South Arkansas Arts Center to Host American Watercolor Society Exhibition


The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center invites the public to the American Watercolor Society’s 149th Annual International Exhibition which will open in the Price and Merkle Galleries on October 4 and run through October 27.  A reception is planned for Thursday, October 13 from 5:00-6:30pm. This exhibit is being sponsored by local art lovers who are excited to have these important paintings in the SAAC galleries.  It is free and open to the public MondayFriday from9:00-5:00.

The AWS Exhibition is one of the premiere watercolor exhibits in the world.  More than 1,100 artists from throughout the United States and 22 foreign countries submitted their work to a panel of jurors chosen from Signature Members of the AWS.  Of these submissions (one per artist), 147 paintings were selected for the New York exhibition.  Forty paintings from the show were then selected by the Jury of Awards for the Traveling Exhibition, which tours museums and galleries across the country. The South Arkansas Arts Center is one of only six exhibition sites across the United States. The winners of the Gold and Silver Medals of Honor and High Winds Medal winner are also included in this exhibit of important watercolor paintings.

Well-known local watercolorist Sandy Bennett said, “I can’t wait to see this exhibit! We seldom get the opportunity to see eminent American watercolorists like Tony Couch and Stephen Quiller in a local gallery.  Renowned watercolorists Pat Dews, Linda Baker, George James, John Salminen, and Mark Mehaffey are also in this exhibit.” Sandy has served on the SAAC Board of Directors and the SAAC Visual Arts Committee.

Organized in 1866, the American Watercolor Society is one of the oldest and most prestigious art societies in the world.  Election to the Society as a Signature Member is one of the most sought-after honors in the painting world.

For more information about the exhibit, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or see the website at  SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

Image:  “Urban Playground” by Ken Call, is the winner of the High Winds Medal from the American Watercolor Society exhibition.

Art of Fashion Lecture to feature Qui Style’s Mangue Banzima at Ark. Arts Center


mangue-banzimaOn Thursday, September 29, the New York fashion scene comes to the Arkansas Arts Center with noted fashion blogger and stylist Mangue Banzima. With over 15 years of experience in New York City fashion, client services, management and consulting, Banzima is the founder of Qui Style, a fashion and lifestyle blog that documents and forecasts current trends on the streets of New York City.

A passionate shopper of luxury and custom made to measure, and an enthusiast of people and their personal style, Banzima captures signature looks and original personalities in every street fashion shot.
He has served as a stylist for numerous fashion magazines and publications. As a creative and business consultant, he also advises companies and professionals in the arts, law, business and fashion worlds.

The lecture, which begins at 6 p.m. in the Arkansas Arts Center Lecture Hall, will be preceded by a wine reception at 5:30 p.m. and followed by an Art After Hours late night event with galleries, restaurant and shop remaining open until 9 p.m.

His lecture, Street Denim, coincides with an ongoing exhibition at the Arts Center: Cut, Pieced, and Stitched: Denim Drawings by Jim Arendt. The exhibition, held in conjunction with the ACANSA Arts Festival, features ten, life-sized portraits of the artist’s family members and close friends made out of denim, a durable, traditional material used to manufacture jeans. Cut, Pieced, and Stitched is currently on view in the Arts Center Atrium gallery and runs through October 23.

The lecture is FREE for members, $10 for non-members. Seating is limited; reservations are required. Call 501-372-4000 for tickets.

Boswell Mourot Fine Art hosting works by Anais Dasse’

Anais Dasse’s powerful mixed media works Kids Are Terrible People Too and The Daughter were among the highlights of this year’s Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center.

The artist, a native of Bayonne, France, now living in Arkansas, has a much-anticipated solo exhibition at Boswell Mourot Fine Art. And it does not disappoint.

