Favorite

Good art, bad air 

V.I.T.A.L. lives at musty mansion.

V.I.T.A.L. ART: This work by Ariston Jacks is part of an exhibit at the Terry Mansion by members of a new artists' collective.
  • V.I.T.A.L. ART: This work by Ariston Jacks is part of an exhibit at the Terry Mansion by members of a new artists' collective.

There's no exhibit banner out front, the iron gate is tough to work and you'll be the only one there, but if you want to see some art by and about black Arkansans, head to the Terry Mansion at 7th and Rock Streets.

V.I.T.A.L. — Visual Images That Affect Lives — is an African-American artists' collective and the show and sale at the mansion is its first. The collective is composed of the experienced, the newly recognized and the emerging, artists finding their voice. The work ranges from primitive to offbeat, and much of it is fine.

At the top of their game are Rex Deloney and Ariston Jacks, sure of hand and skilled with their mediums. The self-taught Melverue Abraham contributes folk art that spills into the abstract at times, illustration at others and is magnetic. LaToya Hobbs, who just graduated from UALR with a degree in studio art, is exhibiting her strong portraits of strong women; Kalari Turner, a fashion designer, borrows from her career to create mixed-media pieces. Michael Worsham, a graduate student at UALR, is showing his oversized portraits, including the improbably aqua and attention-grabbing "Roshanda."

All are colorists, especially Deloney, who though he works figuratively is often off the palette reservation, creating, for example, "Complements of Harlem," a scene of men on the street rendered entirely in orange and blue. His small watercolor "Botswana Brothers" revels in the ochres, reds and yellows that make up the African face and is rendered in delicate strokes; it is a fine little work. Jacks is exploiting his significant linear talents with small complex cartoons, detailed and symbolic, like a black R Crumb. Abraham's strongest works are her black acrylic on paper compositions, including the terrific and so-primitive-it's-modern "Carpenter," which unfortunately has already sold. Her "A Time to Plant" is reminiscent of woodcut illustration; her "A Rebirthing in Haiti," is a loose and whimsical painting of a woman with banana frond hair.

There is a drawback to the exhibit space: A musty smell in the building is nearly overpowering until your nose gets used to it. (The guard assured us the vents had been checked for mold and that they were clear.) The antebellum Terry Mansion — more properly the Pike-Fletcher-Terry House — has been the red-haired stepchild of the Arkansas Arts Center, which exhibited fine crafts there until 2003. It's showing neglect, and the Arts Center — or the city, to whom it was deeded for use as a cultural center — needs to either treat it with respect, or find someone who will.

Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • UA's Walton School eyes downtown location for executive ed program

    The Walton College of Business is working to expand its executive education by opening an office in downtown Little Rock that would offer non-degree programs to the health, banking and finance and retail industries in Central Arkansas, the school confirmed today.
    • Feb 18, 2017
  • Crystal Bridges acquires Alice Neel portrait

    American portrait painter Alice Neel's painting of civil rights activist Hugh Hurd is now a part of the collection at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • Nestle Toll House Cafe open in McCain Mall

    If you believe that warm Toll House cookies might be the world’s best invention, you might want to drop by the new Nestlé Toll House Cafe in the McCain Mall.
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Most Shared

  • "Nasty Woman" at HSU: 32 artists celebrate Women's History Month

    A photograph of a woman doing a headstand so you can see her red underpants. A sculpture by Robyn Horn titled "Approaching Collapse." Those and other works that assistant professor of photography Margo Duvall says "celebrates the female voice in art" for Women's History Month go on exhibit March 1 in the gallery in the Russell Fine Arts Building.
  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.

Latest in Art Notes

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Charlie Wilson at Verizon Arena

    • Thanks for sharing more information about "DADDY ISSUES, VEGAS VERDES". I will see see this…

    • on February 16, 2017
 

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