The Oxford American's visual arts issue highlights "the new superstars of Southern art," a group they are calling "100 under 100." I'm not sure what the "under 100" refers to, unless it means no Southern Grandma Moseses were eligible. At any rate, galleries owners, curators, critics and artists selected four Arkansans for superstardom: Keliy Anderson-Staley of Russellville (No. 39), Alex Leme of Little Rock (No. 61), Mark Monroe of North Little Rock (No. 87) and Jon Shannon Rogers of Little Rock (No. 99). Anderson-Staley and Leme are photographers, Monroe is a conceptual artist and Rogers is a painter. (For this issue, media were limited to paint, photography and drawing.)
The online version of the story doesn't include images of work by any of the Arkansas artists, but Eye Candy readers have seen images of Anderson-Staley's wet-plate collodion tintypes posted here and here. Anderson-Staley was nominated by Kevin Miller, director of the Southeast Museum of Photography. Rogers has also made appearances on the blog, including here; he was nominated by dealer Greg Thompson. Leme, a native of Brazil, was nominated by South Carolina photographer and USC faculty member Kathleen Robbins, and UCA student Monroe was nominated by UCA gallery curator Barclay McConnell.
With one exception, the images by the top 40 artists are representational and nearly all are of the human figure, which I guess is sort of Southern-ish. I can't say that any of them made me sit up and shout "Gadzooks!" (I'm not sure what would, actually), but I did like the drawing by Zoe Charlton of Baltimore (No. 10, page 65, but not online), a painting by Brett Bigbee (No. 27, page 82, not online) and Anderson-Staley's work (page 94) the best.
Candy fans, what other Arkansas artists do you think should have been in the top 100?
Blue-Eyed Knocker show
The 19 members of the Blue-Eyed Knocker photography club are getting ready for their exhibit March 17 at Gallery 26, a show they say will be one of the largest displays of fine art photography ever in Central Arkansas.
The club has been working for three years on the exhibit, which opens with a St. Patrick's Day reception from 7 to 10 p.m. featuring food, drinks and music.
The photographers in the exhibit are the students of Rita Henry, one of Little Rock's photographic talents. Samples of what you'll see in slideshow.
Laman Library's exhibit "Linedrives and Lipstick: The Untold Story of Women’s Baseball" isn't about art, but I'm not letting that stop me from posting here the library's event tomorrow in conjunction with that exhibit: First, a showing of "A League of Their Own" at 1 p.m., and when that's through, a panel discussion with three women who played in the American Girls Professional Baseball League: Sue Kidd of Choctaw, who makes an appearance in the movie and was a pitcher and first baseman in the late '40s and early '50s; Mary Lou “Studnicka” Caden, a pitcher and second baseman from Chicago who now resides in Arkansas; and Delores “Dolly” Brumfield White of Arkadelphia.
This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call 758-1720 or visit www.lamanlibrary.org.
An artist who participated in this event last year told me it was a great show and lots of fun: The Blue Bridge Center for the Delta Arts's 4th annual Delta Visual Arts Show. The show opens tomorrow at 10:30 at several venues in Newport and runs through 6 p.m.; a reception will be held from 4-6 p.m.
The show will feature 100 artists from five states, most of them having a connection with the Delta, either personal or in favored themes. Susie Henley was kind enough to send me notice of the show, so I'm giving her the picture spot above.
Venues are the Iron Mountain Train Depot on Front Street, the Newport Business Resource Center on Hazel STreet, the old Post Office on Hazel Street and the old First National Bank on Front Street (also called the John Minor Building).
Along with the exhibits will be workshops — Arlette Miller on watercolors, Eva Haley on the "Value Sketch," Ariston Jacks on Drawing Technique and Frank Plegge on basic digital photography. Joe Martin will demonstrate clay sculpture technique and Jeff Ellis will demonstrate woodcarving. There will also be children's art workshops. Call 870-523-1009 to sign up for a workshop; space is limited.
Art Bucks will be awarded as door prizes during the show. There will be three drawings during the day for $100 to be spent toward purchase of art from the show, and another drawing at the reception for $200.
MJ’s Art Cafe will sell soup and sandwiches on the second floor of the Newport Business Resource Center.
