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10 days a week 

Twin cities show they care about art.

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What do you call 10 days in May when a spotlight shines on visual and performing arts events in Little Rock and North Little Rock? Gallery owners, artists and businesses call it ArtWeek '09, a week-plus celebration of the twin cities' cultural life that kicks off with 2nd Friday Art Night on May 8 downtown and culminates with the wrap-up of the Little Rock Film Festival ending May 17.

Art exhibits, poetry readings, musical performances, film, dance — even home-plate painting at Dickey-Stephens ballpark — fill the bill. Here's an extra incentive to come out: You can register to win $1,000 in ArtCash to spend at local galleries. Entry forms are available at the Arkansas Studies Institute, the Historic Arkansas Museum, Norton Arts, The Arts Scene Gallery and Shop the Rock (the River Market souvenir shop) in Little Rock and Argenta Art Company, Claytime Pottery Studio and the THEA Foundation in North Little Rock.

Eighteen venues will host ArtWeek events on Friday, from the large (Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's SuperPops “Music of Pink Floyd” performance at 8 p.m. at the Robinson Center) to the intimate (“Celebrating the Buddha” one-woman show of work by Ruth Pasquine, 5 p.m. at 1850 S. Gaines St.), from the loud (the Screaming Females, the Thing That Always Explodes and the Moving Front bands at the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative at 9 p.m.) to the quiet (the World War II Watercolors of Robert Andrew Parker at the Laman Public Library, North Little Rock). There's drama “The Wind in the Willows” at the Arkansas Arts Center, 7 p.m.; a sneak preview of “Steel Magnolias” and “Back to the '80s” at the Public Theatre, 6:30 p.m.; “Rabbit Hole” at the Weekend Theater, 7:30 p.m.) and a new gallery inauguration (Arkansas Studies Institute, 5 p.m.).

The Times' To-Do pages cover performances; here's a look at gallery events that kick off the week on Friday: The afternoon Sketch Fest (written about in last week's Art Notes column) is the gallery walk warm-up, at 1 p.m. in front of Norton Arts at 1206 Main St. Norton supplies the paper; Stephen Cefalo supplies the instruction; participants supply the art, to be sold clothesline-style as a benefit for the Southside Main Street Association. The event runs until 4 p.m. At 5 p.m., the Historic Arkansas Museum will host open mic performances of music, poetry, prose and song, including a performance of “Peg's Patter Call” by Monticello poet Mars Hall, at the north entrance, where the pedestals for HAM's public art project honoring Peg Smith have been installed. Alice Guffey Miller is creating “pARTy for Peg,” sculptural figures at a square dance; a fall dedication is planned. Other 2nd Friday exhibits (5 p.m. to 8 p.m.): Arkansas Studies Institute (401 President Clinton Ave.) is showing photographs from Cummins Prison by Bruce Jackson; Norton is showing work by William McNamara and Louis Freund, and The Arts Scene (110 State St.) has paintings by Ben Cowan and jewelry by Jeri Warlick and Dana Rogers.

River Market ArtSpace (301 Clinton) will be open 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to showcase new work by gallery artists. Work from Hearne Fine Art will be hung at the Copper Grill (300 E. Third) and Christ Church hosts a reception for artists Melverue Abraham, Mary Shelton, Marty Smith and others from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The River Market is hosting “Art at the Market” in its Tower Plaza from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Boulevard Bread is showing work by Shirley Anderson. Down the street, the space at 614 Clinton Ave. (formerly the Wrought Iron Grill restaurant) will host photographs by John Watson and the 4th annual “Arkansas Sculptors' Invitational Show and Sale.”

West of downtown, Local Colour (5811 Kavanaugh Blvd.) is hosting its Spring Show. Cantrell Gallery will hold a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday for Jerry L. Burrow, who is showing encaustic wax paintings and fused glass jewelry in the exhibit “Reflections in Wax and Glass.”

In Argenta, ClayTime Studio and Gallery (417 Main St.) is hosting the “Celebration of the Tulip” show and sale from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the Thea Foundation (401 Main) exhibits work by North Little Rock High seniors as well as five prints donated by New Orleans artist George Rodrigue from his famed “Blue Dog” series. Sage House Gallery at White Wagon Farm, 24627 Hwy. 365 N., hosts its “Spring Fling Exhibit.”

There's more on Saturday — “Poets in the Streets” at the Arkansas Studies Institute (11 a.m.-2 p.m.), a jewelry show at Argenta Bead Co. (703 N. Main St., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.), a free workshop in gelatin monoprints (Argenta Studios, 201 W. 4th St., NLR, 1-4:30 p.m.) — and the days to come. Get the full schedule at www.art-week.com.

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