2019 Arkansas Literary Festival events on tap for today

Though there have been a few events earlier, today (April 25) offers several events to kick off the 2019 Arkansas Literary Festival.

During the day at the Clinton Presidential Center and also the Museum of Discovery is a Day of Science and Reading. Students meet Miami-based author Laurie Friedman, Mallory McDonald, Super Sitter and Can You Say Catastrophe? and Nashville-based illustrator, Higgins Bond, A Place for Turtles and Lorraine: The Girl Who Sang the Storm Away. Both successful presenters are originally from the Natural State. Limited seating is available. 

Tonight at 6pm at the ESSE Purse Museum a program will feature Anita Davis, the museum’s founder.  The author of What’s Inside?: A Century of Women and Handbags, 1900–1999, she is a native Arkansan and lifelong collector who loves outsider art, Gladys Knight, dream work, her two daughters, and learning about the mysteries of life. Her varied life experience includes owning a mail-order catalog called Pure and Simple in the 1980s and co-owning Vagabonds coffee house and vintage store in the 1990s. She has a talent for finding valuables (“They’re valuable to me!”) in unexpected places and has led the revitalization of Little Rock’s SoMa neighborhood, where ESSE Purse Museum & Store is located. What’s Inside? is an extension of her endeavor to explore concepts of art, history, and the feminine at ESSE – the only purse museum in the United States and one of only three in the world.

At 7pm at the CALS Ron Robinson Theater, Elliot Ackerman & Charmaine Craig participate in a discussion entitled, The Human Element of War. Despite the dehumanization that goes hand in hand with war and the media coverage of conflict, moments of deep humanity can be glimpsed even in the most harrowing of circumstances. How do we ensure that those moments are not overlooked, and that our stories – even fictional ones – reflect the nuances of a historical moment? Join 2017 National Book Award Finalist Elliot Ackerman (Dark at the Crossing) and 2017 Longlister Charmaine Craig (Miss Burma) for a discussion on depicting conflict, preserving humanity, and finding truth in fiction. This session is presented in partnership with the National Book Foundation, presenter of the National Book Awards.

LR Cultural Touchstone: Anita Davis

anita davisAnita Davis has founded a museum, a sculpture garden and nurtured an eclectic retail community which has transformed Main Street south of I-630 into a thriving SOMA with its own unique identity.

Starting in 2004, she began to acquire property along Main Street in the teen blocks.  After attending a conference and learning about “placemaking” she started to envision ways to transform South Main through various artforms.

On the site of a burned out fast food restaurant, she devised the plans for the Bernice Garden. This sculpture garden and community gathering spot has become a hotspot for festivals (including the annual Cornbread Festival – another of her projects – this year it will be November 3), community events and a farmer’s market.

More recently, she opened the ESSE Purse Museum.  ESSE grew out of a traveling exhibit selected from Davis’ extensive collection. From 2006 to 2011, “The Purse & the Person: A Century of Women’s Purses” (curated by Curatrix Group and managed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services) traveled the country. The collection was exhibited in Concord, Mass.: Little Rock, Ark.; Edmund, Okla.; Columbia, S.C.; Pasadena, Calif.; Rockford, Ill.; Logan, Kan.; Fullerton, Calif.; Baton Rouge, La.; Dallas; Sacramento; and Seattle.

Now Davis has brought her handbags back to Little Rock for good and given them a home worthy of the part they have played in women’s lives and history. ESSE is housed in a historic building in SoMa, an up-and-coming, hip neighborhood in downtown Little Rock.  The Huffington Post declared it one of the hot museums for 2014.

More theatre, music and art on tap today at ACANSA

acansaThe second full day of ACANSA Arts Festival promises another wide variety of choices.

 

LUNCH AND LEARN
12:00 pm to 1:00pm
Bernice Garden
Free

Anita Davis will discuss art displayed at the Bernice Garden, which features permanent and temporary sculptures created by Arkansas artists. Mosaics, rock formations, hand-crafted signage and additional art installations add to the development plan for the space.

Sponsored by: Anita Davis, Delta Trust and Bank, and JPMS Cox, PLLC

 

GALLERY HOP
5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Various
$20 to $50

Starting at the Arkansas Arts Center, participants may hop on and off trolleys to visit various local galleries in Little Rock and North Little Rock.

Enjoy refreshments while visiting with gallery owners and participating artists about their paintings.

