Arkansas’s first environmental education state park interprets the importance of the natural world and our place within it.
5-8 p.m. Downtown North Little Rock.
An exhibition at Argenta Gallery, 413 Main St., with the come-hither name of "The Pornography of Color" features paintings by Ray Wittenberg and is just one of several shows to visit after hours in Argenta on Friday. (The Wittenberg show actually opens Thursday with another reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.) Mugs Cafe, at 515 Main St., is exhibiting paintings by Steven Rockwell, Kelly Furr and Karlyn Holloway in a show called "Energy & Elegance"; get Mugs coffee for energy and a little wine for elegance there. At the Laman Library Argenta Branch, 420 Main St., Ron Wolfe of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will give a demonstration in illustration and his wife, Jan, will put on a puppet show. The illustration theme goes along with the library's current exhibition, "Wartime Escape," illustrations by Allan Drummond for the book "The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey." Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., continues "The Best of the South," work by top regional artists John Alexander, William Dunlap, Ed Rice, Glennray Tutor and Pinkney Herbert along with Arkansas artists Sheila Cotton, Robyn Horn and Rebecca Thompson. At Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., see paintings, drawings and animal masks made by Arkansas Children's Hospital patients. LNP
THURSDAY 10/16- SUNDAY 10/19
HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL
Arlington Hotel and Low Key Arts, Hot Springs. Various times.
The Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival continues this week with screenings of nonfiction shorts and features, programs by filmmakers like the Renaud Brothers (3:40 p.m. Friday) and "Hoop Dreams" producer Gordon Quinn (9:45 a.m. Saturday) and, incredibly, a Closing Night party featuring live performances by Stax legend William Bell and Memphis rapper Al Kapone (5 p.m. Saturday), both of whom are featured in the Memphis music doc "Take Me to the River," screening earlier in the day. Other highlights include Beth Harrington's "The Winding Stream," about the Carter family and their country music dynasty (6:30 p.m. Thursday); Zoe McIntosh's "The Deadly Ponies Gang," about drug-dealing New Zealanders (8:15 p.m. Thursday); "Evolution of a Criminal," produced by Spike Lee (9:55 a.m. Friday); "Charlie Victor Romeo," which the New York Times film critic A.O. Scott called "one of the most terrifying movies I have ever seen" (9:30 p.m. Friday), and many, many more, like screenings of "Hoop Dreams" and the new short by festival guest Luke Wilson. WS
7 p.m. First Security Amphitheater. $25.50.
This summer, Justin Moore's "Lettin' The Night Roll" climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Country Airplay charts, the fourth No. 1 hit for the singer born in Poyen (Grant County) and now based in Benton (after a decade in the Nashville trenches). For anyone not following his career too closely, Moore was also named Best New Artist at this year's Academy of Country Music Awards, another big step for the enthusiastic National Rifle Association booster ("I'm gonna tell you once and listen, son," he once sang, "As long as I'm alive and breathing, you won't take my guns"). "I love the simplistic nature of where I grew up," Moore told Taste of Country recently, and he'll show his appreciation this weekend with an outdoor concert by the river. WS
FLAVORS OF ARKANSAS
6 p.m. Ron Robinson Theater. Free.
"Pride and Joy," a documentary produced by the Southern Foodways Alliance (part of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi), documents a journey taken by director Joe York across the American South interviewing chefs, bartenders, shrimpers, cattlemen and anyone else associated with Southern cuisine in some way or another. It answers a number of pertinent questions you may not have known to ask: How do you make squirrel stew? Why are hot dogs better prepared left-handed? How is buttermilk like Viagra? What's in a pig's ear sandwich? (Hint: It's a pig's ear). On Saturday, the film screens at Ron Robinson Theater after a reception featuring food by the teams from South on Main, Butcher & Public and Loblolly Creamery ($10), plus live music. After the movie, there will be a panel on Southern food and culture moderated by Kevin Shalin of The Mighty Rib food blog. WS
MAYA DEREN DOUBLE FEATURE
8 p.m. Few. $5 suggested donation.
This week, the team behind Splice Microcinema throws its formula out the window and returns with a double feature of films by Maya Deren, the poet, photographer and pioneering avant-garde filmmaker. A Greenwich Village art scene mainstay, Deren saw Hollywood as a drag on the progress of film-as-art, and was a major inspiration to generations of American independent filmmakers, from Stan Brakhage to David Lynch. "Meshes of the Afternoon" (1943), the first film in the program, is her most famous, a stream-of-consciousness trance filled with knives, mysterious figures and broken mirrors. Deren said it was the result of wanting to "put on film the feeling which a human being experiences about an incident, rather than to record the incident accurately." It's about as close to the sensory experience of a dream as any film has ever come. The second film, "Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti" (1985), is one I've never seen, but which sounds incredible, a film about Haitian vodou ritual and dance (one of her abiding interests, and constructed from footage she shot in Haiti between 1947 and 1954). WS
KILLER MIKE AND EL-P
9 p.m. Stickyz. $15.
It's a little hard to remember, but a few years ago Killer Mike was still best known for comparing himself to Randy Moss on Outkast's 2001 single "The Whole World." He spent most of a decade trying and failing to top that success and that of its follow-up, "Land of a Million Drums," which found Mike complaining about running out of Scooby Snacks. Having begun his career in the orbit of the Dungeon Family, one of hip-hop's defining collectives and probably Georgia's greatest contribution to pop music since James Brown, it was understandably tough to shake the connection. He made a go of it, though, with a series of great and depressingly underrated mixtapes ("I Pledge Allegiance to the Grind" parts 1, 2 and 3) that somehow never earned him much momentum outside the South. What it took, eventually, was linking up with El-P, co-founder of the cerebral underground rap label Def Jux and a brilliant producer known for the abrasive, dystopian sound of groups like Cannibal Ox (about as far from Killer Mike's booming gospel trap anthems as you could get). They made an album together that was well received, especially by publications (and audiences) not generally associated with rap music, and went on to form a duo, Run the Jewels. WS