Benny Andrews. Steven Assael. Milton Avery. Elizabeth Catlett. Judy Chicago. Francois Boucher. Elaine DeKooning. Juan Gris. Philip Guston. John Marin. Henri Mattise. Sister Gertrude Morgan. Elie Nadelman. Egon Schiele. Paul Signac. Abraham Walkowitz.
That's a pretty hefty lineup, pulled together for the Arkansas Arts Center's "Building the Collection: Art Acquired in the 1990s" exhibit. The Contemporaries are throwing a
sold-out party tonight centering around the show of ceramics and works on paper — "Culture Shock: The '90s" — but if you didn't buy a ticket, you can see the show another day until May 13. update: my information on the tickets was wrong! You can still party tonight at the Arts Center, 7 p.m., $10 members, $19.90 guests.
The go-go '90s were a good decade for collection building at the Arts Center — more than 2,000 artworks were either donated or purchased.
Yes, there are Arkansas artists along with the seraphim — Carroll Cloar, Louis Freund, Laura Phillips, Marjorie Williams-Smith. Here's a complete list of what's in the show with thumbnails. Thanks to Thom Hall.
There won't be any work by Degas there, but folks who love the dance and paintings of dancers should check out "Picturing Movement," a sale and show of paintings by Doug Gorrell to benefit Ballet Arkansas tonight from 6-8 p.m. at the THEA Center, 401 Main St., North Little Rock.
Ballet company members Leslie Dodge, Lauren McCarty Horak, Toby Lewellen, Anna Maris, Sean Porter and trainee Jake Catlett will do "mini-performances" during the event. All proceeds from the sale of Gorrell's work will go to Ballet Arkansas.
More on Gorrell, whose studio is at 4th and Maple in North Little Rock, from a press release:
Doug Gorrell has been painting for over 25 years. He studied at the Academy of Art College, the Fechin Institute and the Scottsdale Artists' School. Over the course of his painting career, Doug has been recognized by numerous fine art publications, including the International Artist magazine as a Master Painter of the World - USA, and the in the North Light Book "Best of Flower Painting 2", for his excellence in painting. His work has been featured in many national shows and can be found in hundreds of private and corporate collections. Doug's painting travels have taken him throughout the United States and abroad including France, Italy, Mexico, Sicily, and Spain.
To give some of its watercolors a rest from gallery lighting, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has replaced them with new works, all but one from the late 19th century and none previously announced as being part of the collection.
Installed are a 13 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. watercolor of people on a beach by post-impressionist Maurice Prendergast (above), painted circa 1896-1897; a 16 3/8 x 23 3/4 in. bronze by Augustus Saint Gaudens of Gertrude Vanderbilt at the age of 7 (below), 1882; a 30 x 25 in. painting by James Earl, "Lady Mary Beauclerk, Daughter of Lord Aubrey and Lady Jane Beauclerk (1793-1794)"; a figurative watercolor by Arthur Bowen Davies (1895) and watercolor landscapes by George Inness, John La Farge and George Henry Smillie, all created between 1880 and 1900.
Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London
Images courtesy of Kenwood House, English Heritage, England, and the American Federation of the Arts, organizers of the exhibition.
It’s a year away, but the exhibition “Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London” coming to the Arkansas Arts Center is something to think about now. The exhibition will bring paintings to Arkansas unlike any before, including a self-portrait by Rembrandt that will first travel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York before making its appearance here.
The next best thing to seeing the work is talking about it with Arts Center director Todd Herman, who becomes chatty and animated when he talks about art and art history. He gave me a primer last week on some of the work in the show, which will open next summer, just as the Arts Center is wrapping up its 50th anniversary observance. It should make a fine “bookend,” Herman said, coming 50 years after the Arts Center opened with an exhibition of Old Masters from the Metropolitan.
The works, some of them larger-than-life, full-length portraits created for English country manors in the 17th and 18th centuries, will hang in the Wolfe and Jeannette Rockefeller galleries. There will be a small charge for the show — around $10 or so, Herman said — half the $22 charged for the “World of the Pharaohs” blockbuster that nearly busted the Arts Center in 2009 and 2010. The Arts Center’s board made a ceremonial gesture in January when it voted to give its blessing to the expensive exhibit (though it pales in comparison to the million-dollars-plus cost of “Pharaohs”).
