The Galleries at Library Square
Full List of Current Artists
David Linn Arnold, Fayetteville
David Linn Arnold has led a successful, if unusual, life. A high school dropout, he graduated from Arkansas State University with honors and awards for poetry and philosophy. Polio had stricken Arnold as a child, and he lost the use of his limbs. His devoted family exercised his arms and legs relentlessly, until he regained their use. After a successful career in manufacturing and construction, Arnold was stricken with post-polio syndrome, a major, chronic, and extremely painful and debilitating disease. In 2004, Arnold was forced to retire because of his disability. With the strong support of his wife and five children, Arnold has persevered.
My artwork has been classified by many as primitive, folk, outsider, and Americana. While my work has certain characteristics that fit each of these genres, it transcends categories. I call it “Second Chance Art” – I believe that art is all about “second chances.” Art gives both the artist and the viewer the opportunity to re-visit scenes and to re-live special moments, anytime they choose. For me, “second chance” is an apt description, for I was given another “second chance” to learn to walk-this time with a cane. I have always appreciated the artistic skills of others. I have never had an art lesson. I bought an art book and taught myself to draw. The rest is artwork!
Elizabeth Arnold, Neon Glittery, Fayetteville
Illustrator Neon Glittery (a.k.a. Elizabeth Ashley Arnold) combines raw hand-drawing techniques in pen with digital color editing to design animals, each with distinctive lines in her defined style. She also uses a favored set of mixed media—including markers, watercolor, gouache, and ink—to make organic, expressive creatures with personality emerging from their eyes. She sees her illustrations as a cross of imagination and reality.
Arnold spent her childhood drawing in bright hues. She studied fine arts at the University of Central Arkansas, allowing her to develop her recognizable method over years of practice. With the support of her community in Northwest Arkansas and online, she found opportunities to distribute her work to establish her presence as Neon Glittery. Since moving to Fayetteville, Elizabeth has illustrated three children’s books written by two local authors. She also screen-prints, as well as playing two-layered Casio keyboards and singing in a solo music project, also under the name of Neon Glittery.
Frank Blair, Little Rock
An architect by trade, Frank P. Blair has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and a Master of Architecture from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.
I am a retired architect and have always preferred the artistic or design phase of the architecture process. In addition, I enjoy sketching and painting. Through an Arkansas Arts Center class, I became interested in pottery, which shares a characteristic of architecture being a three-dimensional form of art.
The process of transforming an organic material into something that is useful as well as an object of beauty is very rewarding. I throw and hand-build a variety of pottery pieces using pottery clay. After a shape is created, the next procedure requires a bis fire then glazing in a high fire or Raku fire kiln.
I am a dedicated Hog fan as well as a University of Arkansas alumnus. Therefore, I enjoy making the clay hogs. Each hog is hand-built with an unique expression, then fired in a variety of school finishes. The hogs are display pieces, whereas the hog mugs are food safe.
When a work is selected from many available choices to find a place in one’s home, it is the greatest compliment an artist can experience.
Susan Jones Boe, Little Rock
I have always been in love with fabric, yarn, and textiles of any nature. I can remember as a very young girl walking up the two-lane Mississippi Avenue to magical Hancock Fabrics. My best friend and I would load up on one-fourth yard of ribbon and one sheet of felt, then hurry home to make dresses for our Pee Wee Dolls. I would spend hours with both grandmothers in the Yarn Mart on Kavanaugh and treasure the many handknits they made for me. In college, I was hooked on counted cross stitch like everybody else in the eighties. As a busy young mom, I discovered pre-work needlepoint. I didn’t have to count or worry about color changes, and the best part was that I could chit chat with other moms at ballet, carpool, etc. without worrying about making a mistake. What’s easier than filling in the background! So what to do with all those finished canvases, you ask? Pillows—lots and lots of pillows backed with every sort of found textile. I used anything from dresses my girls had outgrown to estate sale finds.
