Documentary about Arkansas Arts Center’s 60th Delta Show wins award at Fayetteville Film Fest

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DELTA 60, an Arkansas Arts Center original documentary film, was awarded “Best Arkansas Connection” at the 2019 Fayetteville Film Fest.  

The Fayetteville Film Fest, now in its 11th year, champions independent films and filmmakers and works to build relationships between filmmakers and supporters. DELTA 60, which was directed by Arts Center Digital Media Producer Matthew Rowe and co-produced by Rowe and Director of Marketing and Communications Angel Galloway, was screened at the annual film festival in Fayetteville on October 5.

The hour-long documentary explores the innovative work featured in the 60th Annual Delta Exhibition through the eyes of 10 Arkansas artists. Following the artists as they create work that addresses place, identity, representation and history, DELTA 60 proves the power of art to challenge its viewers – and its makers.

While the Delta Exhibition has been an important Arkansas Arts Center tradition for more than 60 years, DELTA 60 is the first documentary film to explore the exhibition in depth.

Every year, the Annual Delta Exhibition – which was founded in 1958 – offers a snapshot of the art being made in the Mississippi River Delta region at that moment. For 61 years, the Annual Delta Exhibition has offered a conversation about its time and place, with artists often reflecting on the landscape, people and history of the region. With DELTA 60, Arts Center producers looked to offer a fresh perspective on the Delta Exhibition.

“When we began capturing individual artist stories during the 60th anniversary Delta Exhibition last year, we realized that these stories were really part of something bigger,” Galloway said. “While we only introduce you to 10 artists in this film, this exhibition has been shining a light on regional artists across the Delta for 61 years. This film is really a celebration of that history, and all those artists who shared their vision and voice with our community.”

DELTA 60 follows both emerging and established artists as they work, joining them in their studios, homes and on the road as they dive into their craft, motivation and vision. The artists featured in the film provide a unique lens through which to view the Delta Exhibition:

Melissa Cowper-Smith uses handmade paper as an active surface for reflections on what is remembered and what is forgotten.

Neal Harrington’s large-scale woodcuts create a sense of mythology and folklore tied to the Ozark region.

Tammy Harrington explores her Chinese heritage through intricately layered prints and cut paper works.

Robyn Horn’s wood sculptures articulate the tensions inherent in the natural world.

Tim Hursley, a photographer for world-famous architects, finds the beauty in the agricultural structures of rural Arkansas.

Lisa Krannichfeld’s female figures demand their space while rejecting easy interpretation.

James Matthews humanizes the overlooked places with quilts made from the things that are left behind. 

Dusty Mitchell uses found objects to challenge the assumed relationship between an object and its viewer.

Aj Smith seeks to provide a window into the souls of his subjects with intimate portraits.

Marjorie Williams-Smith invites her viewer to take a closer look her metalpoint self-portraits – and at themselves.

“These artists are reacting to their environment and, in doing so, challenging the way we see the things we see all the time. Several of the artists profiled are concerned with nature and land. Others still are trying to understand its people and its culture,” Rowe said. “It is my hope that viewers will be able to watch each artist’s story and gain a better understanding of their own world.”

DELTA 60 was produced by Angel Galloway and Matthew Rowe with original music written by Isaac Alexander. DELTA 60 is sponsored by Anne and Merritt Dyke and the Philip R. Jonsson Foundation. In addition, this project is supported in part by a grant from the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit arkansasartscenter.org or call 501-372-4000. To view the DELTA 60 trailer, visit youtu.be/Ka0AzI9pT3E.

#5WomenArtists – Robyn Horn

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.  Up next is Robyn Horn. She is a talented artist who also is an avid collector and promoter of other artists.

Born in Fort Smith, Horn graduated from Hendrix College with a degree in art.  In the late 1970s, she was the photographer for Arkansas Parks and Tourism.

Her work as an wood artist started in 1983.  Since then, she has worked in a variety of styles that have evolved over the years. Horn is drawn to abstract, geometric sculpture, the volume of it, the form, the textures, the negative spaces. She is influenced by the nature of the material and its resistance to being changed and thinks in terms of wood and stone,.  Her works explore line and mass, the interplay of angles and planes to create effects of light and shadow, with a strong emphasis on visual grace, and a sense of structural strength and unity.  She has also resumed painting.

Currently her works can be seen at the Clinton Presidential Center (in the White House Craft exhibit which runs through the end of the month) and at Galleries at Library Square on the CALS campus. Her work is also part of the Arkansas Arts Center permanent collection as well as on display at Crystal Bridges and other locations throughout Arkansas and beyond.  In 2018, she published a book The Sculpture of Robyn Horn.

2nd Friday Art Night at CALS Library Square

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The Bookstore at Library Square Gallery is proud to present “T.C. Tributes. Collections. Artists Inspired by T.C. Edwards” This exhibit celebrates the life of legendary rocker T. C. Edwards, the autistic lead singer in the band T. C. & The Eddies. Catch live music by Bill Jagitsch (AKA Bluesboy Jag) lead guitarist for T.C. & The Eddies, and EC Haynes at this very special 2nd Friday Art Night event.

At the CALS Bobby Roberts Library – Part to Whole: The Making of Art, the Artist, and the Artist Group with artists Mia Hall, Robyn Horn, Dolores Justus, Barbara Satterfield, Sandra Sell, and Elizabeth Weber

The newest exhibition tells the story of how work is made, why work is made, who the artist is, and how ongoing conversations among like-minded artists often lead to wholes greater than the sum of their parts.

Three other continuing exhibitions include Terry Brewer’s work from his time in Nepal, Charles Henry James in our Concordia Gallery, and Ron Robinson’s collection of vintage movie posters.

