Art Still Abounds at CALS

With the Main Library now closed for renovations, the CALS art program has had to get, well, creative!

With the closing of the Galleries & Bookstore at Library Square to make way for “Mini Main,” there have been questions about how the library system will display art and care for the works of art it owns. CALS Art Administrator Colin Thompson says that despite a few building changes, the presence of art within the CALS system will remain robust.

Everything has to be moved out of the Main Library while it undergoes renovation, including all the pieces from the CALS Art Collection on the walls and in cases around the building. Some of these pieces are moving to CALS branches but others have found a home at the CALS Roberts Library, which now houses “Mini Main” on the first floor to meet downtown patrons’ library needs while Main is closed. The art program’s Shannon Holmes and Colin Thompson are shown here moving Among the Broken Mountains of the South by Ginny Stanford to its new temporary home in Roberts.



The Roberts Library’s Underground Gallery is still hosting art exhibitions. During the Day of the Dead festival, a fantastic collection from the Latino Art Project will be on display as part of the celebration. The exhibition will feature alebrijes, brightly colored Mexican folk art sculptures of fantastical and mythical creatures. The exhibition opens in the Underground Gallery on Thursday, November 2. See visiting information here.



You can still enjoy CALS art and history displays and activities each month at Second Friday Art Night (2FAN), right across the street from the Roberts Library at UA Little Rock Downtown. This collaboration allows us to highlight selections from the art and archival collections of both CALS and the UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. Be sure to get there early, as the artist-led demonstrations are very popular. Painter Tim Jacob will be the featured artist for next month’s 2FAN, October 13, 5-8 p.m.


Award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales is coming to CALS for a program kicking off an exhibition of more than fifty pieces of her work that will be on display at the CALS Hillary Rodham Clinton Children’s Library & Learning Center. This is a special project of the Six Bridges Book Festival, CALS Outreach & Development office, and the Children’s Library, in collaboration with the Latino Art Project and Seis Puentes.

Morales’s in-person program will be at the Children’s Library on Saturday, October 14, the final day of Hispanic Heritage Month; there is another Yuyi Project program on Saturday, October 21. The exhibition Yuyi Morales: Sonadora, which is open to the public during regular library hours and free of charge, will run through November 15. Morales will also visit Chicot Elementary School in September while she is in Little Rock through the Six Bridges Book Festival’s WITS (Writers in the Schools) program.

In addition to the in-person programs and the exhibition, CALS will give away more than 200 books written and/or illustrated by Morales, including copies of Dreamers, Bright Star, Frida, Thunder Boy, Jr., Just in Case, and Niño Wrestles the World. This exhibition was organized by the National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature, Abilene, Texas. The program is supported with funding from the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.


Finally, Shannon Holmes is leading a series of artist workshops and demonstrations at UA Little Rock Downtown and Curran Hall, all supported by a grant from the Windgate Foundation. You can learn everything from making your own colorful polymer beads to nature journaling. The next event will be held at UA Little Rock on Friday, October 6, 1:30-3:30 p.m., when artist David Paul Cook leads a free nature art/journaling workshop: “Responding to the World with Brush and Pen.” Registration is required; to register, contact Shannon Holmes at or 501-320-5792.

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