My girls began sewing at an early age and I soon followed suit, sewing mostly aprons and quilts. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. I could rescue pretty napkins or aprons at an estate sale and combine them into a wonderful quilt. The result of three girls sewing was massive piles of fabric! That’s when my bowl making began—simply as a way to de-stash. And then suddenly I had a stash of bowls! And my little business was born. When I’m not making bowls or taking care of my family and my precious dog Rose, I love to knit and scour estate sales to rescue various types of textiles: granny square blankets, needlepoint, Christmas stockings, and anything I can cut up for use in my bowls.
I hope my bowls bring you as much joy as I receive in making them.
Cheri Bohn, Elkins
Bohn first became interested in art in the first grade when she heard about Vincent Van Gogh’s ear. She earned a BFA from the University of North Texas, and it was during this time that her journey with stained glass began. After she and her family moved to the Ozark Mountains in 1999, she was inspired by the tree roots in the area.
In addition to the Galleries at Library Square, she is represented by Terra Studios, Eurekan Art, Tulsa Artery, and Art Ventures galleries. She also has a studio at Art Ventures. She has been featured in several local magazines and newspapers, as well as on radio and television. She was the featured artist in the Fayetteville Insiders’ Guide 2014 and received the best-sculpture award in the 2018 ANA four-state competition. Her work has been displayed in Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, and New York, and California.
Living close to the White River has provided me with roots that would normally rot away or be thrown into a fire. I began to notice the unique growth patterns in the roots. After throwing these roots around my yard one day in 2001, I had an epiphany: I saw a dragon in one, and I knew I had something unique. This led to the idea to combine tree roots and stained glass to create one-of-a-kind sculptures.
I study the design of the roots to see what the root wants to be. I love that nature provides my inspiration. The sculptures create different creatures, such as birds, turtles, dragon, ships, sci-fi creatures, and many other things. I have done some abstract ones, as well. I use tree roots, briar roots, and wood burls. I take off the bark and sand it down, and then I paint it with polyurethane. It is not all me—I read what nature has provided. My message to the world is to “balance with nature.”
Roger Buchanan, Quitman
Roger Buchanan founded Landenberg Pottery in Landenberg, Pennsylvania, in 1974 and Strawberry River Woodworking in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 1993. He holds a BA and a PhD in cell biology from the University of Delaware. He set up shop in Quitman, Arkansas, in 2013. After a career in medical research, he became devoted full time to woodworking in 2017.
My first real introduction to art came in my early twenties when I worked as an assistant to world-class ceramicist Victor Spinski. That was a fantastic experience, but after several years it was time to head out on my own, so I worked several years as a potter specializing in wood-firing and salt-glazing. We built our kiln next to a local sawmill, and I befriended the sawyer who had operated the mill for over forty years. I soon became a wood fanatic. I’ve been frequenting sawmills ever since, looking for gorgeous examples of native woods to use in building furniture. I started in the early 1980s using the few hand tools I could acquire. When our family moved to Jonesboro in 1990, we built a house on a beautifully wooded tract of land just north of town, where I set up a wood shop and began building furniture from timber selectively harvested from that land. I now have a well-equipped shop in Quitman but still frequent sawmills looking for great wood.
I began building wood boxes after a severe ice storm destroyed hundreds of trees on our property in Jonesboro. As I was cleaning up the mess, I realized that some of the downed trees had been invaded by fungi and insects. This combination produced unique woods that were much too beautiful to burn, but were too small and twisted to be sawn into lumber at a mill. So I set out to turn them into lumber myself using the tools I had. After chain-sawing them into short lengths, I resawed the logs using a bandsaw and set the boards aside to dry. Drying stopped the decay process, resulting in usable lumber. However, the lumber, though beautiful, had lost much of its strength, so other native hardwoods including walnut, cherry, sycamore, peach, and maple were incorporated into the design of each box. I’ve always designed my own furniture, so each box is a unique combination of these woods, with the size, shape, and construction being dictated by the wood itself. These pieces are a testament to the destructive power of nature, and to the great natural beauty that, though it is often “accidental” and unseen, surrounds us. These boxes are made almost entirely of woods native to Arkansas, including walnut, cherry, maple, oak, sycamore, and ash.
