Visitors to Synchrony, Art Ventures’s current exhibit, can view traditional gallery offerings like fine portraits, sculpture, and nature painting, as well as unique garments like knitted face masks and Mexican folk dance costumes in Springdale until the end of the month.
Synchrony consists of more than 30 works of art by artists with ties to Jamaica, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico that span the media of dry pastel, wood, acrylic, fiber, straw, and raffia.
“The artists are a synchrony of opposing and clashing differences and similarities, all coming together to create a reflection of the world we live in,” says Sharon Killian, president of the Art Ventures Board of Directors. “We are connected despite the different cultural impacts we carry.”
A particularly timely piece on exhibit is a black face mask bearing a judge’s jabot, or collar, in tribute to the late Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. With her work, artist Suzannah Schreckhise captures how face masks aren’t merely a public health measure, but also a tool that empowers people to earn their livings and exercise their right to vote during the pandemic.
“Masks are important to us all during the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged vulnerable communities medically and politically,” Killian says. “Mask wearing allows us to vote and to share safe distanced physical space.”
Synchrony also boasts three paintings by Killian, who previously collaborated with local artists to paint the Black Lives Matter mural that sits at the intersection of College and Dickson in Fayetteville. A condemnation of racial injustice and police brutality, Killian’s You’re Killing Me portrays a young Black woman with her hands up against an abstract background of handprints.
“You’re Killing Me is about the sickness caused by the white supremacist system that is the foundation of our country,” Killian says. “My two skyscapes, Blazing Sunset and The Gathering, attest to the survival of my love of life notwithstanding that I’m unsafe because I am Black while living.”
The exhibit has been on view since Oct. 7 and will remain open for limited in-person viewing until the end of the month. Admission is free, but visitors must register online.
Art Ventures has served NWA since 2009, bringing art education and fine art galleries to the region and promoting the work of marginalized artists.
“As the leader of an arts organization where diversity is a tenet, creating an exhibition [like Synchrony] in Springdale had an especially intentional approach for me as a Black person,” Killian says. “All exhibitions we launch, we strive to engage the community from the cultural perspective.”
By the end of the year, the arts organization hopes to open a permanent brick-and-mortar location that will operate as a gallery space. For now, the exhibit is hosted at 101 W. Johnson Ave., Springdale, AR.
Art Ventures’s next exhibit is a completely virtual gallery experience called The Discarnate Landscape. Killian is also preparing an exhibition of work by Native American artists to be shown at the Fayetteville-based Faulkner Performing Arts Center in November.