It is time again for Second Friday Art Night!
On the second Friday of Arts & Humanities Month, it is a great way to experience the richness the arts and humanities bring to Little Rock. Among the offerings this month are:
Historic Arkansas Museum’s free opening reception of “Kat Wilson’s Layers”
Arkansas photographer Kat Wilson is widely known for her Habitats series inspired by the hard-working people living in her blue-collar Arkansas town. Wilson’s work has continued to evolve as she has exhibited across Arkansas at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Arkansas Arts Center among others, and across the nation through exhibitions in Reno, NV, and Chicago, IL. Her work has received national and international recognition.
In a new series, Wilson’s technical process of layering photographs draws out a painterly quality typically absent in the glossy surface of a photograph. Wilson gathers images from varying degrees, often pulling information in a complete 360. She then layers them in an effort to tell a broader story of the scene.
CALS Butler Center opening of “Photographic Arts: African American Studio Photography from the Joshua & Mary Swift Collection”
This is the first exhibition of works from the Joshua & Mary Swift Collection, featuring photographs of African American people, created in a studio setting during the 1860s-1940s. Many of the featured photographs were hand colored, which created artful and unusual effects on otherwise formal portraits.
Other exhibits at the Butler Center are “Disparate Acts Redux: Bailin, Criswell, Peters” – an exhibition created by three artists who have found community with each other during the past thirty years’ “Weaving Stories & Hope: Textile Arts from the Japanese American Internment Camp at Rohwer, Arkansas” – a collection of decorative patterns, landscapes, and still life compositions created on muslin and denim; and “Gene Hatfield: Outside the Lines” – an exhibition characterizing the life and vitality of his life’s works.
Christ Church opening of solo exhibit of mixed media works by Diane Harper.
Little Rock artist Diane Harper translates images from a military childhood into new works of art in painting, printmaking, and mixed media in what she calls a “posthumous collaboration” with her father. His was a colorful career as a forensic photographer in the U.S. Military Crime Lab, and later in the Arkansas State Crime Lab. He taught himself photography by taking volumes of photos of his family and their adventures together.
The driving motivation behind this collaborative work is not only for Harper to gain a sense of place, but to position herself behind her father’s lens to see how he saw her, his family, and the rest of the world
Lenon came to Little Rock in 1888 after finishing his schooling in Iowa. He helped set up an abstract company shortly after his arrival. In 1902 he organized the Peoples Savings Bank. Among his other business interests were the City Realty Company, the Factory Land Company, the Mountain Park Land Company, and the Pulaski Heights Land Company.
From 1895 to 1903, he was a Little Rock alderman, and in 1903, he was elected Mayor of the city. A progressive Mayor, he championed the construction of a new City Hall which opened in 1908. At the first meeting of the City Council in that building, Mayor Lenon tendered his resignation. His duties in his various business interests were taking up too much of his time.
Mayor Lenon had been a champion for the establishment of a municipal auditorium. He had wanted to include one in the new City Hall complex. But a court deemed it not permissible under Arkansas finance laws at the time. He also worked to help establish the first Carnegie Library in Little Rock which opened in 1912.
Mayor Lenon continued to serve in a variety of public capacities after leaving office. In the 1920s, he briefly chaired a public facilities board for an auditorium district. It appeared he would see his dream fulfilled of a municipal auditorium. Unfortunately the Arkansas Supreme Court declared the enabling legislation invalid.
In 1889, he married Clara M. Mercer. The couple had three children, two of whom survived him. A son W. E. Lenon Jr., and a daughter Vivian Mercer Lenon Brewer. Together with Adolphine Fletcher Terry (also a daughter of a LR Mayor), Mrs. Brewer was a leader of the Women’s Emergency Committee.
Mayor Lenon died June 25, 1946 and is buried at Roselawn Cemetery. Lenon Drive just off University Avenue is named after Mayor Lenon.
Today at noon in the CALS Darragh Center, “Arkansas Sounds Gone By” will be a special musical Legacies & Lunch program. It will showcase songs about Arkansas or written by people from the state, drawn from the Butler Center’s Ron Robinson Sheet Music Collection.
Musical guests – including David Austin, Bob Boyd, Susan Gele, Dent Gitchel, Richard Hunter, Herb Rule, Stephanie Smittle, George West, and others – will perform songs from the famous fiddle tune “Arkansas Traveler” to Arkansas native Floyd Cramer’s big hit “Last Date.” Vocalists will be accompanied by piano and fiddle.
Learn about the remarkable variety of songs from or about Arkansas, about the extraordinary music collection donated by Ron Robinson, and about the Tin Pan Alley songwriters who created songs about Arkansas without ever visiting the state.
Legacies & Lunch, the Butler Center’s monthly lecture series, is free, open to the public, and supported in part by the Arkansas Humanities Council. Programs are held from noon-1 p.m. on the first Wednesday of each month. Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch; drinks and dessert are provided. For more information, contact 918-3033.
Eliza Borné was named Interim Editor of Oxford American magazine earlier this year. She had been the Managing Editor of the magazine. Currently, she is at work on the annual OA music issue, which this year will feature Georgia.
A Little Rock native and graduate of Central High School, she wrote Children’s Theatre reviews for the Arkansas Times while in high school. While a student at Wellesley College, she interned for OA. After graduation, she was an associate editor at BookPage. In February 2013, she joined the OA as an editor. When he was in Little Rock earlier this year, author Harrison Scott Key praised Borné’s skills as an editor. At that appearance, he also lauded her skills as an interviewer. She has also used these skills serving as a moderator for the Arkansas Literary Festival.
While her talents as a writer and editor have been honed through hard work, she is also carrying on a family tradition in promoting Little Rock’s cultural life. A great-grandmother, Adolphine Fletcher Terry, was a member of the Little Rock Public Library Board (a forerunner of CALS) for decades. Much could be written about what various ancestors have done to help Little Rock, but Borné is not one to rely on the family name as she forges her own career. Instead, she uses her skills and love of Little Rock to promote good writing, good music and good living.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
- All the King’s Men, by Robert Penn Warren
- The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
- A Farewell to Arms, by Ernest Hemingway
- The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
- The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
- Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
- A Separate Peace, John Knowles
- A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Go to the Central Arkansas Library System or a bookstore and get a copy of one of these this week. Or if you already own them all, read one this week.