The Arkansas Arts Center chooses Studio Gang as design architect

The Arkansas Arts Center (AAC) announced on Tuesday the selection of Studio Gang as design architect for its upcoming building project.
“We had a number of highly qualified firms respond to our RFQ, and narrowing this impressive group down to the five finalists was extremely difficult,” said Todd Herman, executive director for the Arkansas Arts Center. “All five finalists were incredibly talented with international reputations and credentials. The Arts Center would have been well served by any one of them. We were in a great position to choose from such an impressive pool of talent.”

The five firms selected as finalists were Allied Works (Portland, Ore./New York), Shigeru Ban (New York/Paris/Tokyo, Japan), Studio Gang (Chicago/New York), Thomas Phifer (New York) and Snohetta (Oslo, Norway/New York/San Francisco).

Herman said the selection committee felt Studio Gang was the best fit for the project, due to the firm’s elegant and smart approach to architecture, their understanding of the issues posed by the AAC’s current facility, their vision for the center as a cultural beacon for Central Arkansas and their commitment to sustainability and strength as urban planners.

Founded by MacArthur Fellow Jeanne Gang, Studio Gang is an award-winning architecture and urbanism practice based out of Chicago and New York. A recipient of the 2013 National Design Award, Jeanne Gang was also named the 2016 Archiitect of the Year by the Architectural Review and the firm was awarded the 2016 Architizer A+ award for Firm of the Year.

Studio Gang is recognized internationally for a design process that foregrounds the relationships between individuals, communities and environments. The firm has extensive knowledge in museum, theatre and artist studio spaces, with projects ranging from the Writers Theatre in Glencoe, Ill. to the Aqua Tower in Chicago to the expansion of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

“Designing a re-envisioned Arkansas Arts Center is a truly exciting commission,” Gang said. “Its extraordinary collection, historic MacArthur Park setting, and rich mix of programs present a unique opportunity to redefine how the arts can strengthen local communities and surrounding regions. We look forward to working closely with the AAC to discover how architecture can enhance the Center’s important civic and cultural mission by creating new connections between people and the arts in Little Rock and beyond.”

An RFQ for a local architect to collaborate on the project will be issued later this month.

“When the Arkansas Arts Center project is completed, it will not just be a renovated facility, it will be a re-envisioned experience,” Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said. “The enhanced building will offer opportunities for an even higher level of exhibits, classes, children’s theatre productions and special events, making the Arkansas Arts Center not only a signature tourist attraction, but an even more important cultural anchor for the arts community in Little Rock.”

“It is well known that businesses looking to locate or expand look at a city’s quality of life offerings,” Stodola said. “An enhanced Arkansas Arts Center will be a showcase which will enable us to attract and retain quality job creators in a variety of sectors.”

Herman said he is looking at the project holistically, including Historic MacArthur Park, and reevaluating how the Arts Center meets the needs of its community.

“This project is about more than just addressing the physical issues of the current building. It requires rethinking how the AAC fits into the downtown fabric,” said Herman. “How can we best serve the community, and how do the AAC and MacArthur Park connect to other social and cultural nodes in downtown Little Rock? We want to do more than build; we want to transform the cultural experience.”

The five finalists presented their firm’s general project approach and design philosophies to the selection committee on November 1, 2016. The presentations took place in the AAC lower lobby lecture hall and were open for public viewing. More than 100 people were in attendance at the presentations, including students, community members and media.

The committee determined their selection at a public meeting on December 6, 2016. The selection committee included: AAC Executive Director Todd Herman; City Director Dean Kumpuris; Director of Little Rock Parks and Recreation Truman Tolefree; AAC Board Chair Mary Ellen Irons; AAC Board members Isabel Anthony, Van Tilbury and Chucki Bradbury; AAC Foundation Chair Bobby Tucker; Little Rock Small Business Development official Chauncey Holloman; and past Director of the Central Arkansas Library System Bobby Roberts.

A technical review panel was responsible for reviewing all proposals and recommending a slate of finalists to the selection committee, based on specialized criteria outlined in an RFQ that reflected the specific needs and goals of the AAC.  The technical review panel included: AAC Executive Director Todd Herman, AAC Chief Curator Brian Lang, Architect Ken Sims, Dean of the Fay Jones School of Architecture Peter MacKeith, Chair of the AAC Buildings and Grounds Committee Kaki Hockersmith and international museum consultant Deborah Frieden.

The leadership phase of a capital campaign to maximize the impact of public dollars dedicated to the project is currently underway.