Besides works by Rembrandt, Van Dyck and Gainsborough, paintings by Frans Hals, Sir Joshua Reynolds, J.M.W. Turner, Francois Boucher, George Romney and masterworks by artists less known to us will be part of the exhibit.
The exhibition of European art allows the Arts Center to prove its continuing importance now that Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has opened in Bentonville. “In some ways it puts an exclamation point on the fact that we have an international collection of stature,” Herman said. (The Arts Center’s collection includes a Rembrandt etching, a Boucher charcoal and a Romney oil lent by the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust.)
When Herman looked through the list of works in the American Federation for the Arts-organized show, he saw “one spectacular painting after another.”
The Rembrandt, painted circa 1665, Herman said, is one of the rare self-portraits in which he depicts himself as an artist, “late in life, as someone who has lived a worldly existence.” The artist’s earlier self-portraits showed him laughing, or in historical costume; the late portrait is “very moving,” Herman said, capturing a man who had seen changes in fortune.
Anthony Van Dyck, a student of Peter Paul Rubens, was “a beautiful painter and draftsman” with an easy technique, Herman said; the oil medium was “second nature” to him, Herman said. His “Princess Henrietta of Lorraine, Attended by a Page (1634),” nearly 7 feet tall, shows a woman dressed in sumptuous silks and lace; a page dressed in red velvet and holding flowers looks up at her. Like “Princess Henrietta,” Thomas Gainsborough’s 95-by-61 inch portrait of Mary, Countess Howe, painted a century later, also has “wallpower,” Herman said, “an interesting aspect of this show.” The works were meant to convey the importance of the subject; in his portrait of Louisa Manners (1779), Sir Joshua Reynolds places her next to a classical column as a way of imbuing the subject with importance.
Frans Hals’ “liquid light approach to paint application” and visible brush strokes were a precursor to the impressionists that would follow him two centuries later, Herman said; his painting of a smiling Dutch merchant dressed in lace, “Pieter van den Broecke,” will be at the Arts Center.
Two of the “wonderful surprises” of the Kenwood House collection are large paintings by Francois Boucher, an 18th century painter of romantic scenes who “led the way in the rococo movement.” There will also be what Herman called a “typical Turner landscape” of stormy seas.
“Two Girls Dressing a Kitten by Candlelight,” an 18th century painting by Joseph Wright of Derby, an artist not as well known to the American public, was described by Herman as “charming.” It is a chiaroscuro work, and besides being charming it is also wryly sexual, thanks to the expression on the little girls’ faces and the kitten’s tail, which curls up between its legs. A man of his day, Wright was fascinated by “what was groundbreaking in the world of science,” Herman said, and others of his candlelight paintings have to do with scientific themes.
The Arts Center almost missed its chance to exhibit “Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough” because by the time sponsors could be confirmed the Milwaukee Art Museum had snatched up the last spot. However, delays in work at Kenwood House meant the traveling show could be extended to a fourth venue, and the Arts Center was chosen. Herman has gotten two $100,000 pledges for the exhibit — one assumes from sponsors Bank of the Ozarks and the Windgate Charitable Foundation — which should cover about half the cost of bringing the show to Little Rock. It will open at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and travel to the Seattle Art Museum and Milwaukee before coming here on June 6, 2013. It will run until Sept. 8, 2013.
UALR art professor Floyd Martin will talk about Arts and Crafts designer William Morris at 6 p.m. tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center; there will be a 5:30 p.m. reception first. The talk is part of the Art of Architecture series sponsored by the Central Arkansas Chapter of the AIA, the Arts Center and the UA Fay Jones School of Architecture.
Morris made beautifully stylized patterns for textiles, wallpaper, furniture and books. Martin researched the British designer while on sabbatical in 2010, where he visited Morris' Red House, a collaboration between Morris and architect Philip Webb in 1860, and another property, the Standen House. Both are part of the British National Trust.
Morris' motto: "Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
For tonight's Argenta ArtWalk, the Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., North Little Rock, stages ballet performances along with an exhibit of pottery by Janet Donnangelo and works by the winners of Thea's Visual Arts Competition.
For Thea's event, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., nature-inspired ceramicist Donnangelo will demonstrate her technique and a small troupe from Ballet Arkansas will perform excerpts from upcoming productions “At the Ellington” and “Delta Push-up Turn”; dance performances will be at 7 and 7:30 p.m.
The Thea Foundation's "Visual Art Competition Winners Show" will include about 30 works of student art from around the state, all expressing themes from Thea Kay Leopoulos’s journal entry “Christmas.”
Works by photographer Barbara House's "Visions of Rust," who transforms images of rust on tractors and trucks into abstractions in bright reds and blues, are featured at Ketz Gallery, 705 Main St., North Little Rock, which will be open 5-8 p.m. tonight for ArgentaArtwalk. House calls her work "extreme photography"; it will be joined by paintings, watercolors, woodwork and art glass by other Ketz Gallery artists.
The MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History opens an exhibit today commemorating the birth of Gen. Douglas MacArthur, an event that gives the museum its name, and his return on March 23, 1952.
MacArthur lived in the Arsenal Building only briefly as an infant, something the exhibit will note to visitors curious about the connection. The exhibit features two recent acquisitions: Maurice Kellogg's painting of MacArthur, astride a horse in front of the museum, and a 1890 42-star unofficial American commemorative flag that belonged to prominent businessman and politician Logan H. Roots, for whom Fort Roots was named. It was donated by Bert Parke, Roots' great-grandson.
The painting was conserved by Helen Leigh in memory of her late husband, USAF Col. Gilbert Leigh. Artist Maurice Kellogg (1919 — 1984) was a Kansas native who received degrees in art from Kansas University and the Fogg Museum at Harvard, where he specialized in pictorial design. During World War II, he rose to the rank of captain in the infantry and was awarded two Purple Hearts and four citations for gallantry in combat. He moved to Arkansas in 1967 after a 20 year-career as a book designer in Boston.
The flag, which is so large that it hangs from the ceiling of the second floor to the staircase landing on the first floor [I've now learned it is 15-by-7.5 feet], would have been declared official on July 4, 1891, but was made obsolete by the addition of Idaho and Wyoming to statehood, bringing the star count to 44, before the 4th.
The Arts Center announced today that it will host in 2013 the exhibition "Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House," which Candy fans read about in an earlier post. This is quite a coup for the Arts Center, which was able to get on the American touring schedule for the show because of an extended renovation of Kenwood House.
The Bank of the Ozarks and the Windgate Charitable Foundation are sponsors for the show, which will include 48 masterworks from the Iveagh Bequest at Kenwood House in London. The Gainsborough above is 95 x 61 inches, and many pieces of work in the show will be as monumental. Works by Frans Hals, Joshua Reynolds, J.M.W. Turner will also be exhibited.
Arts Center Director Todd Herman told the Arts Center's board of directors in January that he had received two $100,000 pledges for the show, which should cost around $365,000 to bring to Little Rock. There will be a small charge to see the show.
Herman believes the exhibition will be the first to hang a Rembrandt painting in Arkansas. Coincidentally, it was 50 years ago, in 1953, when the newly remodeled Arts Center opened with an exhibition of Old Master European paintings from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Other exhibition venues include the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum. Dates for the show here are June 6-Sept. 8. The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and English Heritage. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, with additional funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane.
Vermont photographer Don Ross will give a talk at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock at 7 p.m. tonight in Fine Arts Center Room 161. He is both a commercial and fine artist; his website features abstract photography drawn from nature and man-made materials and landscapes. Ross also specializes in photographic reproduction of works of art and archival pigment ink printing.
Ceramic artist Judith Duff, who works in the Japanese Shino tradition in her studio in North Carolina, will give a talk at 6 p.m. Sunday at the Arkansas Arts Center as part of the Friends of Contemporary Crafts "Conversation" series.
Duff's work, which is included in the Arts Center's permanent collection, is wood-fired and created for practical use. She's taught workshops throughout the United States and in Japan, including Penland, Odyssey Center for Craft, Mudfire, and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
Tickets to the talk are $15 for FOCC members or $20 for non-members and includes a light dinner after the talk. To reserve, call 372-4000 or email FOCC@arkarts.com
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