Don Byram, Conway
Raised in a string of small southern towns, Don Byram is the child of a circuit-riding preacher and a nature-loving mother. His artistic eye and feeling for the movement are a tribute to the endless human stories he grew up seeing and hearing while living alongside these sensitive people. His love affair with creating with the camera began in college and, while this love was interrupted by a couple of careers, it has been back in full force for over twenty years. The closest he has to a physical location he calls home is Conway, Arkansas, which he has now returned to after sixteen other stops in between.
Byram uses the camera lens to expose and embrace the beauty and rhythmic patterns often overlooked in the daily rush of life. With the raw image composition as the plot, he fleshes out the storyline with color, texture, and tone to highlight the emotional qualities he senses in the image. He always prints on canvas for its physical depth, and a giclée matte finish enhances this effect. His images are archival and don’t require glass, so hanging them in well-lit areas is ideal; this gives a dramatic presentation, free of glare.
Vintage/antique and repurposed frames are a hallmark of his work. Byram owned a custom frame shop for eight years and is a firm believer of matching the character of a one-of-a-kind frame with the essence of each image. Many times, he will discover the frame first at a vintage or thrift store, then spend considerable time making sure he has the perfect image for the frame. The result is each piece having an exclusive feeling and telling its own unique story for the viewer.
A good story, like good art, engulfs the reader and makes them feel. Through the combination of composition, color, and light, endless stories can be told that, hopefully, will make the viewer simply feel. My goal is to turn each photo into a story the viewer can read and feel.
Byram embraces the Georgia O’Keeffe quote: “I have found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.”
Oksana Litvinova Cartwright, North Little Rock
Oksana Litvinova Cartwright is originally from Siberia, Russia, and now lives and works in North Little Rock. Traditional Russian pottery has always fascinated her, and she got a real chance to learn how to work with clay at the Museum School at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. She became a dedicated ceramics artist, eager to endlessly learn new techniques and incorporate them into her work, creating unique designs. Always wanting to further improve her technique, she has also studied in workshops with nationally recognized clay artists such as Bede Clarke, Ron Meyers, Sandy Simon, and Robert Brady.
Cartwright’s work has been a finalist in numerous juried exhibitions at the Fine Arts Center in Hot Springs, and she is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists. Her work is included in private collections locally and nationally, as well as in Russia, Japan, India, the Czech Republic, and France.
Pottery has become my all-time favorite hobby; I call it a hobby because making a living out of it is almost impossible. Each piece takes so long to make that the job pays 10 cents an hour, as potters like to joke. But, I love it! I love the feel of clay; I love to play with the changing forms; I love it all. Sometimes I dream of ideas for potential decorations. Anything I see will immediately transform to thoughts of how I could incorporate the given elements into my pots, cups, or teapots. I always like a challenge to recreate an idea I saw—recently it has been traditional Russian designs, original household wares, and patterns from various textured surfaces. After long weeks of working on a piece and firing, it’s always a delight to pick up my new pieces of art from the kiln. The final outcome may be utterly different than what I had intended or expected to achieve; the element of the unknown in each firing is exhilarating. Since the beginning of my clay-making endeavors, I’ve noticed that my Russian cultural background has had a large influence on my work; my “sense of beauty” is slightly different, which adds uniqueness to my work. Originally, I’m a molecular biologist, and molecular work requires a great deal of steady precision and delicate manipulations. You can certainly say I have “good hands”!
I make utilitarian pots for everyday life—pots you serve in, store in, and drink out of. Every one of us is unique, has only one life, and deserves to use unique things to celebrate ourselves every day.
Matthew Castellano, Little Rock
Multimedia artist Matthew Castellano was born in southern Florida in 1985 and lived there until 2010. There, he fell in love with skateboarding and creating art. He currently lives with his wife, Melanie Castellano, in Little Rock, where he has shifted to a more professional focus. He creates the majority of his art in his home studio. Not only has he displayed his own work over the past eight years, but he has also curated several shows by professional and emerging local artists.
