Arkansas Arts

Oliver Stone
oliverstone.com

Academy Award-winning director Oliver Stone is visiting Little Rock Saturday as part of this year’s Reel Civil Rights Film Festival. Stone will participate in a moderated discussion following the screening of an episode of his 2012 television documentary series, "The Untold History of the United States."

Part of the 60-minute episode explores the decision of President Dwight D. Eisenhower to send the 101st Airborne to Little Rock to enforce the 1957 integration of Central High.

Crystal Bridges Opens Most Ambitious Exhibition To Date

Sep 12, 2014
State of the Art Crystal Bridges
Antoinette Grajeda / KUAF

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art has put the finishing touches on what may be its most ambitious exhibition to date. It opens to the public Saturday.

The curatorial team at the museum has traveled more than 100,000 miles to visit nearly 1,000 artists. Museum president Don Bacigalupi says they worked to find artists that have not yet been part of the national art scene.

Thomas Saccente

At the intersection of psychology and art lies the work of a new up-and-coming Arkansas artist.

Kateri Joe of Conway is currently having her first exhibition at the Historic Arkansas Museum in downtown Little Rock. It’s entitled “Thank Your Lucky Stars” and is built around the theme of humanity’s relationship with the cosmos and the idea that everyone is connected to the universe at large. 

Delta Exhibition Honors Regional Artists

Aug 4, 2014
Sarah Whites-Koditschek

The Annual Delta Exhibition is in its 56th year at the Arkansas Arts Center. It includes over 13,000 entries from over 450 artists from the Mississippi Delta region. This year, most of the works in the exhibition are paintings and many have a narrative style. They tell stories about the people or landscapes they depict.

David Bailin draws and paints on large canvases in his home garage studio in Little Rock. He uses erasure marks and paints with coffee rinds to create shape and texture in his pieces.

A soon-to-be-released documentary film looking at music legend Glen Campbell will get an advance screening Thursday in Little Rock. It’s called “Glen Campbell… I’ll Be Me” and will be shown at the Central Arkansas Library System’s Ron Robinson Theater.

“Of course Glen Campbell is one of our most famous native sons and to get the opportunity to see this film ahead of audiences across America and the world is a real honor,” said Courtney Pledger, artistic director for the Arkansas Motion Picture Institute.

Robinson Center Music Hall Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Mike Beebe, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola and others used crow bars Tuesday to rip up part of the stage at Little Rock’s historic Robinson Center Music Hall, formally signifying the start of renovations to the venue.

The $68 million project will modernize the facility, which was built in 1939.  The work will improve its acoustics and seating, while enabling it to host any touring Broadway production.

Stodola said it has taken a lot of work to get to this point.

An exhibition of blown glass by artist Dale Chihuly is to open at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, and Hillary Rodham Clinton is to attend the opening gala.

The invitation-only reception is set for Friday night at the Clinton Center. The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday and will run through Jan. 5.

One of Chihuly's pieces is in the Clinton Center's permanent collection. In 2000, the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock hosted a special exhibition of his works.

The Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock is preparing to host a temporary exhibition of blown glass works by artist Dale Chihuly.

Chihuly's artworks go on display May 17. Organizers say Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chihuly are to attend an invitation-only reception on May 16.

The show will run through Jan. 5.

Curators are to use indoor and outdoor spaces at the Clinton Center to display the works, which present extremes of shape, color and form.

One of Chihuly's pieces is in the Clinton Center's permanent collection. 

Arkansas Literary Festival Announces Lineup

Jan 29, 2014

Organizers of the Arkansas Literary Festival are announcing the lineup for this year's event, which runs from April 24 through the 27.

Susan Gele with the Central Arkansas Library System says more than 80 presenters will be in Little Rock for the festival, including romance and suspense writer Catherine Coulter and Mary Roach, who the Washington Times has called “America's funniest science writer.”

