18 Cultural Events from 2018 – CALS renames Ark. Studies Institute for Bobby Roberts

As the chronological countdown of 18 cultural events from 2018 starts —

In January it was announced that the Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) had renamed the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art in honor of the former CALS executive director who served in the position for more than twenty years before retiring in 2016.

“Bobby established a new normal at CALS by creating new concepts of what the public library could offer the community and by constructing unique spaces to make the library more appealing and accessible to all sorts of groups with varied interests in learning, enrichment, and entertainment,” said Nate Coulter, CALS executive director. “The library’s primary purpose has always been to provide access to information, but Bobby transformed and expanded what it means to be a library by placing a particular emphasis on Arkansas history and culture.”

Since the early 1990s, CALS has undergone several changes and expansions, now consisting of fourteen library locations in Little Rock, Perryville, and throughout Pulaski County. The Main Library moved from its original location at 7th and Louisiana to its current home in the River Market District, which helped trigger the revitalization of downtown Little Rock. That Main Library is now the centerpiece of a campus that includes the Ron Robinson Theater, the Cox Creative Center, and the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art (formerly ASI).

Roberts’s efforts in building striking library structures, in ecologically sustainable construction, and in adaptive reuse have been recognized by local, state, national, and international organizations. That includes the newly named Roberts Library. Opened in 2009, as the Arkansas Studies Institute, the structure houses the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, CALS’s Arkansas history department, and five galleries that feature art depicting the state or created by artists living in or from Arkansas.

“This complex of buildings certainly wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for Bobby Roberts. It is truly fitting for this edifice to be named in his honor,” said David Stricklin, director of the Butler Center.

Roberts’s special interests in Arkansas history and art and CALS’s long-held practice of collecting materials for the benefit of patrons interested in those topics helped inspire the conception of the ASI, which also houses the UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. The university’s Arkansas-related documents and photographs were moved to the facility and are available for public use under an arrangement Roberts developed with former UA Little Rock Chancellor Joel Anderson. The building is also home to the Arkansas Humanities Council’s headquarters and classrooms and offices for the Clinton School of Public Service.

Later in the year, CALS rebranded its downtown campus of buildings as Library Square, unveiled a new website, and started a strategic planning process.

Advertisements

CALS renames Ark Studies Institute for former Director Bobby Roberts

The Central Arkansas Library System (CALS) has renamed the Arkansas Studies Institute (ASI) the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art in honor of the former CALS executive director who served in the position for more than twenty years before retiring in 2016. CALS Board of Trustees approved the motion in December.

“Bobby established a new normal at CALS by creating new concepts of what the public library could offer the community and by constructing unique spaces to make the library more appealing and accessible to all sorts of groups with varied interests in learning, enrichment, and entertainment,” said Nate Coulter, CALS executive director. “The library’s primary purpose has always been to provide access to information, but Bobby transformed and expanded what it means to be a library by placing a particular emphasis on Arkansas history and culture.”

Since the early 1990s, CALS has undergone several changes and expansions, now consisting of fourteen library locations in Little Rock, Perryville, and throughout Pulaski County. The Main Library moved from its original location at 7th and Louisiana to its current home in the River Market District, which helped trigger the revitalization of downtown Little Rock. That Main Library is now the centerpiece of a campus that includes the Ron Robinson Theater, the Cox Creative Center, and the Bobby L. Roberts Library of Arkansas History and Art (formerly ASI). Former CALS Board members spoke of Roberts’s leadership and his vision for the library system. Susan Fleming and Sheila Wright, former board vice-president and president, respectively, said Roberts’s vision and commitment to excellence are reflected in the building that will be displaying his name. Former CALS board member Frederick Ursery expanded on their thoughts:

“Our library system has been fortunate throughout its history to have strong leadership from numerous members of our community,” said Ursery. “However, I am not aware of any single person who has done more than Bobby Roberts to make CALS the dynamic asset that it is today. He deserves to be recognized for his achievement.”

Roberts’s efforts in building striking library structures, in ecologically sustainable construction, and in adaptive reuse have been recognized by local, state, national, and international organizations. That includes the newly named Roberts Library. Opened in 2009, as the Arkansas Studies Institute, the structure houses the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, CALS’s Arkansas history department, and five galleries that feature art depicting the state or created by artists living in or from Arkansas.

“This complex of buildings certainly wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for Bobby Roberts. It is truly fitting for this edifice to be named in his honor,” said David Stricklin, director of the Butler Center.

Roberts’s special interests in Arkansas history and art and CALS’s long-held practice of collecting materials for the benefit of patrons interested in those topics helped inspire the conception of the ASI, which also houses the UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. The university’s Arkansas-related documents and photographs were moved to the facility and are available for public use under an arrangement Roberts developed with former UA Little Rock Chancellor Joel Anderson. The building is also home to the Arkansas Humanities Council’s headquarters and classrooms and offices for the Clinton School of Public Service.

11th Annual Arkansas Literary Festival Gets Underway Today

AR Lit Fest 2014The 11th annual Arkansas Literary Festival gets underway today and runs through Sunday, April 27. Unless otherwise specified the events are free.

 

Highlights for today are:

12 noon – Cox Creative Center
“Painting Forgiveness” featuring author Kathy Sanders (Now You See Me). The session will be moderated by Ann Nicholson.

