THE IDLE CLASS
VISUAL ARTS / FALL 2019
SIGHTS & SOUNDS OF THE DELTA DELTA RHYTHM & BAYOUS: FREEDOM AND BLUES EXHIBITION
UAPB Business Support Incubator, 615 S. Main St., Pine Bluff ONGOING Portraits of Blues artists tell of social injustices that fueled this music genre.
Sippie Wallace by Grace Sanchez
2019 IRENE ROSENZWEIG BIENNIAL JURIED EXHIBITION Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas
One Too Many by Carmen Castorena, Mixed Media. Best in Show, 2017 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition
OCT. 10, 2019—JAN. 4, 2020 The Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition invites artists from seven surrounding states to submit traditional fine artworks.
AN EVENING OF BLUES FEATURING LEGENDARY BOBBY RUSH Pine Bluff Convention Center Auditorium
7 P.M. OCT. 19, 2019
With guests Karen Wolfe and Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright.
Albert by Chrystal Seawood
BOYS TO BLACK MEN: THE SEER IS THE KEEPER OF HIS DREAMS. WORK BY CHRYSTAL SEAWOOD Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas
THROUGH NOV. 16, 2019 Seawood’s portraits examine society’s scrutiny and judgment of young Black men.
REFUGIA: PHOTOS BY IAN CAMPBELL Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas OPENS NOV. 21, 2019 Campbell uses organic materials and photographic developing processes to create semi-abstract images reminiscent of early photography. Dryopteris sp. (Woodfern) and Pteridium aquilinum (Western Bracken Fern) by Ian Campbell. Ilford Multigrade FB Warmtone Paper, Sunlight Exposure Lumen Print; 20” x 24”
WHIMSY & FLIGHTS OF FANCY Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas OPENING RECEPTION FEB. 6, 2020 Selections from the Arkansas Arts Center collection’s Playing Around: Toys Designed by Artists, surrounded by paintings by Eric Freeman, Katherine Strause, and Sherry Williamson.
The Rare Air by Eric Freeman. Oil on linen, 108” x 72”
701 S. MAIN ST., PINE BLUFF
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BRINGING THE WORLD TO YOU 2019/20 Walton Arts Center Season On Sale Now! SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER Blue Man Group Speechless Sept. 10-19, 2019
Randy Rainbow Live Dec. 6, 2019
Catherine Russell Dec. 6, 2019
Socks in the Frying Pan March 5, 2020
Tim Hawkins Dec. 7, 2019
Trike Theatre’s Sideways Stories from Wayside School March 7, March 14 & March 21, 2020
Boston Brass Christmas Bells are Swingin’ Dec. 8, 2019
Anastasia March 10-15, 2020
A Christmas Story, The Musical Dec. 10-15, 2019
Arlo Guthrie – 20/20 Tour: Featuring Alice’s Restaurant March 20, 2020
Tiempo Libre Oct. 3, 2019
Robert Earl Keen Countdown to Christmas with Shinyribs Dec. 17, 2019
Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group Oct. 4, 2019
The Snowman: A Family Concert Dec. 22, 2019
Nace Brothers Acoustic Oct. 10, 2019
The Polar Express Dec. 23, 2019
The Real Group April 3, 2020
VoiceJam Competition April 4, 2020
Jesse Cook Jan. 10, 2020
Fiddler on the Roof April 14-19, 2020
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] Oct. 17, 2019
Amy Ray Jan. 16, 2020
Äbhä by Parshwanath Upadhye and Punyah Dance Company April 21, 2020
Escape to Margaritaville Oct. 22-27, 2019
Piano Battle Jan. 30, 2020
Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour Oct. 29, 2019
Fred Hersch Trio Jan. 31, 2020
Nobuntu Oct. 11, 2019 Freddy Cole Quartet Tribute to Nat “King” Cole Centennial Oct. 12, 2019
The Rocky Horror Picture Show Halloween Party Oct. 31, 2019
Bonnie Bishop March 21, 2020
Trike Theatre’s A Year with Frog and Toad Jan. 25, Feb. 1 & Feb. 8, 2020
Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure: The Mystery of the Dinosaurs of the Deep April 28, 2020
Ballet Memphis Contemporaryx3 Feb. 6, 2020 Tab Benoit Feb. 6, 2020
NOVEMBER /DECEMBER David Sedaris Nov. 3, 2019
Once on This Island Feb. 11-16, 2020
Theatre Re’s The Nature of Forgetting Nov. 5, 2019
The Peking Acrobats Feb. 25, 2020
Jason Marsalis Quartet Nov. 15, 2019
Bollywood Boulevard April 23, 2020 Arun Luthra’s Konnakol Jazz Project with Selvaganesh April 24, 2020
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood LIVE! Feb. 8, 2020
The Play That Goes Wrong Nov. 12-17, 2019
The Messenger Legacy Band Art Blakey Centennial March 20, 2020
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo Feb. 27, 2020 Apollo’s Fire - Baroque Orchestra Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Rediscovered Feb. 29, 2020
Martha Redbone: Native Roots, Rhythm and Blues Nov. 16, 2019
MAY Windmill Theatre Company’s Beep May 1-2, 2020 Artosphere Festival Orchestra 10x10 Concert May 6, 2020 Artosphere Festival Orchestra 10th Anniversary Concert May 9, 2020 Jayme Stone’s Folklife May 14, 2020 The Band’s Visit May 19-23, 2020
The Swingles Winter Tales Dec. 5, 2019 Series Sponsors
West Street Live Presented by Neal Pendergraft
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THE VISUAL ARTS ISSUE FOUNDER + PUBLISHER Kody Ford
PLENTY OF WONDER / PAGES 14-15
Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster gears up for a new album and upcoming tour.
TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Julia M. Trupp
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Jenny Vos
Margaret H. Adams Roger Barrett Caroline Bivens Cherie Bugtong Summer El-Shahawy Garbo Hearne Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster Fred Kinslow Yani Ko Dero Sanford Haley Schichtl Matt White Kat Wilson
Macy Burr visualizes your favorite songs with Soundscape Studio.
STITCH ACROSS TIME / PAGES 24-25
The tradition of quilting endures and evolves in Arkansas.
ARKANSANS ABROAD / PAGES 32-36
We spoke with some of the Artists We Love who used to call the Natural State home to see what they are up to now.
ARTISTS WE LOVE / PAGES 40-61
Get to know the artists in your community, and find out whatâ€™s next for them.
Julia M. Trupp
Brandon Watts Milkdadd Onnissia Harries
Phillip Huddleston Chad Maupin Beth Post Eve Smith
Keels Creek Winery
and Art Gallery
3185 E Van Buren, Eureka Springs 6 V I S UAL ARTS 2 0 1 9
SOUND AND COLOR / PAGES 22-23
PUBLISHER’S NOTE I know what you’re thinking right now: “Hey, didn’t that guy leave?” The answer might surprise you…not really. Well, kinda, maybe. Much like Frosty the Snowman, I was destined to return next year. OK, I actually stepped down as editor-in-chief and just assisted where I was needed for the last two issues. Meanwhile, Julia Trupp, my handpicked heir, totally killed it. So much so, that when it came time for me to step up and take over again, I kept her onboard. Think of us like the mid-90s Dallas Cowboys. She’s Jimmy Johnson and I’m Jerry Jones, only I look far less like a Sith Lord. It feels good to be back. Things won’t be changing all that much. We’ll still be covering all you love about the arts in Arkansas and I’ll still be wearing weird hats. Oh yeah, the Black Apple Awards are coming back–November 15 at the new TheatreSquared in Fayetteville. This is gonna be the best yet! Stay tuned for more to come. And a special thanks to Arkansas Arts & Fashion Forum for serving as the parent organization for The Idle Class over the last year. I appreciate all that Robin and Suzannah did for us. And also, a big freaking thank you to our editor-in-chief Julia Trupp for being someone I can trust to get the job done. Y’all get ready. Good things are coming. Kody Ford Founder + Publisher
Three has always been my lucky number. Not only did Schoolhouse Rock! tell us how magical a number it is when we were kids, but it has also made special appearances in my life’s most wonderful moments. So here we are with the third issue of the year, my third as editor, and I really think this is going to be the best one yet. Naturally. The Visual Arts Issue, known as our Artist’s Issue in another life, is one that has frightened and inspired me as editor. We’ve got a whopping 64 pages in this baby, making it the longest issue to date. If you didn’t already have your favorite issue on your coffee table, I think this would be a good pick. We’ve included sections full of love, such as Artists We Love, Galleries We Love, and a nostalgic special-feature section, Arkansans Abroad, conceptualized by our founder and publisher, Kody Ford. Yes, you read that right—Kody has returned as our publisher, and The Idle Class family is complete again. Working with someone so passionate about the arts in the Natural State is inspiring! Uplifting! Validating! We are part of a fantastic art community, and getting to work with such a luminary who has spent six years shining a spotlight on the arts statewide is an honor. As a team, alongside our ever-so-lovely associate editor, Jenny Vos, we’ve created something really special for you this season, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. As Kody told you, we’re working with TheatreSquared to put on the coolest Black Apple Awards yet. As a theatre geek, I’m stoked, and I can’t wait for you to be a part of it. Now turn that page and be delighted. Trust me. There’s good stuff in here. Always celebrating the arts with you, your friendly neighborhood editor, Julia M. Trupp Editor-in-Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
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Courtesy of C Room—M
BENTONVILLE “Infinity Mirrored Room— My Heart is Dancing into the Universe, 2018 by Yayoi Kusama” Aug. 31—Oct. 2 Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art Crystal Bridges recently acquired Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart is Dancing into the Universe, 2018 by Yayoi Kusama. This artwork is an enclosed room filled with mirrors and dotted paper lanterns that change color. This effect makes it appear like the dots expand forever into the universe. Kusama is a contemporary artist who makes paintings, sculptures, performances, and installations. Dots are a common theme throughout her work—a pattern that she has utilized in her work since she was a child in an effort to escape trauma and anxiety. Crystal Bridges acquired another artwork of hers in 2018, Flowers That 8 V I S UAL ARTS 2 0 1 9
Bloom Now, which can be found in the North Forest. The Infinity Mirrored Room will be located in the Contemporary Art Gallery. A timed experience will be available to members from August 31 to October 1, and to the public on October 2. Each participant will be allowed to view the installation for one minute.
SPRINGDALE “Crimes of the Heart” + “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Oct. 11—20, Dec. 13—15 Arts Center for the Ozarks Arts Center for the Ozarks in Springdale kicks off its 53rd season on the stage in October with “Crimes of the Heart” from Oct. 11-20. At the core of this play are the Magrath sisters, Meg, Babe, and Lenny, who reunite at Old Granddaddy’s home in Hazlehurst, Mississippi after Babe
shoots her abusive husband. The trio was raised in a dysfunctional family with a penchant for ugly predicaments and each has endured her share of hardship and misery. Past resentments bubble to the surface as they’re forced to deal with assorted relatives and past relationships while coping with the latest incident that has disrupted their lives. Each sister is forced to face the consequences of the “crimes of the heart” she has committed. In December, the arts center will host the holiday classic The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Kellie Lehr Artist Exhibition Sept. 10—25 Arts Center for the Ozarks Artist Kellie Lehr’s works can be found in the gallery through Sept. 25. The 5x5 Canvas fundraiser runs from Oct. 1-25 with the Soiree and Auction on the final day from 5:557:55 p.m. Funds raised help support the organization.
EVENTS Award-winning “Game of Thrones” composer Ramin Djawadi on Wednesday, Sept. 25 when the 20city amphitheater tour makes a stop at the Walmart AMP. Having first conceptualized the tour several years ago, Ramin will be reworking and redeveloping the musical and visual elements of the concert to create a brand new live experience that encompasses fanfavorite pieces from the entirety of “Game of Thrones”. The tour will include new musical arrangements from the series’ eighth and final season such as the “The Night King” theme, Ramin’s epic nineminute composition that went viral immediately after debuting on the show.
y of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art—“Infinity Mirrored om—My Heart is Dancing into the Universe, 2018 by Yayoi Kusama”
The Barrett Baber Trio with Chelsey James Main St. Music Nights Sept. 20 Arts Center for the Ozarks $30-35 ACO will welcome the Barrett Baber Trio with Chelsey James for Main St. Music Nights on Sept. 20. Baber is a Northwest Arkansas favorite who made his name on The Voice. James is a southern Missouri singer who will be making her NWA debut by opening the show. Tickets are $35 or $30 for ACO members. A VIP meet and greet will happen earlier in the evening for an additional cost of $25.
ROGERS “Game of Thrones” Experience Sept. 25 Walmart AMP $29.50—99.50 Experience the music of Emmy®
Friday, Nov. 8. Formed in 1972, The Ozark Mountain Daredevils are best known for their hits “If You Want to Get to Heaven…” and “Jackie Blue,” but their music is steeped in Ozark Folk.
Country performer Marty Stuart will grace the stage of The Auditorium at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 9. His headlining performance is part of the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of his iconic album The Pilgrim. For more information visit ozarkfolkfestival.com or theaud.org.
Ticket prices range from $29.50 to $99.50 plus applicable fees and can be purchased by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting www. amptickets.com.
EUREKA SPRINGS Don McLean 7:30 p.m. Oct. 18 Eureka Springs Auditorium $45—85 Lots of great music coming to Eureka Springs this fall. On Friday, October 18, The Eureka Springs Auditorium presents American singer-songwriter Don McLean at 7:30 p.m. The beloved songwriter is best known for his hits “American Pie” and “Vincent (Starry Starry Night).” Tickets are available online at theaud.com. The 72nd Ozark Folk Festival Nov. 8—10 Eureka Springs Auditorium $23—40 The nation’s oldest folk festival by 45 days, OFF will host The Ozark Mountain Daredevils at the historic Eureka Springs Auditorium at 8 p.m.
