31 Days of Arkansas Rep: 1982’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Scott Edmonds as Ebenezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens – from Developing Character at the Arkansas Rep 1983-1984 by Andrew Kilgore. Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. Gift of Doyne and Margaret Dodd.There were plenty of Christmas carols during the 1982 Arkansas Rep production of A Christmas Carol. This was the first time, in the Rep’s seven Decembers of existence, that a holiday-themed show had been presented in December.

The production was directed by the Rep’s Artistic Associate Montgomery Kuklenski (who is now an entertainment executive in Los Angeles).  After Cliff Fannin Baker decided to produce a stage version of the Charles Dickens chestnut, Kuklenski read over a dozen versions before selecting one by Tom Markus.

Instead of taking place on the Rep’s stage, the production was mounted in the university theatre on the UALR campus.  (With a cast of nearly 40 actors and many special effects, it would have been difficult to produce this at the Rep’s home adjacent to MacArthur Park.)

Scott Edmonds played the title character with other parts being played by Dallas Miles, Jonathan Michaelson, Rebeccas Wilenski, Charles Hatchock, Larry Edwards, Peter White, Jay Kinney, Tommy Cherepski, Ted Eades, and Ronald J. Aulgur.

One of the reasons that the Markus version was selected was that it incorporated numerous Christmas carols into the script both as part of the action and as transitions between scenes. Sharon Douglas served as pianist and music director for the production.

The production ran from December 9 through 18 of 1982.

Several of the actors were captured in Mark Hughes’s costumes by Andrew Kilgore as part of his multi-season Developing Character black and white photo portrait series.  The Arkansas Arts Center has over twenty of these photos in its permanent collection.

The Rep also has many of these photos. As part of 2nd Friday Art Night, the Rep is displaying some of these photos in the lobby of the current building.


LR Culture Vulture turns 7

The Little Rock Culture Vulture debuted on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to kick off Arts & Humanities Month.

The first feature was on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which was kicking off its 2011-2012 season that evening.  The program consisted of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, Rossini’s, Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, Puccini’s Chrysanthemums and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.  In addition to the orchestra musicians, there was an organ on stage for this concert.

Since then, there have been 10,107 persons/places/things “tagged” in the blog.  This is the 3,773rd entry. (The symmetry to the number is purely coincidental–or is it?)  It has been viewed over 288,600 times, and over 400 readers have made comments.  It is apparently also a reference on Wikipedia.

The most popular pieces have been about Little Rock history and about people in Little Rock.

2nd Friday (the 13th) Art Night

For those who do not have paraskevidekatriaphobia, tonight is a good night to stop by several downtown museums and galleries for 2nd Friday Art Night.

It runs from 5pm to 8pm (though times at some individual locations may vary slightly).

Among the locations and their offerings are:

CALS Butler Center for Arkansas Studies (401 President Clinton Avenue) –

A Matter of Mind and Heart: Portraits of Japanese American Identity holds up a mirror to Arkansas and U.S. culture and asks what it means to be an American today. Displaying portraits created by Japanese Americans unjustly incarcerated in Arkansas during World War II, this exhibition invites visitors to reflect on American identity and challenge widely held assumptions about living in a diverse society.

A Legacy of Brewers  – Incorporating paintings from both private and public collections, this exhibition of paintings by Nicholas, Adrian, and Edwin Brewer includes portraits and landscapes featuring people and places in Arkansas, Arizona, Minnesota, New Mexico, and Texas going back to the early 1900s.

Historic Arkansas Museum (200 E Third Street) – Justin Bryant: That Survival Apparatus.  The exhibit will contain pieces from Justin Bryant’s most recent body of work, which was made in response to Maya Angelou’s poem “Mask.” His drawings and paintings show the bottom half of black faces, images pulled from documentary and commercial photographs of famous individuals and civil rights leaders. Each mouth and chin is carefully rendered, while the eyes and other features are left blank.

Old State House Museum (300 W Markham Street) – Erin Enderlin in Concert.  Beginning at 5:30 p.m., Enderlin will perform on the second floor of the museum. Recently named to the CMT Next Women of Country Class of 2018, Enderlin is an Arkansas native and award-winning singer/songwriter currently based in Nashville, Tenn.