Dasse’s works — which can include gesso, charcoal, pencil, collage and oil on paper — are unsettling, but compelling pieces that embrace tribal-inspired patterns and symbols, references to the South’s religion and culture, American pop culture, literary allusions and more. It’s a sort of Lord of the Flies, somewhat primal/fever dream vision that works because of her skillful technique and an unfolding, thoughtful narrative that links these works.

The children and young adults she depicts live as feral creatures in nature. Often they have a sort of deer-in-the-headlights gaze as Dasse uses light to illuminate this hidden culture and its activities. Her work can be seen from a number of perspectives as Dasse walks the line that borders reality, imagination, the dreamtime, the natural world and points in between. Because some hold guns, one can’t help but think of this region’s gun culture, the child soldiers of war and children displaced and damaged by conflict.

Among the standouts are The Wedding, a 46-by-46-inch work of two young ones holding hands; the female has a pistol, pointing toward the ground. They are surrounded by herons and stunningly illuminated by vivid white light. In The Watcher, a girl, surrounded by owls, holds a rifle. The owls, like the other creatures in these works, are unafraid. Clearly, a bonding exists. One that most in our culture have lost.

The artist, who has also been a scientific illustrator, has created an imagined world that mesmerizes as it challenges the viewer on artistic, spiritual and intellectual levels.

New works by Anais Dasse, through Oct. 1, Boswell Mourot Fine Art, 5815 Kavanaugh Blvd., Little Rock. Hours: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and by appointment. Info: (501) 664-0030.

The Art Department at Thea Foundation presents Kat Wilson

Thea Foundation presents The Art Department’s next installment will feature the works of Bentonville-based photographer Kat Wilson in an exhibition titled Habitats: Bentonville and will debut with a reception Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at Thea Foundation.

On November 4, $10 at the door covers heavy hors d’oeuvres by Ben E. Keith, an open beer and wine bar, a live musical performance by The Funkanites and the chance to win an original work by Wilson.

Wilson’s photographs have been published widely, including in the Washington Post, Oxford American, Los Angeles Times and most recently the Virginia Quarterly Review. A ten-time participant in the annual Arkansas Arts Center’s Delta Exhibition, Wilson has achieved numerous awards for her work.

About Habitats: Bentonville, Wilson said, “A habitat is the zone in which an organism lives and where it can find food, shelter, protection, and a mate for reproduction. Whether natural or physical, the environment that surrounds and sustains a species has long been subject matter for art. From John James Audubon to Walton Ford, composing a singular image that captures the essential details related to a species’ habitat has advanced our understanding of the world around us.”

In previous editions of Wilson’s Habitat photographs, emphasis was placed on the possessions and physical spaces occupied by each subject. A bias toward a dignified, somewhat regal, presentation of each sitter or group was intended. The majority of subjects were life-long friends or family of the artist, and the series shows an intention by Wilson to fashion her origins as an artist by capturing images of those who have been an influence in her life. Through portraiture of others, the series is a portrait of the artist.

The process of creating Habitats: Bentonville began with the artist cultivating new relationships in her new hometown, Bentonville, Arkansas. In contrast to previous Habitat photographs, each subject in the new series was able to compose his/her own environment for the camera. The photographs are a record of individual self-expression, but unlike social media where we each have an executive role in our highly edited self-styling, Wilson’s photographs present a genuine examination of the details of each subject and habitat zone. Seeking to capture as much information as possible about a subject in one composition, the images of Habitats: Bentonville are specifically contrived, but of honest evidence.

Wilson’s exhibition will be on display at Thea Foundation through the month of November. Thea Foundation is located at 401 Main Street in North Little Rock. Gallery hours are M – F, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1 – 5 p.m.  For more information, visit, call 501-379-9512 or email


90’s rockers The Posies set to play Capitol View Studio in Little Rock

Newly opened Capitol View Studio will host legendary ‘90s rock ‘n’ roll band The Posies as part of the band’s “pop-up show” tour on Sept. 29.  This event will also serve as a “soft opening” for the studio, which will host its grand opening later in the fall.

