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For collectors, shows at AAC and ACAC.

'PEDAL SOFTLY...'
  • 'PEDAL SOFTLY...'

Opening this Friday, Nov. 30, at the Arkansas Arts Center is the perennially popular Collectors Show and Sale, which features works on paper and crafts selected from 27 New York galleries.

Arts Center director Nan Plummer and curators Anne Gochenour, Joe Lampo and Phaedra Siebert chose work by Robert Arneson, Milton Avery, Will Barnet, William Beckman, Jose Bedia, Thomas Hart Benton, Carolyn Brady, Charles Burchfield, Paul Cadmus, Robert Cottingham, Roy Deforest, Beauford Delaney, Lesley Dill, Ted Faiers, Viola Frey, William Glackens, Andy Goldsworthy, Jane Hammond, Marsden Hartley, Fannie Hillsmith, Yvonne Jacquette, William Kienbusch, Alfred Leslie, Norman Lewis, George Luks, John Marin, Ana Mendieta, Don Nice, Rolph Scarlett, Nancy Spero, John Trumbull and Marguerite Zorach for the show and sale, which continues through Dec. 30.

The Arts Center's annual Delta Exhibit of regional art is another favorite. This year's, the 50th, could prove to be an even bigger draw thanks to its companion show, “50/50,” work from each of the Delta's 50 years. The retrospective should illustrate how artistic sensibility in this particular spot in the United States has changed (or not) since the first Delta in 1956. Both exhibits open Friday, Dec. 7.

The Delta has featured the best and weirdest of the region (the show is open to artists from Arkansas and its contiguous states) in its half-century history. A heartland penchant for story-telling is still in evidence: This year's Grand Award winner is Andy MaGee's “World Map,” plastic army men mounted on board.

MaGee, whose work was selected for the prize by juror James Surls, is from St. Louis. Two Arkansas painters won the Delta Awards: Betsy Brachin of West Memphis for “Rainstorm on Cottonfields” and Warren Criswell of Benton for “The Punishment.” Virmarie DePoyster of North Little Rock won an Honorable Mention for his pastel, “Diagnosis=Cancer.”

The shows run through Jan. 20.

The Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative will also give art lovers something to put under the tree: Its sixth annual holiday art show and sale opens with a reception from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at the ACAC's new gallery at 1419 Main St.

There will be food, drink, music and painting, pottery, photographs and more by more than 60 artists, including Melverue Abraham, Amy Edgington, Iyla Hallmark, Charlie James, Beth Lambert, Erin Lorenzen, Elena Petroukhina, Euneda Otis, Ruth Pasquine, Dominique Simmons and George Wittenberg.

“Building Recombinant Ecologies” is the title of Stephen Luoni's Art of Architecture lecture set Tuesday, Dec. 4, at the Arts Center. I'm translating that to mean he'll be talking about how to build without screwing with the ecosystem. Find out if that's right at 6:30 p.m. A reception precedes the talk at 6 p.m. Luoni holds the Steven L. Anderson chair in Architecture and Urban Studies at the University of Arkansas.

The narrative and the abstract are contrasted in “Geography Lessons,” an exhibit by Little Rock painters Dominique Simmons and Sammy Peters at the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Simmons uses maps and other images in her highly charged gestural work to juxtapose humans and human concepts against the natural world. Peters' large-scale abstracts combine rhythmic marks and textures with color. “Geography Lessons” is in the Trinity Gallery through Jan. 27.

Stephano's Fine Art Gallery is celebrating its first Christmas with an “Art and Music Festival” Friday and Saturday. Music will be provided Friday by Ron Hall and Friends and the new Oxford American magazine CD, Marvel comic book artist Mitch Breitweiser will greet visitors to the gallery at 1 p.m. Saturday and D. Arthur Wilson will sign his children's books at 5 p.m. Saturday. Work by new gallery artist Elizabeth Dismang is being featured, along with works by Dan Thornhill, Kathy Sanders, Robbie Wellborn, Diana Ashley, Mike Gaines, Kyle Boswell, Henri Linton, D. Arthur Wilson, Lisa Wilson, Ron Logan, John Bridges and Stephano Sutherlin. Hours are 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday.

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