A venture to this state park is on the must-do list for many, the park being the only spot in North America where you can dig for diamonds and other gemstones and keep your finds.
Debra Wood, owner of the late ArtSpace Gallery in the River Market, is back in the art business again, as exhibit and event manager for the relatively new gallery space at the William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock.
The 2,500-square-foot gallery opened last April with a show by noted artist and illustrator Robert Andrew Parker. The gallery was built to museum standards, with climate controls and automatic shades to protect art from sunlight. The next exhibit there: “Enchanting Taiwan,” 38 photographs toured by Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Houston, opening Jan. 19. T.K. Lee of the office will give a talk at a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on opening day. The exhibit will run through Feb. 28.
The space is not for art alone; an exhibit of Lionel trains just closed a several-week run there. Prior to that, the Mid-Southern Watercolorists group had a show.
The Laman Library, as part of an ongoing expansion that began in 2002, broke ground last week on a teen center adjacent to the main branch. The 3,000-square-foot gathering place will include books, televisions and X-box gaming.
Gallery-goers will find an Andina's coffee shop in the library and, especially enticing this time of year, a fireplace. Hours for the library and gallery, at 2801 Orange St., are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Friday, Jan. 15, is Third Friday Artwalk night in Argenta. Participants include Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., which is showing work by former Delta show winner (and one of this writer's favorite Arkansas painters) Mark Blaney; Ketz Gallery, 705 Main, which opens “Art Outside the Box,” work by Sulac and Matt TerArvest; Arkansas Art Gallery, 500 Main, featuring “Age of Reason” paintings by V.L. Cox; and a group show at 307 Main St. Doug Norton will be featured artist at Starving Artist Cafe, 411 Main, and Argenta Bead Co. at 7th and Main will also be open. CORRECTION: Information received after the Times went to press indicates that the group show ("A Gathering of Artists") will be at the First Presbyterian Church at Fourth and Maple rather than the Main street address.
n We've reported this on the Arkansas Times blog and at arkansasartnotes.tumblr.com but for those of you who eschew electronic news, here it is again: Susan Williams' sculpture of fists bumping — “Respect and Solidarity” — now sits on the White House desk of Michelle Obama.
Williams announced that news at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center's Dec. 31 unveiling of its art collection, which includes a stainless steel cast of the piece. A little background: The Little Rock sculptor, who has a home in Chicago as well as Little Rock, uses the same hairdresser as the first lady there. She got a message to the first lady that way that she wanted to donate the sculpture to the Obamas. Once they received it, however, the Obamas liked it so well they decided to buy the sculpture so that they could keep it after the president leaves office. (It otherwise would have gone into the National Archives.)
Also mentioned in the Mosaic Templars item published here Dec. 24 was that the museum is in the process of buying a painting by Tarrance “Terry” Corbin, who died Dec. 3 in Cincinnati. Mitch Jansonius, owner of the Heights Gallery, has placed six paintings by the former Arkansas artist and teacher in the window of his gallery in tribute.
Corbin, 63, who was a native of Pennsylvania, took a teaching job at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff shortly after earning his MFA from the University of Cincinnati in the 1970s. He also taught at the Arkansas Arts Center. He painted in a hard-edge style, swirling ribbons of saturated color into complex geometrical compositions. Corbin joined the art faculty at the University of Cincinnati in 1990.