“We are thrilled to be a part of The Posies’ tour as we establish our place in the Little Rock music and art scene. We have a lot in store for our community that we are also excited to announce very soon.” said Bryan Frazier, studio founder.

Similar to their spring U.S. tour, this month The Posies will kick off a series of ‘pop-up shows’ in non-traditional venues across the country. Rather than visiting the usual clubs or bars, the band will play mostly alternative venues.

As part of the tour, the Seattle-rooted band will be promoting their eighth album, Solid States. Tickets are extremely limited for this full band show with new drummer Frankie Siragusa. Along with a special guest—Little Rock’s own Sarah Stricklin of local rock band Bad Match—this will be a magical event not to be missed.

About The Posies

Rock ‘n’ roll has rarely been as smart, soulful or satisfying as in the hands of The Posies. During an on/off career that’s stretched across four decades, led by musical sages Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow, the band has shaped and re-shaped their sound, creating one of the more compelling catalogues in modern pop.

Their latest release, Solid States, marks dramatic changes in the lives, the music and the evolution of the band. When The Posies’ long time drummer, Darius Minwalla, died unexpectedly last year, founding members Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow were devastated. Hard as it was to continue without such a close friend and great musician, the moment called for a reinvention. The band’s usual method of getting into a room and banging out the music, garage band style, was over. Instead, the ideas coming from Jon and Ken were fragile, the moods contemplative on themes such as death, divorce and loss, all while hanging onto the fleeting joys of life.

Despite this thematic change, the Posies still retain their legendary melodic abilities, their trademark vocal harmonies and their lyrical agility as they continue to explore and grow. The multi­year gaps between albums are typically spent in countless other projects that bring new skills, sounds, experiences and people to the picture.

During the pop-up tour, the band will present the album live in a new format, incorporating laptop elements along with guitars, keyboards and drums, highlighting the signature risk-taking and exploration The Posies are known for.

Check out ‘Squirrel vs. Snake’ a song from the upcoming album SOLID STATES:


Capitol View Studio LLC is a multi-purpose creative space focusing on a full-scale professional recording studio, performance venue and art space. Founder and proprietor Bryan Frazier is an award-winning singer/songwriter and video producer with a background in art education and music production. Among his most recent accolades, he had two original works selected for the 58th annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in 2016.

Bryan is also the founder of Arkansas Music and Arts Foundation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that partners with Capitol View Studio on many events and philanthropic ventures but serves independently from the studio in daily operations. AMA Foundation is housed at Capitol View Studio for general board meetings and events.

Engineer and producer Mark Colbert is the primary audio engineer for Capitol View Studio. Mark is an experienced producer, engineer and professional studio session drummer. He also serves as the sound engineer at The Rev Room in Little Rock, AR. Mark has spent many years working in professional studios in Los Angeles and has performed and recorded with Grammy-award winning artists such as Kelly Clarkson and Alanis Morissette, among many others.

For more information on the studio or the foundation, visit


Arkansas Arts Council Announces Recipients of 2016 Individual Artist Fellowship Awards


The Arkansas Arts Council is pleased to announce the recipients of its Individual Artist Fellowship awards. The artists will be recognized at a reception from 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 13, at Historic Arkansas Museum on 200 E. Third Street in Little Rock. Refreshments will be served in the Stella Boyle Smith Atrium at 5:30 with the awards program beginning at 6 in the Ottenheimer Theater. Seating is limited; RSVP by Friday, Oct. 7, by calling (501) 324-9348 or emailing

Awarded annually, the fellowships recognize individual artistic ability and creative excellence in literary, performing and visual arts. These $4,000 fellowships enable artists to set aside time for creating their art and improving their skills. Three artistic disciplines are selected each year as categories for the awards.

The three categories for this year are Literary Arts: Poetry; Performing Arts: Music Composition – Folk/Gospel/Jazz/Pop; and Visual Arts: Painting. The recipients were selected by a jury of professional artists, writers and performers.

