Arts & Humanities Month: Rowher Art Exhibit at Arkansas Studies Institute

The Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) is a collaboration between the Central Arkansas Library System’s Butler Center for Arkansas Studies and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Rohwer Camp #23 artist unknown

In addition to being a repository for historical collections, the ASI houses four art galleries, , featuring the work of Arkansas artists and art related to the state. The exhibit galleries feature rotating exhibits including works from the CALS permanent collection.

Currently on display is the multi-media exhibit entitled “The Art of Living: Japanese American Creative Experience at Rowher.”  Curated by Butler Center staff from the Mabel Rose Jamison Vogel/Rosalie Santine Gould Collection, it showcases art created by internees at the Rohwer Relocation Center in Desha County and tells the story of creativity in the face of dire circumstances. It is on display through November 26.


Also on display at the ASI are the following exhibits:

  • Thomas Harding, Pinhole Photography – October 14 – December 31
  • Arkansas Pastel Society’s National Exhibition – October 14 – January 14
  • Leon Niehues: 21st Century Basketmaker – October 14 – January 28

Designed by the architectural firm of Polk Stanley Wilcox, the ASI campus is comprised of three buildings from three different centuries which were combined seamlessly.  In recognition of this effort, the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) received the 2011 AIA/ALA Library Building Award—one of only five awards given worldwide. The award, presented every two years by the national American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association, honors excellence in the architectural design and planning of libraries.

“We worked diligently to design a facility that would both connect the public with Arkansas’s rich history and enliven the streetscape, drawing people in,” said Reese Rowland, project design principal with Polk Stanley Wilcox Architects. “This national recognition is a testament to the public’s trust and continued investment in one of our community’s most critical assets, the public library. Our firm takes great pride in contributing to that trust. It’s always an honor to work with the visionary leadership at CALS.”