Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Little Rock Look Back: The City responds to September 11

The Little Rock arts and culture community responded to September 11 as all sectors did.

Two of the groups in particular come to mind. When airspace was closed on September 11, several flights were grounded in Little Rock. The passengers on those planes became unexpected visitors to Little Rock.   Little Rock Mayor Jim Dailey and Assistant City Manager Bruce Moore led efforts to make sure that everyone had a place to stay that evening.

The Arkansas Rep had opened its production of You Can’t Take It with You on Friday, September 7. The show was already scheduled to be dark on September 11, but on Wednesday, September 12, 2001, the performances resumed. That night the Rep offered these unexpected Little Rock guests free tickets to the performance.  Seeing a play which was both heartwarming, comic and full of Americana was the perfect balm for audiences who were weary, confused and nervous in the wake of the terrorist attacks. Most of the cast of that production was from New York City. Luckily, all of their friends and family back in New York were all safe.

Also on September 12, 2001, the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra presented a previously scheduled concert with Michael Bolton.  He had been traveling by bus so was able to get to Little Rock.  His concert was cathartic for the 2000 plus attendees at Robinson Center Music Hall. It offered not only a communal experience but also a welcome break from 24 hour coverage.  Three days later, on September 15, the ASO kicked off its MasterWorks series.  As has been tradition since the days of Francis McBeth as conductor, that first concert of the season began with the National Anthem.  The audience and musicians gathered and sang and played with unprecedented gusto that night.

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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.


Fall in Love with New York City at Arkansas Symphony Orchestra concert

Music from the Big Apple dominates the “Valentines in New York” Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Pops performance. Hear beloved hits from the stage with featured soloists Tony nominated Melissa Errico (My Fair Lady, Amour, High Society, Finian’s Rainbow) and Ryan Silverman (The Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Cry-Baby, Music in the Air). The orchestra will be under the baton of associate conductor Geoffrey Robson.

Saturday is the the 281st birthday of the City that Never Sleeps.  What better way to celebrate it Gotham than by hearing tunes by Frank Loesser, Jerry Herman, Burton Lane & Yip Harburg, George and Ira Gershwin, John Kander and Fred Ebb, Stephen Sondheim, Charles Strouse & Lee Adams among others? Joining these great songs and talented singers will be the talented musicians of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.

The concert is at 8pm tonight and 3pm tomorrow afternoon at Robinson Center Music Hall.

Errico

Silverman