Literary Arts: Poetry
Megan Blankenship, Little Rock
Renee Emerson, Jonesboro
H.K. Hummel, Little Rock

Performing Arts: Music Composition – Folk/Gospel/Jazz/Pop
Charles L. (Charley) Sandage, Mountain View
Rachel Brick aka Rachel Fields, Fayetteville
Derrick K. Gibbs, Benton

Visual Arts: Painting
Dustyn John Bork, Batesville
Heidi Carlsen-Rogers, Bella Vista
Steve Spencer, Little Rock

About the Arkansas Arts Council
The Arkansas Arts Council advances the arts in Arkansas by providing services and supporting arts endeavors that encourage and assist literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. In addition, the Arkansas Arts Council provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs.

The Arkansas Arts Council is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Other agencies are the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Old State House Museum. Funding for the Arkansas Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Arkansas and theNational Endowment for the Arts.

Cynthia Post Hunt brings community experiment performance to Crystal Bridges


cynthiaposthunt-september2016On Thursday, September 15, at 7pm, Cynthia Post Hunt will be performing as part of the Performance Lab Series at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The new work, entitled “to have to hold to” is a fully participatory experience.

Each attendee will have the opportunity to engage with the artist, and with the audience. No experience is necessary, and all are welcome. The performance will take place from 7pm – 8pm followed by an informal question and answer session complete with a cash bar.

Post Hunt performed the first iteration of this piece as part of the Industry of the Ordinary’s Summer Residency Program at Mana Contemporary Chicago just last month. Readapted for a solo performance in the Great Hall at Crystal Bridges, Post Hunt’s aim is to provoke the audience into action. The work requires determination, trust, and acceptance from the artist and the participants.

Photo by Emerson Sigman

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces 2017 temporary exhibitions

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art announces its 2017 temporary exhibitions: Border Cantos: Sight & Sound Explorations from the Mexican-American Border; Chihuly: In the Forest & In the Gallery; and Stuart Davis: In Full Swing.

“Crystal Bridges roster of temporary exhibitions for 2017 celebrate a diverse group of artists and media. They offer visitors a variety of ways to embrace the American spirit in gallery and outdoor settings,” said Margi Conrads, Crystal Bridges Director of Curatorial Affairs. “Visitors can explore the complex issues surrounding the US-Mexican border; experience transformative glass installations in the museum and on our grounds; and enjoy more than 100 artworks from a preeminent figure in American Modernism.”

Richard Misrach: Wall, East of Nogales, Arizona, 2014

Richard Misrach – Wall, East of Nogales, Arizona, 2014
El muro, al este de Nogales, Arizona
Pigment print, 60 × 80 in., Courtesy of the artist

Border Cantos: Sight & Sound Explorations from the Mexican-American Border
Richard Misrach | Guillermo Galindo
February 18 – April 24, 2017

Migration has an impact on both people and landscape. Border Cantos, a unique collaboration between American photographer Richard Misrach and Mexican composer Guillermo Galindo, harnesses the power of art to explore, share, and humanize the complex issues surrounding the borderlands between the United States and Mexico. The artists created works of photography, sculpture, and sound that document and transform artifacts from the border. Misrach’s large-scale photographs, along with inventory-like grids of smaller photographs, highlight issues surrounding immigration and how they have affected regions and people. Responding to these photographs, Galindo fashioned sound-generating sculptures from items Misrach collected from the border, such as water bottles, Border Patrol “drag tires,” spent shotgun shells, ladders, and sections of the border wall itself. The sounds they produce give voices to people through the personal belongings they have left behind. 

Presented in English and Spanish, Border Cantos sheds light on the complexities of immigration and transforms these issues into resonant works of art, inviting us to bridge boundaries and initiate conversations. There is no ticket fee for Border Cantos. 

Border Cantos premiered at San Jose Museum of Art and then travels to the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, before it arrives at Crystal Bridges.