Christ Episcopal Church (500 Scott Street) – a selection of small works including paintings and mixed media by a variety of artists from the Little Rock area.

Matt McLeod Fine Art (108 E Sixth Street) – Arkansas League of Artists 2018 Members Show and Sale.

Other participating sites include Nexus Coffee and Creative (301 President Clinton Avenue); The Art Group Gallery in the Marriott Little Rock (3 Statehouse Plaza), Bella Vita (523 S Louisiana), and Gallery 221 (221 W Second Street).


Arkansas Heritage Month – Jim Dailey

cna_commissioner_daileyDuring his years of public service, Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey was a dedicated supporter of the arts. He has been involved in support of the arts prior to and after leaving office, but he was a 2005 Governor’s Arts Awards recipient in recognition of his work while in office.

Mayor Dailey’s understanding of the importance of the arts was essential to the revitalization of downtown Little Rock and the development of the River Market district. Little Rock’s arts district has become home to several art galleries and the 2nd Friday Night Art Walk and provides venues for local and regional musicians.

Other examples of Mayor Dailey’s leadership in the arts include the City of Little Rock’s support of the expansion and renovation of the Arkansas Arts Center and support of the establishment of the Kramer School Artists Cooperative, which provides residential and studio space for artists.  He was also a key player in the location of the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock.

The City of Little Rock doubled the number of art institutions it helps fund under Mayor Dailey’s tenure and has developed an Arts & Culture Commission to continue to integrate the arts into the daily fabric of city life. Mayor Jim Dailey has demonstrated outstanding leadership and commitment to the development of the arts community in Little Rock.

While in office, most Tuesday nights he would be a City Hall presiding over a City Board meeting. But many Monday nights he would be found at the Arkansas Arts Center taking a class a the museum school.

Since leaving office, Mayor Dailey has continued to explore art galleries and museums as he travels throughout the United States.  He also served as one of the three co-chairs for the successful campaign to renovate Robinson Center Music Hall. The building is set to reopen in November 2016.

New HAM exhibit looks at 75 Years of the museum

75thbannerHistoric Arkansas Museum, a museum of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, will host a free opening reception for the museum’s 75th anniversary exhibit A Diamond in the Rough: 75 Years of Historic Arkansas Museum during 2nd Friday Art Night from 5 to 8 pm. The reception will feature a vintage cocktail from 1941, the year the museum was founded, live music by the Delta Brass Combo and a unique 75th anniversary Living History performance featuring portrayals of museum founder Louise Loughborough, as she campaigns the historic structures that are now preserved on the museum grounds, as well as Senator Ed Dillon and Governor Bailey. Refreshments will be available, including the vintage cocktail Millionaire No. 1 which was popular in 1941 – the year Historic Arkansas Museum was founded.

A Diamond in the Rough: 75 Years of Historic Arkansas Museum

Experience 75 years of Historic Arkansas Museum, beginning with the ambitious Louise Watkins Loughborough whose one-woman campaign succeeded in the founding of the museum in 1941. The museum, now a gem of Arkansas history and culture, began as a diamond in the rough; a half-block of dilapidated historic homes—the last remnant of Little Rock’s oldest neighborhood. Loughborough’s passion and vision saved these historic structures and the subsequent contributions of architects and preservationists such as Max Mayer, Ed Cromwell, Parker Westbrook and others succeeded in making Historic Arkansas Museum the historic landmark and vibrant cultural institution it is today.

The anniversary exhibit is a celebration of the museum’s commitment to preserving and exhibiting objects and artworks that illuminate Arkansas’s rich and varied cultural heritage. Learn more about the contributions of pioneering community leaders, reflect on milestones in the museum’s development over 75 years and see many of the most important pieces from the museum’s permanent collection. This exhibit continues in the Horace C. Cabe Gallery through February 2017.

Currently on exhibit:

Historic Arkansas Museum is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 – 5 p.m. on Sunday. Admission to the galleries and parking are free; admission to the historic grounds is $2.50 for adults, $1 for children under 18, $1.50 for senior citizens. The Historic Arkansas Museum Store is open 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 1 – 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Historic Arkansas Museum is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, which was created in 1975 to preserve and enhance the heritage of the state of Arkansas. Other agencies of the department are Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and Old State House Museum.