His work has been exhibited within the tri-state area, as well as in Florida. It has been featured in juried exhibitions including Small Works on Paper presented by the Arkansas Arts Council and the Department of Arkansas Heritage in 2014 and 2017. Through minimalism and symbols, his work is focused on creating a world in which imagination rules, seeking to find a calming point in an attempt to simplify an overly complicated world. He explores a mixture of media and utilizes a balance of color and illustration to convey the constant struggle of man versus civilization. Producing, dialoguing, and collaborating with other artists, he is constantly developing new ideas.
Jenny Choate, North Little Rock
For as long as I can remember, I have loved jewelry. I couldn’t wait to get my ears pierced when I was thirteen so that I could spend my hard-earned babysitting money on the biggest earrings I could buy. But my fascination with the craft of jewelry-making really started when I visited Arizona in 2009. Through my visits out west, I was exposed to some of the best jewelry artisans as well as to the lore behind the metaphysical system of spiritual and physical benefits of stones and crystals. I began to experiment with different beading and wire-wrapping techniques—and the rest is history.
I opened my online shop in September of 2012, and it has become a gradual success. I work with stones and crystals from all over the world. I regularly make trips from my home in North Little Rock to Mount Ida, Arkansas, which is touted as the “Crystal Capital of the World.” I work mostly with raw and natural crystals and semi-precious gems. Their shape and color when they come from the earth is their purest form and nature’s best artistry.
David Paul Cook, Maumelle
David Paul Cook paints in watercolor and enjoys producing art using other media, including oils, oil pastels, and graphite pencil. He is an avid outdoor painter. Most of Cook’s watercolors are of Central Arkansas landscapes, painted on the spot. Scenes along the Arkansas River, at Pinnacle Mountain State Park, and in the Arkansas Delta are among his favorite inspirations.
Cook studied art at Studio San Damiano in Milwaukee, at the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and with a private teacher in Kansas City, Missouri. He continues his growth as an artist by taking workshops from national and regional teachers such as Don Nice, Pat Deadman, Ken Hosmer, Mel Stabin, Margaret Martin, Fred Rawlinson, Sheila B. Parsons, Richard Stevens, Selma Blackburn, and Lian Quan Zhen.
Cook teaches watercolor landscape painting at the Arkansas Arts Center’s Museum School in Little Rock; he has been a faculty member there for more than twelve years. He also taught beginning and intermediate students at White Wagon Farm for ten years.
He is past president of the Arkansas League of Artists, and he achieved ALA signature member status in 2011. Cook is a committee member and former board member of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists and is also past president and a member of the Conway League of Artists.
I have been passionate about landscape painting all my life, from the very beginning and continuing today, pursuing the discipline of working on location to capture the mood and excitement of the place. I am influenced by the light and other natural elements, as well as by the sounds, movements, and even smells of each place that I paint, opening all my senses to produce my expression of the scene. I paint frequently and in all kinds of weather conditions.
I believe in life-long learning. I enjoy teaching art, as well as producing it. I strive to be a good teacher first, as well as a good artist, encouraging others to joyfully and fearlessly express themselves through their creative efforts.
Rick Cook, Russellville
Rick Cook began his love of the arts at the age of nine, while observing his dad hand-carve wood. He learned the fine points of carving from his dad and attended art classes at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. Pottery instruction was received from Winston Taylor at the River Valley Art Center and oil painting instruction from the Main Street Gallery in Russellville, Arkansas. For the past 41 years, Cook has furthered his studies through extensive hands-on experience. Cook has made patterns for Arkansas-based Herwig Lighting and has worked as a master carpenter in Fort Smith, Arkansas, for more than 20 years.
Cook’s art has been shown in several galleries and art shows, including the Bookstore at Library Square Gallery, River Market Artspace, and the Galleries at Library Square in Little Rock, AR. Cook has been married to his wife, Pam, for more than 27 years. They have one son, Ryan.
My enjoyment of the outdoors is reflected in my choice of subjects for my art. My work includes furniture, as well as wall and table art, in both hand-carved and lathe work. I primarily use natural wood tones. In addition, I paint landscapes and other subjects in oil.