Dale Chihuly with Tumbleweeds, Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington, 1993

Dale Chihuly with Tumbleweeds
Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Washington, 1993

Chihuly: In the Gallery and In the Forest (June 3 – August 14, 2017)
Chihuly: In the Forest (August 16 – November 13, 2017)

  Dale Chihuly, an American sculptor, has mastered the translucent and transparent qualities of ice, water, glass and neon, to create works of art that transform the everyday experience.  He is globally renowned for his ambitious site-specific installations in public spaces, as well as exhibitions presented in museums and gardens.Crystal Bridges is pleased to present extensive indoor and outdoor installations, featuring new works by the artist, as well as iconic works spanning the breadth of his career. 

 Chihuly: In the Gallery will be on view in the museum’s temporary exhibition gallery from June 3 – August 14, 2017. Chihuly: In the Forestwill be on view in the museum’s north forest from June 3 – November 13, 2017. A special members-only previews will take place May 27 – June 2, 2017. Ticket price: $20 In the Forest and In the Gallery; $10 In the Forest once the gallery portion closes. [Free for Members.] 

Presented in the museum’s temporary exhibition space, visitors will journey through key moments of Chihuly’s impressive body of work. Immersive areas include the Northwest Room, displaying Chihuly’s slumped glass baskets together with examples from Chihuly’s own collection of Northwest Coast Native American baskets, which inspired them. The Persian Room will bathe guests in brilliant colors of Chihuly glass from above. In the newly enhanced north forest, multiple dramatic Chihuly installations will be on-view along the gently curving paths, accessible to all.

 Born in 1941 in Washington State, Chihuly established the glass program at the Rhode Island School of Design and co-founded Pilchuck Glass School in Washington. He has received numerous awards and honorary degrees and has works of art included in more than 250 museum collections.

 This exhibition is organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in cooperation with Dale Chihuly. The work displayed is protected by copyright.

 The north forest enhancements are part of a multi-phased project which includes a new entrance on the northeast side of the museum, expected to open in the spring of 2017. The entrance will be accompanied by an elevator tower and a pedestrian bridge that will connect visitors to the Chihuly installation and provide better access to the north lawn and trail system from the museum.

Stuart Davis: Visa, 1951

Stuart Davis, Visa, 1951, Oil on canvas, 40 x 52 in. The Museum of Modern Art, New York;
gift of Mrs. Gertrud A.Mellon, 1953

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing
September 16, 2017 – January 8, 2018

Stuart Davis (1892–1964) ranks as a preeminent figure in American modern art, with a career that stretched from the early twentieth century well into the early 1960s. Over the course of his sixty-year career, Davis invented an artistic vocabulary of bold colors and strong forms, informed by his enthusiasm for jazz. Born in Philadelphia, Davis began as an illustrator of the urban life around New York, and after a year in Paris become one of the first American artists to bring the lessons of French avant garde art into American painting. He combined text and image, and blurred distinctions between high and low art, and abstraction and figuration, ultimately forging a union of international Modernism and uniquely American imagery that continues to influence art being made today.

This major retrospective will focus on three phases of Davis’s work: from 1927 to 1937, in which he applied the forms of Cubism to still-lifes and landscapes; from 1938 to 1943, during which his work increased in both size and abstraction; and from 1944 to Davis’s death in 1964, in which he invented a new abstract language that merged the aesthetics of advertising and jazz with language, and an American-inspired subject matter.  Ticket price: $8. [Free for Members.]

This exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, by curators Barbara Haskell and Harry Cooper with Sarah Humphreville. It will be at the Whitney Museum of American Art, National Gallery of Art, and the de Young Museum, San Francisco before coming to Crystal Bridges. Major support is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

“We are excited to welcome visitors to explore the 2017 exhibitions, both in the galleries and on the grounds,” said Conrads. “In conjunction with these exhibitions, we will offer programs that provide a deeper understanding of artworks and help create powerful new connections to the American story.”


