Arkansas Arts Council Seeks Performing and Visual Artists for Arts on Tour Roster
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Oct. 1, 2013
LITTLE ROCK, AR – The Arkansas Arts Council is seeking performing artists, visual artists and art groups to apply for the 2014-2015 Arts on Tour (AOT) roster. Deadline to apply for the roster is October 25, 2013. To download an application, visit www.arkansasarts.org and click on "Programs," or call (501) 324-9766.
The Arts on Tour roster provides a list of Arkansas’s finest solo and ensemble performers, individual visual artists and prepared art exhibitions available for touring within the state. Many of these roster artists will also provide workshops, master classes and open rehearsals.
Selected new Arts on Tour artists are publicized via the roster to arts organizations, festival and event planners, schools, civic organizations and government entities. The Arts on Tour program reimburses 40 percent of the contract costs for nonprofit presenters who book artists listed on the roster.
An independent panel chooses new roster artists each year through an audition/interview process. Selection is based on the quality of the artists’ work and on a demonstrated ability to tour in Arkansas.
For additional information, contact Jess Anthony at (501) 324-9768 or email him at email@example.com.
The Arkansas Arts Council named the winners of the 2013 Governors Awards for artists and art supporters last week, with the Lifetime Achievement Award going to Billie Seamans, 92, of McGehee, for his career in photography.
To be honored with a dinner along with Seamans are Bob Ford and Amy Herzberg of Fayetteville, Arts Community Development Award winners; Paul Leopoulos of the Thea Foundation, the Arts in Education Award winner; Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates and Woodyard, the Corporate Sponsorship Award winners; Paula Morell, host of Starving Artist Cafe's Tales from the South radio show, the Folklife Award winner; Arkansas Repertory Theater producing director Robert Hupp, the Individual Artist Award winner; Lee and Dale Ronnel, the Patron Award winners, and retired art teacher Farrell Ford of Arkadelphia, the Judge's Special Recognition Award winner.
Here's more information about Seamans from the Arts Council:
Billie Seamans was born on May 22, 1921, and has lived most of his life in McGehee where, at the age of 92, he continues to view the world around him with clear interest and wonder.
After his brother Glenn died in the military during World War II, Billie was drafted and served in the Army Air Force. It was there that he learned photography and has a “bird’s-eye view” from the ball turret of a B17 bomber with the 301st Bomber Group. He completed 50 missions and returned to McGehee in 1944. He met his future wife, Dorothy Barrett of Selma, Ark., and they had three sons: Jerry, Harry and Bill. The couple recently celebrated 69 years of marriage.
Soon after the war, with benefits from the G.I. Bill, Billie entered Arkansas A&M College in Monticello and honed his photography skills under the tutelage of Mrs. Drummond, a professional photographer in McGehee.
In 1949 Billie bought his first camera. It was an 8 x 10 “view” camera, which produced high-quality pictures from 8 x 10 negatives. He did not have a car or a studio, so he made appointments by telephone and walked to each house or business to photograph his subjects. He then developed the photographs in the small darkroom that he built in the back yard behind the apartment in which he and Dorothy and their growing family lived. He was paid one dollar for each photograph. In the 1950s, he was hired by International Harvester to photograph farm equipment. That job led to full-time employment with the company and an offer to move his family to Chicago, but Billie chose to remain in McGehee.
He continued his photography as a profession and maintained a successful business until the age of 87. During those years he became active in the Arkansas Professional Photographer’s Association (APPA) and served as its president in 1977. He was recognized over the years with several state awards from APPA, and in 1985 one of his photographs was a national winner.
As a participant in the Arkansas Delta Oral History Project, which is affiliated with the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville under the direction of Dr. David Joliff, Billie was interviewed last year by Yogi Denton’s Advanced Placement students at McGehee High School. They discovered that he had hundreds of photographs that tell the history and stories of his experience in Delta life. With the help of Brandi Anthony’s EAST Initiative Lab class and Kem Haddock’s Photography I class the project has been expanded.
Many of the black-and-white images that recorded the history of the region from the main street of McGehee to the cotton farms of the rich Delta soil are being catalogued by those students. Some of those photographs have been exhibited at several community events, and now a book is in progress about Billie and his impact in the Delta. It is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2013.
Billie continues to maintain storage of his photographs and negatives dating back to WWII. There are hundreds of them. The McGehee High School students continue to archive the negatives and to preserve them for the future.
The Arkansas Arts Council is accepting nominations until April 26 for the 2013 Governor’s Arts Awards, which recognize Arkansas artists, arts patrons and corporations for their contributions to the arts community.
Nominations are accepted in seven categories: Arts Community Development, Arts in Education, Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts, Individual Artist, Folklife, Patron, and Lifetime Achievement. Nominees must be current Arkansas residents or Arkansas-based corporations. Nominees will be judged on the significance of the contributions made, the range of the individuals and groups served and the length of time and degree of the activity or contributions.
Members of Arkansas's arts community make up the jury; their selections are announced in the fall. A panel from the Arkansas arts community reviews the nominations, and the award winners will be honored at an awards ceremony in the fall.
Nomination forms are available at the Arts Council website or from Cheri Leffew, 501-324-9767 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
The Arkansas Arts Council has awarded $1.17 million in grants to schools and performing groups and other organizations across Arkansas for Arts in Education grants, operating support, program expansion and such. The money comes from federal (39 percent), state (51 percent) and private foundation giving (10 percent). Recipients are big and small, from the Cross County Arts Council to the Mid-America Arts Alliance, parent to Exhibits USA, whose "Draw Me a Story" is on exhibit at the Laman Library (see illustration above) . Here's the list.
I decided to cruise through the Arkansas Artists Registry recently looking for artists whose work doesn't show up regularly in Little Rock and discovered the registry has grown by leaps and bounds. The registry has added 70 new names since this time July 2009 and membership now stands at 451, and increase of nearly 18 percent. If you haven't been to the registry, go here. You can see samples of the artists' work and often websites and e-mail addresses. You can also search by location if you want to find, for example, artists working in the Delta, or by medium. There's no charge to artists; it's free advertising. If I've got a criticism, it's that the examples of the art need to be bigger. Above: "Tiger Lillies" by White Hall illustrator Tom Clifton.
If you have something you want to say to the Arkansas Arts Council, now's your chance. The Arts Council is holding four public hearings across Arkansas to get input from artists and others on programming, arts and the economy and the future of arts in Arkansas. The first public meeting is at 2 p.m. Tuesday, July 13, at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. That will be followed by meetings at TRAHC in Texarkana (July 15), the Delta Cultural Center in Helena (July 27) and the Compton Gardens and Conference Center in Bentonville (one that will no doubt talk about the impact that Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art will have on that 'burb).
UPDATE: You can take the Arts Council's online survey on what sorts of programs you've gone to, what keeps you from going, what you'd like to see, etc., here.
The economy picture is something the Arts Council has been putting together for several years, with the support of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. Four reports have been put out that take note of arts organizations in Arkansas, their intersection with other disciplines and other feel-good info, studies that will bring about ... what? We'll see.
You can find out more about the "Arkansas Creative Economy Project" on the Arts Council's website.
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