If you pay attention to art at all, you know Stephen Cefalo and his figurative paintings. His classic technique adds a sort of timelessness to the work, much of it depictions of full-figured nudes and babes, and it's a method he's passed on to students at the Arkansas Arts Center's Museum School, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and in private lessons over the past seven years. They'll be showing their work at the Terry House Community Gallery, 7th and Rock streets, starting Sunday, in an exhibition called “Learning to See: Students of Stephen Cefalo.” There will be a reception from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. opening day, and the show will run through June 2.
The show was organized by the artists; Cefalo was juror, choosing 46 works. Artists whose works are in the show include Ash Barker, Nancy Spargo DeLamar, Jennifer "Emile" Freeman, Jameson Gresham, Jordan Lynn Gribble, Pamela R. Hawkins, M.N. Henry, Logan Hunter, Meghan Jones, Greg Lahti, Megan A. Lewis, Kayla Martin, Grant Mason, Carmien Penny, Jennifer Perren, Lora Peter, Eli Ramsay and Jason A. Smith.
From Cefalo's online biography:
I was born in the hometown of Albrecht Dürer on the birthday of Winslow Homer, Charles Le Brun, and Franz Von Stuck, so I already had my work cut out for me. My dad was a sergeant in the U.S. Army from Philadelphia, and my mom was raised on a cattle farm in Kentucky. When I was six my parents separated, and we moved to Indiana. My two sisters and I were raised in the historic river town of Newburgh by our mother who worked full-time at a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant in Evansville. I had trouble in school, but found comfort in drawing and was enchanted by the lonesome moans of the barges at night. My aunt Marilyn gave me oil painting lessons at twelve, and my mom bought me books on figure drawing and supplies when she could.
During my undergraduate studies at the former Savannah Campus of the School of Visual Arts I found mentors in Jeff Markowsky and Anthony Palliser. When SVA Savannah closed its doors in 1997, I was already married with my first child, and moved to the main campus in New York. There I studied with one of my heroes, Steven Assael, and Max Ginsburg.
Cefalo was also an assistant painter for Jeff Koons. Yep, the big guys have artists painting for them.
What is so rare as a day in May when you'll need a coat for Gallery Walk? Bundle up anyway for the monthly after-hours gallery event in Hot Springs, where you'll see:
Plein-air paintings in an exhibition called "Saving Our Heritage: Arkansas' Historic Structures," at the Fine Arts Center, 626 Central; new paintings by Marc Hatfield and raku by Kelly Edwards at Blue Moon Fine Art, 718 Central; paintings by Fabio Inverni at Gallery Central, 800 Central; Sheliah Halderman pastels and Teresa Widdifield paintings at Artists Workshop Gallery, 810 Central; and "Fresh Paint," work by Rene Hein, Dolores Justus, Rebecca Thompson and Emily Wood at Justus Fine Art, 827 Central. Check out Taylor's Contemporanea at 204 Exchange St. and other galleries as well.
Artchurch Studio at 301 Whittington is showing its final exhibition at that locale, "Artchurch Studio: Retrospective," featuring artwork by artists who've shown over the past five years at the gallery. The gallery is changing its name to Emergent Arts and moving to the 4,000-square-foot Dryden Potteries building at 341 Whittington Ave. Emergent Arts will collaborate with the Drydens to offer ceramics classes, and the new space, to open in September, will include a performing arts studio as well as galleries and visual arts classrooms.
Hendrix College art professor Matthew Lopas' 5-by-9-foot oil panoramic view of the parlor of Carl Miller's Quapaw Quarter home, the 1892 Dibrell House, will be on exhibit today at the house, 1400 Spring St., from 4-8 p.m.
Other works by Lopas will be on view as well. He'll follow this exhibit with one in the Narthex Gallery at St. Peter's Church, 619 Lexington Ave. (at 54th St.) in New York, starting May 17. That exhibit runs through June 19.