“Anyone and everyone can participate in the creation of a new Arkansas Arts Center,” Herman said. “The Arts Center is a symbol of the importance that this community ­– and state – places on culture, arts education and quality of life, and all Arkansans will have the opportunity to share in that civic pride.”

Governor’s Arts Awards presented today

Today at noon at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, Governor Asa Hutchinson will join with the Arkansas Arts Council to present the annual Governor’s Arts Awards.

Lifetime Achievement Award-Jana L. Beard, Little Rock

Arts Community Development Award-Remica Gray, Texarkana

Arts in Education Award-DeltaARTS, West Memphis

Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts Award-Entergy Arkansas, Inc.

Folklife Award-Margaret Jones Bolsterli, Fayetteville

Individual Artist Award-Kevin Kresse, Little Rock

Patron Award-Curt & Chucki Bradbury, Little Rock

Judges Recognition Award-Kaki Hockersmith, Little Rock

 

The annual Governor’s Arts Awards were established in 1991 to recognize Arkansas artists, arts patrons and corporations for their outstanding contributions to the arts community. The recipients are nominated by the public and selected by distinguished panel of arts professionals from around the state.

The Arkansas Arts Council is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

FREE Admission to ROTHKO exhibit at Ark Arts Center through Dec 31

No. 8, 1949
Oil and mixed media on canvas
90 x 66 in.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington
Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.147
©1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington

In the spirit of giving, the Arkansas Arts Center is offering FREE admission to Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade through Tuesday, December 31.

Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade is the first exhibition and catalogue to reevaluate Rothko’s work in the context of his thoughts about art from the period. The exhibition brings to light many works not seen before by scholars or the public and highlights a period of his career that is often overlooked.

The 1940s was a decade of tremendous change for the world, for Western art, for New York City’s place in the art world and for Mark Rothko (1903-1970). The most important result was the formation of what became known as The New York School, a collection of artists working in a nexus of artistic approaches, the best known of which were Gesturalism, or Abstract Expressionism and Color Field. What most members of this group shared was a faith in the power of art effectively to address the pressing historical problems of their era writ large in the movies, news reports, and photographs of the war and its uncertain aftermath.

One of the major members of the New York School was Mark Rothko, the most important of the School’s Color Field wing. For Rothko, like many of his colleagues, the 1940s was the critical decade for his development. Mark Rothko in the 1940s is an examination into the artistic maturation—a decade of searching and rapid evolution– of one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century that deserves not only closer attention but also a re-evaluation.

Mark Rothko in the 1940s will be the first exhibition and catalogue to reevaluate this work in the context of Rothko’s thoughts about art from the period. Mark Rothko in the 1940s will bring to light many works not seen before by scholars or the public and highlight a period of his career that is often overlooked.

Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade is organized by the Arkansas Arts Center, the Columbia Museum of art, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The exhibition is funded in part by the Dedalus Foundation and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. It is sponsored locally by Harriet and Warren Stephens; Chucki and Curt Bradbury; The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston; Mary Ellen and Jason Vangilder and the Capital Hotel.

Mark Rothko in the 1940s – focus of new exhibit at Ark Arts Center

 

No. 8, 1949 Oil and mixed media on canvas 90 x 66 in. The National Gallery of Art, Washington Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.147 ©1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington

No. 8, 1949
Oil and mixed media on canvas
90 x 66 in.
The National Gallery of Art, Washington
Gift of The Mark Rothko Foundation, Inc., 1986.43.147
©1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko /Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Image courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington

The Arkansas Arts Center, the state’s premiere center for visual and performing arts with a renowned collection of international art, presents the Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade exhibition, on view October 25 – February 9, in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery.

“When I began organizing the Mark Rothko exhibition back in 2009, it came together very quickly and grew from a dozen pieces to nearly 40. It was an honor and a privilege to see the exhibition come to fruition from its humble beginnings to a touring collection,” said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. “We are delighted to afford Arkansans the opportunity to view the thoughtfully rich works of a master in modern American art.”

Herman developed the Rothko exhibition while he was the chief curator and curator of European art at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, S.C. Herman approached the National Gallery of Art in Washington about a collaboration to bring to the forefront a thought-provoking depiction of the famed late artists’ works.

The show began its run at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, S.C., in September 2012, the Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colo. and will arrive at the Arkansas Arts Center in October. Herman also wrote the forward and introduction in the book, Mark Rothko: The Decisive Decade 1940-1950, which was listed at #6 on Huffington Post’s top art books in 2012.

Regarded as one of the leading American artists of the 20th century, Mark Rothko (1903-1970) forever changed the landscape of modern American art. Rothko was a member of The New York School, a collection of artists working in a nexus of artistic approaches, the best known of which were Gesturalism, or Abstract Expressionism and Color Field. What most members of this group shared was a faith in using the power of art effectively to address the pressing historical problems of their era though channels such as the movies, news reports and photographs of the war.