Participating galleries include:   The Art Group Gallery,  Cantrell Gallery,  Greg Thompson Fine Art,  Hearne Fine Art Gallery,  M2 Gallery,  Gallery 221, L & L Beck Art Gallery,  Local Colour Gallery,  Matt McLeod Fine Art,  Stephano’s Fine Art Gallery,  The Edge Gallery, The Hot Springs Art Group, Argenta Gallery and Boswell Mourot Fine Art.

Sponsored by: Stuart Cobb

 

acansa Mike Disfarmer 3DISFARMER
8:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Argenta Community Theatre
$30 to $50

Don’t miss this production of Disfarmer, written by award-winning Arkansas playwright Werner Trieschmann and directed by Bob Hupp of The Rep.  Disfarmer is a comedic portrait which tells the story of Mike Disfarmer, an eccentric photographer from Heber Springs, Arkansas who charged townsfolk and visitors a quarter to have their picture taken in the early forties—and caused a minor speculative mania decades later as New York gallery owners “discovered” his work and descended on the small Arkansas town.

Head over to Argenta Theatre before the play and pick up a signed copy of Kim O. Davis’ Disfarmer biography titled Disfarmer:  The Man Behind the Camera.

Nothing speaks louder about Mike Disfarmer than his photographs.  Before the play, stop by  Argenta Gallery at 413 Main Street to enjoy an exhibit of Disfarmer photographs. In 1974, Peter Miller purchased the collection of Disfarmer glass negatives from Joe Albright. The Disfarmer prints in this exhibit have been archivally printed from the original Disfarmer glass negatives

Sponsored by: Peter Miller

 

acansa Hector Oliver 3HECTOR OLIVERA
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Trinity United Methodist Church
$10 to $20

Hector Olivera is one of the most sought after international concert organists of the present time. He is a passionate, gifted and unique musician, whose personal interpretations of both classical and popular music have amazed and delighted audiences around the world.

Maestro Hector Olivera travels with his Rodgers touring organ, “The King,” a black four manual organ featuring a custom French specification.  This internationally acclaimed concert organist will perform at Trinity United Methodist Church.  During rehearsal, Maestro Olivera will uniquely customize his eclectic program from the chancel.

 

ACANSA BowersIT GOES WITHOUT SAYING
7:00 pm to 8:30 pm
Scottish Rite Masonic Temple
$10 to $20

Compared to the work of David Sedaris, Claudia Shear and Augustin Burroughs, IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING is a uniquely crafted autobiographical tour-de-force in which Bill Bowers shares funny, heartbreaking, and unbelievable true stories from his career as an actor and mime, and his life-long exploration of the role silence plays in all our lives.

IT GOES WITHOUT SAYING takes you on a scenic tour of Bill’s life thus far; from his childhood in the wilds of Montana, to outrageous jobs as a performer across the country, to the whirlwind of Broadway and studying with the legendary Marcel Marceau.

Sponsored by:  Legacy Termite and Pest Control, Inc.

ESSE Purse Museum Opens New Exhibit Today – On Hats

Esse Purse HatsThe ESSE Purse Museum & Store is opening a new temporary exhibit today. Entitled “The Milliner’s Art” it runs through Sunday, June 8.  Though the ESSE Purse Museum & Store mainly focuses on purses/handbags/clutches/etc., this exhibit looks at another fashion accessory which also tells the story of the changing roles and tastes of women through the years.

The exhibit features vintage hats (circa 1910-1960) from the collections of Anita Davis and Catherine Nugent.  Admission to the exhibit is $10, $8 seniors and students.

ESSE Purse Museum & Store is located at 1510 South Main.  It is the culmination of owner Anita Davis’ dream of sharing her love of purses, art and history — while honoring women and their struggles, accomplishments, hopes and dreams.

More than just a fashion history, ESSE shows the evolution of the 20th-century American woman — decade by decade — not only through the bags she carried but through their contents. More than a trip down memory lane or history lesson, ESSE Purse Museum is a don’t-miss experience.

ESSE grew out of a traveling exhibit selected from Davis’ extensive collection. From 2006 to 2011, “The Purse & the Person: A Century of Women’s Purses” (curated by Curatrix Group and managed by Smith Kramer Fine Art Services) traveled the country.  Now Davis has brought her handbags back to Little Rock for good and given them a home worthy of the part they have played in women’s lives and history. ESSE is housed in a historic building in SoMa, an up-and-coming, hip neighborhood in downtown Little Rock.