 

12 noon – Oxford American Annex
“Cash” featuring author Robert Hilburn (Johnny Cash: The Life) and Rhett Miller. Maxwell George will be the moderator.

 

5:30 pm to 7:00 pm – Hearne Fine Art
“Words & Pictures” – Illustrated works by Kadir Nelson

 

6pm – Arkansas Arts Center
“Art & Food I” featuring Mary Ann Caws (The Modern Art Cookbook) with Brad Cushman as moderator. The author session is free. But at 7pm, a paid event will take place involving Ms. Caws and some foods inspired by art and artists.

 

6pm – Clinton School of Public Service at Sturgis Hall
“True Gratitude” featuring David Finkel (Thank You for Your Service) with Skip Rutherford as moderator.

 

8pm – South on Main
Rhett Miller will be in concert at South on Main. This is a paid event.

 

The Cox Creative Center will be having a used book sale on Thursday from 5pm to 7pm.

Art Abounds Downtown during 2nd Friday Art Night

2FAN logo Font sm2Among the various sites featured tonight from 5pm to 8pm as part of 2nd Friday Art Night are:

The Central Arkansas Library System Butler Center Galleries (401 President Clinton Avenue) is opening three new exhibits:

Creative Expressions (which will run through August 25)

This exhibition features artwork from the Creative Expressions Program at the Arkansas State Hospital.  Creative Expressions is a non-profit organization that uses the visual arts to promote and support the self-awareness and growth of individuals with mental illness.

Arkansas Art Educators State Youth Art Show (which will run through July 27)

Arkansas League of Artists Spring Members Show (which will run through June 28 at the Cox Creative Center).

 

studioMAIN (1423 South Main Street) will open a new exhibit – “From Bauhaus to our Haus

studioMAIN invites you to join us this Friday for our exhibit celebrating the Bauhaus movement. Come learn about that history of the movement and its influence on today’s architecture, design, and education. Several local examples of building inspired by the Bauhaus and International style will also be highlighted.

This will be a great opportunity to learn (or be reminded) about this amazing transition in the history design before the opening of the Arkansas Arts Center’s upcoming exhibit, Bauhaus twenty-21: An Ongoing Legacy (May 24 – September 1).

As part of the member’s opening for the AAC, studioMAIN will be hosting a lecture and panel discussion, stay tuned for further information in the next couple weeks.

 

Historic Arkansas Museum (200 East Third Street)

In addition to the opening of two new exhibits, HAM will have live music by the Rolling Blackouts and an opening reception for two new exhibits. Opening in the Trinity Gallery is Reflected by Three: William Detmers, Scott Lykens and G. Tara Casciano. Opening in the 2nd Floor Gallery will be Painting in the Open Air: Day and Night, with plein air paintings by Jason Sacran.

 

Old State House (300 West Markham)

Up-cycled Jewelry. Create an artful bracelet from unexpected found supplies: safety pins, buttons, charms and fabric. These bracelets make great Mother’s Day gifts.

2012 Arts & Humanities Month 2nd Friday Art Night

October is Arts and Humanities Month.  What better time to try out 2nd Friday Art Night for the first time? Or to make a repeated visit?

Tonight from 5pm to 8pm at various downtown museums and galleries, guests can view art and enjoy live entertainment.  Admission is free.

Here are just a few of the highlights.

Christ Episcopal Church.  Watercolors by Kuhl Brown.  A resident of Hillcrest, Kuhl’s paintings are realistic landscapes and other subjects also in the realistic style. The show will run through Dec. 14.

Historic Arkansas Museum will feature live music by the Smittle Band as visitors view the current exhibits. Included at HAM are:

  • Recent Acquisitions: A Collection Vision, 2008 – 2012
  • The Civil War in Arkansas
  • Barbie: The 11 1/2 –inch American Icon
  • The Knife Gallery
  • Arkansas Contemporary: Selected Fellows from the Arkansas Arts Council
  • We Walk in Two Worlds: The Caddo, Osage and Quapaw in Arkansas

The Butler Center Galleries are located within the Arkansas Studies Institute building.  The galleries this month feature: Arkansas League of Artists and Solastalgia.  The Arkansas League of Artists is a group of artists and art enthusiasts who gather to learn from one another by exploring new techniques, working in various media, and sharing their collective knowledge.  Solastalgia will feature artwork by Susan Chambers and Louise Halsey.

The Arkansas League of Artists is an organization formed to promote fine arts in Arkansas. This group of artists and art enthusiasts gathers to learn from one another by exploring new techniques, working in new media, and sharing their collective knowledge.

Also, stop by the third floor of the Cox Creative Center for “Equinox 2011-2012: A Retrospective curated by Alex Leme and Rachel Golden.”  This exhibit, which will run through Decmber 1, features works by Carolyn Ascher, Ashley Barker, Kae Barron, Beth Beam, Rebecca Benson, Chris Cotton, Carolyn Crocker, Starr Crow, Megan Douglas, Chris Friemel, Chelsye Garrett, Heather Harmon, Cody Henslee, Lilia Hernandez, Kelly Hicks, Steve Hollis, Linda Holloway, Zechariah McGhee, Cyrene Quiamco, Becky Robinson, Jerry Rushing, Myriam Saavedra and Lauren Sukany.

The artwork by Susan Chambers and Louise Halsey interprets the idea of solastalgia, a term coined by Australian philosopher Glenn Albrecht meaning “the pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault.”