Craig Davison Artist Reception 12—5 p.m. Oct. 26 Zarks Gallery London-based artist Craig Davison will have his first artist reception in the United States at Zarks. A group of originals, limited-edition canvas prints and exclusive small works will be on display and for sale. W W W.IDL E C L AS S MAG . CO M 9
FAYETTEVILLE “Personal Space” Sept. 5--29 Art Ventures Art Ventures will show Personal Space, a visual anthology of artworks by artists representing the richness of individual vision. Some artists have unique challenges and use them as potent fuel to power their artistic creativity. Featured artists include Buffalo, Kasey Hodges, Angela Davis Johnson, Melissa Milton, Dylan Mortimer, Erika Nelson, Tina Oppenheimer, and Linda Vredeveld. Fayetteville Film Fest Oct. 3—5 Downtown Fayetteville Square $10-80 In its 11th year in downtown Fayetteville, the three-day fest will feature documentaries, student films, music videos, animated films, feature films, and foreign films. A complete schedule and lineup will be available on the Fayetteville Film Fest website after Sept. 15, which is when single tickets will be available for purchase. Passes are available for purchase. NWA Fashion Week Oct. 3—6 Drake Field $30-150 This three-night consecutive event will feature an array of design styles including Avant-Garde and Ready-ToWear looks showcasing the regions’ uniquely talented designers and highend boutiques. This season marks the organization’s first-ever international show, with designers from as far as Amsterdam, Austin, and Kansas City, and Tulsa. To kickoff the runway-filled weekend, former NYLON editor-in-chief will return to speak with other guests for The Arkansas Arts and Fashion Forum’s “The Future of Fashion” at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 3. The presentation will discuss the impact and current state of fashion.
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HOT SPRINGS Featured Photographer Exhibition Sept 6—30 Justus Fine Art Gallery The September exhibit at Justus Fine Art Gallery will feature a selection of photography by Beverly Buys, Don House, Carey Roberson, Sabine Schmidt, and Robbie Brindley. The show will open with a reception from 5-9 p.m. on Friday, September 6, in conjunction with the monthly Gallery Walk in downtown Hot Springs. The exhibit will be on display September 6-30, 2019. New work from Buys’ Delta in Blue series will be featured in the photography exhibit. The cyanotype prints are made using the sun to print onto archival paper with hand-painted emulsion. Each print is an original due to the organic nature of the process, even when the negative is used for another print. Brindley is a native of Hot Springs and focuses his work as a photographer on the things he finds romantic and unique about the place where he’s from. The things that make it home to him. A selection of Don House’s series of images that involve water, swimming holes, rivers, and people experiencing those places, will be included in the September show. The traditional darkroom silver-gelatin photographic prints provide a rich medium for showcasing House’s depth in capturing his subject matter. Roberson’s mixed media photographs will also be showcased in the September photography exhibit.
Color photography from awardwinning photographer, writer, and translator Sabine Schmidt will continue the sense of place that is echoed in many of the selections for the exhibit.
LITTLE ROCK CALS: Banned Books Week Sept. 22—26 CALS Ron Robinson Theater The Central Arkansas Library System’s annual celebration of Banned Books Week has arrived, and this year, they are focusing on the powerful 1996 novel Fight Club. You know what that means . Groups that resist book banning have protected classic works such as To Kill a Mockingbird, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Lord of the Flies— books that address important themes often contain disturbing scenes, as they reflect realistic challenges and situations in our world. But without disturbing us, authors would not be able to convey important truths such as the violence and injustice caused by racism, or the mistreatment of the mentally ill. Banned Books Week honors freedom of choice for individuals, as well as the freedom to write on and read about important cultural topics even when those topics have the power to offend. The 1999 film adaptation of Fight Club, starring Brad Pitt, Ed Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter became wildly popular after its release on DVD, spawning cultural catch phrases such as “The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club.”
But what caught the public imagination about the story was its exploration of masculine identity in a world dehumanized by consumerism, where many people are trapped in low-paid, meaningless, and even unethical work in the service of corporate profit. These themes have grown increasingly relevant in the decades since the novel’s publication, and the problems identified by Palahniuk are driving many cultural and political debates in 2019. Banned Books Week at CALS will wrap up with a screening of Fight Club on Thursday, Sept. 26, at the Ron Robinson Theater. Admission is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. To enter the writing contest, which has one $300 grand prize and one $100 honorable mention prize, submit entries by Sept. 20. Submissions open Sept. 1. Winning entries will be selected based on creativity, flow, style, and originality.
The 2019 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition Opening Reception 5—7 p.m. Oct. 10 The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas The 2019 Irene Rosenzweig Biennial Juried Exhibition runs through Jan. 4, 2020. The exhibition invites artists from surrounding states to submit traditional fine artworks to this prestigious show. This competition connects ASC visitors with artists, photographers and sculptors from Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Awards are given for Best in Show, First Place and Second Place, with three Merit awards. Purchase awards are also available as the Rosenzweig Exhibition is an opportunity for ASC to grow its collection.
Refugia: Photos by Ian Campbell Opening Reception 5—7 p.m. Nov. 21 The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas Ian Campbell uses organic materials and photographic developing processes to create semi-abstract images reminiscent of early photography in his exhibition Refugia. ASC is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Sunday and Monday. Gallery admission is free. For additional information, visit asc701.org.
The first rule of the contest: You don’t talk about this contest. Find out more at cals.org/banned-books-week/
PINE BLUFF “Boys to Black Men: The Seer is the Keeper of His Dreams” Sept. 12—Nov. 16 The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas has several great shows on the docket this fall. The Boys to Black Men: The Seer is the Keeper of His Dreams. Work by Chrystal Seawood will run at the Thursday, Sept. 12–Saturday, Nov. 16.The opening reception is slated for 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. Seawood’s work examines society’s scrutiny and judgment of young Black men in her exhibition featuring portraits and interviews. A native of Forrest City, she was a cover artist for The Idle Class in 2017. The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is located at 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff. Albert, Chrystal Seawood, enamel and acrylic on wood, 72” x 48 IDL ECL AS S MAG . CO M 11
Ozark Poets & Writers Collective marks 25 years.
WORDS + PHOTO / KODY FORD For the last 25 years, the Ozark Poets and Writers Collective (OPWC) has held a monthly reading series in Fayetteville. The group meets the last Tuesday of each month, typically at Nightbird Books off Dickson Street, and hosts an open mic and featured reader. The readings are open to poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction and more. Many readers bring their own work, while some showcase their favorite pieces by other writers. OPWC began in the early ’90s when a group of poets decided to share their love of the written word, says OPWC board member Burnetta Hinterthuer. They formed a slam poetry team, and co-founder Brenda Moossey went to the National Slam competition with other members at least twice. They have since come to include almost every genre of writing at their events. As OPWC marks its silver anniversary, board member Ginny Masullo cites one of the group’s major accomplishments as “keeping an uncensored open mic going for over 25 years [and] sticking to our goal of featuring local, regional and national poets.” Some of their notable features include Arkansas Poet Laureate Jo McDougall, Davis McCombs, Geoffrey Brock, Geffrey Davis, Clayton Scott, Michael Heffernan, Davis McCombs and Arkansas Poet Laureate Jo McDougall. They have also featured novelists like Padma Viswanathan, Mohja Kahf and Elle Nash along with creative non-fiction from Argenta Reading Series co-founder Guy Choate. In fall 2018, OPWC won a Black Apple Award for Best Reading Series and hosted a collaborative reading with The Idle Class shortly thereafter. The reading series is a great place for beginning writers to find community and test their mettle. “In this day and age, we often just use digital communication forms, yet it is known that there is a need for personal interaction,” Hinterthuer said. “OPWC is a wonderful place to learn to read for an audience (as we are very forgiving), find advice and encouragement.” To mark 25 years, OPWC is hosting a party at 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Graduate Hotel in Fayetteville. Lisa Martinovic, one of the ’90s star OPWC performers, plans to return for the event from San Francisco and Mendy Knott Wryter is planning to come from North Carolina.
FB / OZARKWRITERS
Little Rock’s Graham Gordy reads a short story published in the summer 2019 issue of The Oxford American Magazine during the Ozark Poets and Writers’ August meeting.
UBUNTU: I am because we are Featuring:
CHUKES, KEVIN COLE, ALFRED CONTEH, ALVIN ROY AND TAFA
Exhibition Dates: September 19, 2019 through December 21, 2019
Top (l-r): Alfred Conteh, “Suave”, Mixed Media, 66 x 26 | CHUKES, “A Prayer for Humanity”, Fired Clay, 22 x 10 x 12 Alvin Roy, “Red/Brown Duo Tone #1”, Mixed Media on Canvas, 31 1/2 x 19 1/2 Bottom (l-r): Kevin Cole, “Dancing With Color”, Mixed Media on Paper, 49 1/2 x 35 1/2 | TAFA, “Shaman Drummer”, Oil on Canvas, 48 x 30
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PLENTY OF WONDER Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster gears up for a new album and tour.
WORDS / ROGER BARRETT PHOTO / MATT WHITE
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Friends of Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster just call him Pete. It’s Justin in press releases and emails. Tweets and t-shirts read JPKS, or Constant Stranger - the title of his first record as a solo artist. He says, “I got my first guitar and wrote my first song around Christmas 1995 or ’96. I was 12 or 13.” It was around then he played his first show, but he can’t remember exactly where: “My first show was either at a gnarly punk bicycle shop or at Dancin’ Don’s Old Town in Fort Smith.” Pete’s Oxford, Mississippi garage rock band Water Liars began making regular stops in Fayetteville in 2011, as part of extensive national tours. They played Lalaland, Nightbird Books (twice), The Lightbulb Club (four times), The Phoenix, Fayetteville Town Center and George’s Majestic Lounge. The band received praise from NPR, Billboard, The New York Times and Paste Magazine, which specifically touted Kinkel-Schuster’s multidimensional lyricism. In 2016, Pete released his first solo record, and moved to Fayetteville, where his touring pace has slowed down. “When I'm not touring, I'm hanging at home with my partner Megan and our dogs. I try to always be working on writing, whether it's songs or poems or prose. I paint, read, watch TV and movies, the usual stuff.” Getting to know his new home, he says “I love our house, Dickson Street Books, 410 Vintage, Arsaga's and Crystal Bridges. Fayetteville is a damn fine place to live.” Kinkel-Schuster’s upcoming record Take Heart, Take Care is out on Aug. 30 via Big Legal Mess Records. It’s his first record written with a stable home base, and that comes across in the songs. Right out of the gate, the first song “Plenty Wonder” finds him singing about love as “the balance from which all else flows.” Like most of his songs, it’s one that you feel you already know the first time you listen. Take Heart, Take Care combines the quieter and unadorned songs of Constant Stranger, with the big hooks and sound of Water Liars. “I definitely hoped with this record to put those two things together.” he says. The middle four songs of Take Heart, Take Care are some of the best he’s written. This cycle of songs starts with “Cut Your Teeth,” whose gorgeous lyrics convey familiar feeling in a new way, something that Kinkel-Schuster seems to be able to do at will. It’s a stunning and simple song that guides himself and the listener towards happier times. It’s one of the highlights of the new record. “Here I’ve fumbled my way, as always, and of necessity, into a collection of songs that hold a light to the joys and comforts of life not given up on: those that appear over time as we are looking elsewhere, to surprise and delight us when we need them most,” he says. “To me, that’s the most fundamental job of songs, of stories, of all art—to be allies, friends, companions, when we need them most, and it’s my hope that these songs can do that work in a world that seems to need it.”
extraction a poem by justin peter kinkel-schuster
This is not like the movies the Old West with one foot up against the bar pliers in one hand whiskey (xxx) in the other This is not like TV no screaming or histrionics only Welcome to the Jungle and Fly Like an Eagle as accompaniment and wait to get numb This tooth is likely to make sounds this tooth is likely to come out in pieces you may want to close your eyes though you will not feel pain but rather pressure This is the worst thing that can happen to you in this place here on in it is only better
Take Heart, Take Care is further proof that Kinkel-Schuster is one of the best songwriters working today. He’s definitely the best songwriter you might see tomorrow walking his dog to the coffee shop. Kinkel-Schuster will be touring this fall with Spencer Thomas, ending with a hometown show at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 at Smoke & Barrel Tavern. Advance tickets are available now at eventbrite.com / CONSTANTSTRANGER.COM
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ROLL THAT CLIP A behind-the-scenes peek at what’s happening in the NWA film industry.
“Valley Inn” (2014) WORDS / SUMMER EL- SHAHAWY PHOTO COURTESY / ROCKHILL STUDIO
Rockhill Studios has had a busy year in 2019 and the momentum doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Blake Elder, the CEO and president of Rockhill Studios said this year, Rockhill produced a feature film with NYLA Group called “American Cherry” and worked as an in-association producer on “The Quarry.” In addition to this film, the company is slated to produce three other features in the next six months. The features include “Freedom’s Path,” “Deep Cut,” and “I John.” Elder said these four films are expected to generate $10 million for the local economy and create 40 to 60 new jobs per film. He based this projection on a report by Berkshire which stated that a local economy can expect to benefit 1.65 times a film’s total budget. Applying this to the four films, Elder expects that Rockhill Studios will generate a combined $10 million of new revenue into Northwest Arkansas. Both “Freedom’s Path” and “Deep Cut” will be filmed in Northwest Arkansas and the locations for “I, John” aren’t set in stone yet, but should be mostly filmed in Arkansas. Elder said Rockhill is beginning to attach talent for “Freedom’s Path” and have offers out to several name actors. Keeping the momentum of their busy year rolling, Rockhill is set to fill a 16 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
minimum of four slots on their 2020 film slate. Elder said the goal in producing these four films in the upcoming year is to have a state revenue generation of over $15 million.
“We’re committed to sharing this exciting time and content with the local community. The digital media industry here is beginning to really blossom. ”
Elder said that Rockhill has played a huge role in developing the film industry in NWA over the past 10 years and have worked hard to grow the industry in NWA. In those 10 years, Blake and Kerri Elder have participated in 11 feature films and had films premiere at Sundance and Cannes film festivals, including distribution.
One of the films Fayetteville residents can look forward to is “To the Stars,” a film produced by Rockhill executives. The film will be screening at the Fayetteville Film Festival in October. Elder said that Rockhill has been fortunate to show many of their films in Arkansas and hopes to continue making local screenings a priority.
“We are excited to be growing rapidly and creating full-time work for the exceptionally talented and skilled people in our state,” Elder said. “We have been providing opportunities for many college and high school students and giving them experience in an industry that we helped ignite.”