Strauss, Gulda And Beethoven

Nov 12, 2013

Geoffrey Robson explores the Viennese Waltz with Strauss's Overture to Die Fledermaus, the varied styles of Gulda's Concerto for Cello and Wind Orchestra and Beethoven's often overlooked Symphony No. 4.

It's the third installment in the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra's Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks Series.

The full hour-long version of this At the Symphony aired Thursday, November 7 and Friday November 8.

In marking the second anniversary of its opening, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is announcing a major exhibition of contemporary artists that will open late next year.

The museum in Bentonville announced Monday that the show, called "State of the Art," will open Sept. 13 and run through Jan. 5., 2015.

Crystal Bridges curators have visited more than 400 artists' studios to select pieces for the exhibition, which will feature works by more than 100 artists.

This weekend an exhibit from the collection of noted early 20th century photographer and art collector Alfred Stieglitz opens to the public at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville.

The highly anticipated showing comes after a protracted legal battle involving the Attorney General of Tennessee, who argued that the collection should stay in his state.

Stieglitz’s wife Georgia O’Keeffe donated the collection to the historic African American college Fisk University in 1949 with the stipulation that it could never be sold.

Michael Hibblen / KUAR

Little Rock city leaders kicked off a campaign Tuesday to get citizens excited about helping to fund a $68 million renovation and expansion project at Robinson Center Music Hall.

The event was held on the steps of the auditorium, with Mayor Mark Stodola and other city leaders promoting a December 10 special election to vote on whether to use an existing two percent advertising and promotion tax to finance the additions.

Former Mayor Jim Dailey reminded those in attendance of the building’s historical significance.

Arkansas Black Hall Of Fame To Honor Six Inductees

Oct 18, 2013
Arkansas Black Hall of Fame

The Arkansas Black Hall of Fame Foundation is honoring six inductees in its 21st annual ceremony.

The event will be held at the State House Convention Center Saturday with over 900 people are expected to attend.

Inductees included a professional athlete, recording artist, and engineer.

Chairman of the foundation, Charles Stewart says donations and proceeds go to other non profits in Arkansas, "working to improve education, youth development, health and wellness  in black and other underserved communities."

Robinson Auditorium Center Music Hall
City of Little Rock

The Little Rock Board of Directors is to decide Tuesday afternoon whether to allow a special election for voters to decide whether to use a two percent tax to fund a massive renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall.

But there are concerns that there hasn’t been enough discussion about the funding.

The extensive plan was unveiled last week, calling for $60 million worth of renovations to the building, which was built in 1939. The cost rises to $68 million when including the expense of relocating staff and paying for a special bond election.

Robinson
Flickr

Little Rock city leaders are to decide next Tuesday whether to allow voters to consider a proposal to fund the renovation of Robinson Center Music Hall.

Tuesday evening the Board of Directors heard a presentation detailing upgrades to the facility.  Earlier in the day advocates for the project detailed it for reporters.  You can view a PDF of the presentation here.

William Strigel / UALRPublicRadio.org

The Arkansas Arts Center added 570 new members, roughly a 15 percent increase, to its roster as a result of its most recent exhibition, “Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: Treasures of Kenwood House, London,” according to the center's Chief Financial Officer Laine Harber.

The exhibit of impressionist painters, which included the first Rembrandt painting ever to be displayed in Arkansas, exceeded the center's membership expectations, Harber said. It wrapped up this past Sunday.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to soon display a newly acquired painting of a New York scene by modernist Edward Hopper.

The museum in Bentonville on Monday didn't disclose a purchase a price but said it recently acquired the work from a private collection.

Crystal Bridges says the work should be on exhibit by mid-September in its Early 20th Century Art Gallery.

The painting is titled Blackwell's Island and depicts what's now known as Roosevelt Island, which is off Manhattan in the East River.

Art Galleries On The Move In Hot Springs

Aug 19, 2013

A number of artists in Hot Springs are updating their spaces or moving to new venues.

Artist's Workshop Gallery plans to move their exhibited artworks in mid-September from 810 Central Ave. to the Sumpter-Little building at 610 Central Ave.

