Esther Forte, 36, talked to a reporter on the phone from Malvern, where, after only four years’ experience painting, one of her works was on exhibit in a juried show at Malvern National Bank. Her florals in tempera on paper are cheerful, her brushstrokes are lively, her palette bright primary colors.
“I like flowers,” Forte said; they remind the viewer of “springtime and of being happy.”
Forte, who is friendly, outgoing, sings in her church choir and is a diagnosed schizophrenic, is looking forward to May 5, when she and other members of Birch Tree Communities will exhibit their work at the “Expressions Art Show and Sale” at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
More than 175 paintings, photographs and books of poetry will be sold at the event, which runs from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the church, 1000 N. Mississippi. All sale proceeds go to the artists. Corporate sponsors and private contributors help put on the exhibit. Dizzy’s Grill and Bistro will provide hors d’oeuvres, wine and beer will be served, and the jazz group Wine and Roses will play. Julia Grayson of KATV, Channel 7, will be the host of a live auction of selected pieces starting at 7:30 p.m.; other works will be priced. Tickets are $20 each or $35 per couple and may be purchased at the door.
Birch Tree’s therapeutic Expressive Arts program teaches its members — all of whom suffer from severe and persistent mental illness — painting, sculpture, photography, poetry, filmmaking, acting, dance and music. Instructor Jim Tindall said the programs boost members’ “emotional well-being” and offer them a way to present themselves in the community as something other than persons with mental illness.
The need to express oneself artistically — in writing, art, music or drama — is universal, Tindall said. “The needs of our members are the same as our needs.” But Birch Tree’s members haven’t had the same means or opportunities to experience the arts; Birch Tree tries to rectify that by taking them to plays and galleries and other events that Tindall called “normalizing.”
Birch Tree, a private non-profit, contracts with the state to serve 300 members in nine locations.
? The Arkansas Arts Center opens two major exhibits Friday, April 29: “Piranesi: Master Etcher of Rome” and “Richard Jolley: Glass Sculptor.”
Giovanni Battista Piranesi was an 18th- century printmaker known for his fantastical, romantic drawings of Rome’s architecture, both ancient and contemporary to his day. The 12 works on exhibit include recent gifts to the Arts Center’s collection by Dr. and Mrs. James Guthrie.
Tennessee artist Richard Jolley made his mark in the national glass scene with a molding technique he developed in the 1980s. He creates glass busts and torsos; he stacks them up in his “Totem Series.” The show runs April 29-July 3.
Bob Scoggin, 50, the Department of Arkansas Heritage archeologist whose job it was to review the work of agencies, including DAH and the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department, for possible impacts on historic properties, resigned from the agency on Monday. Multiple sources say Scoggin, whom they describe as an "exemplary" employee who the week before had completed an archeological project on DAH property, was told he would be fired if he did not resign.
Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States, this morning made a public statement, via Twitter, that the flag burning should be disallowed by law: "there must be consequences — perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!"
Reforms promised by the Division of Children and Family Services are "absolutely necessary," the president of DCFS's independent consultant told a legislative committee this morning. But they still may not be enough to control the state's alarming growth in foster care cases.
Fake news is a new phenomenon in the world of politics and policy, but hokey economic scholarship has been around as long as Form 1040 and is about as reliable as the news hoaxes that enlivened the presidential campaign.
On Thanksgiving night, Bret Bielema could settle into his bed knowing that after a rather miserable 2013 inauguration, he had slipped comfortably into his job and the results were bearing some small but edible fruits for this ravenous fan base. He was only 25-24, but 18-10 with two bowl wins over his last 28 contests, a smattering of takedowns of ranked teams, and a stabilized roster that showed off the staff's endeavors to enlist and develop a caliber of player that would lead to better days ahead in a rugged conference.