Photographer Alex Leme, a University of Arkansas at Little Rock Donaghey Scholar and 35-year-old former stockbroker, has won the Portz Prize for top research/creative papers by undergraduate honors students. He's the first Donaghey Scholar to do so. Leme won for his paper on surrealist photography and what surrealist Andre Breton would have said about photograpy.
Leme a native of Brazil, is one of three winners of the national prize. He'll give his paper at a conference National Collegiate Honors Council conference in New Orleans in November.
Leme "started with the premise that a single photograph may shift meaning as it moves from the place where it was taken to the place where it is published or viewed," according to a press release from UALR. I've written about Leme in previous Eye Candy posts on an exhibit at the Butler Center and his inclusion in Oxford American's list of "superstars of American art."
Work by New York realist painter Eric Forstmann, who has created a painting, "Six @ 3 p.m.," for the Thea Foundation, will be on exhibit from Aug. 5-9 at Thea, 401 Main St. in Argenta. Thea will sell prints of the work created for the foundation during a reception 6:30-9 p.m. Aug. 8. Forstmann will give a talk at 7 p.m. and the Funk-A-Nites will perform. All proceeds from print sales will go to the foundation, which works to promote the arts as a way to improve overall education in Arkansas schools. Forstmann's known for his shirt paintings; the one he created for the Thea Foundation includes a pink blouse in memory of Thea Leopoulos, for whom the foundation is named, and is the first of his shirt works to include a blouse, Forstmann's gallery, Eckert Fine Art, says. One was presented to President Bill Clinton at a fund-raiser for the foundation in Washington, D.C., in May.
Other folks of note who own paintings by Forstman include Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick, Warren Beatty and Annette Bening, and Mr. and Mrs. Sam Waterston.
I got a peek Friday night at Esse, Anita Davis' purse museum at 1510 S. Main St., and fell in love. Not only am I purse fanatic, but am thrilled to see an attraction so out of the ordinary and distinctive in Little Rock, which is lacking in the out-of-the-ordinary category. Besides the collection, the museum is beautifully designed by Steven Otis. The exhibit space is long and narrow with high white walls and huge black and white photographs lit from behind of women, the vitrines down the middle.
The museum opens Tuesday with the exhibit "What's Inside: A Century of Women and
Their Handbags (1900-1999)." Davis, who is the founder of the Bernice Garden down the street, has arranged the purses and the small items women carried in them by decade, starting with the small clutches our grandmothers (or perhaps your great-grandmother) carried along with the items they may have put inside, like dance cards and calling cards. Davis has a great sense of humor, adding to the 1990s collection, for example, a small package of condoms and other tangible evidence of women's growing liberation.
Purses take the place of heads in an installation by artist Kwendeche of shiny black mannequins posed on black and white striped pedestals. Other purses are suspended over them like thought bubbles of days gone by. Davis sees the purses as more than just fashion statements, but also artifacts that will trigger memories and say something about the women who carried them.
Esse ("to be" in Latin) also has a museum store that sells high-end and lower-priced handcrafted purses, some vintage purses, scarves, jewelry, books and notecards — again, things you won't see elsewhere in Little Rock.
Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tue.-Sun.
If there's anything that worries me it is the price of admission — $10 for adults, $8 for 60 and over, military and students (free for children 5 and under), something I was unaware of during the tour. I would hate for people not to see the museum, especially if they've just paid a mere $12 to see a self-portrait by Rembrandt at the Arkansas Arts Center. Still, Davis has done a beautiful job with Esse, and she has done much for SOMA: Made the Bernice sculpture garden, on her property, open to the public and funded the yearly sculpture shows there. Started the Sunday farmer's market at the Bernice. Created the very popular Cornbread Festival and the monthly Vintage Market. The mural on the wall of Esse, next to the Root Cafe, was her gift to the neighborhood as well. She can't give everything away. But how about $5 instead? Or am I being cheap? What do you think, readers?
