Art Ventures debuted new exhibition Painting In and Painting Out this month, and it is on display through April 30. The exhibition features landscapes that reflect showing artist Carol Hart’s sense of urgency. They recapture every moment of virtual art-practice that she spent as a young woman while creating LifeStyles, a nonprofit organization that highlights the importance of adults with disabilities to their community: everyone is capable of finding their voice through the power of art.

Hart’s landscapes describe the accelerated achievement of her vision of vibrant, active movement laid on with surety, abandon, experimentation, and a tactile approach. They put the viewer inside her mind’s eye as it absorbed every moment of the years between, according to a press release.

Carol Hart was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, and earned her Bachelor in Fine Arts with an emphasis in painting at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. She lives in Fayetteville with her husband Bill and their two cats.

After moving to Arkansas, Carol worked with adults with disabilities for a number of years and later founded LifeStyles, a nonprofit providing critically-needed services for adults with disabilities. Understanding the importance and power of art, Carol established the Blair Art Center for individuals to find their voice and express themselves through a variety of mediums. Today, these LifeStyles artists enthusiastically show their work throughout the region.

Carol is an acrylic and mixed media artist. Her work includes landscapes, figures, and abstracts. She likes to work in series as it gives her the opportunity to fully explore her subjects like her Sew What Series, vintage women in sports paintings, or her current series focusing on memories, reflections, and feelings of home. Her work can be found in galleries in Scottsdale, Little Rock, and Northwest Arkansas. In 2019 she was selected to be in M2 Gallery’s all-female She Show and in 2020, her self-portrait in the M2 Self-portrait Show. Carol had two of her abstracts selected to be in the prestigious 61st Annual Delta Exhibition. Hart was also one of the fine artists featured in the 2020 Art Ventures Exhibit Women Contem-Plate in honor of Women’s History Month at Eclectic Kitchen in Fayetteville. This in-person show became the first online exhibition in the region in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After completing my BA degree in Fine Arts, I was ready to begin my journey as an artist. However, life sometimes presents unimagined changes. After moving to Arkansas, I took a job working with adults with developmental disabilities. I knew right away that that was where I was needed and wanted to be. For the next 36 years my creative energy went toward developing and directing an organization based on the belief that when all are included in the community, all of our lives are enriched. And while I didn’t create paintings during those years, I painted every day with my eyes, savoring the colors and compositions in nature, the movement of the clouds across the sky and the negative shapes created by the tree branches in the winter, and the ongoing inspiration of sharing the making of art with those we served.
Upon retiring, I began painting with a sense of urgency, striving to capture and share through painting, those images I collected over the years. Whether I am painting figures, landscapes, or abstracts, I realize how much I loved the painting process. I use bright colors, bold brush strokes, and create texture by drawing and collaging onto my paintings. I enjoy exploring the push and pull of paint and collage work, painting in and painting out, adding paper, sanding it out, working back and forth until the balance, movement, and complexity of the painting is achieved.