2nd Friday Art Night – Historic Arkansas Museum features 49th annual Mid-Southern Watercolorists Juried Exhibition

Tonight (April 12), Historic Arkansas Museum marks 2nd Friday Art Night with more art, music, and beer!
Opening reception for the 49th Annual Mid-Southern Watercolorists Juried Exhibition with live music by Charlotte Taylor and #ArkansasMade beer from Lost 40 Brewing

The 49th Annual Mid-Southern Watercolorists Juried Exhibition showcases the wide range of techniques and approaches now available to artists working in water-based media.

Out of 159 paintings submitted from 12 states and Puerto Rico, juror Michael Bailey selected only 33 exceptional pieces.  Artists include Daven Anderson, David Belling, Matthew Bird, Selma Blackburn, Catherine Caldwell, Judi Coffee, Marie Echols, L. S. Eldridge, B. Jeannie Fry, Susan Gibson, Virginia Haines, Lance Hunter, Gary Johnson, Cheryl Kellar, Ronald Kinkaid, Shirley Kleppe, Jeannie Knod-Edwards, Sandra Marson, Glenda McCune, Monika Pate, Charlotte Rierson, Carol Roberts, Maureen Rousseau, Cynthia Schanink, Gary Simmons, Cary Smith,k Eileen Stearman, Richard Stephens, Luanne Stone, Donna Twyford, Kathryn Wedge, Beth Woessner, and Valdoris Wright.
A brief awards ceremony will be held at 5:30 pm in Ottenheimer Theater during 2nd Friday Art Night. This exhibit will be on view in Trinity Gallery through July 7, 2019.
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#5WomenArtists – Reita Walker Miller

November Birds 
1980
22 x 29 1/2 in.
watercolor on paper
Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection:
Gift of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Exhibition. 1980.008

Through their social media campaign #5WomenArtists, the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) asks, “Can you name five women artists?

In response to that, this month five artists with Little Rock connections will be highlighted throughout March.  The final one for 2019 is Reita Walker Miller.

Reita mainly paints in watercolor. She has long been active in the Mid-Southern Watercolorists and held many leadership positions within the organization; she is currently serving as an at-large board member.

In addition to being a talented artist, she is known as an educator and encourager of others whether it is in watercolors or another artform.  She helped establish the art program at the Central Arkansas Library System during her tenure on staff there. She was also a founding member of Little Rock’s Arts+Culture Commission.

Her artwork is in numerous collections. The Arkansas Arts Center has three of her pieces in its permanent collection.

2nd Friday Art Night – Doris Williamson Mapes retrospective at The Rep

Image may contain: mountain, cloud, sky, nature and textOne of the newer venues participating in 2nd Friday Art Night is the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  While one thinks of The Rep as a performing arts venue (and it certainly is), the Rep has also long been a promoter of the visual arts.

Drop by The Rep and enjoy paintings by late Arkansas artist, Doris Williamson Mapes. Known for her brilliant use of color, Doris described herself as a mixed media artist, using watercolors, acrylic, pencil, ink, gouache, casein, pastel, crayons, etc.

She studied design and encaustic painting under Townsend Wolfe at the Arkansas Arts Center and advanced painting with Edwin Brewer in the Adrian Brewer Studio. In 1970, Mapes, along with four other artists, founded and incorporated the Mid-Southern Watercolorists (MSW) in Little Rock. Mapes was elected as the organization’s founding president and served until 1972.

Doris was a long-time supporter of The Rep. The collection hangs in her memory

2nd Friday Art Night – The Rep features the art of Doris Williamson Mapes

Image may contain: mountain, cloud, sky, text and natureOne of the newer venues participating in 2nd Friday Art Night is the Arkansas Repertory Theatre.  While one thinks of The Rep as a performing arts venue (and it certainly is), the Rep has also long been a promoter of the visual arts.

Drop by The Rep and enjoy paintings by late Arkansas artist, Doris Williamson Mapes. Known for her brilliant use of color, Doris described herself as a mixed media artist, using watercolors, acrylic, pencil, ink, gouache, casein, pastel, crayons, etc.

She studied design and encaustic painting under Townsend Wolfe at the Arkansas Arts Center and advanced painting with Edwin Brewer in the Adrian Brewer Studio. In 1970, Mapes, along with four other artists, founded and incorporated the Mid-Southern Watercolorists (MSW) in Little Rock. Mapes was elected as the organization’s founding president and served until 1972.

Doris was a long-time supporter of The Rep. The collection hangs in her memory.

2016 Mid-Southern Watercolorists Exhibition at Arkansas Arts Center

MSW Gold Award "Lake Lilies" by Judy Wright Walter

MSW Gold Award “Lake Lilies” by Judy Wright Walter

The artists of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists have been exploring the world through luminous color on paper since the group was founded in 1970. The MSW is one of the largest and most active art organizations headquartered in Arkansas. More than 200 members live and create across the Mid-South and beyond. Their works are widely exhibited in venues both regional and national. Each year their finest productions are gathered in a juried exhibition.