Arkansas Arts Council to Award Mini Grants to Schools and Organizations for Artist Residencies

The Arkansas Arts Council is accepting applications for two of its mini grant programs: Arts in Education Mini Grants and Arts for Lifelong Learning Mini Grants. Both grants provide funding for residency programs that will occur between Oct. 1, 2016, and August 31, 2017. The residencies may last up to 10 days. Applications are available at in the “Available Grants” section.

The Arts in Education Mini Grant program provides funding for pre-K-12 schools and community organizations to bring artists listed on the Arts in Education Artist Roster into the classroom or into an after-school or summer program to present a hands-on, curriculum-based or character-centered artist residency program. The Arts in Education Artist Roster is a listing of professional Arkansas artists of all disciplines who have been selected by an independent panel to participate in Arts in Education residency programs. The program will also allow schools and organizations the opportunity to present a professional development workshop for educators in curriculum-based arts activities either in conjunction with, or instead of, an artist residency. Applicants must show a 1:1 match of cash and/or in-kind contributions.

The Arts for Lifelong Learning Mini Grant program enriches the lives of adults of all experience levels, ages and abilities through quality arts learning experiences. This program provides funding for institutions that wish to host a residency program using artists listed on the Arts in Education Roster. Arts activities that include multigenerational populations are especially encouraged. Eligible institutions include community-based or governmental organizations, such as facilities and/or organizations for elders; hospitals; counseling or rehabilitation centers; social service agencies; prisons or detention centers; and organizations that provide facilities and/or guidance for disabled adults. In addition, institutions of higher education, museums, libraries and community centers that offer educational programming for adult populations are encouraged to apply. Applicants must show a 1:1 match of cash and/or in-kind contributions. The deadline for both grant programs is ongoing until the money is spent or until August 31, 2017, whichever happens first. For more information, contact Cynthia Haas, Arts in Education program manager, at 501-324-9769 or

About the Arkansas Arts Council

The Arkansas Arts Council advances the arts in Arkansas by providing services and supporting arts endeavors that encourage and assist literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. In addition, the Arkansas Arts Council provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs.

The Arkansas Arts Council is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Other agencies are the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Old State House Museum. Funding for the Arkansas Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Arkansas and theNational Endowment for the Arts.

Arkansas Arts Council Seeks Nominations for 2017 Arkansas Living Treasure

The Arkansas Arts Council is seeking nominations for the 2017 Arkansas Living Treasure. Deadline for nominations is Friday, Oct. 21, 2016. Nomination forms are available at or by calling (501) 324-9766.

Since 2002, the Arkansas Living Treasure program honors an Arkansan who is outstanding in the creation of a traditional craft and has significantly contributed to the preservation of the art form. Nominations of artists who work in traditional craft forms such as weaving, broom making, leatherworking, metalsmithing and wood carving, toy making and doll making are encouraged.

An independent panel of practicing craft artists and professionals in the fields of craft and folk art will select the recipient based on the following criteria: quality of work, community outreach and total contribution to the field of traditional crafts.

The awardee will be honored at a reception in May 2017 during Arkansas Heritage Month. For more information, contact Robin Muse McClea, artist services program manager, at (501) 324-9348 or

About the Arkansas Arts Council

The Arkansas Arts Council advances the arts in Arkansas by providing services and supporting arts endeavors that encourage and assist literary, performing and visual artists in achieving standards of professional excellence. In addition, the Arkansas Arts Council provides technical and financial assistance to Arkansas arts organizations and other providers of cultural and educational programs.

The Arkansas Arts Council is an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. Other agencies are the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission, Arkansas State Archives, Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Historic Arkansas Museum, Mosaic Templars Cultural Center and the Old State House Museum. Funding for the Arkansas Arts Council and its programs is provided by the State of Arkansas and theNational Endowment for the Arts.