"Stirring the Soul of History, Vol. 1" is the name of an exhibit of new acquisitions of art at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. The center will unveil the work at 5:30 p.m. May 30 in celebration of the museum's fifth anniversary. Artists whose work is included will be familiar to all: Lee Anthony, Barbara Higgins Bond, Danny Campbell, Ariston Jacks, Henri Linton, Mary Lovelace O’Neal, Bryan Massey, A.J. Smith, Ed Wade and Susan Williams.
The event will be held in the third floor auditorium and will feature music and refreshments.
Little Rock artist Kevin Kresse's bronze sculpture "Breaking the Cycle," of a man being pushed in a wooden wheelbarrow by a young boy, was dedicated this morning at Riverfront Park near the Belvedere.
The sculpture, donated by Lisenne Rockefeller, is one of just a handful in the park created by local talent. Kresse, who lived with his family in Italy last year, said he could see the mark of generations of Italian artists and architects on the landscape and said it was time "to put our voice and our personality" in the park. (He is too polite to say it was about time an Arkansan was commissioned to do a major piece for the park, which park angel and City Director Dean Kumpuris has worked tirelessly to fill with sculpture, though most of it by Western artists.)
Kresse said he could envision the day in the distant future when his young son, Roman, the model for the boy in the sculpture, will be a grandfather like the man in the wheelbarrow and the sculpture will still be there, a piece of the puzzle that makes up who we are in Arkansas. By that time, the park have long been known as Kumpuris Riverfront Park, which is as it should be.
The artist, who also sculpted the bust of Winthrop Paul Rockefeller for the state Capitol and worked closely with his widow on the project, called Lisenne Rockefeller a "jewel" that Little Rock is "lucky to have in our community."
In his opening remarks, Kumpuris said the sculpture will be "loved and respected," a place to play for children, a sight to generate memories for adults. (The city will hold insurance on it, in case it gets the same disrespect that dumbbells here have inflicted on other public pieces.) Kumpuris said he hopes the park will hold 50 to 60 sculptures one day.
The Windgate is a national competitive award funded by the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in Hendersonville, N.C. The center invites more than 70 universities to nominate two graduating seniors skilled in craft to compete for the Windgate and only 10 students are selected. The Windgate Charitable Trust in Siloam Springs supports the fellowship through gifts to the Center. Chase, who hails from Tahlequah, Okla., is the first Windgate fellow from the U of A.
A news release from the university said that Chase has been crafting works in paper for several years, from origami cranes to the gowns created for her honors thesis. From the news release:
Chase painted, cut, scraped, pricked and scorched various aspects of the paper garments, which lure and provoke the viewer with unexpected details. A quilted paper spine and ribs form the back of Hollow Bones, confining painted birds suspended within the bodice; in Husk, a delicate tracery of blue blood vessels painted within are revealed when the gown is illuminated.
Historical costume and the rich visual language of fairytales inspired these works, but with the encouragement of her faculty mentor, Kristin Musgnug, an associate professor of art, Chase explored the deeper themes embedded in the tales and her own emotional processes, as well.
Paper dresses are in vogue — see Detroit designer Matthew F. Richmond's newspaper he made for the Arkansas Times here and the Eye Candy post on Mia Hall's dress in the UALR Faculty Biennial last year for two examples that have appeared in the Times in the past year. Like Chase's garments, Hall's aren't meant to be worn but convey a message. (This writer is old enough to have actually worn a paper dress nearly identical to the one below when they were all the rage in the 1960s.)
Chase's work appears in the exhibition "Crafted Identities: Honors Thesis Work of Emily Chase, Melissa Love, and Jeanne Vockroth" currently on display at the East Square Plaza on the Fayetteville Square, 1 E. Center St. A closing reception is set for 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 26. Her work also will be included in the BFA/BA Awards Exhibition April 29-May 4 in the Fine Arts Center Gallery on campus.
