The Arkansas mobile phone photography group @ArkMoPhs is holding an opening reception for its 5th Annual EXPLORE ARKANSAS exhibit. The exhibit will be on display at the Batesville Area Arts Council  beginning June 15 through July 28. The opening reception takes place June 15 from 5 to 7 p.m.

With the emergence of premium camera capabilities on mobile phones and tablets, the art form of phoneography has emerged. “Phoneography” is the art of photography using only a mobile device (smartphone, pad or tablet) for shooting and editing photos. The first of its kind, ArkMoPhs (Arkansas Mobile Phoneographers) is an Arkansas-only social media community for mobile phoneographers to share artistic images of people, places and things in the Natural State.

ArkMoPhs was founded by Conway resident Tommy Wallace, who picked up an Android mobile phone in 2012 and has been hooked on the new art form ever since. Wallace immersed himself in learning as much as he could from people engaging in the global mobile photography community and pursued building a phoneography community for his home state of Arkansas.

“We began a little over four years ago with this idea of creating a virtual community of Arkansas-only smartphone photographers and it has really taken off,” Wallace said. “We now have four talented moderators leading our group and Arkansans have logged about  45,000 images to the #ArkMoPhs hashtag.”

Julie Graves, “Foggy Reflections,” category: things

“You don’t have to be a professional photographer. In fact, anyone who has a knack for snapping beautiful photos with their smartphone in Arkansas can participate in the group and enter the 5th EXPLORE ARKANSAS competition,” said Wallace.

The ArkMoPhs group finds its primary home as an Instagram community (@ArkMoPhs). The group also uses Twitter (@ArkMoPhs) and Facebook ( for photo sharing and promoting events and online training opportunities.  In addition to Wallace, ArkMoPhs is moderated by Keith Melton of North Little Rock, Crystal Nordin of Pottsville and Lana Yates of Plainview.

EXPLORE ARKANSAS photo entries are accepted for three categories: People, Places and Things of Arkansas. All photos must be taken within the borders of Arkansas and shot and edited only with the aid of mobile devices. A panel of four jurors has selected 30 out of 225 images submitted for the exhibit. This year’s judges are University of Central Arkansas Art Education Professor, Dr. Deborah Kuster; Lyon College Assistant Professor of Art, Ian Campbell; University of Central Arkansas Downtown Gallery Curator, Kristen Spickard; and KARK 4 and FOX 16 News Reporter, Chanley Painter.

“We are thrilled to display this year’s photo exhibit at the Batesville Area Arts Council,” said Wallace. “I graduated from Batesville High School and I’m excited to be back now to share Arkansas’ best smartphone photos in a great gallery like BAAC. It’s wonderful to know that two Batesville photographers are included in this year’s show. Julie Graves and Damian DeLoach, both of Batesville, have had photos selected in the past and I’m excited that theirs will join 28 others from around our state.”

AT&T will provide prizes for the top ranking photo selected by the judges in each of the three contest categories. All three winners will receive an AT&T ­Samsung Galaxy S9 smartphone during the opening reception on June 15.

“Before our second exhibit in 2015, AT&T Arkansas initiated a partnership that introduced awarding prizes of smartphones to our top photographers in our annual exhibits,” said Wallace. “AT&T has also provided numerous smartphones to ArkMoPhs volunteers who teach phoneography to students in a Conway after school program. Many of the students do not have ongoing access to smartphones and editing apps, so it’s amazing to see them learn, adapt quickly and hone their artistic skills through technology.”

ArkMoPhs welcomes anyone who enjoys photography to see for yourself what can be accomplished with a smartphone and a bit of creativity. We love to introduce folks to this wonderful hobby and are ready to answer your questions, help you get started, or just have you tag along.

Launched February 19, 2014 by Tommy Wallace, ArkMoPhs is a social media community that gathers Arkansas Mobile Phoneographers from around the state for the purpose of sharing, learning, and growing in their phoneography skills. @ArkMoPhs daily features a member and one of their best photos to expose their work to the rest of the Instagram, Facebook and Twitter community.

Featured image:  Damian DeLoach, “River Nimbus,” category: places