Thursday, October 25, 2007

Ark. artists compiled in 2008 art calendar

BY JOHN LOVETT The Sentinel-Record

Those who buy the newly released 2008 Arkansas Artists Calendar will notice most of the paintings are by Hot Springs artists, or those who show in Hot Springs; names such as D. Arthur Wilson, Richard Stephens, Longhua Xu, Steve Griffith, Suzi Dennis, Nancy Dunaway, Arden Boyce, Jim Oberst, Barbara Siebel, Marlene Gremillion, Warren Criswell, Lynette Cox, Debi Fendley, James Hayes, Heike Ta l b ert and Matt McLoed. It is more because the city has the highest concentration of fine art galleries�� and possibly artists :�� than any place in the state. Is��s not because Bess Sanders, owner of Gallery Central, waved a wand and made it that way. The Arkansas Arts Council appointee says she did borrow the idea from Highland and University Park in Dallas, but did not jury the 270 submissions. That honor was left to two out-of-town art critics, Sanders said. In a rare moment of Arkansas art history, all 88 artists chosen for the calendar got together for a party at the Arkansas Governor��s Mansion to celebrate the release. A sign of the calendaqမs popularity is that in the first 10 days of being out, more than 1,500 of the 6,000 made have been sold for the $20 asking price. The colorful variety of art includes portraits, still lifes, landscapes, and sculpture. Since the books were already paid for through sponsors, (25 from Hot Springs alone), all of the proceeds go to build the first permanent Arkansas Art Collection, which will be housed at the governor��s mansion. "Wd��re hoping that people will send them to out-of-state relatives to show off all our artists," Sanders said. The mansion, 1800 Center St., schedules tours on an individual basis. Requests may be made to tour by calling 501-324-9805. To urs are scheduled according to house availability, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. No tours are scheduled in the evenings or on weekends. The tours consist of the public rooms (living room, dining room, foyer, east conference room) and the Grand Hall, Atrium, and Courtyard Cafe. There is no admission fee. "Not all of these paintings are going to the Governoq��s Mansion," Sanders said. "The fund will be able to purchase a few of them, the cover pieces at the very least. The most exciting thing, aside from these artists being given recognition, is that these pieces will be purchased. So many times artists are asked to donate their work to something like this, and finally thex��re getting paid for it." For the next calendar, submissions of photography and student works will be requested. Sanders will join Arkansas First Lady Ginger Beebe on 18 of the 20 city stops to promote the 2008 Arkansas Artists Calendar. Beebe will be at Gallery Central for the Nov. 2 Hot Springs Gallery Walk. An Arkansas Governoq��s Mansion Association art committee solicited sponsors at $500 a page. The sponsors are listed in the back of the book. Following is a list of locations in Hot Springs where the book is available. American Art Gallery, 724 Central Ave.; Artist Workshop Gallery, 810 Central Ave.; Blue Moon Gallery, 718 Central Ave.; Gallery Central, 800 Central Ave.; Justus Fine Art Gallery, 827-A Central Ave.; Linda Palmer Gallery, 800-B Central Ave.; Legacy Fine Art, 804 Central Ave.; Tayl o rမs Co n t emporanea, 205 Exchange St.; XU International, 610 Central Ave.
ARKANSAS ART: Matt McLoec��s oil painting "Capi tal Traffic" decorates the cover of the newly released 2008 Arkansas Artists Calendar, a project from the Governoqမs Mansion Associa tion to fund a permanent Arkansas Art Collection. McLoed shows at Blue Moon Gallery in Hot Springs. The books are $20 at most local galleries.

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