Still time to get tickets to tonight's Governor's Culinary Challenge, 6:30-9 p.m. at the Capital Hotel. So who's cooking? Glad you asked: Gilbert Alaquinez, the Governor's Mansion chef; Stephen Burrow, 42 Restaurant; Capi Peck, Trio's; Donnie Ferneau (formerly of Ferneau's); Mark Abernathy, Local Luna; Joel Antunes, Capital Hotel; Lee Richardson (formerly of the Capital Hotel); Peter Brave, Brave New Restaurant; Brian Deloney, Maddie's; Jason Knapp, chef at the University of Central Arkansas. All will prepare their own dishes to display their distinct styles.
Joining the chefs will be TV personalities and First Lady Ginger Beebe. The event is part of the American Culinary Federation Central Regional Conference here.
So here's why we're talking food on Eye Candy: The event benefits the Thea Foundation's programs for arts education in Arkansas. Tickets are $100; buy them at the online site above.
Ticket holders to the Arkansas Arts Center's Tabriz "Thursday Night (May 2) Auction" fundraiser (a.k.a. the cheap night) may start your engines now: The Arts Center has created an online bidding site. Buy tickets at the Tabriz website here.
Unfortunately, the images of the art for sale are tiny. It would be nice to see the work by Marjorie Williams-Smith, Delita Martin, Neal Harrington, Evan Lindquist, Jon Shannon Rogers, Emily Wood, Brad Cushman and myriad other artists — as well as the Louis Comfort Tiffany compote — bigger than a postage stamp. (I don't yet have a ticket, so maybe the images are bigger if you are actually a bidding ticketholder.) Fortunately, I found Harrington's "The Truth About Mermaids" on his website in a size that lets you appreciate it.
This week's ArtNotes has the lineup for the Thea Arts Festival tomorrow in Argenta. Three blocks of Main Street will be closed off, from Broadway to Sixth, sit-down restaurants will serve food on the streets, artists will demonstrate their skills and each block will have its own musical entertainment. Artists will be under tents, so don't let a little rain hold you back.
The festival is organized by the Thea Foundation, which supports arts education in the schools as a way for children to achieve in all areas of academics and is the state office for the Arkansas A+ arts-infused model that has been adopted by several schools with great success.
Printmaker LaToya Hobbs, known for her terrific woodcut- and linoleum block-print portraiture of beautiful African American women, is exhibiting work at Hearne Fine Art, 1001 Wright Ave., through June 8.
With "Beautiful Uprising," Hobbs hopes to "challenge past notions of identity concerning the black female body, deconstruct them, and resurrect an ideology grounded in positivity," she says in her artist's statement. The manner in which she works is symbolic of the goal of her work, a mimesis she expresses beautifully here:
My primary medium of choice is relief printmaking. Symbolically this serves two purposes. The act of cutting away from my matrix (the surface of the wood or linoleum block) to shape an image is synonymous with the way one has to cut away negative ideologies imposed on them by others to expose or embrace their true selves. In this same sense women of African descent have had to cut away the negative stereotypes imposed on them by external forces to express their true identity. Secondly, the historic nature of printmaking stems out of protest and communication. This is significant to my work because I seek to dismantle negative stereotypes based on Euro-centric standards of beauty and communicate how past influences, expectations, and personal preferences resonate with women of color in the 21st century and are expressed through the canvas of their bodies.
Hobbs, who will receive her master's of fine arts degree from Purdue University next month, will attend 2nd Friday Art Night receptions from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. May 17 at Hearne and will present two talks the following day, May 18, one about her work in the show at 11 a.m. and with a panel speaking on "The Relevance of Hair" at 1:30 p.m.
As a student at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where she learned printmaking from Aj Smith, Hobbs was
the student of printmaker mentored by Delita Martin. Martin will be demonstrating her work Saturday, April 27, at the Thea Arts Festival in Argenta, to be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Keith Haring, the cartoon artist who became famous first for his graffiti drawings in the subway tunnels of New York, purposely made his affordable for the public (opening the "Pop Shop") after his success in the art world pushed his gallery prices into the stratosphere. Everybody has seen Haring's simply outlined cartoon figures in some form or another, from T-shirts to posters to paintings. That he died of AIDS at the age of 31 in 1990 is also part of his legend, as he was one of the earliest activists to speak about the illness.