Regarding the actors for Rockhill’s films, Elder said the film company works closely with Actors Casting Agency to help find locals to cast in films. Rockhill has also cast well-known actors including Michael Shannon, Shea Whigham, and Catalina Sandino Moreno in “The Quarry,” Tony Hale and Malin Ackerman in “To the Stars,” as well as Sarah May Sommers in “American Cherry” which just wrapped filming in August.
Rockhill Studios has been the production company behind four locally made films. Among those films are “Valley Inn,” “FREDI,” “Sweet Inspirations,” and Door in the Woods.” Elder said this is a testament to the commitment Rockhill has to the state. “We not only hire locally, but we have also“We been able to share the films made not only hire here,” Elder said.but we have locally,
also been able to share the films made here,” Elder said.
“Part of Rockhill’s Mission more opportunities to statewide talent,” Elder try to cast as many local possible, and hire locally.” / ROCKHILL . STUDIO
is to bring local and said. “We people as
“Hollywood.con,” a directorial debut
for Mika Boorem was a smashing success at its premiere in May of this year in Eureka Springs. Boorem said the movie was largely inspired by her father’s career as a gemologist and the adventures he went on in search of colored stones. Boorem said the movie feels like a whirlwind of excitement and has intertwining storylines akin to movies like Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “Watching the movie, you’ll feel like you spent time working in Hollywood and then went on a big gem hunting expedition through the jungles, and barely made it home alive, only to star in your next big movie,” Boorem said. Attendees of the premiere in Eureka Springs said the film was a breath of fresh air. Denise Thomas attended with her friends and family, including her 11-year-old daughter. “It was nice to see something different without murder and mayhem,” Thomas said. “I’m tired of going to the movies and being stressed out. It was nice to see a movie that offered
entertainment without the roller coaster of emotional taxation.” Boorem said debuting Hollywood. con in Eureka Springs was special. “The culture, the people, are top of the line,” Boorem said. “It’s nice to share a movie with real people and not just cater to LA or NY. My family is from Arkansas - that’s who we want to share our work with first - and it’s important to us that we are a part of the Arkansas film community.” / HOLLYWOODDOTCON.INFO
Imagine Film Company has a full
year coming up as the end of 2019 approaches. Director Aaron Szabo said that the company shot two short films in 2018 and has plans to shoot another in 2019. In addition to short films, the company is shooting commercials and corporate productions for some of the top Fortune 500 companies in Northwest Arkansas. Szabo said he is excited for the plans Imagine has for the future. “The ultimate goal is to create, or at least work on feature films full time,” Szabo said. “After 600+ commercial projects over the last decade, it feels like we have the skills and experience to move on to the next level of creating beautiful art through the medium of film.” / IMAGINEFILMCOMPANY.COM
OCTOBER 3-5, 2019
GLOBAL CAMPUS THEATRE + FAYETTEVILLE SQUARE TICKETS + PASSES ON SALE NOW AT FAYETTEVILLEFILMFEST.ORG IDL ECL AS S MAG . CO M 17
PUDDING PIE T
hough only mentioned as a mere footnote in the North African War Campaign of Word War II, Brigadier Pudding Pie is still revered as a war hero in the city of Zambriana, Egypt. For it was here, or maybe there, depending where you’re currently located. Probably there though, just because the law of averages dictates that you are probably not, in fact, located in, or anywhere remotely near, Zambriana, Egypt. Not now anyway. But if you had been located in Zambriana, Egypt, in June of 1941 then you would have witnessed one of the greatest feats of leadership no one ever talks about: THE BATTLE WHEREIN “FOOTNOTE” BRIGADIER PUDDING PIE RALLIED HIS OUTNUMBERED TROOPS TO THE MOST UNLIKELY ALLIED VICTORY OVER THE AXIS OF EVIL IN ONE ZAMBRIANA, EGYPT, IN JUNE OF 1941. No one knew then (how could they without the aid of history books) that Brigadier Pudding Pie was left alone at the frontline of a forgotten battle. You see, Mr. Churchill was enjoying a mid-afternoon espresso, a smidge too bitter but with nice coloring, a pleasant earthy brown turning black, while overlooking a dossier which contained stratagems for ending the war: * European intelligence reveals there is a stronghold of German chocolatiers hiding in Worms, Germany. The Behavioral Department strongly suggests the eradication of all products positively reinforcing the Fader land. * Send reinforcements to the North African War Theatre, namely one Zambriana, Egypt. There is a Brigadier named Pudding Pie (his actual real name and not a nickname) who believes the liberation of Egypt will cause the Axis forces to be overstretched and as a result will increase the likelihood
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FICTION / FRED KINSLOW ILLUSTRATION / BETH POST
of drawing in the Axis forces from the Pacific Theatre, weakening their overall position. * Brigadier Pudding Pie is also a cat, but a damn brave one willing to do what it takes and smart enough to know what it takes to do what it takes, obviously because he has risen through the ranks to Brigadier at a remarkable rate. He’s also not an overeater like that flabby coward Lieutenant General Tootsie Malone. * Continue to airdrop pamphlets mocking the Fuhrer. Research has shown pamphlets dropped from the sky satirizing the enemy’s leader are a surefire way of winning a war. This has been proven since before even aeronautical technology was as sufficiently developed as todays. Or at least since the catapult was invented. * I know surrender isn’t an option, but I’m placing it here anyway. * Surrender. But as Mr. Churchill came to read the second bullet point in STRATAGEMS FOR ENDING THE WAR, an espresso grain tickled the back of his throat causing him a great spasm of coughing, and in the commotion of coughing he spilled his just-a-touch-too-bitter espresso over the second bullet point advising him to send reinforcement to Zambriana, Egypt. Where our hero is currently entrenched in an epic game of cat and mouse with a yarn as long, if not longer, than the underground wire running under most of Europe and parts of Northern Africa.
It is here where the story truly begins.
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A HERO’S JOURNEY WORDS + PHOTO / CAROLINE BIVENS Students are unafraid to share their craziest thoughts and ideas at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School. Young Storytellers is a writing program designed to encourage kids to share their voices through performancebased storytelling. The nonprofit program started in Los Angeles around 20 years ago in response to arts program budget cuts. Since then, the program has expanded to 45 schools across the nation. Head Mentor Graham Gordy brought the program to Little Rock last year with the help of the Arkansas Cinema Society. Teachers help choose 10 fifth graders who would benefit from one-on-one writing help from volunteer mentors. “[Knowing that] the kids that go on to write or work in the film industry is all great, but the program is more about honoring their voices and
acknowledging that they have a story to tell,” Gordy said. The Young Storytellers program spans nine weeks. The kids spend seven weeks learning the elements of storytelling and playwriting In the final two weeks the kids see their stories brought to life on stage. “Kids get applause and photos and attention and it’s very moving. It gives them a jolt of confidence,” Gordy said. “We want them to know that [they’re] good at this, [they] can do this.” Student Kate Lovett wrote her story “Sprinkles on Top” about a dragon and magical unicorn that farts sprinkles. Lovett said Young Storytellers has helped her break out of her shell, and that she wants to keep writing funny stories. “I’m proud of myself because I’ve never shared stuff I think about with anyone.”
Mentor Gerard Matthews said his interest in film led him to become a mentor to student Riley Matthews. “Riley has a good imagination. He’s really thoughtful.” Matthews said. “It’s interesting as an adult to see his stream of consciousness because when you’re older you second guess yourself a lot.” Gordy said the program has had a positive effect on mentors and students alike. “I’ve never seen children become [so] willing to raise their hands, and be brave and vulnerable.” / YOUNGSTORYTELLERS.COM
Kate Lovett shares her play “Sprinkles on Top,” which she worked on with her mentor Gabe Gentry (right). The project was done in collaboration with the Arkansas Cinema Society and Young Storytellers. 20 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
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SOUND AND COLO R Macy Burr visualizes your favorite songs with Soundscape Studio. WORDS / JULIA M. TRUPP PHOTO / KAT WILSON After a long day of work at her full-time graphic design job, Macy Burr comes home to her dog, Olive, and wife and fellow designer, Anna Jacobs. She pours herself a glass of red wine before sitting down at her piano to begin her next custom order for her own business, Soundscape Studio. Music and design have always been major parts of Burr’s life. She grew up with a musical father who introduced her to the piano, and a supportive mother who encouraged her to pursue graphic design in college. The initial idea for Soundscape Studio came out of an intense study of music theory after getting engaged to her wife. With Valentine’s Day approaching, Burr wanted to gift her partner with something creative and musical, something to share with Jacobs what intrigued her so much about the piano. “I always nerd out over music theory, and [Jacobs] never knows what I’m talking about, so one day I thought, ‘Let me show you,’” Burr explained. “I went to Dallas to see a show—it was a DJ who perfectly timed beats to the light show—and it clicked. I had a five-hour trip back to Fayetteville, so I had plenty of time to put it together in my head.” After getting back from her trip, she sat down and created her first Soundscape musical art piece, “All of Me” by John Legend. After Jacobs posted the print on Instagram Burr was inspired to turn her idea into a new artistic venture. Each print, depending on the length of the song and sheet music available, takes Burr between 5 and 10 hours to complete. She creates each piece using Adobe Illustrator, “tapping out the rhythm, running to the piano, drinking a ton of coffee,” she says. She even turned each color-coordinated note into a font, so she can type out the rhythm using her keyboard. While the songs can be custom selections, the colors, which appear in different shades depending on the octave, are assigned specifically to coordinate with the seven notes in the musical scale. The rhythm is represented by the length of each block. The top line is the melody while the bottom line resembles the accompanying harmony. The rhythm, black and white, is placed as the base and layered by each colorful chord. With this system, Burr can represent any song. At this point, Burr has made prints from almost a hundred songs and samples of different genres, from the colorful pop, jazz and rock she started with to the black-and22 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
white rhythms of the rap she has recently added to her portfolio. Although the songs are visually appealing and easier to look at for those unfamiliar with music theory, the creation process doesn’t always glide from Burr’s fingers. “I have to look at what’s happening audibly, not visually,” she says. “Sometimes it’s not just one note in the sheet music [that causes the roadblock]. That’s why this can’t be automated. You’re spending time with it. It’s generative art in the sense you’re relying on the system to create it, but I’m monitoring with my interpretation of the song.” Attention to detail doesn’t stop at the music. Even the sizes of each print connect design and music: an abridged version of a song is square, resembling a single or CD, while larger prints of longer pieces resemble vinyl records. As for what’s next, Burr says she plans to apply for the Little Craft Show and is considering a craft show based in Austin, Texas as well. It’s possible her library of prints could turn into a coffee table book, complete with writing on music theory. “A woman said to me, ‘My daughter is dyslexic. She can’t read music.’ Since then I’ve been thinking about what to do with [my work],” she says. “I think I can develop a whole system… to help a basic understanding [of music].” Prints are available for purchase on Soundscape Studio’s website, with smaller prints starting at $45, and larger ones at $60. A custom commission ranges from $150 to $180. Follow along on the Soundscape journey on Instagram @soundscape_art. / SOUNDSCAPEART.COM
RING OF FIRE
CLAIR DE LUNE
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STITCH ACROSS TIME
In the basement of a fieldstone chapel outside of Goshen, the Son’s Chapel Rural Builders Club gathers every Tuesday morning to continue a decades-long tradition of hand-stitched quilting. WORDS + PHOTO / JENNY VOS The club formed in 1922 to build the chapel, and now they fund its maintenance through the creation and sale of baby quilts. They share conversation, lunch and skills with one another, and welcomed me warmly when I approached them to learn more about their craft. Quilts are unique historical and artistic objects. Whether through necessity or sentimentality, they have often been made from scrap or repurposed fabrics, memorializing an otherwise fragile material history. The task of hand stitching a full-sized quilt— sewing together the decorative top sheet, the cotton batting and the back sheet—is so massive that it takes a group collaboration to complete in any reasonable length of
24 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
time. Until the advent of the modern sewing machine most quilts were made in this way: by a community of women gathered around a bare wooden frame. Of course, the history of quilts is not always comforting. In antebellum Arkansas enslaved artisans made quilts for the white families who exploited their labor, and, as with most crafts associated with the domestic sphere, women have not always participated freely. But as society and technology has progressed, the necessity of this craft to daily life has waned, and quilting remains to those who take it up willingly and joyously. Two prominent Little Rock Museums are exhibiting quilt collections: Stitched Together: A Treasury of
Arkansas Quilts at the Historic Arkansas Museum surveys Arkansan quilting throughout the history of the state, and the Old State House Museum’s A Piece of My Soul: Quilts by Black Arkansans explores the cultural legacy of quilting in Arkansan African American communities dating back to 1890. Both are on display through the fall. But quilts are not only relevant to examinations of historical societies. James Matthews, a documentary artist working out of Little Rock, is exhibiting a series of works at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas titled Eviction Quilts. “I try to see what we are conditioned to overlook, and then to allow others to see it,” Matthews says of his work. Each of his quilts is made from
materials found at the site of a single eviction, an artifact of a specific disruption in a family’s life. “Quilts,” says Matthews, “inherently speak of home and family and safety and comfort.” His deliberate juxtaposition of medium and material creates an impressive, melancholy body of work. Like most quilts Matthews’s exist both as art pieces and functional objects, and he is actively managing their transition from one sphere to the other. “I cannot justify profiting from others’ misfortune,” he says. “I am now looking into a way to sell the quilts and have the proceeds go to a local or regional organization working to help those who have experienced eviction or working toward improving the landlord–tenant laws in Arkansas.” In this connection between fabric and community, Matthews speaks from the heart of the quilting tradition. As a practical craft, quilting can never be fully alienated from the needs it addresses: to provide warmth, preserve history, and to bring people together. “I lean on my Tuesday friends for psychological connection to shared passion for quilting,” says Go Strealy, a member of the Rural Builders. “Sharing like passion for constructing beautiful things with stitchery, [. . .] the quiet conversation, and women telling our stories, is enriching.” Susan McRae, a third-generation member of the club, puts it even more simply: “It made me feel at home.” The Rural Builders are always open to new members and encourage anyone interested in their work to visit them Tuesday mornings between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at Son’s Chapel, or to attend their quilt and craft show 1–4:30 p.m. on September 7.
