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PBS viewers across the country will get to visit furniture-maker Sam Maloof's studio when its three-part series “Craft in America” premieres April 18. It will be shown on AETN.
But the Arkansas Arts Center is offering something more special: An evening with the artist himself, at a Friends of Contemporary Craft “Conversation” at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 16, in the lecture hall.
Maloof, one of the country's preeminent furniture makers, is known for his signature rocking chair and other fine pieces made over his nearly 60-year career. He is the co-author and subject of books about his work, as well as the subject of two films.
The two-year traveling exhibit “Craft in America: Expanding Traditions,” which was designed in conjunction with the PBS series, makes its national debut at the Arts Center Friday. The TV series continues April 25 and May 2.
Tickets to the talk, sponsored by the Friends of Contemporary Craft and being held in conjunction with the “Craft in America: Expanding Traditions” exhibition, are $15 ($12 FOCC members) and include a light dinner. Call 396-0357 for reservations.
Friday night is both 2nd Friday Art Night downtown and the opening night of the fifth annual Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative exhibit at Christ Episcopal Church at Capitol and Scott.
Art Night runs 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Participants and events include the Arkansas Arts Center, which will offer gallery tours of “Craft in America”; Cox Creative Gallery, featuring artists Jane Lovett Holt and Bill Lewis; Hearne Fine Art, with “Beneath the Sound of Color,” multimedia sculpture by Kevin Cole of Atlanta, a native of Pine Bluff who's gained national recognition; the Historic Arkansas Museum, “Selections from the Permanent Collection”; River Market Artspace, “As I See It: The Photography of Kathy Lindsey,” and Ten Thousand Villages. The Reel Evening movie at the Darragh Center at 8 p.m. will be “Ghost World,” with Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson, based on the graphic novel by comic artist Daniel Clowes.
The ACAC show and sale, which runs 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and continues 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 14, will feature the work of dozens of Arkansas artists. Food and drink will be served Friday evening and Joel Richardson will entertain on classical guitar. (Josh Abbott and the Damn Bullets are lined up for an after-event party.)
Here are just a handful of the artists who'll be showing their work this year at the open entry show: Cathy Burns, April Burris, Hamid Ebrahamifar, Scinthya Edwards, Endia Gomez, Charlie James, John Kushmaul, Kathy Lindsey, Erin Lorenzen, Nikki Paxton, Jennifer Perren, Elena Petroukhina, Dominique Simmons, Anna Wingfield and Sophie Yan.
On Saturday night, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre will hold its 20th annual ArtWorks, a live and silent auction of more than 100 pieces of art to benefit the theater. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Rep, 601 Main St., and wraps up at 10 p.m. Art in all media and jewelry will be auctioned.
The $35 ticket includes an open bar and hors d'oeuvres; jazz musicians will play. Call 378-0405 for tickets.