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Shimomura’s ‘Yellow Peril’ to open 

Toy show returns to Arts Center.

click to enlarge ‘NOT PEARL HARBOR’: Shimomura at UCA.
  • ‘NOT PEARL HARBOR’: Shimomura at UCA.

by leslie newell peacock

A retrospective of work by Roger Shimomura, whose woodcut-styled images have been described as “pop art with a Japanese twist,” is one of four shows featuring Japanese American artists opening Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Baum Gallery of the University of Central Arkansas.

Shimomura's work in “The Return of the Yellow Peril” — paintings, prints, sculpture and photographs made between 1969 and 2004 — offers bitingly funny commentary on social prejudice.

Shimomura was interned as an infant with his family at Camp Minidoka in Idaho. In 2006, he and University of Arkansas professor of art John Newman, who grew up next to the internment camp at Rohwer, Ark., in a community so poor it envied the amenities of the prison, collaborated to create a group of prints and paintings, “Views from Both Sides of the Barbed Wire Fence,” also opening at Baum. Newman will speak at 1:30 p.m. and Shimomura at 4 p.m. Thursday in the art lecture hall next to the gallery in McCastlain Hall. Shimomura's talk coincides with a public reception; a second reception is set for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20.

“Inside/Outside: Student Drawings from the Rohwer Camp,” works made by during children their internment under the guidance of UCA graduate Rosalie Santine Gould, and a single painting by noted artist Henry Sugimoto, who was interned at Jerome, will also be exhibited.

The Arkansas Arts Center's 35th annual Toys Designed by Artists exhibit this year features 53 works selected by sculptor Brent Skidmore, director of the North Carolina Asheville Craft Campus. The show, which opens Friday, Jan. 18, features whimsical and often beautiful three-dimensional creations by artists from around the country as well as Arkansas artists Helene Elbein and Robert Reep of Little Rock; Dusty Mitchell of Mountain View; and Jennifer Pease and Holley Shinn of Fayetteville. The show runs through Feb. 24.

Arkansas State University opens its 2008 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition on Thursday in the Bradbury Gallery of the Fowler Center. Marjorie Devon, the director of the Tamarind Institute lithography workshop in Albuquerque, N.M., chose from entries from across the country. Prints by two ASU graduate students — Kelli Langston and Stephanie Sweeny — won purchase awards, and a digital print by Jonesboro resident Donna Smith, a student at Rhodes College in Memphis, were among the works selected for the show.

An opening reception will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday.

New shows opening this week in Little Rock feature the work of painters Stephen Cefalo (at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock), Babs Steward and Gary Scroggs (Gallery 26), and Pat Larsen and Megan Chapman (River Market ArtSpace); Hot Springs artists Thad Flenniken, Lynda Lyon, Richard Stephens, Gary Simmons, Lana Taliaferro and Xu Longhua (Arkansas Arts Center Community Gallery in the Terry House); jeweler Burke Johnston (River Market ArtSpace) and fiber artist Ramona Buss (River Market ArtSpace).

The Arc of Arkansas, a non-profit that serves people with disabilities, is having its annual fund-raiser art sale from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 17 at the Eastside Lofts, 1400 Cumberland St. The event is free, but donations are accepted.

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