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announced today the installation of Haring's 1986 "Two-Headed Figure," a red aluminum figure that features a baby's head on one end with a dog's on the other,
on the grounds at Walker's Landing, the terrace on the east side of the pooled spring.
The sculpture was bought at auction at Sotheby's in New York last November for $578,500. The museum press release said its acquisition "was made possible by Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr." Sybil Robson Orr is museum founder Alice Walton's first cousin and a film producer.
In a press release, Crystal Bridges President Don Bacigalupi said the sculpture is a "rarity."
The work features two of his signature creatures, here as dual heads on a singular body, leaning over their respective shoulders to engage one another in dialogue. It’s pure delight and whimsy with an invitation to join the conversation.
Keith Haring (1958-1990)
Two-Headed Figure, 1986
Polyurethane paint on aluminum
96 x 82 x 56 in. (243.8 x 208.3 x 142.2 cm)
Made possible by Sybil Robson Orr and Matthew Orr
The Arkansas Arts Council is accepting applications from performing, literary or visual artists who would like to join the roster of the Arts in Education artists. Artists interested in working with teachers and students in schools or after-school/summer programs are encouraged to apply. Deadline to apply is July 5; applications are available at www.arkansasarts.org or may be requested from Cynthia Haas, Arts in Education program manager, at 501-324-9766. Interested artists may also email Haas at email@example.com.
Photographer Kat Wilson, whose narrative compositions of people and places have brought her many awards, including a Delta Award and two other awards from that annual exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center, is exhibiting her work at two venues in Fayetteville, the U of A Fine Arts Center Gallery and Arsaga's Depot. Since both go down Friday, and both have closing receptions, you can party amid her work from 6 p.m. on that day.
At the UA gallery, Wilson's exhibit "Portrayal" includes her photographs of Arkansas artists. Her show at Arsaga's, "Habitats," is a continuation of her work featuring subjects and locations from Northwest Arkansas. The UA reception starts at 6 p.m., and the Arsaga's reception, on Dickson Street, starts at 9 p.m.
From a news release on the exhibitions:
In every circumstance, Wilson has developed relationships with her subjects. The images in Portrayal present artists from around the state within their respective studios. Each one reveals more than the environment, or countenance of the subject, it also examines the relationship between an artist's body of work, their public persona, and their private realities. Wilson's photographs are carefully staged and have strong references to historical portraiture compositions. Portrayal is a unique opportunity to glimpse behind the curtain of an artist’s public perception and peer into their private realms of domestic space and psychology.
Habitats captures our local 'folks' on film. She includes and carefully arranges everyday and sometimes exotic belongings owned by each subject in their domestic space. The resulting images are of an environment that defines each subject’s appearance, personal interests, and desires. 'I’m exploiting these people and their stuff,' Wilson admits, and through this exploitation she enables them to express themselves completely, if only for a single moment in time.
The Windgate is a national competitive award funded by the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design in Hendersonville, N.C. The center invites more than 70 universities to nominate two graduating seniors skilled in craft to compete for the Windgate and only 10 students are selected. The Windgate Charitable Trust in Siloam Springs supports the fellowship through gifts to the Center. Chase, who hails from Tahlequah, Okla., is the first Windgate fellow from the U of A.
A news release from the university said that Chase has been crafting works in paper for several years, from origami cranes to the gowns created for her honors thesis. From the news release:
Chase painted, cut, scraped, pricked and scorched various aspects of the paper garments, which lure and provoke the viewer with unexpected details. A quilted paper spine and ribs form the back of Hollow Bones, confining painted birds suspended within the bodice; in Husk, a delicate tracery of blue blood vessels painted within are revealed when the gown is illuminated.