Little Rock Look Back: Arkansas Arts Center celebrates with week of Grand Reopening activities in February 2000

On February 17, 2000, over three thousand people attended the Arkansas Arts Center members preview of the new and renovated galleries as part of a week long celebration. It culminated in Big Art Weekend in which the building was open for 72 hours with around the clock programming.

Donors to the project, media, and Arkansas museum professionals had each received sneak peeks of the new facility earlier in the week. On Friday, February 18, the Big Art Weekend got underway with a gallery tour of a variety of Little Rock galleries. (This was before 2nd Friday Art Night.)  Lectures, tours, and other special events populated the building on Saturday and Sunday the 19th and 20th.  In addition, the Children’s Theatre was performing Aladdin and the Wonderful Lamp..

The renovation had taken over 18 months and cost $12 million.  It added 30,000 square feet of gallery space.  The expanded gallery space featured these exhibits: Paul Signac Watercolors and Drawings: Selections from the James T. Dyke Collection; Without Parameters: Selections from the Permanent Collection; Recent Acquisitions; Prophets, Parables and Paradoxes: Recent Drawings by David Bailin; Artistic Processes: Drawing; Living with Form: The Horn Collection of Contemporary Crafts; and European Paintings and Drawings.

The latter exhibit included eight pieces that were promised gifts from the Jackson T. Stephens collection.  They were Edgar Degas’ Dance in Blue (Before the Class, Three Dancers (c. late 1880s), Pablo Picasso’s Still Life with Red Bull’s Head (1938), Claude Monet’s Apple Trees Near Vetheuil (1878), Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s Three Partridges (c. 1888-1890), Alfred Sisley’s Road on the Edge of the Loing (1891), Camille Pissarro’s The Raised Terrace of the Pont-Neuf, Place Henri IV in Morning Rain (1902), Berthe Morisot’s The Flute Player (1890) and Bertrand Redon’s Vase of Flowers (c. 1890).

18 Cultural Events of 2018 – White House Collection of American Crafts: 25th Anniversary Exhibit at the Clinton Center

PIERCED GEODE by Robyn Horn

The White House Collection of American Crafts was commissioned by First Lady Hillary Clinton and President Bill Clinton in 1993 as part of the “Year of American Craft: A Celebration of the Creative Work of the Hand.” The collection includes 73 works of glass, metal, ceramic, fiber, and wood, created by seventy-seven of America’s foremost artists. This 25th anniversary exhibit opened at the Clinton Presidential Center on September 17, 2018 and runs through March 31, 2019. (NOTE: During the government shutdown, the exhibits in the Clinton Center are closed, though the restaurant and museum store remain open.)

The Clintons thought of the White House as the American people’s house and a 200-year-old living museum of American art and history. As First Lady, Hillary Clinton promoted the arts and culture through many initiatives. One of those, The White House Collection of American Crafts, presented a wonderful opportunity to display contemporary American crafts in the formal public rooms of the White House.

The pieces within the collection illustrate the skill, imagination, and vitality
characteristic of craft in the 1990s. Using glass, wood, clay, fiber and metal, these
artisans reveal their ability to manipulate materials in inventive ways, expressing their
creative vision in objects of striking beauty. Despite the increasing emergence of
computer technology and industrial design at the time, the collection displays the
intimate and physical qualities of handmade objects.

The collection features work by 78 artists, ranging from established to emerging in
their mediums in the 1990s, including Dale Chihuly, Cliff Lee, Sam Maloof, and Joan
Mondale, among others. Six Arkansas artisans are part of the collection, including
Michael Haley and Susy Siegele; Robyn Horn; Leon Niehues and Sharon Niehues;
and Ed Pennebaker.

“Mrs. Clinton took her role as First Lady and temporary custodian of America’s house
very seriously,” said Stephanie S. Streett, executive director of the Clinton
Foundation. “She worked tirelessly to make the White House a showplace for the very
best of American artistry. With this exhibition, she hoped to elevate the role and
visibility of American Craft and its artisans. Mrs. Clinton has always believed in the
power of art to uplift and inspire, and I’m thrilled that visitors of all ages will have the
opportunity to see this beautiful collection in its entirety.”

18 Cultural Events from 2018 – Windgate Center for Art + Design opens at UA Little Rock

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Photo of Windgate Center (courtesy UA Little Rock Department of Art and Design)

2. In February, the new WIndgate Center for Art + Design opened on the UA Little Rock campus.  This 65,000 square foot building put, for the first time, all of the art and design programs under the same roof.  In addition to classrooms, it features two gallery spaces.

The Windgate Center of Art + Design building is physically divided into two distinct architectural forms based on the distinctly unique use of the spaces. However both forms are connected and share common building utilities and circulation patterns. The Applied Design area of the building is a single story high bay industrial style space that lends itself to 3 dimensional forms of art. The Visual Arts portion of the building is a 3-story structural steel framed building to house the typical classrooms, galleries, lecture hall, admin area and other miscellaneous spaces that make up the visual arts program.

The Windgate Center of Art + Design building is designed to have a strong community presence to help strengthen the various community partnerships that have been forged over the years. Access for gallery shows, art festivals and other events is an important component in the building design.

Sustainable measures are fully integrated into the building orientation, exterior envelope and support systems to support energy and long-term maintenance efficiencies. The building will pursue LEED Gold and is currently being registered in the LEED Certification program.

As part of the Windgate Foundation’s commitment to the project, the University pledged to raise $3 million in scholarships for art students.

In October of 2018, a new seven foot tall wooden sculpture by Robyn Horn was installed at the entrance to the building and dedicated.