Art, architecture and design students at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville now have dedicated exhibit space all their own, a gallery run for and by students.
But it's not on campus. It's in Bentonville, at 114 Central Ave., just off the square and south of the 100-acre site of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, still under construction.
The University of Arkansas Student Gallery (sUgAr) opens to the public Sept. 16 with, oddly enough, an exhibit of work from the faculty of the art department, the Fay Jones School of Architecture and the School of Human Environmental Science's interior design program.
It's a move that comes at a time when Fayettevillians are wondering if they're going to lose the Walton Arts Center to some point north. The performing arts center has talked about its need to expand and signaled it was serious when it hired Peter Lane from Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in Woodstock, N.Y., as its CEO last April. Lane told the Times he'd been to the Crystal Bridges site a “number of times,” but declined to say if Bentonville would be the new site of the arts center.
Art department chair Lynn Jacobs said the UA's decision to open a student gallery in Bentonville answers a school need for exhibit space and will also advertise the university's art and architecture departments to the thousands of visitors expected to come to Crystal Bridges. (The museum, once scheduled to open this year, now has no scheduled opening date). The Fine Arts Center's gallery on the UA campus is being used to exhibit shows by contemporary and master artists, to broaden the students' exposure, she said.
“Honestly, we continue to support and exhibit art here in Fayetteville, but we thought it would be exciting to have combined outreach in other areas of Northwest Arkansas,” Jacobs said.
Jeannie Hulen, the coordinator of the master of fine arts program at the UA (and on sabbatical this year), said exhibit space in Fayetteville was too costly for the department. “We've been trying to get exhibit space in downtown Fayetteville for a while,” she said. She said Downtown Bentonville approached her about the possibility of opening a gallery there.
Downtown Bentonville and the office of the provost at the UA are collaborating with the art, architecture and design programs to operate the gallery.
Gary Holstein, a graduate student, will be curator at sUgAr. It remains to be seen how long the gallery's name will be spelled with the capital U and A, at least in newspapers.
The mountain will come to Mohammed, then, when works from the Crystal Bridges collection are the subject of “Artviews: Reading a Work of Art” at the Fayetteville Public Library. Speakers include Marlon Blackwell, architect; Lisa Corrigan, communications professor; Jane Dini, art historian; Allyn Lord, director of the Shiloh Museum; and Murray Smart, architect.
They'll be talking about “Ploughing It Under,” by Thomas Hart Benton; “Winter Scene in Brooklyn,” by Francis Guy; “The Studio,” by George Bellows; and “The Buffalo Hunt,” by John Mix Stanley.
The program begins at 10 a.m. in the Walker Community Room. For more information, call 856-7250.
Second Friday Art Night events this Friday include a reception at the Historic Arkansas Museum for Eric Freeman and Kim Garner, whose “Freedom in Dreams” show is up through Nov. 8, and the exhibit “Drawn to Art” at The Arts Scene. “Drawn to Art” will include drawings by eight women artists who've worked together since 2007: Marie Brave, Gert Casciano, Emily Fan, Julie Fullerton, Glenda Josephson, Dr. Judith Killen, Linda Martz and Dr. Mary Ann Stafford. Stafford teaches an advanced drawing class at the Arkansas Arts Center.
Other venues include the Arkansas Studies Institute, which is showing painting and drawings from the CALS collection and the UALR faculty and photographs by David Mann; Norton Fine Arts and Conservation,
Second Friday runs 5-8 p.m. Trolley service is provided.
Cantrell Gallery opens an exhibit of oils and bronzes by Arkansas native Terry Bean on Friday. Bean has exhibited this year at the International Expo at the Jacob Javits Center in New York and his show “An American Artist Goes to China” will open at the U.N. headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, in October.