Artchurch Studios at 301 Whittington Ave. in Hot Springs is having an open house tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. to introduce the new director, Erin Holliday, and talk about 2012 programming, capital improvements and membership opportunities.
The studio was created five years ago and offers classes, exhibition space and collaborates with the community on various projects.
Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Director H.L. McGill, whose firing and rehiring I reported on last year, has been terminated a second time. Assistant director Quantia Fletcher will head the staff while the state Department of Arkansas Heritage searches for a successor.
McGill has not returned a call, but I'll have more on this later, when I get a chance to look at files the former director has made open.
The Mosaic Templars museum, with its exhibits on black entrepreneurs and the history of Ninth Street, is a gem in need of experienced leadership that will grow its collections and public awareness.
UPDATE: On March 9, DAH Deputy Director Martha Miller cited several problems in a disciplinary notification issued McGill, including allegations that he ignored her request to see a draft of the museum's IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services) grant for 2012 (the 2011 grant was also an issue in McGill's first firing last March), committed to various expenditures without prior approval, did not get with Miller to coordinate schedules in setting a meeting, failed to answer e-mail on a number of issues, failed to "plan for the future," citing a "last-minute rush to spend down the NCRC (Natural and Cultural Resources Council) 2011 grant," a "questionable understanding" of NCRC status and other communication breakdowns, including a situation in which his assistant put in a request to draw down $300,000 in funds in error.
McGill declined to sign the notification, and, according to Miller, said "he thought this was a matter that needed to be discussed with Lamar Davis of Gov. Mike Beebe's staff." Davis is Beebe's deputy chief of staff.
On March 16, Miller put a note in McGill's file saying she was also concerned about a request from McGill's assistant to draw down $73,000 for expenditures not approved.
On March 21, McGill responded to Miller in writing, saying he'd let her know where she could find the IMLS draft referred to in the March 9 disciplinary notice, had never been required to get prior approval for purchases, that his business specialist had taken care of items and declined being tardy in his response to DAH administrators.
Miller terminated McGill Monday for his "failure to respond to the concerns" raised in the disciplinary notice.
"Inside Peanuts" features photographs and information on Schulz's early life in Minnesota to his life as an artist in California and will include more than 40 "Peanuts" comic strips drawn over the cartoon's 50-year history, collectibles, and Schulz's quotes, such as this one: “It seems beyond the comprehension of people that someone can be born to draw comic strips, but I think I was.”
There will be an opening reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday with music by “The Gentleman Jazz.”
The stop at Laman is part of an international tour sponsored by the Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center in Santa Rosa, Calif.
Downtown Little Rock has seen the opening of a couple of new galleries lately, and now there's a third: Gallery 221, in the Pyramid Building at Second and Center streets. The gallery will exhibit paintings and sculpture from private collections and resident artists whose working studios are on the building's third floor (in Art Studios 221).
Paintings by Catherine Rodgers are the featured work in the gallery's debut exhibit. Also showing is work by Jennifer Coleman, Larry Hare and Cynthia Ragan. In the private collection gallery: Works by Gino Hollander, Elena Feliciano, Thomas Fedro, Framos and Gloria Vanderbilt.
Jenn Freeman, gallery manager, said the studios will eventually accommodate 13 artists. The gallery will participate in 2nd Friday Art Night's downtown gallery trolley troll. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and by appointment (801-0211).
The New York Times has a super story on how Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Director Don Bacigalupi, his partner Dan Feder and their son Guston have become part of the Bentonville community and about the very modern house that suits their decision to live openly in what outsiders might guess is a closed-minded town.
The story reports that when she offered the job to Bacigalupi, Alice Walton was concerned for the family's happiness in her home town:
Still, even Alice Walton, the Walmart scion who grew up in Bentonville, wasn’t sure the couple would be happy raising their child there. After offering Bacigalupi the job of director of her Crystal Bridges Museum, in 2009, Walton insisted he get to know people in the Ozarks town before deciding. She even went ahead and found potential friends for the two men, via a gay employees group at Walmart. “After knowing that Don was the right fit for us,” Walton wrote in an e-mail, “I wanted to be certain the community was the right fit for him and his family. That was my No. 1 priority.”
Great photographs accompany the story, which you can read here. Here's our own picture of Bacigalupi and Guston at the November opening of the museum.
Residential Architect awarded its "On the Boards" Grand Award to the Pettaway Park Neighborhood project, collaboration between students in the UA's Fay Jones School of Architecture and staff of the UA Community Design Center.
