank.)
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