Rothko was the most important artist of the School’s Color Field wing and like many of his colleagues, the 1940s was the critical decade for his development. This exhibition is an examination into the artistic maturation, a decade of searching and rapid evolution, of one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century that deserves not only closer attention, but also a re-evaluation. Included in the exhibition are works by Rothko’s colleagues such as Jackson Pollock, Adolph Gottlieb and Clyfford Still developing along a very similar vein at the same time.

Mark Rothko in the 1940s will be the first exhibition and catalogue to reevaluate this work in the context of Rothko’s thoughts about art from the period. The exhibition will bring to light many works not seen before by scholars or the public and highlight a period of his career that is often overlooked.

The paintings, drawings and watercolors by Mark Rothko in this exhibition are on loan from the National Gallery in Washington. The exhibition was organized by the Arkansas Arts Center, the Columbia Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The exhibition is funded in part by the Dedalus Foundation. Local support is provided by Harriet and Warren Stephens, Chucki and Curt Bradbury, The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston, Mary Ellen and Jason Vangilder and the Capital Hotel.

Arkansas Arts Center members are invited to a member reception for Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade, Face to Face: Artists’ Self-Portraits from the collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr. and Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge exhibitions to be held on Thursday, October 24, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Dr. Bradford R. Collins, University of South Carolina associate professor of art history and catalogue editor of Mark Rothko, The Decisive Decade: 1940-1950, will present the lecture, “Rothko’s Dilemma: Beauty and Tragedy,” at 6 p.m. in the lecture hall, sponsored by the Fine Arts Club. Members and guests will enjoy music, cocktails and light hors d’oeuvres. Tickets are required to attend and are free for members. Non-members may purchase a ticket for $15 which includes access to the lecture, exhibitions and reception.

Additional events associated with the Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade exhibition include;

Museum School Workshop: Artist Catherine Rodgers will lead a workshop, Paint like Rothko – Color: Complement, Shade, Tone and Tint, on Saturday, October 26, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. and on Sunday, October 27, from noon to 4 p.m. Admission to the workshop will be $92 for members and $115 for non-members. Those interested can register through the Museum School, arkansasartscenter.org or by contacting (501) 372-4000.

Dance: A special performance titled Color Play, an original choreographed interpretation of the work of Mark Rothko featuring Stephanie Thibeault and the UALR dance department, will be held on Saturday, December 7, at 2 p.m. in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery. Admission will be free with ticket purchase to exhibition. Guests may sign up at Stephens Inc. Visitors Center. Space is limited.

Feed Your Mind Fridays:

·         Artist Gallery Talk with Virmarie DePoyster will be held on Friday, November 8, at noon in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery. Admission will be free with ticket purchase to exhibition. Guests may sign up at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center. Space is limited.

·         The film The Rothko Chapel (68 minutes) will be shown on Friday, November 29, at noon in the lecture hall.

·         The film Rothko’s Rooms (60 minutes) will be shown on Friday, December 13, at noon in the lecture hall.

·         The film Motherwell & the New York School: Storming the Citadel (55 minutes) will be shown on Friday, February 7, 2014, at noon in the lecture hall.

Lecture: Christopher Rothko, son of artist Mark Rothko, will be on hand for questions Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 6 p.m. for the lecture, “Conversations with Christopher Rothko and Todd Herman”, in the lecture hall presented by the Fine Arts Club. The Arkansas Arts Center will have extended hours through 9:00 p.m.

Family Festival: Rothko’s Colors and Perfect Portraits, a family festival, will be held on Saturday, January 18, 2014, from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Admission will be free for members, $5 per person and $20 per family.

Music: Haskell Small will present an original composition inspired by Mark Rothko and his paintings on Sunday, February 2, 2014, at 2 p.m. in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery. Admission will be free with ticket purchase to exhibition. Guests may sign up at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center. Space is limited.

Drop-In Tours Museum docents will be giving 1-hour tours of Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade. Tour times are as follows: Tuesday – Friday at 1 p.m., Saturdays at 11 am. and 1 p.m. and Sundays at 1p.m. Free with ticket. Space is limited to 20. Please sign in at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center. First come, first served.

 

For more information, visit arkansasartscenter.org or call (501)372-4000.