The new building has three ground-floor suites and space upstairs. Artist Jim Reimer told the Sentinel-Record that the move will put the gallery in range of more downtown foot traffic.

Arkansas Sounds logo
Arkansas Sounds Music Festival

Organizers are making plans for this year’s Arkansas Sounds Music Festival. The performances will be at the Main Library in Little Rock, the First Security Amphitheater, and various River Market Pavilions on September 27th and 28th.

Susan Gele is a spokeswoman for the Central Arkansas Library System. She says the festival includes some of last year’s performers, as well as many new acts.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville hasn't been open even two years but the northwest Arkansas hot spot is about to welcome its 1 millionth visitor.

When it opened on Nov. 11, 2011, museum organizers expected between 150,000 and 300,000 visitors per year. The first year brought in 650,000 patrons, lured in part by free admission to the museum's regular collection.

Mosaic Templar Cultural center

The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is celebrating the opening of the new art exhibit, “Shades of Greatness”, this Friday evening from 5:30 to 7:30.

The traveling exhibit has over 30 original pieces of art inspired by the history of the Negro League. Both national and regional artists will be featured. Quantia Fletcher, the Assistant Director of the center says this exhibit is special to Arkansas.

Arkansas Rep Prepares For New Education Facility

Jul 15, 2013
Arkansas Repertory Theatre
Peter James Zielinski / Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Construction work continues on the Arkansas Repertory Theatre’s new education space. 

A new business venture in North Little Rock and Memphis seeks to change current norms in the recording industry.

Music mogul Al Bell grew up in Arkansas and later became chairman of Stax Records and president of Motown Records.

Bell says he is once again working with authentic artists who no longer fit into conventional categories

New Photography Exhibit At The Laman Public Library

Jun 29, 2013
Laman Public Library

The Laman Public Library has a new photography exhibit for visitors. “Discover Greatness: An Illustrated History of the Negro Baseball Leagues” will be displayed until August 24th.

Dan Noble, spokesman for the library, says the exhibit features 90 photographs, some over 100 years old. He encourages people of all ages to come see them.

"It's just a great exhibit...people can just stop by on their lunch break or make a little afternoon out of it but I think the people of Arkansas would really be interested in seeing this," said Noble. 

John David Pittman / Arkansas Repertory Theatre

Comedy is often the vehicle that inspires people to have crucial conversations about important issues.

Through the month of June, the Arkansas Repertory Theatre is relying on the humor and outspokenness of foul-mouthed puppets to bolster dialogue about racism, sexuality, and almost every aspect of the human experience.

David Sedaris Books

Comedian, author, and frequent public radio contributor, David Sedaris, will be in Little Rock on Tuesday for his spring book tour.  

We called him up to find out more about what he likes to read, his typical day, and his latest book, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

Some interesting tidbits interview: 

Music Industry Figure To Give Little Rock Lecture

May 23, 2013

Longtime music industry figure and Arkansas native Bill Carter is set for a speaking engagement in Little Rock.

Carter is to speak June 5 as part of the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies' Legacies and Lunch series. Carter grew up in Rector and built his career as an attorney and agent for popular music stars.

The Rolling Stones summoned Carter for help after an arrest in Arkansas, and he represented Reba McEntire at the start of her career.

Steven Teske

A book dedicated for school-aged children just came out earlier this spring.

Natural State Notables features 21 people from Arkansas who became famous.

They include U.S. president Bill Clinton, Walmart creator Sam Walton, as well as a woman who saved Arkansas Children’s Hospital from closing during the Great Depression.

Author Steven Teske said he was inspired to write something for kids.

“We really need a book for children that tells them about people in Arkansas. Something that a 4th grade levels. Something that can be used in classrooms.”

Sequoyah National Research Center

A research center collecting writings and art of Native Americans hopes Arkansans will be more aware of racial issues.

Sequoyah National Research Center at UALR had just received a $20,000 grant to preserve Herschfelder-Molin Collection which depicts stereotypes of Native Americans.

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