55TH ANNUAL DELTA EXHIBITION
6 p.m. Arkansas Arts Center. Free for members.
Arts Center members will get a preview of what a news release promises will be an "innovative and provocative" Delta before the show's public opening Friday, Jan. 18, in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery. If the work is to be more provocative than last year's Delta offerings it will have to include something to best "Taste" by Steven Jones, a terrific photograph of a naked woman clutching a fork and knife at a table; if more innovative, it will have to outdo Niles Wallace's huge knot of bundled carpet circles that art lovers and cats worldwide would appreciate. Juror Monica Bowman, owner of The Butcher's Daughter Gallery in Ferndale, Mich., selected from 800 entries 45 works by 34 artists from Arkansas and contiguous states; 20 of the artists are Arkansans. In a departure from years past, winners of purchase awards and honorable mentions won't be announced until the members' reception; Bowman will make the announcement after she gives the talk "Risk, Failure and the Materialization of Place" at 6 p.m. It's all about getting you there. LNP
ARGENTA FILM SERIES: 'MARWENCOL'
7 p.m. Argenta Community Theater. Free.
I just watched the trailer for the documentary "Marwencol" and ... wow. Maybe it's just that I have a soft spot for damaged weirdoes who turn their backs on society to devote themselves 110 percent to their own bizarre interior worlds, but man, does this look intriguing. The gist: "Marwencol" explores Marwencol, the name of the 1/6-scale WW II-era town created by a man from Kingston, N.Y., named Mark Hogancamp. In April 2000, after disclosing that he was a cross-dresser, Hogancamp was beaten to death outside of a bar by five teen-age thugs. Though clinically dead, he was revived by paramedics, and after nine days in a coma, he awoke with no memory of his previous life. As a means of coping with such an unimaginably devastating loss of self, he created Marwencol, a painstakingly crafted and detailed fantasy world over which he exercises control. Think Henry Darger, but with dioramas and maybe two or three or 50 times less creepy. His photos of the sets he's created have been hailed by art world muckety mucks, but Hogancamp — who struggles mightily just to leave the house — mainly just wants to create new scenes in his tiny world. This is one of the best-reviewed documentaries in years, and I don't have space here to do justice to Hogancamp's story. Read the New York Times article from April 6, 2011, or check out some of the photos at Marwencol.com to get a better idea of the full, weird amazingness of this story. RB
TREVOR WARE FUNDRAISER ART SHOW
8 p.m. White Water Tavern. Donations.
It's been a little more than four months since Little Rock musician Trevor Ware (bassist for Grand Serenade and Elise Davis) was hit by a drunk driver while riding his motorcycle. Ware suffered serious injuries and was in a coma for some time. He's recovering, according to posts on his Facebook page, but it will be a long road and obviously a costly one as well. This is the second fundraiser White Water Tavern has hosted for Ware, and again, it will be an opportunity for friends and family and others to get together not only to help Ware, but also to enjoy some music, art and fellowship. There's going to be an auction of artwork, apparel and more, including paintings from John Kushmaul and Katherine Rutter and T-shirts sporting one of Ware's drawings from Brooks Tipton's Electric Ghost Printing. The music lineup includes Andy Warr, Color Club, Isaac Alexander, Adam Faucett, Kyle Mays and others. The auction starts at 8 p.m. and the music later. RB
FRIDAY 1/18-SATURDAY 1/19
7:30 p.m. Verizon Arena. $7-$37.
Most of the stuff I thought was cool when I was 10 seems pretty lame now. G.I. Joe, Thundercats, M.A.S.K., baseball cards, baseball ... I don't know, they just don't hold any appeal for me anymore. I guess you just outgrow some stuff. But one thing holds me in thrall still, lo these many years later: monster trucks. That's right, Bigfoot, Black Stallion, Grave Digger and their colleagues are all still every bit as killer-rad now as they were in 1988. Mainly, I think this is because these drivers actually get to do what we all secretly want to do, which is use a gigantic truck to demolish stuff and do massive jumps and flips and wheelies and so forth. And it's their job. How cool is that? RB
RALLY FOR REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE
1 p.m. Arkansas State Capitol.
To be certain, there are enormous challenges facing progressive folks in 2013 and beyond. But I really do believe that overall, things are better in the United States than they were in 1973. Still, though, it's extremely worrisome that, 40 years after the Supreme Court established that the right to privacy under the 14th Amendment includes a woman's right to have an abortion, there's such a concerted movement to keep women from exercising control over their own bodies. In recent years, state legislatures across the South and Midwest have passed draconian laws aimed at curtailing women's autonomy. Candidates for office last year uttered some of the most contemptible — not to mention scientifically specious — garbage about a host of reproductive issues. That's why it's so critical to stand up to the knuckle-draggers among us (and they are legion in Arkansas) who want women to be subservient, second-class citizens. Ironic that so many of these yahoos scream 'til they're blue in the face about keeping the government out of our lives, unless you're a woman, that is, and then no intrusion is too egregious. Enough soapboxing, though. Here's a chance for progressives to get together to let themselves be heard. Speakers at this rally include Jessica DeLoach Sabin, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, Sen. Joyce Elliott, Dr. Jay Barth and Rev. Marie Mainard O'Connell giving an invocation. Your attendance at this rally is important, as the anti-choice crowd will be gathering the next day. RB
9 p.m. Discovery Night Club. $10.
Eliot Lipp has spent the last decade-plus hopping around the country, honing his craft in some of the happening-est cities for electronic dance music. Over that time, Lipp has released seven albums and collaborated with a grip of other hot names in the EDM milieu. His most recent album, last year's "Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake," was released on Pretty Lights Music, which is, perhaps not surprisingly, operated by hugely popular DJ Pretty Lights, a.k.a. Derek Vincent Smith. In addition to having one of the best album covers I've seen in a while, the record showcases Lipp's smorgasbord approach. It's still largely sample-based fare steeped in hip-hop and techno, but all sorts of other influences — drum & bass, jazz fusion, '80s pop — bubble to the surface, seamlessly meshing with the other sounds. In October, Jay Z's Life + Times blog premiered Lipp's new single "Wonderland." Lipp's been at it for a minute now and has a considerable following. But with this latest long-player, it seems like he's on the verge of breaking out in an even bigger way. Don't let this be one of those "should've-seen-him-back-then" shows you'll be kicking yourself for skipping after he's blown up. In addition to the Discovery show, he performs Thursday at George's Majestic Lounge in Fayetteville, with Wookie Disco, Tilly Time and Carson Smith, 9 p.m., $13. RB
TALES FROM THE SOUTH: SHANNON WURST
5 p.m. dinner, 7 p.m. performance. Starving Artist Cafe. $9.
OK, full disclosure upfront: I've known Shannon Wurst for many years now. Back when I met her, she was my friend Jessica's sassy, whip-smart little sister who liked to play acoustic guitar on the Fayetteville square. Her repertoire included several Jewel covers, if I recall correctly. She's still funny and sharp (and still Jessica's sister), but her songbook has grown considerably, and as an artist, so has she. Wurst has released four albums of originals and cover tunes, highlighted by deft playing and her crystal clear, sweet voice. She's played all over the country, including notable folk music stages such as Kerrville, where she was a New Folk Finalist in 2009; she was a semi-finalist on A Prairie Home Companion's People in Their Twenties Talent Show in 2007; and she won a 2011 Arkansas Governor's Arts Award for folk music, among other accolades. This will be an excellent venue for her to showcase her songs and storyteller's charm. Also performing will be Tales from the South vets The Salty Dogs and Mark Simpson.