The guest juror for this year’s exhibition is nationally recognized watercolorist, Robert Burridge. From 136 entries submitted by 74 artists, he narrowed the exhibition list to thirty works. Burridge is the Honorary President of the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP) and a Signature Member of both the ISIP and the Philadelphia Water Color Society. He is a recipient of their highest and most prestigious award, the Crest Medal for Achievement in the Arts.

The Mid-Southern Watercolorists hold their meetings on the third Wednesday of each month in the Lecture Hall here at the Arkansas Arts Center. They offer workshops where members can learn from locally and nationally recognized watercolorists. To learn more about the organization, or to join, please visit: MidSouthernWatercolorists.com.

2015 In Memoriam – “Miss Polly” Loibner

1515 Loibner

In these final days of 2015, we pause to look back at 15 who influenced Little Rock’s cultural scene who left us in 2015.

“Miss Polly” Loibner taught Arkansas how to draw!

In the late ’60s, when television in the schools was almost unheard of, the Arkansas Education Television Network sought an art educator to teach elementary-age children across the state via the airwaves, and Frances Pauline “Polly” Loibner took the job.

Using her signature puppets, became THE elementary art teacher for most Arkansans, producing 13 art series for AETN, including “Polly’s Paintbox,” “Everyday Artist,” “Art Parade,” “Sketch Pad,” and “Gazebo.” She did not talk down to kids, but she DID break artistic tasks down into smaller sections to make things easier to do.

Following her 14 years on AETN, Loibner became artist-in-residence for Russellville Public Schools.  Later, she and her husband opened Vango Galleries, billed “a home of fine arts and creative framing,” in Russellville.

Not just a talented teacher, she was also a talented artist. She liked to work in charcoal, pastels, ink and dry brush, acrylics, paints, mixed media and oils.

“I love the drama of nature and I am very happy painting in the open, surrounded by beauty, smells, sounds and feelings,” Loibner to University of the Ozarks when she was a featured artist. “Sometimes the finished painting is an impression of the moment; other times the painting is more abstract. There are times my work shows the struggle; others show the flow of feelings through the brush stroke and the excitement of colors, more real than real. There is no better life on this earth than painting.”

A graduate of University of Central Arkansas, Loibner has won numerous honors and recognition for her work, including Best-In-Show and first place in the contemporary category in the annual Grand Prairie Festival of Arts. Her paintings are in numerous public and private collections throughout Arkansas, as well as in many other states and Mexico.

Loibner was an active member of Mid-Southern Watercolor Society, Southern Watercolor Society, Arkansas League of Artists, National Art Education Association, Arkansas River Valley Art Center, Arkansas Education Association, ART of Russellville, AR Retired Teachers Association and Puppeteers of America.

Arts Abound Tonight at 2nd Friday Art Night

2FAN logo Font sm22nd Friday Art Night proves there is a cure for the Summertime Blues.  It offers visual art, music, food and drink!  You can eat, drink, learn, appreciate, and be merry!

At Historic Arkansas Museum from 5 to 8 pm there will be a free opening reception for two new exhibits: Katherine Rutter & Ginny Sims in the Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists and PopUp in the Rock: The Exhibit in the Second Floor Gallery. Enjoy live music by John Willis and the Late Romantics and #ArkansasMade brews from Moody Brews. Delicious appetizers provided by Boulevard Bread.

Down the street, the Old State House Museum will be offering musical performances by traditional folk artists Mockingbird from 5-8 p.m. The Old State House Museum will be open for self-guided tours and Mockingbird will play in the acoustically-rich 1836 Arkansas House of Representatives chamber. The room is one of the most historically significant rooms in the state, and this is a fun way for you and your family to see and experience it.

A few blocks south, Christ Church will be featuring the works of John and Judy Shantz Honey and their exhibit “Reflections on Abstraction.”

  • John Honey is a member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists and Arkansas League of Artists. He has studied the use of water-based mediums and collage under several nationally recognized artists. He is constantly challenged to find a different approach for including the elements of design in his paintings. He favors abstraction over realism as a means of expression. John’s work has been seen in juried exhibitions at the Arkansas Art Center.
  • Judy Shantz Honey enjoyed an interest in art as a child, and this interest continued through her studies at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and in the Museum School at the Arkansas Arts Center. She has also studied with nationally recognized art instructors in art workshops around the United States and in Mexico.  Watercolor, acrylic, and collage are her primary mediums, with work on paper and on canvas. She is a member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists, the Arkansas League of Artists and the Arkansas Arts Council.