Arkansas Arts Center Partners with Central Arkansas Library System to Display Artwork

Nov 21, 2018

CALS Director Nate Coulter visits the Art Start Program
Credit Arkansas Arts Center

The Arkansas Arts Center and the Central Arkansas Library System are working together to make sure some of the center’s most popular pieces will still be viewable to the public after the center closes next year for renovations.

The center says this partnership is the first of several it will offer.

Laine Harber, interim executive director of the Arkansas Arts Center, says the partnership was an easy fit.

“We feel like there’s a natural connection and collaboration opportunity with the mission of CALS, as well as the mission of the Arkansas Arts Center to, in effect, bring new and exciting services to our respective patrons and hopefully get a lot of crossover as well,” Harber said.

The art will be displayed in locations around Arkansas, including 15 CALS locations.

10 percent of the center’s collection, about 150 pieces, will be on display. The center and library system have worked together to make sure each installation is curated to the environment where it is displayed.

One example the Arts Center noted was the installation of art made from recycled material at the Amy Sanders Library in Sherwood, which focuses on STEM programs.

One particularly popular piece, Judy Onofrio’s Just Pretending, will relocate to the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center.

“I refer to it as the mermaid, because it is an assemblage of found objects that do depict a mermaid. It’s one of those objects you can see probably 50 times and all 50 times find a different object that you had not noticed before in that sculpture,” Harber said.

In addition to displays, the center is also moving some of its popular programming to the library branches. The Art Start program, designed for toddlers and school-aged children, will move to the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library and Learning Center.

The Terry, Maumelle, Dee Brown and Main libraries will have a variety of two-dimensional classes and workshops for adults.

The center says some form of the collaboration will continue, even after the new center opens its doors.

Harber anticipates pieces will be rotating between the center and other locations.

“A lot of the works that we will have in these CALS locations are very popular in the museum. We’re obviously going to want to have them back at the museum at times as well, but we absolutely envision some sort of collection from the Arts Center remaining visible with CALS in some form or fashion,” Harber said.