53 YEARS 2019 | 20
OF COMMUNITY ARTS THEATRE | VISUAL ARTS | MUSIC | DANCE
FALL: Crimes of the Heart HOLIDAY: Best Christmas Pageant Ever WINTER: Into The Woods SPRING: See How They Run MAIN STREET MUSIC SERIES BLACK BOX SERIES ACO OFF-SITE SERIES GALLERY + ART TALKS
COME PLAY WITH US IN DOWNTOWN SPRINGDALE.
An Exhibit by Shannon Hensley
Bastion Gallery - Fort Smith November 1-16, 2019 Reception Nov, 16 @ 6 p.m. Featuring a Selfie Throne by Kat Wilson, gallery design by Annabell Larsh with readings by Hayleigh Worgan, Schuyler Brooks & Isabella Marianna Barrios
It’s A Mystery BookStore On the Berryville square
Your gently-used bookstore featuring vintage, modern and classic reads! West 16th Street (Four Square) The pink floral squares in this quilt are a woman’s satin night gown; the bright blue, a dress; and the brown, a suede-like button-up shirt. This quilt is backed with a white cotton blanket, also recovered from the eviction.
IDL ECL AS S MAG . CO M 25
PROVIDE & CONQUER Arkansans for the Arts aims to empower creatives across multiple disciplines to advocate about the impact of their fields on the state’s economy. WORDS / KODY FORD Often times, the arts are dismissed as leisure or whimsy, but the impact on our state is immense, whether it be tourism or place making or general economic benefits. In Arkansas, a group has emerged to combat that. Garbo Hearne of Little Rock, and Mitch Mitchell of Fayetteville, founded Arkansans for the Arts (ARftA) in 2014.
legislation occurs; build future art leaders through Students for the Arts in all eight districts on a college level; and protect arts education funding and provide a platform for “One Voice” for all disciplines in the state of Arkansas. It’s a tall order for a small organization, but one that plans to achieve its lofty goals by mobilizing an army of creatives.
The Arkansas Arts Council provided initial funding for ARftA. Arkansas was selected by Americans for the Arts in 2015 as one of ten states to participate in a three-year pilot project to promote and increase the availability of quality arts education. ARftA manages this project with funding from Americans for the Arts, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and other donors.
Arts-related industries in Arkansas have had an economic impact of $2.7 billion and created 34,000 jobs, Shoults said. Creativity-reliant occupations add 14 percent to the economy according to preliminary research between AFftA and the Arkansas Economic Development Institute (AEDI). As good as those figures are, the job total doesn’t include part-time work, so it underrepresents the total impact.
According to ARftA board member Leonore Shoults, the group aims to educate business and civic leaders by empowering artists to speak for themselves on the importance of the arts in tangible terms for Arkansas and national arts initiatives and issues. Their main initiatives are to: provide data to substantiate the arts as a creative economy force in the state of Arkansas; support the Arkansas Legislative Arts Caucus; train ARftA members on effective arts advocacy methodology; provide connection to national and state legislators through use of VoterVoice, which is provided by Americans for the Arts when arts
One of ARftA’s goals is to create a strong database that encompasses all eight disciplines: Fine/Performing Arts (theater, music, dance, visual art), Building Arts (architecture), Culinary Arts (chefs, bartenders, food industry employees), Educational Arts (teachers and instructors), Film, Radio and TV (story creation and documentation), Museums and Collections, Graphic Design and Cosmetology (hair stylist, manicurist/ pedicurist, masseuse, aestheticians). While some of these categories might seem obvious, others are often overlooked as creative fields.
Last November, ARftA hosted the inaugural Arts Advocacy Day at the State Capitol. More than 353 advocates came to voice support of the arts community as a leading job creator including patrons, organization leaders, and business owners. Sen. Elliott introduced the newly-formed, bipartisan Legislative Arts Caucus. Legislators visited 18 exhibitors and eight disciplines represented. Arts Advocacy Day exemplified how eight arts disciplines integrate the workforce of four specific industries: health, education, agriculture, and tourism, Shoults said. The arts and culture are the third leading job creators for Arkansas generating revenue in every corner of the state. Arts education is the baseline for Arkansas’s creative economy. While Arts Advocacy Day was a success, ARftA doesn’t plan to stop there. This fall they will host arts-focused Town Halls across the state in every district to educate participants about the creative economy, collect data and have an arts-based conversation with local state senators and representatives. The first meeting will be at 5 p.m. September 19 in District 8 at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff. The next town hall meeting will take place in District 1 at noon on October 6 at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville. Their annual membership meeting will take place on October 27 at The Innovation Hub in North Little Rock, Arkansas. “We are at a turning point in Arkansas,” Shoults said. “Industry realizes that they need quality-oflife to attract corporations and, in addition to our state’s natural beauty, the Arts are key. Businesses realize that they need creative problem solvers in their workforce and the Arts are key. We all need to find a way to come together across the bitter divides now facing our country, and the Arts are key. You don’t have to be an artist, your talent might be a different contribution but, we are all one voice—that’s the key.” / ARKANSANSFORTHEARTS.ORG
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WORDS / YANI KO PHOTO COURTESY / LIFE STYLES, INC.
DRAW THE SOUL
t’s the last day of the SENSEsational Summer Camp, part of Children’s Therapy TEAM’s allinclusive art therapy program geared toward children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. The lively group is decked out in colorful aprons and chef’s hats as volunteers pass out fruits and vegetables and lead the students in creating their own dishes.
Every day of the week, campers ranging from 4 to 12 years old were tasked with exploring one of the five senses through art-based projects. Today they are exploring the sense of taste and will end their culinary adventure by making dessert—a “dirt and worms” cake. “As an occupational therapist I’ve seen a need for various sensory experiences for kids because those are pretty difficult areas for a lot of them,” says Whitney Garrison, who coordinates the TEAM Talent art therapy program. “If you want to experience some sort of sensory sensation or therapy tool it can be a challenge, but when you add an art form into it, it becomes fun and it becomes play for the child. They are able to achieve way more therapeutic gains because of art.” Children’s Therapy TEAM is a pediatric clinic offering physical, occupational, speech and developmental therapies. This year was the TEAM talent art program’s first week-long summer camp, held at the Grace School at Children’s ABA TEAM on Joyce Boulevard. One of the goals at the camp is to help children overcome obstacles involving their sensory triggers and behaviors by investigating the five senses themselves. Throughout the week, these challenges included experiencing loud continual noises when they made musical instruments, handling messy textures while making paper lanterns, as well as encountering unpleasant scents as they acted as scientists, creating scent bags and
Summer programs help students’ anxiety and developmental challenges with artistic expression.
identifying them using only their sense of smell.
will work on watercolor paintings and the other half on collages.
Art therapy can continue to encourage creative development throughout life. At the Lifestyles Blair Center in Springdale, adult clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities reap the benefits of art classes led by working artists. The Lifestyles art program takes on a more collegiate model with the goal to make the arts more inclusive to people of different abilities.
Cyara Gibson, 22, is devoting her class time to her latest masterpiece and favorite artwork to date—a “yin and yang, heaven and hell multimedia collage,” as she describes.
“We try to offer pretty much all of the fine arts classes that you would find if you went to the U of A,” says Brandi Tyner, an art teacher at the Blair Center. These classes include ceramics, lapidary work, beading, painting and drawing. The Blair Center hosts two art shows a year and has a generous amount of gallery space devoted to exhibiting client creations.. Tyner, whose background is in graphic design and photography, says that the majority of the clients at Lifestyles are on the autism spectrum or have down syndrome, but the client base is not limited to these abilities. She also says students range in age from 18 to mid-60s. This afternoon, in a wide open art room brought to life by busy students, abundant natural light and a slew of paint splatters, students are divided into two groups. A handful
Her seven-canvas installation is taking shape with fluffy clouds made of cotton and outlines of faceless angels and demons that are soon to be filled in with paint. She says she will find fire inspired fabric and incorporate some charcoal into her work as well. “I like all art,” says Gibson, “It’s very calming. Any form that I don’t have to draw a face. It’s like [. . .] if I’m stressed I just start drawing.” Brendan Baker, 21, who is working on a mismatched-body-parts collage of his own featuring Bruce Willis’s head paired with fishnet-clad dancer’s legs, says that he benefits from his art classes at Lifestyles through creating and from the help of his teachers. “For me, it’s more like a good way to get rid of anxiety and pressure,” Baker says. “If we need [our teacher’s] help they’ll just guide us and show us how to do it but they won’t do it for us.” / LIFESTYLESINC.ORG
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PHOTO / DERO SANFORD
If you’ve been to the Trailside Village during a Fayetteville First Thursday or an Idle Class release party, 28 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
you’ve been a part of Kat Wilson’s #SelfieThrone series, which are temporary interactive installations that put the viewer in the role of portrait photographer. During each event, viewers are invited to sit on a throne, designed by a different collaborating artist. While Wilson chooses the theme and iconography of each Throne, the series showcases the diverse talents of local artists. A s a p h o t o g r a p h e r, Wilson experienced the proliferation of the selfie firsthand. As she sees it, the emergence of the selfie signals an end for the professional studio portrait as we know it. “People know how they want to look and they know how to control [the camera],” says the artist. Through the #SelfieThrone series, Wilson is able to continue the practice photographic portraiture by setting the scene for the perfect selfie.
Every #SelfieThrone is distinctively different. In June, interior decorator Tareneh Manning explored man’s dominion over nature through the opulence of objects and riches. August’s #SelfieThrone, titled HELL., was realized by projection mapping artist Mike Abb, who also DJ’d the event. Confirmed future artists include artists Sara Segerlin and Maxine Payne. In the local NWA community, Wilson’s collaborative series gives the spotlight to artists, showcasing the artistic talent in the area, while interestingly raising significant questions about the future of photography in an age when every amateur photographer has a selfie stick and the portraitmode on their smartphone. - Margaret H. Adams
Little Rock residents will get a chance to be in a real-life mystery team this October with SeanceLR. Phillip Rex Huddleston is creating an immersive, city-wide mystery game. Seance LR will leave clues in businesses around the city for players to investigate. Huddleston first went on a haunted house ride when he was five, and he noticed how it blurred the lines between the ride and reality. He cited this experience as his inspiration to create a game that intertwines with real life. “A virtual reality headset makes you very aware of its unreality. Even augmented reality games require that you have your phone out to see and catch a particular Pokémon or duel a Harry Potter wizard,” he said. “With Seance LR, I’m hoping to create a mystery in which the distinction between playing the game and living one’s life becomes dissolved.” He can’t share many details of the game and keep its mystery. Even
his collaborators and the businesses involved know as little about it as possible.
and edited the video featured on the homepage first page of the Seance LR website.
“I’ve been fortunate to have friends with such positive energy who will jump head first into this unknown project,” Huddleston said. “I can’t count how many times Nick Lewellen, a data scientist, Michael Shaeffer, artist and owner of Control, and Jordan Hickey, editor of Arkansas Life, have batted around ideas for the clues and narrative and themes with me.”
“It was very hot that night in the room as we kept the fog machine going for the shot with the doors closed and little to no air conditioning,” Huddleston said. “Everyone was wearing masks and multiple layers of costuming while we did the shot over and over again; we were all very giddy seeing how it looked.”
Brooks Tipton, musician and owner of Electric Ghost, helped Huddleston with the soundscape. Sean Williams, who worked on the band Pallbearer’s earlier albums, Kristin Hardin, Jay Calhoun, and Colton Faull are all helping with audio for a radio show segment of the game.
Game participants can go to SeanceLR. com to fill out a form and mail it to the address listed. The mystery begins Oct. 5. Entries will not be accepted after Oct. 31. - Haley Schichtl
But the first collaboration was with his friend Mark Thiedeman, who filmed
When Alyssa Bird began Regenerous Designs, she was fed up with the fashion industry’s wasteful practices.
PHOTO / Luke Davis, Main Street Studios
By reusing discarded fabric in her jewelry designs, Bird began making eco-conscious jewelry that brings an awareness on contemporary consumer and environmental concerns to the Northwest Arkansas area. In spring 2019, Bird paired up with B-Unlimited, a T-shirt design company owned by Ben Clark that also approaches the similar production concerns by offering an eco-water-based ink option for their shirts. Clark reached out to Bird to design jewelry for the 2019 NWA Fashion
Week from the test T-shirts that B-Unlimited weren’t putting up for sale. Together, B-Unlimited and Regenerous Designs paired up to tackle concerns about the environmental impact of the fashion industry in the area during that important week in NWA. “I found little treasures in them. Breaking [the T-shirt designs] up and making a whole new thing, a new design,” said Bird when asked about the challenge of incorporating T-shirt designs into jewelry. By cutting up the T-shirts, the already-printed designs become abstracted, taking on nuanced elements of color and shape.
Bird, who designs jewelry that encourages the idea of personal style, is continuing her collaboration with B-Unlimited for future projects. The two eco-conscious companies are hoping to develop their collaboration and produce more jewelry in time for the Fall semester at the University of Arkansas. Bird sells collections of headbands, necklaces, earrings, and scarves online. The NWA Fashion Week jewelry is available for purchase on the Regenerous Design website, along with her everyday designs. - Margaret H. Adams
During the process, Bird found local support from collaborating photographers, models, and other creatives who were willing to lend a helping hand during the whole process. IDL ECL AS S MAG . CO M 29
Rob Gordon and Ashley Kaye find balance through collaboration, something that many married couples might not be able to do. Whether it is Gordon setting up the tripod or Kaye helping him relax and not get hung up on the details, the couple has crafted a unique body work of art. Gordon said, “[I]t’s actually really rewarding working together. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, so it allows us to be honest with each other.” Their collaboration occurred very organically, since they are both artists and often sought advice from one another. They worked as one another’s studio assistants, bouncing ideas off each other, suggesting artists and sending Instagram links. It was a natural progression, particularly given the parallel themes of their work. Their photographs and multimedia pieces explore themes such as domestic space, gender, sexuality and relationships. “We both struggled growing up in traditional, conservative domestic
spaces and in our married life we feel odd and out of place within the home and in heteronormative roles,” Kaye said. “The work then explores the tensions between the desire for partnership, passing as a heterosexual couple and the oppressive expectation of motherhood, and Rob’s identity as a bisexual genderqueer person.” Their most challenging collaboration was a performance piece for Kat Wilson’s All Inclusive Show at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art on New Year’s Eve 2018. “We had to throw it together in just a few weeks and Rob was stressing out,” Kaye said. “The room we were in was much darker than where we rehearsed and Rob couldn’t see through the nylon suits we were wearing. At one point in the performance we had to remove pieces of skin from each other’s suits, but Rob panicked and ended up going out of turn.” Gordon added that Kaye was quite patient and forgiving though. Gordon, a
2019 recipient of an Artists 360 grant, will spend much of the year focusing on his body of work Delta, an exhibition of photographs that explores queer adolescence and constructions of masculinity through the lens of summer vacations to his great-grandfather’s cabin in Canada. He has a show at Fenix Fayetteville in October 2019 that will possibly feature some of their collaborative work. Kaye also received an Artists 360 grant to work on her MFA show, which will feature some of their collaborations when it premieres at the University of Arkansas in spring 2020. - Kody Ford
Is artistic talent hereditary or passed down through nurturing and support? For Whitney Bell and her son, Gus, it may be a bit of both. Bell, an artist and educator in Northwest Arkansas, began collaborating with her twoyear-old on a new series of works in 2018. The inspiration came from watching how carefree he was when given a blank sheet of paper.