Your Heart will be filled with ART at tonight’s 2nd Friday Art Night

2FAN logo Font sm2It is 2nd Friday Art Night again. From 5pm to 8pm (times may vary at individual locations), a variety of museums and galleries downtown are open with free events to enjoy art, music and exhibits.

Highlights include:

Mosaic Templars Cultural Center – Opening reception for “I WALKED ON WATER TO MY HOMELAND” FEATURING WORKS BY DELITA MARTIN (6pm to 8pm)

“I Walked on Water to My Homeland” is a series of mixed media works that explore the power of the narrative impulse. These works capture oral traditions that are firmly based in factual events and bring them to life using layers of various printmaking, drawing, sewing, collage and printing techniques.

The opening will feature an artist talk, refreshments and live entertainment by Acoustix with Rod P. featuring Bijoux.

Matt McLeod Fine Art – (5pm to 8pm)

A chance to see the art at the gallery and perhaps pick up a Valentine’s gift.

Historic Arkansas Museum – Opening reception for ARKANSAS CONTEMPORARIES: THEN, NOW, NEXT (5pm to 8pm)

Check out the new exhibit and enjoy a free evening of art, history, Museum Store shopping and live music by Shannon Wurst!
Enjoy a craft cocktail by Pink House Alchemy(They will also have Pink Lemonade)
Enter to win a box of chocolates from Cocoa Rouge-The winner will be announced at 6:30 pm (must be present to win)

“Arkansas Contemporaries: Then, Now, Next” – The museum’s Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists and Second Floor Gallery for Emerging Artists focus on exhibitions by contemporary Arkansas artists. This exhibit features exemplary selections from the museum’s permanent collection and reflects upon the work of the talented Arkansans who have been represented in these galleries over the past ten years and a glimpse to future exhibitions.  Featured artworks in this exhibit represent important points in the careers of contemporary Arkansas artists like Bryan Massey, Warren Criswell, Katherine Strause, John Harlan Norris, Katherine Rutter, Grace Mikell Ramsey and others.  Exhibit continues through May 8, 2016.

Old State House Museum – Felice Farrell, cello (5pm to 8pm)

Join the Old State House as Arkansas Symphony Orchestra cellist Felice Farrell performs solo works for cello by the well-known 18th century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and 20th century Spanish cellist and composer Gaspar Cassado. The Old State House Museum is one of several downtown locations that hosts this evening of entertainment and exhibits. While here, shop the Museum Store. Visitors can ride the trolley to visit other Second Friday venues, including the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Butler Center for Arkansas Studies – Opening reception for PAINTING 360: A LOOK AT CONTEMPORARY PANORAMIC PAINTING (5pm to 8pm)

On view through Saturday, April 30, artists whose work is featured in Painting 360° include Marcia Clark, Nicholas Evans-Cato, Christopher Evans, Amer Kobaslija, Jackie Lima, Matthew Lopas, Carrie O’Coyle, Dick Termes, and Melissa Cowper Smith.
Featured artist: Julie Holt, an artist who handbuilds clay objects and vessels.
Featured musician: The Rolling Blackouts

2nd Friday Art Night at the CALS Butler Center

2FAN logo Font sm2The second Friday of 2016 means it is time for the first 2nd Friday Art Night of the year.

Another participating location is the CALS Butler Center Galleries located inside the Arkansas Studies Institute building. They are open tonight from 5pm to 8pm.

Little Rock Box by Gary Cawood

Gene Hatfield: Outside the Lines
On view through Saturday, January 30

Earth Work: Photographs by Gary Cawood
On view through Saturday, February 27
Arkansas Pastel Society National Exhibition
On view through Saturday, February 27
Photographic Arts: African American Studio Photography from the Joshua & Mary Swift Collection
On view through Saturday, March 26
Featured artist: Tom Flynn
Tom Flynn is a metal sculptor who creates artwork using reclaimed metals.
Featured musician: Tommy Priakos
Tommy, a keyboardist based in Little Rock, will perform music in the galleries.
Second Friday Art Night is a free, monthly opportunity to visit downtown Little Rock’s galleries, museums, and businesses after hours.

Several other downtown museums and galleries participate in 2nd Friday Art Night.