 

Today at Ark Arts Center – Last Chance to See Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Other Kenwood House treasures in United States

Rembrandt van Rijn Portrait of the Artist, ca. 1665 Oil on canvas Kenwood House, English Heritage, Iveagh Bequest (88028836) Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts

Rembrandt van Rijn
Portrait of the Artist, ca. 1665
Oil on canvas
Kenwood House, English Heritage, Iveagh Bequest (88028836)
Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts

Celebrate the final day of the exhibition with us at the Last Call for Kenwood House Party on Sunday, September 8 from 6-8 p.m.

Guiness and Harp’s beer, London gin tonics and wines, classic Irish pub cheese and savory miniature meat pies will be served. Plus, enjoy traditional fanfare and other surprises, including a special ceremonious closing of the exhibition at the reception’s end.

It’s a farewell you won’t want to miss! Admission is free for members and $20 for non-members and may be paid at the door.

Presented in Arkansas by: Bank of the Ozarks; Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc.; Windgate Foundation

Sponsored in Arkansas by: Chucki and Curt Bradbury; Sandra and Bob Connor; Remmel T. Dickinson; Lisenne Rockefeller

Follow your art by taking advantage of the many benefits that a membership to the Arkansas Arts Center brings like free admission to the Last Call for Kenwood House Party as well as special exhibitions.

Visit the Arkansas Arts Center website to become a member today and start enjoying discounts and exclusive access to parties and receptions.

The Perils of Collecting Rembrandt: Ark Arts Center extended hours and lecture tonight

In conjunction with the “Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London ” exhibit, the Arkansas Arts Center will remain open for extended hours this evening.  The galleries will be open until 9pm.  In addition, Dr. Catherine B. Scallen will be presenting a lecture entitled “Collecting Rembrandt: Perils and Pleasures One Hundred Years Ago.”
Catherine Scallen

Catherine Scallen

Professor Scallen is Chair of the Department of Art History and Art at Case Western Reserve University, where she has taught since 1995. She received her BA from Wellesley College, her MA from the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, and her PhD from Princeton University. After receiving her doctorate, she held a graduate internship in the Paintings Department of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

A specialist on the paintings and prints of Rembrandt van Rijn, her book, Rembrandt, Reputation, and the Practice of Connoisseurship, was published in 2004.  She has been a faculty lecturer on trips to The Netherlands and Belgium for Princeton University and CWRU, and is the author of two courses for The Great Courses Company, Art of the Northern Renaissance and Museum Masterpieces: The National Gallery, London. Attendees are welcome to stay after the lecture to view Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London during the exhibition’s special extended hours.
In addition to the extended gallery hours and lecture, the Best Impressions restaurant will be open until 8:30pm.  Advance reservations are strongly recommended; to make them call (501) 907-5946.
On display through September 8, “The Treasures of Kenwood House” is organized by the American Federation of Arts and English Heritage. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities with additional funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane.

It is presented in Arkansas by: Bank of the Ozarks; Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc.; Windgate Foundation.  The exhibition is sponsored in Arkansas by: Chucki and Curt Bradbury; Sandra and Bob Connor; Remmel T. Dickinson; Lisenne Rockefeller.

This special exhibition showcases 48 masterpieces from the collection known as the Iveagh Bequest. These magnificent paintings reside at Kenwood House, a neoclassical villa in London. The tour of Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London will provide a unique opportunity to view superb paintings outside the United Kingdom. Most of these paintings have never traveled to the United States before, and many of them have rarely been seen outside Kenwood. The highly acclaimed works represent the greatest artists of their periods, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Thomas Gainsborough, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals, Joshua Reynolds, J.M.W. Turner and more.

Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough at Arkansas Arts Center June 7-Sept 8

Rembrandt van Rijn
Portrait of the Artist, ca. 1665
Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts

This special exhibition showcases 48 masterpieces from the collection known as the Iveagh Bequest. These magnificent paintings reside at Kenwood House, a neoclassical villa in London. The tour of Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London will provide a unique opportunity to view superb paintings outside the United Kingdom.

Most of these paintings have never traveled to the United States before, and many of them have rarely been seen outside Kenwood. The highly acclaimed works represent the greatest artists of their periods, including Rembrandt van Rijn, Thomas Gainsborough, Anthony van Dyck, Frans Hals, Joshua Reynolds, J.M.W. Turner and more.

Admission to this exhibition is $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $6 for youth/students.

The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and English Heritage. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities with additional funding from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation. In-kind support is provided by Barbara and Richard S. Lane.

Presented in Arkansas by: Bank of the Ozarks; Harriet and Warren Stephens, Stephens Inc.; Windgate Foundation

Sponsored in Arkansas by: Chucki and Curt Bradbury; Sandra and Bob Connor; Remmel T. Dickinson; Lisenne Rockefeller.