“I was very interested by the marks [Gus] was making,” Bell said. “They are so free and intuitive. They are sometimes so light and sometimes so bold. He is much more interested in drawing or painting if I am doing it with him. I have found this collaborative painting activity to be a time I can make art while keeping Gus entertained and happy.” For their process, mother will draw an image and then lets son add color and texture with pastels, before she paints on top of it. Their collaborative works were recently displayed at Fenix Fayetteville in August. For Bell, as a parent and working artist, their time together in the studio helps immensely. “Finding time to create is definitely the toughest part about being an artist and a parent,” she said. “I try
to paint a couple nights a week after he goes to sleep but the light is not great and sometimes I need to watch my stories. Honestly though, incorporating Gus helps me create more.” Bell says her pa rents were encouraging and always drawing or coloring when she was younger. They took her to museums and galleries. Her father is also a painter and has been an influence on her work. She says there are some drawings and paintings by Gus that she will paint over as they are his works alone. “I love how intuitively he paints and draws. His marks are beautiful. They inspire me to loosen up when painting or drawing.” - Kody Ford
Collaborating artists Dillon Dooms and Stuart Lippincott have met only once in person – The December 2018 The Idle Class interview with Lippincott about his global career in 3D graphic design. Otherwise, the pair collaborate together solely through social sharing platforms. Previously inspired by Lippincott’s work, Dooms reached out for 3D rendering tips, and the professional relationship eventually grew into a collaboration focused on continued learning and a love of scifi movies.
An experimental music scene in Fort Smith and Northwest Arkansas is emerging with the performative series called Contemporal Immersion, presented by the non-profit organization 64.6 Downtown and curated by the creative platform Arcade Now. Founded by local pianist Amos Cochran in 2019, Arcade Now focuses on artist collaboration in the River Valley and NWA region. Arcade Now’s first project has
Both artists bring their own distinct approach projects. Lippincott shares 3D rendering of an environment with Dooms, who then further alters the image by inserting photographs he shoots of live models dressed in costumes and posed in front of a green screen in his studio. During this process, Dooms has to contemplate nuances like colors, shadows, and reflections in order to integrate his photographs seamlessly into Lippincott’s rendered images. One thing both artists have in common, is their interest in developing their technical skills in editing software. You can find both Dooms and Lippincott producing images daily in order to enhance their own practices. Both agree that sharing their knowledge with other artists experimenting with 3D rendering and other design
been a performative series called Contemporal Immersion, which showcases collaborations between visual and musical artists. Held in the Propak event space in downtown Fort Smith, the shows offer viewers a curated experiential moment that combines sound, light, and art to create an exceptional atmosphere that is new to many. Cochran explains that some performances are more or less rehearsed, like his April 18 collaboration with cellist Christian Serrano-Torres, violinist Miranda Burns, and visual artist Dillon Dooms, while others are more impromptu, like the June 20 performance following Fort Smith’s flood called Contemporal Immersion: Calm with guitarist Kevin Blagg, violist Curtis Dickens, and visual artist Buffalo. For Cochran, and arguably the local creative community, the importance of these performances lies in creating new spaces for artistic exploration,
software is an avenue that can strengthen the local artistic scene. In an interview, Lippincott commented, “It’s important for people to know that you can make your own path, you don’t have to work for a giant advertising engine.” Workshops and classes for those interested in pursuing 3D rendering skills are one way that both artists agree could help others also realize interests and careers. - Margaret H. Adams
which in turn opens new support from the local population. “I think it’s important to present people a place to present new ideas,” says Cochran. Essentially, Arcade Now’s collaborations cultivate an environment sustained by open experiment and investigation, introducing new, unforeseen avenues for expression to the local community. Arcade Now is planning a festival in early 2020 that will exhibit the work of local musicians, artists, film makers and Fort Smith students. - Margaret H. Adams IDL ECL AS S MAG . CO M 31
Arkansans Abroad We spoke with some of the Artists We Love who used to call the Natural State home to see what they are up to now. ILLUSTRATIONS / EVE SMITH
What’s your connection to Arkansas? I grew up in Fayetteville, where my family still lives. In 2016, I returned to the Ozarks for a year. Do you think relocating allowed you to grow as an artist or advance your career?
EMMA STEINKRAUS Central Virginia IG / @emmasteinkraus emmasteinkraus.com Emma Steinkraus is a visual artist, assistant professor at Hampden-Sydney College, and founding editor of the contemporary poetry journal Company Editions. Her vibrant paintings and elaborate gallery backdrops explore issues of gender, ecological collapse, and history through an idiosyncratic, personal lens.
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Most of my career has unfolded outside of the state. I left Fayetteville when I was fifteen to study at Interlochen, a boarding high school for the arts. I continued to study art at Williams College, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and the University of Iowa. Those experiences certainly fed my work and I feel grateful for all the exhibitions I’ve seen, residencies I’ve attended, and mentors I’ve worked with. Throughout it all, I’ve also felt support from the Arkansas art community and have been lucky to show in spaces like 21c. I’m thrilled to
see the arts thrive in the state. In 2016, I returned to the Ozarks and kept a home-base outside of Fayetteville for the year. I loved meeting local art professionals and participating in Artist INC, a wonderful professionalization program for artists in the area. What are your preferred artistic mediums? I’m a painter who cares about the gallery as a space. My exhibitions focus on paintings hung over murals or wallpapers I design. I see the gallery walls as a way to complicate or emphasize aspects of the paintings. My paintings are representational, but use of modern materials. Most of my work combines acrylic painting with messy photo transfers. I paint on surfaces like emergency blankets and Naugahyde. My newest studio toy is an airbrush.
Onnissia (oh nee see yuh) Harries is a University of Arkansas graduate and emerging Kansas City artist with an interest in negative space, silhouettes, minimalism and sexual empowerment. Inspired by her upbringing in South Central Los Angeles, Onnissia limits herself to creating with materials she finds around her home to make art with little to nothing. Creating
something out of nothing is an imperative survival skill when growing up impoverished. The use of negative space, minimalism, and silhouettes is a symbolic homage to her upbringing as these techniques also create elements with little to nothing. After years of a gradual sexual awakening, Harries uses sexual empowerment in her art to create conversations around self-love, intimacy, and passion in spaces where womxn are traditionally taught to be ashamed of their own sexuality. What are your preferred artistic mediums? I love working with acrylic, paper, and cut paint. I’m trying to evolve into using more canvas, but I can’t stand the porosity of the texture or how much prep it requires. When I have a piece in mind, I want to dive into in right away. I’m the same way when it comes to my writing. When I get a burst of creativity, I want to get it out as
Kansas City IG / @onnissia onnissiaharries.com quickly as I can because vision can be so fleeting. When I know what I want, I want to do everything I can to execute it immediately until it’s tangible and real. With the proper paper, I can paint on a smooth surface directly. In turn, it dries quickly. Then I can cut and layer until I’m satisfied.
her works display qualities of expressionism along with a strong emphasis of her appreciation for nature landscape architecture and the relationship people have with their surroundings. What are your preferred artistic mediums?
MESILLA CAMILLE SMITH
Chicago IG / @mesillacamille facebook.com/ mesillacamilleart
Mesilla Camille Smith is a Hot Springs native turned Chicagobased artist currently practicing painting and relief print work. A University of Arkansas at Little Rock graduate, Smith primarily documents fleeting experiences of people and places she finds herself immersed in. Most of
As a painter, I prefer to work alla prima (wet on wet) with oil paints. For some reason, other paints like acrylic and watercolor never stuck with me. I didn’t ever get the hang of those mediums and I didn’t like the texture and feel of it. I also felt like you had to know exactly what you wanted to paint and there was no room for error. While creating a painting with oils, there is less a feeling of permanence and more feeling of fluidity, and I liked that. The first time I tried oil painting, I fell in love with the texture of oils. It was smooth and rich like pudding. The best part of
working alla prima with oils, is that you can make changes much easier than with the fast drying acrylics. With this property of oils, I often use drawing utensils and paint eraser sticks to draw into or scratch into the surface. (Sgraffto method) I also really love the process of relief printing. The carving of the image is the best part, and the hardest part is producing the final print. All the hard work put into the print gives me major satisfaction. IDL ECL AS S MAG . CO M 33
DONAVON BRUTUS San Francisco IG / @donavonmadethat donavonbrutus.com Donavon Brutus is an African/Haitian-American professional animator and illustrator that has worked in the entertainment, education, and marketing fields for over 11 years. He is represented by Art Ventures. Born in Fort Smith and raised in Fayetteville, Brutus
JEANNE VOCKROTH New Orleans IG / @jeannevock jeannevockroth.com jeannevockroth.etsy.com Jeanne Vockroth spent an idyllic childhood in New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina moved her and her family to Fayetteville. There she discovered the healing power of art in high school with John Remmers and in college at the University of Arkansas as a way to dissect her trauma from the experience of losing her home and relocating after Katrina. 34 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
found inspiration to draw in the cartoons of the ‘80s and ‘90s. He learned the fundamentals of fine art throughout high school and later got his first taste of digital art while earning a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Computer Animation in Florida. He lived and worked there for 10 years before relocating to San Francisco where he currently resides. He does a lot of personal illustration work that is inspired by animals, the human form, his travels, mindfulness, diversity, music, and popular culture. He enjoys seeing the ways in which the stories and forms conveyed through it can impact others. Tell us about your recent works. Three of my most recent pieces are good representations of my body of work as a whole. “Vrkasana Blossom” is sort of a pin up piece showing a cherry blossom tree as a black woman in a yoga tree pose. A lot of my pieces are Jeanne graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpture in 2013 from the University of Arkansas. In 2016, Jeanne moved back to New Orleans where she worked for two years as an art educator. In 2017, Jeanne established her own creative business designing surface patterns for her own line of paper and textile products, Jeanne Vockroth Art + Design. Jeanne is currently developing a line of designer throw pillows to be released in September 2019. How has your work changed since you lived in Arkansas? Relocating to New Orleans has challenged me to establish myself as an artist in a familiar place where no one really knew my artwork at all. New Orleans is a very creative and entrepreneurial city and I have met so many amazing artists and designers who have shown me how vast the possibilities are for supporting yourself as an artist. I enjoy meeting different types of creative people here in the
focused in mindfulness and I also feel it’s important to show positive black representation whenever I can. A ever evolving pop culture series I’ve recently added to is “Narcissism and Denial.” Which uses ‘90s cartoon character Johnny Bravo as a template to recreate other similarly self-absorbed boneheaded characters. city from all age groups. I’ve particularly enjoyed learning more about entrepreneurship and the possibilities for working as an artist outside of the gallery system, which is a great fit for me. Before I came back to New Orleans, I had always been interested in textiles and worked with those materials in my fine art, but moving back here has resulted in my work shifting into a specific focus on surface pattern design and sewing.
Lawrence, KS IG / @ratrusty racheltrusty.com
Nashville IG / @artbycksanderson cassaundraksanderson.com
Rachel Trusty is an artist and educator from Central Arkansas who currently resides in Lawrence, Kansas. Trusty received her Bachelor of Arts in Art Education from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway and her Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Lesley College.
Cassaundra Sanderson is an artist raised in Branson, Missouri. She graduated from College of the Ozarks with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, emphasizing in Painting and Ceramics. She earned her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Arkansas School of Art in Fayetteville.
How has your work changed since you lived in Arkansas? My work has really changed since I have moved. Most of my time was consumed with curatorial projects when I was in Arkansas so my art-making tended to be more sporadic. I have made work around themes of gender for several years, so that has not changed. I knew when I was moving that this would be an amazing opportunity to finally have time to make some really solid work. I was previously making portraits. Some were in ink and some were embroidered portraits. The portraits usually just included a single woman. My research leading up to this grad program had increasingly focused on LGBT+ artists who worked from the 1970s through the early 2000s. I knew that I wanted my new work to be along these themes focusing on gender, sexuality, and relationships instead of just individuals. My new work aligns really well with my current art historical research at the University of Kansas.
Her work focuses on the growing cultural interest in narrative and the expansion of storytelling into an immersive experience. She consumes stories from pop culture, taking and adapting a quote, storyline, or piece of imagery and threading in my personal narratives and recalled memories throughout, creating an entirely new narrative. What do you miss most about Arkansas? In Arkansas, I had amazing mentors and peers who challenged my work as an “Ozarkian” artist. I was forced to be more original and vulnerable in my work. I gained perspective about my quirky childhood and started to put more pieces of myself into my work. I miss the community of Fayetteville with the art walks, Dickson Street, and Hammontrees.
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to studies in nature to challenging relationships. She holds strong to her Arkansas roots as she develops within these evolving realms. Do you think relocating allowed you to grow as an artist or advance your career?
