Friday, January 6, 2012

How small names grow big: SWOP

Posted By on Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 4:47 PM

Kwees Wild World
  • Kwee's "Wild World"

One of the great things about the annual “Small Works on Paper” traveling exhibition sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council is the publicity it gives to artists whose names aren’t yet a household word.

Kimberly Kwee is one of those artists, though she’s surely known to students she taught at Pulaski Technical College and to Chicagoans who saw her fall show at Halfmoon Gallery there. Her work in the SWOP exhibition, “Wild World,” combines pencil and ink line drawings of squat figures on paper and overlain sheets of vellum cut into shapes that have been neatly stitched to the paper. The figures are not unlike James Tisdale’s squat ceramic folk exhibited last year at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. (The name she tagged on the website image of “Wild World” is “Beasty Bush,” surely in reference to one of the figures.)

Work by Kwee and 38 other artists is on exhibit at the William F. Laman Public Library in North Little Rock, the first stop on a year-long journey across Arkansas. Winning purchase awards were William Barksdale of Cotter; Ginger Grahn of Paragould; Neal Harrington of Russellville; Dennis McCann of Maumelle, Jason McCann of Maumelle and Mike Means of El Dorado.

All the winners were worthy, but “Swimming Hole/Buffalo National River,” a photograph by Don House of Fayetteville (who is not among the unknowns), should have gotten some kind of award (though perhaps expense figured in; the six winners shared $2,000). In this photograph, a girl in red tights stands on the rocky bank of the river facing a boy in burgundy swim trunks on a rock mid-river; he is warming himself with his arms clasped over his torso. House has emphasized the figures’ pale skin and red garb and kept the river and bluff in the background dark. Intentional or not, there are shades of Sally Mann in the posing of the subject matter; though the girl’s back is to us, she’s topless and just tall enough to be on the verge of puberty.

Paragould artist Grahn was another revelation. Her illustration “When Smelly Met Stinky” is a comic but elaborate pencil drawing of a long-nosed elf (?) patting a skunk’s head while a rabbit holds his nose. A flying squirrel and a possum watch from branches above.

Suzanne King of Fort Smith, an arts educator whose work has been selected in several SWOP exhibitions, and Dennis McCann of North Little Rock have finely-wrought pastels in the show. King’s still life “Pitcher and Bowl” is in deeply saturated blues and deep yellows; McCann’s "East 18th” street scene is in a less complicated palette, picturing a block of identical green-roofed houses with cars lined up at the curb in front.

Thank goodness for Robert Reep, I always say: Here at last is a conceptual piece in a weird medium (finely ground up leaves and dirt), which the fastidious Reep has used to form a square background topped with letters (also in leaves) that spell YARD.

In a nice break from his perfect-body nudes, Victor Chalfant’s “Matchstick Man” is an appealing digital print of a man spotlit in a forest with his head on fire. Benjamin Krain’s iphone photo “Boy v. 2.0” is a baby picture that the talented Krain has pixilated in places and otherwise fiddled with to make an engaging portrait.

Laman keeps SWOP until Jan. 29; next stop is the National Park Community College in Hot Springs.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Favorite

Speaking of...

Comments (5)

Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-5 of 5

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Heights Corner Market (nee Terry's) is open

    Heights Corner Market, in the space occupied by Terry's Finer Foods since time immemorial at 5018 Kavanaugh Blvd., is open and selling fresh flowers, produce (including locally grown food), meat, seafood, organic bath and body products and organic pet products from Stella's Barkery.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • Ahoy! Blue Sail launches Saturday on Main Street

    Blue Sail Coffee Roasters opens its shop Saturday, March 25, in the Little Rock Technology Park, 417 Main St. The grand opening announcement says the shop will be in business at 7 a.m. and stay open until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Mo' MoMo

    Katmandu Momo, the food truck created by Nepal native Saroja Shrestha, will open a sit-down eatery in April in the River Market’s Ottenheimer Hall.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Staff Picks: Netflix and Chill, Benji's pasta fresca, Creedence Clearwater Revival and more

    The podcast Design Matters, published by Design Observer, is celebrating its 10th year and they are revisiting some of their best episodes from the last decade. I just finished this week's replay of the interview with the Scottish born illustrator Marion Deuchars. At the end of the wonderful interview, her two young sons are invited into the studio near where they pitch in some of their own thoughts on art and, in particular, drawing in the art books their mother created for children and adults.
    • Aug 28, 2015
  • Guest Mix: Rural War Room

    World wide weird duo Rural War Room (Donavan Suitt & Byron Werner) is celebrating 10 years of broadcasting and production here in Little Rock and abroad. RWR Radio on KABF 88.3 FM (10 p.m. Tuesdays or anytime on their website), features the duo alternating records in an effort to surprise one another.
    • Sep 14, 2015
  • Your new flags of Little Rock

    BRASHER: Hello Arkansans, this is the first piece from us, Brasher and Rowe and we are some dudes who work in downtown Little Rock and we eat lunch and just talk about all the exciting things around here.
    • Sep 18, 2015

Most Shared

Visit Arkansas

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Forest bathing is the Next Big Thing

Arkansas is the perfect place to try out this new health trend. Read all about the what, why, where and how here.

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation