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Birch Tree members show their work.

CLEAR BLUE: By Lauren Franke of Birch Tree.
  • CLEAR BLUE: By Lauren Franke of Birch Tree.

The fourth annual EXPRESSIONS Art Show and Sale of work by members of Birch Tree Communities is set for 6:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 4 (tonight, if you’re reading this paper on its publication date), at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.

More than 175 works — paintings, photographs and poetry books — will be for sale, several of them at a live auction starting at 7:15 p.m. Dizzy’s Grill and Bistro will supply hors d’oeuvres, duo Wine and Roses the jazz, and beer and wine will be served. Tickets are $20 a person or $35 a couple.

This year’s featured work is “Clear Blue” by Lauren Franke. Birch Tree’s program of visual and performing arts for adults helps its members, who suffer from major mental illnesses, give expression to their feelings and creative instincts and builds self-confidence and social skills. Works by Birch Tree artists have appeared in textbooks on therapy and recovery. Luke Kramer is the agency’s expressive arts specialist.

Works by Birch Tree artists also will be exhibited starting May 10 at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale. Other featured painters are Jennifer Mabry, Michelle Werner, Jennifer Hartsfield and Esther Forte. Proceeds go directly to the artists.

St. Mark’s is at 1000 North Mississippi, at its intersection with Evergreen.



The Arkansas Arts Center will join the monthly 2nd Friday Art Night schedule in June when its Picasso trifecta, “Pursuing Picasso,” opens. Central Arkansas Transit’s rubber-wheeled trolleys will transport gallery-goers from the Arts Center to the River Market district galleries to River Market Artspace, Hearne Fine Art, the Cox Creative Center, Ten Thousand Villages and the Historic Arkansas Museum from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 9. The Arts Center’s restaurant, Best Impressions, and its gift shop also will be open. The Arts Center will participate in July and August, also; July’s 2nd Friday Art Night will feature a lecture and exhibit by Robert Reep in the Strauss Gallery.



Starving Artist Cafe is serving up art tartar — live artists who work while you eat at the restaurant at 416 W. Seventh St.

Painter Tanya Hollifield is on the menu from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 4. Guitarist Mark Simpson will paint the blues from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, May 5.

We could go on and on in this vein, but we won’t.

Want to create art while diners watch? Call Paula Morrell, 372-7976.

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