The design was commissioned by the Downtown Little Rock Community Development Corp. for five parcels it owns on Rock Street between 17th and 19th streets. Stephen Luoni, director of the Community Design Center, and others with the architectural group suggested combining the parcels to create a pocket neighborhood that would place nine 1,200-square-foot homes, each costing around $100,000 around a shared green space. The design will be featured in Residential Architect's March-April issue.
See more images here. The press release follows.
I am back from Ocean Springs, Miss., where I went with friends to visit the Walter Anderson Museum of Art. It's well worth making the trip to the Gulf, where you'll find welcoming locals who are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Now, back to work for me!
The Azheimer's Arkansas auxiliary's 13th annual "Art to Remember" benefit art auction is set for March 27 at the Pavilion in the Park, 8201 Cantrell Road. You can preview now the work that will be on sale at the Azheimer's Arkansas's website.
Tickets to the event, which starts at 6:30 p.m., are $125 a person; proceeds go to support the group's Family Assistance Program, which provides financial help to caregivers of person with dementia. The event will include heavy hors d'oeuvres and drinks along with the live and silent auction.
For more information, call 224-0021.
The color of the day may be St. Patrick's green, but it's the Blue-Eyed Knocker Photo Group that will be the center of attention tonight at Gallery 26, which will hold an opening reception for its new exhibition from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., with music by the Staggering G8z.
Nineteen photographers are showing 170 photographs, many produced in the darkroom, according to the teacher of many in the Knocker group, Rita Henry. On exhibit will be original handmade silver gelatin prints, authentic Polaroid manipulations, long-exposure digital images and iPhone photographic art.
The BEK group includes Cynthia L. Adams, Darrell Adams, Gail Arnold, Ann Ballard Bryan, Tony Bliss, Mary Chamberlain, Susan Crisp, Betsy Davis, Susan Ebel, Eric Estes, Lynn Frost, Rachel Green, Tammy Harris, Bud Holloway, Jamusu, Casey Sanders, Dauphne Trenholm, Margaret Wang and Rachel Worthen.
Stephano's Fine Art is celebrating St. Patrick's Day with what sounds like brunch but goes on all day: "Green Beer and Eggs" from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. today will feature a preview of artist-decorated eggs to be auctioned off at Youth Home's Eggshibition XXI — aka "Eggstreme Makeover — from 7 to 10 p.m. March 30 at UALR's Jack Stephens Center.
Not only can you enjoy a sneak peek, but you might win a free ticket to Eggshibition by stopping in the gallery. Youth Home serves children and teen-agers with behavioral problems.
Lisa Krannichfeld, who is known for her drip-technique nudes, will be at Laman Library's Argenta branch tonight for Argenta ArtWalk, 5-8 p.m.
Krannichfeld also works on wood (see above). Here's a quote from her website:
“Two things appear over and over in my work more than anything else — the untainted simplicity of line and the focus on the human experience. One illustrates the other. Whether it be a thick black line of charcoal, the stringy drizzle of paint, or the grain of wood, the element of line above all is what I find most beautiful.”
Four Arkansas League of Artist members will demonstrate their various techniques at Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., tonight for Argenta ArtWalk, 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Artists Melanie Johnston (Japanese wood block), John Wooldridge (oil painting), Mary Ann Stafford (pastel) and Kateri Joe (mixed medium) will also have art for sale. Local band the Pickoids will provide entertainment.
In keeping with Ketz's African theme (see earlier post), I thought I'd post the above example of Johnston's woodcuts, taken from her Etsy site, above. An example of Kateri Joe's work is here:
Jennifer Carman, a Little Rock art appraiser, is both curator and sponsor; the works are for sale. She'll give a talk about the work and screen the biopic "Disfarmer: A Portrait of America" later in April.
Mike Disfarmer was a Heber Springs misanthrope and photographer; his straight-on, unadorned studio shots of Cleburne County folk at the early part of the 20th century blew up a few years ago in New York galleries. Read more here.
Also featured tonight at the celebration: Encaustic by Cathy Burns and drawings by Jeaneen Barnhart of Kentucky and Dan Holland of California. The event runs 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the gallery, in the Pleasant Ridge shopping center on Cantrell Road.
"All Things Wild" is the name of Caren Garner's exhibition of her paintings of African wildlife, opening tonight at Ketz Gallery, 705 Main St. The Argenta ArtWalk reception is 5-8 p.m.
Garner has been experimenting with water media and collage, a news release from Ketz says. Garner is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists and the Mid-Southern Watercolorists.
Ketz will also show works in all media by other gallery artists and Peggy Roberson, who is represented by Ketz, is showing her work tonight at Blake's Furniture at 3rd and Main.
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