EMILY GALUSHA Austin IG / @emilyegalusha emilygalusha.com Emily Galusha grew up in Little Rock in an inspiring environment, her mother an artist and art teacher, her father a “medicine man,” both highly supportive of her creative endeavors. Her two brothers are artists and film editors. In her adult life, she has experienced a range of encounters that equally influence her expression, from global travel
Definitely! Arkansas set a solid foundation. One that I’ve been able to build off of and return to. Being in a new environment is humbling and challenging, which is something I sought out when I moved. Without that shift, I would not have achieved the same momentum that continues to push me. The move propelled me both personally and vocationally. It also makes me appreciate, even more, where I came from. What do you miss about Arkansas? Strawberries, thunderstorms, roots.
alcohol-based inks and gouache. I was trained using oil paint but decided to focus on waterbased mediums due to the drying times and ventilation needs that oil paints require. I have grown to love how acrylic paints can be textured fast and easily layered. I also like the clear crisp color of acrylics. What are you currently working on?
DANNY BROADWAY Memphis IG / @dannybroadway dannybroadway.com Danny Broadway was born and raised in Central Arkansas. He attended Sylvan Hills Middle and High Schools. He currently lives and works in Memphis. What are your favorite mediums? I paint mostly with acrylic; however, I am having fun experimenting with
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Most recently I have been working on mixing figurative studies with dynamic line pattens to illustrate a visual sense of movement within the works. This began by first being inspired by Wasilly Kandinsky’s abstract line paintings and the way in which he layers patterns colors and composition. These painings consist of dancers, unique individuals and simply visually striking people.
What’s next for your art?
Next for me is a public art project where I am working with a donor to place several original works in distinct public locations around the city of Memphis. Some of these sites will acquire pieces that I have already created, but many will be custom created for site location. I am also going to continue working in my studio on some personal and exciting things.
THE GRAND OPENING SEASON SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE 8.14–9.8 10.2–11.10 11.20–12.22 1.22–2.16 2.19–3.22 3.25–4.19 5.20–6.21
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Galleries We Love 38 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
canvas & lens
EUREKA SPRINGS Zarks Gallery
67 Spring Street 479-253-2626 ZarksGallery.com
and fundraisers, Zarks Gallery features the one of the most eclectic collections in Eureka Springs, Northwest Arkansas and the tri-state region. Ranging from the world famous Tim ” Since its opening in 1995, Zarks Gallery has con- The Frogman” Cotterill to bronze sculptor Nano Lopez and several local Arkansas artists. Locattinued to redefine the art scene in an art-town focused on the traditional. Zarks quickly became ed on Spring St right next to the New Orleans a destination for art collectors and appreciators Hotel, Zark’s Gallery is easy to find. alike focusing on blown glass, contemporary UPCOMING SHOW: Craig Davison’s artist paintings, local pottery and fine jewelry. Prereception: 12-5 p.m. Oct. 26 senting a regular schedule of artist receptions
canvas & lens 1 Center Street 501-258-6338
Sandra Spotts and Tom Rzonca shared a love of Eureka Springs that inspired them to move their household to the town. Given the creative bent of the area’s residents it was a natural move and they soon found themselves further integrating
into the cultural landscape by opening their own gallery, canvas & lens. Spotts, a mixed media and acrylic artist, is the canvas and Rzonca, a photographer, is the lens. They found the perfect spot for the gallery on the balcony space at Eureka & Co. where patrons can view work by them. Currently, they are also hosting pieces by ceramicist Winston Taylor.
Justus Fine Art Gallery 827 A Central Avenue 501-321-2335. justusfineart.com
Founded in 2004 by artist Dolores Justus, Justus Fine Art Gallery recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. The gallery offers a wide range of styles and mediums by established and emerging artists. New exhibits are hung monthly with the openings held in conjunction with the Hot Springs Gallery Walk held the first Friday of
every month from 5 to 9 p.m. in downtown Hot Springs. “It is wonderful to be able to share the work of so many wonderful artists and to create exhibitions that provide an opportunity for appreciation and discussion,” Justus said.
Hearne Fine Art 1001 Wright Ave. (501) 372-6822 hearnefineart.com UPCOMING SHOWS: “Personal Space,” Art Ventures Gallery, Sept. 5--29; “Arte Contemporáneo en la Diáspora, Numero Dos” Faulkner Performing Arts Center, Sept. 13--Nov. 2
101 W. Mountain St., Suite 222 479-871-2711 artventuresnwa.org IG / @artventuresnwa Art Ventures features high-quality, innovative art and has set the standard in Northwest Arkansas for excellence in programming. Art Ventures represents artists from a wide variety of backgrounds and showcases artworks that tell of equally diverse cultural outlook and experience. The gallery houses studios for working artists, holds open portraiture and figure drawing sessions, and also serves as an incubator for promising artists to help
them advance their arts education and practice through workshops, artist talks, mentoring, and exposure to contemporary art theory. Art Ventures collaborates with regional public schools, the University of Arkansas School of Art, Jim & Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center, the Amazeum and numerous other community centered groups.The general public is almost certain to find collectible art at a reasonable price as well as opportunities for investment in established and emerging artists. In short, Art Ventures is Art for Everyone. The gallery is free to the community and is dog-friendly. Don’t miss opening receptions the first Thursday of every month.
ROGERS The Art Collective
228 South First Street in Historic Downtown Rogers artcollectivegallery.com Situated in the core of the brick street district on the corner of First and Poplar, the pieces in the windows beckon passers by to venture in. It’s a unique experience with a wide range of mediums represented. Edgy, colorful, eclectic works are thoughtfully exhibited. “The future of the local art scene is bright.
SPRINGDALE Arts Center of the Ozarks 214 South Main Street acozarks.org
Arts Center of the Ozarks is a regional art institution hosting exhibitions throughout the year with educational programs for children and adults by professional artists and curators. Throughout its spacious galleries in the lobby areas and on the elevated upper gallery, ACO offers art lovers an eye-catching and
I think we have turned the corner, in Rogers especially. I wanted to be part of what’s going on and I believed if I built it the people would come,” said owner Jim Forman. Local artists represented include the retro vibe works of Steve Adair, the street art inspired paintings of Sasha Rayevskiy and the fashions of Rosie Rose. A variety of events are planned, including rotating pop-up galleries and artist talks. - Marsha Lane Foster
thought-provoking array of works in every medium from budding student artists to professional, local, and regional artists. ACO has also hosted off-site artists events such as Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne’s “Kings Mputh” surreal, immersive installation, which was sponsored by the Tyson Family Foundation, and featured NWA artists Kat Wilson, Dillon Dooms and Sasha Rayevskiy. UPCOMING SHOW: Fundraiser, Oct. 26.
Founded in June 1988 as Pyramid Gallery, the Hearne Art Consortium now cultivates and supports art collectors with almost every aspect of art collecting. The four enterprises, owned and operated by Garbo and Dr. Archie Hearne III, provide educational context, provenance, and preservation through a book store and frame shop and exposure to artists with a fine art gallery exhibiting a wide variety of mediums. The appraisal and auction services emphatically carry out the aspect of the consortium’s mission to recognize and promote the power of black art in the quest to generate and sustain generational wealth. Hearne Fine Art represents and exhibits regional, local, and international artists of the African diaspora. The gallery maintains a regular exhibition schedule of mid career and established artists as well as a concurrent showing and sale of work by emerging artists. Situated in the heart of the historic Dunbar neighborhood, the consortium ultimately seeks to enrich the community through the arts.
South Main Creative
1600 Main St. (501) 414-8713 facebook.com/southmaincreative One of Little Rock’s best vintage shops has stepped their game up. While they have always carried some art, South Main Creative now features an artist each month. According to co-owner Valerie Wingert, “We love the mix of local art with our vintage and antique offerings.” They aim to showcase artists who may have never shown in a gallery setting before. UPCOMING SHOWS: SoMa After Dark Baker/Couch Collection (Oct.) & Brad Sims Photography (Nov.)
ARTISTS WE LOVE
We talked with artists across the state to find out what their inspirations are, where they are in their journey and where we can find them when they arenâ€™t in the studio. Youâ€™re in for a treat.
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PHOTO / CHERIE BUGTONG
LITTLE ROCK IG / @milkdadd milkdadd.bigcartel.com
ost of my inspiration is drawn from the female experience and itâ€™s contemporary nuances. There is a standard of beauty that is saturated, overplayed, and people are finally beginning to not play into it. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if the beholder has centuries of manipulation tampering with their eyes? I love these body positive, queer positive, and pube positive movements I see on social media. I am inspired and in awe of women, especially women of color or queer women or fat women who are reclaiming their identities and shattering this heteronormative standard of beauty. I love to glamorize aspects of the female physique that havenâ€™t always been acceptable or considered beautiful. Stretch marks, gap teeth, unkempt pubes, these are things that are wholly human and wholly woman. I am just here to paint alongside the revolution of loving yourself. IDL ECL AS S MAG . CO M 41
Brandon watts FAYETTEVILLE
IG / @brandonwatts bwatts.photography My beautiful daughter is my main inspiration. I want her to realize that whatever her goals are, she can achieve them. That if she has dreams, working hard and staying on track is the key to success. Also, I want to be successful in achieving my goals as a photographer. I want my artwork to be timeless and to be remembered for the great work that I do ... Also, I’m inspired by being the first entrepreneur in my immediate fam ly. Learning by trial and error on how to run a business is not an easy task. My journal has been difficult at times, but to build a business and secure my daughter in the future has been a powerful motivational factor in my life. I’ll continue to work hard, plan and achieve my goals in life. I’ll be successful. i
“The Black Man’s Strength” (2018)—The dreadlocks shouldn’t have been seen as something unprofessional but a part of history. A dreadlock hairstyle is a symbol of “Racial Selfhood” not a disgrace to the people. Many Rastafarian men allow their hair to grow out into “dreadlocks”—the term “dread” having become a praise-word in their vocabulary. It’s employed to describe the confrontation of a people, who are struggling to maintain racial selfhood, which they contend has been denied them. In part, the purpose behind these long plaits of hair is to demonstrate a contrast to the generally straight hair of Caucasians, and to “mock” those who disdain their bedraggled appearance. The truth is that God made human beings in his image; therefore, one’s genetic hair is God’s love for the person.
EVE SMITH SPRINGDALE IG / @evesstudio evesmithartist.com The research is my favorite part of the process. Chuck Close said “inspiration is for the amateurs, the rest of us just show up and get to work.” I believe this is true for my work. Every intelligent and or emotional piece that has carried any weight has always been born out of just doing the work, the research. [The] most challenging [part] would be once I get all of my ideas and research to a finalized point it is that first mark, that first stroke that is the hardest. My work tends to be viewed as political, sometimes offensive, but here recently I was at a lecture by Titus Kaphur. He mentioned that when the viewer comments on work being political that our response should be its not political, its personal! I really took that to heart and hope the viewer will begin to see how personal my work is and keep the politics out of it. My next steps are career changes. I am going back into education full time and will basically be done for the day by 3 p.m., so I will have lots of time to spend in the studio. The past 10 years I’ve spent championing artists and becoming a cultural producer so to speak and now I get to change gears a little. I really want to hone in on where I want my work to lead my audience, adding multiple mediums and collaborating with other artists. I also want to focus on building a creative platform with my twin sister. Whatever that looks like we don’t know yet, but we are at a point in our lives where merging our minds is a possibility.
AARON BLEIDT FAYETTEVILLE IG / @artfuloutsider artfuloutsider.com A lot of people know me as a marketing and media professional, so the “artist me” has probably come as quite a surprise to many. The response so far has really floored me and I’m just so thankful for all of the encouragement; it has impacted my process in that it has helped to tear down self-created barriers and instilled a new (and so exciting!) confidence that has allowed me to more freely and more readily express this wacky imagination of mine.
FAYETTEVILLE IG / @casedig edibleculture.net
[My favorite part of my process is] Tying on an apron, cranking up the music, and shutting everything out for a couple hours—regardless of whether I’m in the studio or kitchen. The Sensory Iconoclast project devised with Eve Smith has been such an important collaboration over the last several years. The idea of chefs and artists finding, creating mutually inspired work is such a worthwhile endeavor…everything I love wrapped up in one crazy, messy package. For the last couple years, the work has been described as “dark, scary,” which is ironic, because I’m generally elated, and even singing loudly while I paint—so, I’ve actually tried to add more color, brightness to the canvas; but somehow, the end result is almost always pretty dark. [Inspirations are] Everything ... I actually painted something ... that was inspired from an argument I overheard at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market.
AMBER PERRODIN SPRINGDALE IG / @amberperrodin amberperrodin.com If anything all, the reaction to my art has empowered me to continue to push the bounds and to explore different subjects and mediums. I’ve discovered that no matter what I create, there will always be someone that connects with it. That’s true for all of us. And the more I lean into that, the more comfortable I become with my own artistic voice. My deepest inspirations, without a doubt, come from the forest and creek beds. I am very much into connecting with the land and foraging wild mushrooms and medicinal plants of the Ozarks. I am forever attempting to express this intimate connection to the land within my art. [Find me] In my garden. It is my lush oasis of wildflowers & vegetables. I devote just as much time to my garden and the outdoors as I do to my studio. When I’m not there you can find me along Spring Creek in Springdale.
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LITTLE ROCK IG / @Kensuke_Yamada yamadakensuke.com
In ceramics, there is a specific state call “Leather-hard.” At this stage, the clay is still wet and moist but has dried enough to be able to be handled without deformation. At the stage, I feel clay is breathing and alive. This is only the stage that a maker can see during a constructing process. Clay dies when it dries, and we use fire to revive the clay. There is beauty in the process of an object making in clay. I always enjoy the stage of the leather-hard and entire process of reviving clay using fire. I like the way ceramics sculptures, cups, and bowls exist all over the world in a different time of history. There is something universal about the material “clay,” and we still use our hands to build objects just like the way ancient people did. This is a material that I touch [directly] by hands, and I enjoy the collaborative session with this living material “clay.” When I was younger, I was thinking about what makes people stop and look at my work. For example, what makes you stop and look at window display when you are walking on a street? There must be something that engages you to stop and look at. In my current series, I set the common platform using child-like figures to talk about the moment of diving. I am referring the moment of diving to the moment of moving to a new location, getting new jobs, meeting new friends, etc... How we get excited and nervous at the same time when we stand on a cliff to dive. How we get excited and nervous when we challenge new things. I always look for something that is common/universal emotional change. It is probably because I originally came from Japan, and I moved to many different places, I met many new people, and I experienced many different jobs in different places. I try to see things that are common [rather] than different. 44 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
SANDRA SPOTTS EUREKA SPRINGS FB / Sandra Spotts Paintings Represented by canvas & lens My favorite part of the process comes midway when the painting begins to take form and I discover unexpected directions. The most challenging part is when I work on a more structured, less spontaneous piece. I tend to get bored with the result. The positive reaction to my work has grown as viewers increase their understanding of abstraction. I find the titles of works are very important to viewers more than to me. I think the titles help them to relate to the work. The reaction has not changed or affected my process. I do what I do. Iâ€™m inspired by my surroundings. One of the reasons I finally returned to Northwest Arkansas was to be closer to nature. My partner is a landscape photographer so we often hit the backroads and discover wonderful areas. The weather here is so changeable that it is a huge influence as well. I inject a lot of personal emotion into my work. When Iâ€™m not doing art I am exploring the area or even new hidden areas of this beautiful town. I love to travel and do so whenever I can.
