This small south Arkansas city was once one of the top oil producers in the nation.
Two artists from opposite sides of the country came together in Little Rock in July to reconstruct a tornado.
Christine Lee of Oakland, Calif., and Christopher Fennell of Birmingham, Ala., whose only previous contact had been by e-mail, brainstormed in the gallery of University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where they'd been invited by curator Brad Cushman. The result — “Stacking Order” — is an installation that swirls wood and tin pieces, the detritus of real tornados, around and up the walls of Gallery I. It combines Lee's quiet style — she stacks small shims about the size of a ruler against the wall in an undulating fashion — with Fennell's explosion of door and roof parts that reach 25 feet to the ceiling of the gallery.
The installation is about gesture and movement, all carefully orchestrated (rather than randomly wind-blown) by the artists. Their dual piece, in the center of the gallery, wraps around a free-standing wall, transitioning from calm to fury. In a corner, where he worked alone, Fennell created a sweeping, curling piece; he's alternated rusty and non-rusty rectangles of roofing with fading white doors that he's cut into triangular shapes to add pattern. In her solo piece opposite Fennell's, Lee has stacked her slender shims in such a way that they form strata; the edges of the shims read as lines, putting the work somewhere between two-dimensional and three.
Both artists have connections to UALR — Lee was in school with UALR woodworking instructor Mia Hall and Fennell studied with former UALR teacher Rocky Sapp at the University of Georgia — and Cushman thought their two styles would make a nice push-pull installation. It worked.
The exhibit runs through Oct. 9, when the artists will hold a panel discussion about the work. They'll be joined by UALR sculptor Michael Warrick, who'll talk about his recent stay in Japan, where he was invited with other artists from the United States to create sculpture.
UALR's TV 62 video of the construction of “Stacking Order” can be found on youtube.com.
Video on the Arkansas Times' website looks at the “Art of the Chopper” exhibit at the Clinton Library. David Koon interviewed photographer Tom Zimberoff, whose books on the custom motorcycles and their creators inspired the exhibit. The 30 bikes featured, along with Zimberoff's photographs, present the chopper as a purely American art form, like jazz. The exhibit runs through Feb. 8. Admission is $7 adults, $5 for seniors, students and retired military and $3 for children 6-17. Active military will be admitted free.
Coming up at the Clinton School of Public Service: Clinton Library architect James Polshek will talk at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 30. A reception will precede the talk, which is part of the Arkansas Arts Center's Art of Architecture lecture series. Among the Polkshek Partnership's most celebrated designs are Carnegie Hall, the Rose Center for Earth and Space at the American Museum of Natural History, and the Newseum/Freedom Forum Foundation at Washington.
Hearne Fine Art Gallery at 500 President Clinton Ave. is celebrating its 20th year with an exhibit of work by artists it's featured over its lifetime with “Collaborations: Two Decades of Excellence.” The gallery has lined up monthly gallery talks with exhibiting artists beginning in October. Among the exhibitors are Mario Robinson, Aj Smith, Chukes, Larry Hamilton, George Hunt and many more. The exhibit runs through Jan. 16.
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