Historical costume and the rich visual language of fairytales inspired these works, but with the encouragement of her faculty mentor, Kristin Musgnug, an associate professor of art, Chase explored the deeper themes embedded in the tales and her own emotional processes, as well.
Paper dresses are in vogue — see Detroit designer Matthew F. Richmond's newspaper he made for the Arkansas Times here and the Eye Candy post on Mia Hall's dress in the UALR Faculty Biennial last year for two examples that have appeared in the Times in the past year. Like Chase's garments, Hall's aren't meant to be worn but convey a message. (This writer is old enough to have actually worn a paper dress nearly identical to the one below when they were all the rage in the 1960s.)
Chase's work appears in the exhibition "Crafted Identities: Honors Thesis Work of Emily Chase, Melissa Love, and Jeanne Vockroth" currently on display at the East Square Plaza on the Fayetteville Square, 1 E. Center St. A closing reception is set for 5-8 p.m. Friday, April 26. Her work also will be included in the BFA/BA Awards Exhibition April 29-May 4 in the Fine Arts Center Gallery on campus.
Architectural photographer Tim Hursley's years of photographing a toppled silo in Hale County, Ala., has gotten new attention from the Oxford American magazine's So Lost series, with this video by Dave Anderson. The OA wrote about the project after it was in its sixth month; now Hursley has been shooting for a year and a half.
In this video, shot in Alabama, Hursley says he was intrigued by the silo because it reminds him of an "early Frank Gehry," referring to the designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and other curving and geometry-defying buildings.
David Houston, curator with the Bo Bartlett Center in Columbus, Ga., known here by his former association with Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, says the silo itself has an "amazing powerful, poetic presence." The video of the nearly a million photographic frames, shot every 12 seconds with a surveillance camera to capture stars streaking through the night and light falling in various places through the day, animates a tumbledown, rusting heap into something quite beautiful.
Hursley has focused a camera on a grain separator by railroad tracks in Gould as well; that animation gets a little Fritz Langy by night.
The Thea Center, 401 Main St. in Argenta, hosts the "North Little Rock High School Art Show & Sale" and is exhibiting Matt McLeod's painting commissioned for the 2nd annual Thea Arts Festival tonight for Argenta ArtWalk, 5-8 p.m. (A reception for the students and art sale is set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, April 22. The show runs through April 26.)
Also tonight: Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St., continues its "Southern Women Artists" show and the UALR Clay Guild will be at the Laman Library branch at 506 Main. Dawn Clark will demonstrate gourd decorating and Marty Smith's show "Cityscapes" continues at the Paint Box Gallery, 705 Main.
Starving Artist Studios, 108 E. Fourth St., features work by Doug Norton and John Watson and Art Connection, 204 E. Fourth, will show works by the high school students participating in the program there.
The clients of Birch Tree Communities, which cares for people with serious mental illness, will be the beneficiaries of the annual "EXPRESSIONS Art Show and Sale," 6 p.m. tonight at Temple B'Nai Israel, 3700 Rodney Parham.
There will be more than 225 framed works for direct sale as well as a live auction. Persons aided by other mental health organizations will also have work at the sale.
Tickets are $10 at the door. Wine and Roses will provide the music; wine and beer will provide the wallet lubrication, light hors d'oeuvres will be served.
On Saturday, April 20, the San Francisco company Purple Moon Dance Project will perform an interpretive piece in the gallery, "When Dreams are Interrupted" in conjunction with Wendy Maruyama's installation and exhibit on Japanese American internment during World War II, "Tag Project/Executive Order 9066.” The performance will be from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Yesterday, the exhibit had another visitor: George Takei, who portrayed Mr. Sulu on the wildly popular "Star Trek" television series. Takei, who with his family lived at the Rohwer internment camp in South Arkansas for eight months as a child and later at Tule Lake camp in California, is shown in the photograph above posing next to hundreds of internee name tags suspended from the ceiling in Maruyama's installation in the Jeannette Rockefeller Gallery.
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