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JUNE PHAM FAYETTEVILLE IG / @pham_tastic I started out using my sketchbooks as a diary, and still do! I love being able to quickly record my feelings or even just what’s in front of me. This ability escalated into my linoleum prints, and I enjoy being made to take the time to create more polished versions of some of the sketches from my sketchbook. My lesser known skills include turning my friends into caricatures and wrangling cats. My proudest artistic accomplishment was “Pham Sisters: an Art Show”—-an exhibition that I did with my cousin. It was my first show ever! I created 10 pieces: five woodcuts and five illustrations. That time crunch was the most productive I have ever been as an artist.
SCARLET SIMS LITTLE ROCK IG / @scarletsims I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawing or coloring or actively trying to replicate calligraphy or script. In particular, I remember being about 5 years old and mesmerized by the script on a Mylar balloon that said “I love you.” The cursive “I” curled at one end like the Golden Ratio. Only recently, in the past few years, have I felt comfortable openly talking about my artwork. Before then, I would sketch people very surreptitiously and hope whoever I was sketching didn’t notice. That worked in Northwest Arkansas, where I lived from 2013 to 2018, but I’ve noticed people in larger cities, like Little Rock, notice me more, which has forced me to be more open about why I am sketching and more courageous about live painting in general.
EMILY WOOD LITTLE ROCK IG / @ewoodart emilywoodart.com If I am drawing or painting a portrait of a certain person, the point where the person becomes recognizable is very satisfying, especially if it is very early in the process. Sometimes the most challenging part is figuring out what exactly is off if the portrait does not look like the person I am trying to portray. In my work that is not so specific, the biggest challenge is to hold back and to resist the temptation to add more details. My goal in these paintings is to find just the right balance of detail and simplicity in a portrait.
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CHARLES HENRY JAMES LITTLE ROCK IG / @charleshenryjames charleshenryjames.com My mind is a whirlwind of ideas, concepts, fears, fantasies. This churning kaleidoscope is a sometimes frightening, unstoppable force. My work is a safety valve, pouring out visual responses to the chaos. The ingredients include ontology, taoism, psychedelics, and the kitchen sink. Add a deep disdain for corporatist culture and you have an idea where my art is coming from. The work distills what I hope is a potent artistic extract. Clearly my work is a reflection of our pixilated, saturated screen culture. But it also reaches back to the days of print comics with ben-day dots, overlapping and colorful. So the inspiration reaches into the past, while grappling with the evolution of contemporary graphics. As far as new media avenues, my favorite is Instagram. I’ve maintained contact with so many artists and institutions. I have a Facebook artist page, but it doesn’t get the attention I give Instagram. And there’s also my website, which I am constantly updating. With all the pros and cons, I still feel very real connections through social media. It’s important.
NADIA PLUNKETT FAYETTEVILLE
facebook.com/nadiamplunkett I have been doing graphic work for about four years now, and I did my first graphic interpretation as a gift three years ago. It inspired me to continue this style of art and see where it takes me. More than 75 creations later, I am here today. I like to focus on the patience of a still photograph and give a greater detail to the content of the photo. I turn photos into a graphic painting making it more original and authentic to its audience. Traveling and the people I am around inspire me the most. Everywhere I go I take photos and use them, and even if they mean something to [only] me, it’s worth everything. My family inspired me the most because the people closest [to you] push the hardest in the best way possible. I never thought after graduating from graphic design school, I would be where I am today. I have been hired to do logos, which can be challenging but gratifying when you see it strewn across a car or on a sign. Selling my art to bigger companies, where they are printed large and seeing them displayed at these locations is unreal. I began doing small art shows at Columbus House [Brewery] a few years ago, and recently I started selling my art through Art Emporium [in Fayetteville].
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LITTLE ROCK IG / @robynhornart robynhorn.com Represented by Justus Fine Art Gallery
find that I make things that employ the processes I enjoy. Designing a work is always challenging, but the actual making of the sculpture or painting is the best part, especially when things go well and I feel like the results are satisfactory. The key is to get to the point where the results are good more often than not.
Having work included in the collection at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art was probably one of the best things that has happened in my career. That collection is so impressive, and being a part of it has given me a lot of confidence and convinced collectors that my work is worthwhile to have in their homes.
One of the main things I consider when I am working is form. I find that the shape of things with my 3D work, and the composition with my 2D paintings are the most important aspects I want to pursue.
I have been asked to have a show in San Francisco at the Museum of Craft and Design in a couple of years. I am working toward that, trying to make work that will be dynamic and expressive.
I am also influenced by deteriorating surfaces. I like rust and the effects of rust on painted surfaces. I have made Industrial Series in both sculpture and painting and have relied on the rough textures and surfaces I have found as inspiration.
Itâ€™s quite an opportunity and I value having so much time to explore several different processes and approaches. Itâ€™s a real luxury to be able to try things to see if they work or not. I hope never to stop exploring.
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originals & commissions Instagram: @milkdadd email@example.com
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ELOA JANE FAYETTEVILLE IG / @eloajane eloajane.com Represented by Art Ventures I create art out of disposed paper. From wall reliefs to sculptures, vases and jewelry every piece starts with recycled paper fashioned into tubes which are the building blocks of my work. When moving to the United States, I was shocked by the amount of paper I saw travel straight from mailboxes to trash bins. Conveniently, I had stumbled upon the medium which would become the foundation of my art. Inspiration is not something that I can anticipate. Epiphanies come when they are ready. I just try to live my life in such a was that I am ready when inspiration comes. In 2014, my artwork “Bridge to Paradise” received an Honorable Mention Award at Fredericksburg Center for the Creative Arts in Virginia and later a special merit award at The Williamsburg Art & Historical Center in NY. In 2018, I was awarded the FY19 Artistic Innovation grant by M-AAA, Mid-America Arts Alliance. The grant partially funded Neighbors & Neighborhood, a series of 12 artworks depicting life in Beav-O-Rama Park, a rural community in Fayetteville. Neighbors & Neighborhood Exhibition was on display at Art Ventures Gallery from June 6 to July 28, 2019. I am now preparing to take it on tour across Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas next year.
FAYETTEVILLE IG / @patruca30 Represented by Art Ventures
As an artist, I am seduced by the role of light and shadows on what I paint. For me, they are the main characters of my art and also its main expressive device. Having grown up in a house full of paintings mostly made by my grandma and my mother, it was part of my daily life to see different colors, expressions, gestures, objects, and faces. These mysterious images defined my artistic life, since, after many years, I realized that a painting can transcend the represented object. Therefore, I think the most relevant feature of a painting is not necessarily the formal resemblance to the actual object, but the expression and the light the painter attempts to convey. My greatest accomplishment as a professional painter is being part of the local artistic movement without resorting to overused elements of depiction of my nationality—I was born and raised in Peru. I remember that at the beginning of my stay in Fayetteville some people recommended me that I should paint Peruvian vernacular scenes full of clichés in order for my art to be more attractive to an American audience and to local curators. I am proud I did not listen to it. I am proud I was accepted the way I am. I have not reflected on an immediate next step as an artist. However, I am sure that my main objective in my painting is an obsessive commitment to changing. I do not believe in a unique successful formula, which, by the way, is easy to find and even easier to reproduce. My pledge as a painter is to explore different ways of evolution and to face change fearlessly.
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KAROLYN FARRELL FAYETTEVILLE karolynfarrellart.com Represented by Art Ventures [The favorite part of the process is] the “a-ha!” moment when one suddenly sees a plein air scene with splendid light and shadow or color—when and if one “gets in the zone,” becoming unaware of surroundings except being in the moment of painting or creating! The most challenging [part] is to stop working on the painting, to squint, observe the composition, and eliminate unneeded detail. My own joy is when a client is so overwhelmed by a commissioned piece that he or she breaks into tears of joy and relates how much beauty and peacefulness or happiness the art brings. Often this piece is something of good times past.
M.J. FENTIS FAYETTEVILLE FB / Tru-Imij Artwork Represented by Art Ventures I have developed a technique I term as ‘SoulFuzion’ which is my way of using my handdrawn designs with digital applications in an organic, free-flowing manner. This technique gives most of my artwork a non-digital look and quality that I pride myself on. I also am strongly influenced by the feminine divine and my artwork tends to flow in that direction. My style is Afro-futuristic which comes from my idealistic and romantic inner visions of ‘what was,’ combined with ‘what can be.’ All my artwork and designs start from the ‘flow of the line.’ My use of color and texture comes secondly, as I seek to tell the story with the emotions that I am feeling at a given time. I am strongly into the flow of the line and how lines and colors come together and blend to create beauty in visual motion. I try to keep my art positive and with a universal sense of love. I try to do all my own printing and framing and like to use different nontraditional mediums. Such as a translucent digital art process that I call ClearVisions. These “prints” can be hung in a window or in front of lighting to add depth and dimension to the work, looking very much like stained glass.
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haos is a huge, ideal part of my process. I absolutely love to challenge and expand my techniques in order to grow as an artist. The most challenging [part] is myself: I am my hardest critic. I tend to get caught up in my art. I want to make strong statements, but in a subtle way. As a Mexican-American, gay veteran, I am a minority. The political climate has made huge impact on me. I want to show awareness and transparency. Life in general has made a huge impact on me ... People do challenge my mind and creativity. I tend to do things outside the boxâ€”I want to shake things up in a positive way. I admire any artist who tries to stay true to themselves. I have been heavily influenced by modern artists Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso. [They] inspire me with so much passion in their worksâ€”the fluidity of strong lines and the progress of their techniques. I have tons of artists who have influenced me, contemporary artists like Sara Sze, [Julie] Mehretu, Cecily Brown, and Nick Cave. They all offer a fresh, new approach to art.
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FORT SMITH IG / @jeffrycantu facebook.com/jeffrycantu Represented by Art Ventures
EMILY SMITH FAYETTEVILLE IG / @onemanbandit onemanbandbrand.com My inspiration comes from so many different areas. Since I am such an advocate for sustainability and the reduce/reuse/recycle culture, the idea of creating something beautiful, interesting, organic, and original from discarded items brings me great satisfaction. Whether I am creating visual art, styling a photography shoot, or designing jewelry, there is *always* an aspect of encompassing sustainability that I can never seem to escape. What can I say? It’s just in my blood. And honestly, I feel like it should be on everyone’s radar: artistically, spiritually, globally. Sustainability isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. I create as I acquire the objects necessary for creation, be it an old chair that I plan to deconstruct or a vintage canvas that I am able to reuse in a completely different manner, each piece of my art is as different as the next. As challenging as it may seem, I follow no artistic road map and rarely replicate any of my pieces. Originality is of the utmost importance to me. As far as what’s next for me as an artist, I hope to successfully continue to hone my craft, within each of my mediums, growing as an interpreter, a visionary, an entrepreneur, and possibly inspiring the next generation of artists to follow suit. I look forward to the possibility of expanding my reach as an artist to all corners of the globe, spreading my overtly colorful message of sustainability to whom ever, and for whom ever it sparks joy.
DEVAN THEOS FAYETTEVILLE IG / @positrack_ I find the entire process of taking old images, decontextualizing them, and then reconstructing them into something brand new, very addictive. It’s fun to to bring new life to images that were more often than not printed some 60 years ago, buried in the back of some unknown book that I found at the bottom of a dusty “buy one get one free” pile at an antique store. I love keeping things simple, working with negative space, and adding pops of color against black and white images to create pretty contrasts. Sometimes I spend a few hours just hopping around to different antique stores. Some days I find nothing, and then other times I come home with several things to use. The most challenging part for me is actually a pretty silly problem. I’m absolutely a failure with an X-Acto knife. The few times I have tried to use one, I end up cutting myself and getting blood everywhere. It’s ridiculous. I think I just lack the patience to use them properly, so I end up using a pair of small fingernail cutting scissors. That works, but it takes longer, and it’s difficult to get into little spots that are easy to do with an X-Acto. I would love to start making album covers or flyers for bands. That’s something that I’ve been really wanting to do. I would also love to have one of my pieces hanging up in some local hangout, or maybe eventually a gallery somewhere. Fingers crossed!
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BEN EDWARDS BENTONVILLE IG / @benedwardsofficial If something has not lived at least one life, I cannot connect it to my process. I use things I find, scavenge, save, or recycle to create artwork. I avoid using any new materials, and much of what I use is found in my own household garbage, or construction excavations. To create functional vessels from clay, to make a painting, to construct a sculpture, there is very little required that I do not source locally from cast-off resources. How I advertise my work doesn’t affect the artwork I make, or what I am researching, or the experiments I am performing with materials. I do embrace any technology that aids in the material transformations I require, but I am incredibly guarded about sustainability and environmental responsibility of any tools or technology I use in the studio. I am working on wearable artworks and functional personal accessories. I am also working on a series of photographs. I work 60+ hours a week raising my four active children, and supporting my incredibly busy wife. You will usually find me in the kitchen, garden, laundry room, or going in between my neighbors’ houses in downtown Bentonville to find, or feed a child ... Even with such an active family schedule, days can go by that we don’t use a car. You will find me in and out of Airship Coffee a lot. I have also been spotted at Peddler’s Pub, The First Seat, Yeyo’s, Bike Rack Brewery, and Scotch and Soda, but my favorite hang out is always The Hive.