Stephano's Fine Art will open a second gallery, Stephano's II, at B.A. Framer at R and Grant streets Saturday, April 20. A catered reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. will celebrate the opening.
Featured artists at Stephano's II will include Stephano, G. Peebles, Char DeMoro, Mike Gaines and others.
The New York Times just sent out a news flash saying that billionaire Leonard A. Lauder (as in Estee Lauder) has promised to give the Metropolitan Museum of Art is collection of 78 Cubist paintings, drawings and sculpture, valued at $1 billion. The collection includes 33 Picassos, 17 Braques, 14 Legers and 14 works by Gris.
From the Times:
Scholars say the collection is among the world’s greatest, as good, as if not better, than the renowned Cubist paintings, drawings and sculptures in institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Pompidou Center in Paris. Together they tell the story of a movement that revolutionized Modern art and fill a glaring gap in the Met’s collection, which has been notably weak in early-20th-century art. ...
“In one fell swoop this puts the Met at the forefront of early-20th-century art,” Thomas P. Campbell, the Met’s director, said. “It is an unreproducible collection, something museum directors only dream about.”
The NYT was told by Met officials that the museum has already begun to receive the art for an exhibition scheduled to open in the fall of 2014.
Students in K through 12th grade are invited to enter the Humane Society of Pulaski County's 8th annual art contest in honor of “Be Kind to Animals” week May 1-8. Deadline to enter is April 15.
Artwork should reflect the “Be Kind to Animals” theme as a way promote respect for animals of all kinds. Entries should be on paper no larger than 11 X 17 inches. They will be judged on message, originality and creativity, and winners will receive prizes.
Drop off entries at the HSPC Shelter, 14600 Colonel Glenn Road in Little Rock. For more information, call 529-6330 or visit www.warmhearts.org.
The Bernice Sculpture Garden has issued a call for proposals for sculpture to be installed and exhibited for a year at the garden at the corner of South Main Street and Daisy Bates Avenue.
The garden makes grants every year to artists to create work for the privately owned but open to the public garden.
Deadline to apply is April 15. Selected artists will receive $2,800 and finalists will receive a $200 fee for their models. Up to five sculptures will be considered. The artist's budget must include all design fees, materials, construction, installation, removal, maintenance and liability insurance. The artist, or team of artists, will retain ownership of the artwork.
Artists and teams should send application packets through the mail to “Bernice Garden Sculpture Project," 1716 N. Spruce, 72207. For more information, go to the Bernice Garden website.
Previous winners include Mia Hall, Bryan Winfred Massey Sr., David Obrien, Stephanie Shinaberry, Tod “Switch” Swiecichowski, Kerry Hartman, Mac Hornecker (Guest Sculptor), Alice Guffey Miller, Tori Pelz and many more.
It's First Thursday in Hillcrest, the evening when high society walks around the neighborhood, glasses of wine in hand, listening to music and dropping in on places like Gallery 26, 2611 Kavanaugh Blvd. It's nearly the last chance to see the gallery's exhibition of work by Jeff Waddle, Mindy Lacefield and Emily Wood.
Matt McLeod is the featured artist for the 2nd annual Thea Arts Festival coming up April 27 in Argenta, and as a run-up to the festival, Thea is posting the painting he's created for the festival, detail by detail, on its Facebook page and Twitter through March 15, Argenta ArtWalk evening.
Here's piece 1, posted March 4:
Name those images! Where are they?
The Arkansas Arts Council has announced that applications are now available for its $4,000 artist fellowships. This year's categories include playwriting, documentary film direction and crafts, both contemporary and traditional.
Deadline to apply for the Individual Artist Fellowships is April 19. For an application, go here , call the Arts Council at 501-324-9766 or email email@example.com. Applicants must be at least 25 years old and an Arkansas resident for at least one year. Previous fellowship recipients are not eligible. A panel of professional artists will select the recipients. Fellows will be announced in fall.
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