JAQUITA BALL BENTONVILLE IG / @jaquita_ball jaquitaball.com When I started out as a courtroom sketch artist, there was no digital media, no laptops, no tablets. I literally completed an average of 6-10 paintings each day in the back seat of a news car as we traveled across the state, running into the studio to place them on easels for those big, hulky studio cameras to air live. The next day, someone would photograph, process in a darkroom and turn them into slides for future use. So yes, changing technology has drastically changed the way I work. My greatest accomplishment was believing in myself as an artist, even in college when I was told I needed to focus on a degree from which I could make a living (or worse, find a husband!). When I left the [University of Arkansas], I had no regrets and pushed forward, building on each year, making each one count, whether as a professional artist or marketing/communications/business development executive or political volunteer. On the whole, I’m going to paint or draw what I am passionate about at the time, unless it’s a commission. However, I have continued the Atmospheric Abstract series longer than I planned because the collectors’ reactions have been so positive. With so much going on, my short-term focus is to get into my new studio I am building in downtown Bentonville, create more work focusing on the environment and wild animal protection, and wander to parts unknown across the US.
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ALONZO FORD IN MEMORIAM February 1, 1941 - July 13, 2019
Self-taught artist, Alonzo Ford, passed away on July 13, 2019. Ford began preserving the whimsical arrangements and colors of cypress tree knee in 1980. “I came up with a new idea just trying to make something beautiful with a cypress knee, and everybody said that it was art,” he said. Expressed interests in these art forms helped him turn to making art and he enrolled in Phillips College in 1981 and 1982 for formal art education. His drawings depict African-American men, women and children in everyday southern settings in black and white and intermediate gray, as well as abstracts. These images represent his childhood in Southland and Lexa. He shared his gift with others and hosted lessons in graphite drawing and other live demonstrations. As an extension of his artistry, he cultivated a lavish garden full of sunflowers, irises, zinnias, roses and lilies in the same fields where he once drove mule drawn equipment to help provide for his family. “The flower garden relieves you, let’s your mind relax.” Alonzo’s legacy will forever live on through his art. He was been featured in several HFA group shows, the ACANSA Arts Festival, Arts and Science Center of Southeast Arkansas as “Familiar Figures: Drawings by Alonzo Ford” Exhibit, West Helena Public Library, Phillips County Museum, Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs, Delta Cultural Center, The Collectors Art Gallery in Washington, D.C., other museums in Little Rock, Arkansas and numerous exhibits, shows and collections throughout the Delta, Arkansas and across the United States. He was a member of the Art Collectors at the Arkansas Arts Center and recognized as University of Arkansas Phillips Community College’s Outstanding Alumnus.
- Garbo Hearne
Arts Advocacy Town Hall Meetings
25th Anniversary Celebration Come celebrate 25 years of the spoken word on October 11 at 7 p.m. at the Graduate Hotel in Fayetteville. Featuring readings by OPWC favorites like Clayton Scott, Doug Shields, Lisa Martinovic, Michael Heffernan, Ginny Masullo, Geoff Brock, Deborah Robinson, Mendy Knott Wryter & many more. Emceed by Moshe Newmark, Sloan Davis and Amy Wilson. Snacks and cash bar available.
~ District 8 Arts Town Hall Meeting/Reception ~ Saturday, September 19, 2019 @ 5 p.m. Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas 701 South Main Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71601 ~ District 1 Arts Town Hall Meeting ~ Sunday, October 6, 2019 @ 12-3 p.m. Walton Arts Center 495 W Dickson St., Fayetteville, AR 72701 ~ ARftA’s Annual Membership Meeting ~ Sunday, October 27, 2019, Time will be announced AR Regional Innovation Hub 201 E. Broadway, North Little Rock, AR 72114
Visit our website or contact us for more information:
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Erin Lea Lorenzen LITTLE ROCK / fayetteville IG / @la_erinita erinlealorenzen.com
retty much everything inspires me
Iâ€™m particularly fascinated with the objects, rituals, and routines of daily living.
Whatever pops up in my life becomes a part of my work in some way (often quite literally as I tend to use recycled materials as much as possible, including, but not limited to: clothes I have worn, furniture I have lived with, mementos, hand-me-downs, and product packages). Creating objects with materials from my daily life is a continuing examination of how we are formed, what we are formed with, what we hold, what we keep, what we use, how we are used, and why. My process is very organic. At times it can be tough to keep moving forward without a solid plan in the studio, but something usually develops.
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The practice of letting intuition be the guide inside the art studio encourages listening to intuition outside the studio as well. With my current stitched series, I hope to promote staying attuned to what our bodies are telling us rather than silencing those inner messages and instincts to fit societyâ€™s standards. My longtime yoga practice is also a source of inspiration. Both art and yoga practices provide a place to practice tuning in and connecting to the mental, the physical, and the spiritual. Being in the habit of connecting to all of these elements quiets outside noise, creates space and encourages alignment.
TIM TYLER BELLA VISTA IG / @braveart_tim tctyler.com I revel in tiptoeing that fine line between being outlandish and traditional. With a wide enough audience, one will offend someone somewhere. We are however, to some degree, products of our environments. A painter in Berlin is subjected to very different daily stimuli than one working in Arkansas. I want to take the skills honed over four decades on the easel, onto more murals and huge canvases. I aim to see my work purchased by more museums. I’d like to move from gallery shows to museum exhibitions. In 2014, “Happy Homemaker” sold before leaving my studio, yet was awarded 11 awards nationally and gained me admittance into several national art societies, in which I had longed to belong including California Art Club (est. 1909) and The Salmagundi Club of New York. The latter was founded in 1871 and past membership lists read like a “Who’s Who?” in American Art. I played billiards on [the] same table as [painters] Thomas Moran and William Merit Chase—kind of cool.
ROBERT BEAN LITTLE ROCK
FB + IG / @rbfineart rbfineart.com Story. Moments in time. Those little things that happen to us but impact us in big ways. I’m currently working on a series of illustrated stories that touch on this, called 24 Beats – the idea that we all have these moments that have some kind of importance and act as a catalyst for change in our story. So that’s what has been feeding me inspiration of late, just simple little moments that are much bigger than we realize at the time. It fascinates me, keeps me intrigued. And I think that’s always a good sign, always something to pay attention to, because it means you’ll be more invested in what you create. If I’m not in my studio creating, I’m most likely at the Arkansas Arts Center working on growing the painting and drawing departments of the Museum School (I serve as the Department Chair) and teaching drawing classes. I love being able to share what I do, and the passion I have for it, with students that are eager and hungry to get better as artists, and the Museum School is an amazing place to do that. In my downtime I like to get together with friends and roll some dice, playing Dungeons & Dragons and other games like it. I love sitting around a table and creating a collective story, this integrated narrative that forms in real time as we all steer our characters through events. I’ve been playing since I was a kid, and I still think it’s one of the most powerful, and fun, storytelling experiences you can have.
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STEVE ADAIR ROGERS
IG / @steve.adair steveadair.com
My favorite aspect has been the moments of pure experimentation that happen in the studio. I’m at ease with I can just focus on play and spontaneity, and less on the end result of a finished painting. Those first few hours of creation, where I can just focus on mark-making and color are pure bliss. Also, researching source imagery for my work is always a source of joy as well! Most challenging? I would say artist block can be quite frustrating to deal with. However in more recent years I’ve been learning to view it more as just a natural stage in the process, and that’s been beneficial! I try to find inspiration from every possible source. Right now, I’m really into gardening. I’ve found a lot of joy from learning about different native plants that promote wildlife. Nature in general is a huge source of inspiration for me. Often times if I’m having issues with a painting I’m working on, a short hike will give me the clarity to work through it! Since moving to NWA in 2015 I’ve been lucky to create a few public works in the area. I would say the positivity surrounding murals and public art among local businesses here have positively affected my process for sure! In addition, the amount of creative folks in our community making such rad work is inspiring, I would be remiss to say that hasn’t affected my work/process as well.
ANGELA TEETER ROGERS IG / @teeterangela aeaststudios.com Before beginning a new piece, I almost always pre-meditate how the finished product will look through the process of composing placement, color, texture, (if any) character or subject detail, and message that will embody the overall theme of a work. For me, this “idea genesis” (usually begun on a 5x7 or 8x10 sheet of paper) supersedes the process of physically making and “getting into” the art for a period of time. Concept is king. Though the time and labor of physically producing the product seems to come second, like most artists I find reward and attainment in that process as well. It’s a balance. I have a vast assemblage of artist friends. As someone who dabbles in a variety of media I am constantly deriving from each of them in some aspect or another based on their profession or medium of practice. All have served as a valuable point of reference for how I refine my method for producing artwork. Any and everything that can seduce my interest. Human psychology, pop culture, stereotypes, complex relationships (of any kind), antiquity, science, history, myth, classical literature, textile design… the list goes on. I was a student of theology and religion as well as nutrition for a few years. So while I don’t always discuss it in most social settings, I am by nature very existentially engaged. Both of those theses have ways of circling back around into my work and it is not directly intentional. They seem to be deeply embedded. 58 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
gregory moore LITTLE ROCK IG / @gregorymoore75 facebook.com/gregorymooreart Rummaging through salvage yards is definitely a fun part of the process but I my favorite part is when I have a clear image of what the piece should look like in my head. I usually keep a lot of metal pieces I’m excited about just sitting out around my studio and I look at them from time to time and sometimes what should go on there just clicks into place in my mind. Other times I just have to cast around in the dark and just try stuff to see if it works because the inspiration just isn’t there. That is the most challenging way and that can work as well, but it’s most fun when I have the image in my mind and I’m all fired up about it. I think my greatest accomplishment has been to stick with it for as long as I have. I have been pretty steadily working for about a decade and I’ve sold about 90 percent of the paintings I have made in that time! When I look back I am amazed at that fact. I am pushing myself into more experimentation. I’ve been looking more and more toward the paintings of Dana Schutz for inspiration. Her paintings Mountain Group and Beat out the Sun in particular are inspiring me to create a new body of work that includes more color, expressive painting and stylization. I’ve been moving toward more surreal combinations, more personal expression and less literal representation. I think my painting House Fire is signaling a new way forward for me.
natalie conway FAYETTEVILLE IG / @natalieconwayarkansas natalie-conway.com While my work deals heavily with narrative and other content, I think of myself as a process artist. That is to say, there is no stage of creating that feels like purely controlled execution. Rather, I keep the whole life of each piece or series activated with perpetual questioning, experimentation, and openness. I think that making (for me) would feel rote and meaningless otherwise ... While so much of my process is cerebral and rooted in research, good work requires receptivity. I have to allow the painting to take the reins away from my conscious intentions when the magic sets in. Essentially, every stage of my process is equally exciting so long as I stay present with the work. I just started a series of paintings about my ex-boyfriends ... For each one, I’m building a dollhouse diorama that represents what I wanted from the relationship, what it was like, and what ended it. So far, the process is amazingly cathartic, but revisiting old emails, letters, and journal entries is exhausting. In the meantime, I continue to make art in an attempt to reconcile my privilege and family history with my own values and understanding of history in a broader sense.
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HANNAH McBROOM ARTIST
Kansas City and Northwest Arkansas artist Hannah McBroom has experienced more growth and transformation in the past few years than most people do in a lifetime. Her incredible journey of self-discovery and realization has included earning her BFA and MFA in fine art without debt, finishing work for a solo show in Kansas City and being in three group exhibitions all while defining her identity as a woman. "My transitioning has directly been reflected in the imagery in my artwork." Through her work which Hannah describes as "Contemporary Representation" she explores themes of transgender identity and illuminates the perspective of how the transgender body can be represented. Her series "Two Year Hymn" consists of 24 portraits tracking the physical and emotional transition she underwent through hormone replacement therapy. "The main goal of these portraits was to record how I looked, how I felt in that space, and the emotional quality of that given time.". "These paintings utilize the image of my portrait as representing non-binary identity that exists in the space between and outside 'man' and "woman'. The paintings existed as sites where I could locate these exchanges as some sense of a truth of my being. A documented account of myself." Hannah is strongly influenced by artist Sharon Louden whom she describes as "an artist, a work horse and an amazing mentor". Hann,;1.h worked with Louden at the Chautauqua School of Art over the summer and found her inspiring. "For me she's a role model for how generous and hardworking one must be to have a fulfilling career without compromising ones ideals". Finding inspiration in things that remind her to dream and be filled with wonder, Hannah spends sacred time in her studio gathering ideas, doing studies and exploring who she is as an artist.
@ @hannah_mcbroom 60 V I S U A L ARTS 2 0 1 9
''I'm excited about the next phase of my career because I'm not entirely sure where it will go!"
KASEY HODGES GRAPHIC
When you meet Kasey Hodges you're immediately impressed by her infectious positive energy. Kasey is a graphic artist from Springdale, Arkansas and is active in the local art community. If you attend events in Northwest Arkansas you're likely to see Kasey's smiling face among the attendees. A background in theater helped Kasey realize how important art can be as a vessel for provoking emotion and bringing insight into subjects and people. Kasey went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hendrix University in 2014 and in 2019 earned a Graphic Design certificate from The New Design School (now PIXEL). Some of Kasey's clients include Len White Stories, Elevate Performance, the Zweig Group and Art Ventures. Kasey also creates her own graphics for clothing, home decor and accessories. As a Graphic Artist with Cerebral Palsy, she has a unique perspective on design. "I see art and design as very powerful methods of expression and hope to bring that power to my clients' visual identity." Along with her unique perspective come unique challenges. "It's hard for people to understand how much effort I put into design. Just physically doing the work can be hard because it takes me longer." From childhood Kasey has drawn and quickly transitioned into digital drawing when her father introduced her to Microsoft Paint. "I definitely could not do my work without developments in modern technology. Having Cerebral Palsy I am not able to design on paper due to a lack of fine motor skills. I use the Adobe Creative Suite along with an adapted trackball mouse and on-screen keyboard.".
WWW.KASE V HODGES . DESIGN
Another benefit technology has provided Kasey is the use of social media to share her design work and connect with a creative community for support. "I am really grateful to be able to connect with so many people."
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The Visual Arts Issue features our recurring Artists We Love section, as well as a new section for the longest The Idle Class to date, Arkan...
Published on Sep 13, 2019
The Visual Arts Issue features our recurring Artists We Love section, as well as a new section for the longest The Idle Class to date, Arkan...