Krystal Cornelius, Krystal Bijoux Jewelry, Little Rock
Krystal Bijoux Jewelry walked the runways of Designers Choice Fashion Preview in 2010 as well as appeared in the Governor’s Mansion Fashion Show. Krystal Bijoux Jewelry has also graced the cover of Bridal Savoir Faire.
If I think of my creative ability as a super power, I would have to say my skill for making jewelry was lying dormant for a long time. It was around 2007 when I began Krystal Bijoux Jewelry in earnest, and I truly have come a long way since then. I started out making more-traditional pieces. These were fabulous, but I wanted to go further in making pieces that are truly unique.
My jewelry pieces are the work that I want to see in the world but have not experienced yet. I typically use media like jewelry clays and resin so I can create the forms and figures I have imagined. I usually start with an idea that the final project ends up looking nothing like. I love to go with the creative flow rather than stay in the confines of a rigid idea. Many times, I end up with something much greater than I previously dreamt up.
I love for my pieces to catch the eye, so I use crystals in vivid colors. I have a “more is more” attitude toward my work. I have a difficult time going small and simple. I have to go big and elaborate because I feel it is a celebration of being alive. While we are on this earth, we should surround ourselves with marvelous things, people, and experiences that fill us with delight and joy. I believe my pieces should not only be stunning but should connect with the viewer on a deeper level by eliciting a fanciful sense of wonder.
Another drive of mine in creating jewelry is representing black women. Representation is important, and I want to make jewelry pieces that allow black girls and women alike to see themselves in a beautiful, positive light. How one sees herself is crucial, and I want my work to influence that view positively. I also believe it is important for the rest of the world to see and appreciate this beauty as well.
Michele Cottler-Fox, Little Rock
I have always been fascinated by the shape and texture of fossils, twisted pieces of metal, broken shells, and glass on the beach. I hope my work gives people the same sense of something different and unique. I usually start with a stone or bead, and with the wire in my hand, a shape takes form that often calls out for something else to be fully satisfying. Until I find that thing or shape or color, I can’t stop thinking about the piece in progress. Once it is finally right, I recognize it as finished, although often it is not what I thought it would be when I started! I always wear each piece after it is made, to see how it works. Only after I finish this quality assurance step does it go to the individual who commissioned it, or to the gallery for display. I think this last step comes partly from my day job as a physician and partly from a desire to never give a piece up, because so much time has gone into thinking about it and making it. Nevertheless, sooner or later the pieces leave me, because nothing makes me feel as good as seeing someone else happy because what I made is beautiful.
Jenny Crownover, Little Rock
Jenny Crownover is a spunky southern artist who works in a variety of media, loves color and texture, and generally prefers a colorful palette with a dash of whimsy and adventure. She enjoys making abstract paintings, watercolors, jewelry, and sculptures. She also enjoys repainting or repurposing furniture—taking something from “flea market to fabulous” is her decorating style. She paints on pretty much anything and loves for her work to make people smile.
Crownover grew up on a cattle farm in Whiteville, a small town in north-central Arkansas near Mountain Home. Whether she was sketching on bleached white flat rocks by the creek while her parents were repairing the water gates on the farm and her little brother was playing in the puddles or sculpting with clay mud from the family garden—that was just her thing. As long as she kept up with her chores, she was able to get away with a few shenanigans.
She attended Cotter public schools and was blessed with a wonderful art teacher, Mrs. Judy Meredith Coble. She started entering the local art contests and Baxter County Fair art exhibits and started collecting blue ribbons. She was president of the first Cotter Art Club and went on to study art at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville. She moved to Van Buren, Arkansas, where she got involved with the Crawford County Art Association, which was housed in a large, beautiful renovated Victorian home. She taught adult and children’s classes and took instruction from some of the other local artists.
Her sons Hayden and Grant were born in nearby Fort Smith; she says that they “absolutely filled my world with love!” She later taught at Lighthouse Christian Academy in Millington, Tennessee, along with teaching private lessons throughout the years. She designed stained-glass windows for Laukhuff Stained Glass and did a large piece for the sanctuary at the Hutchison School for Girls. One of her hummingbird windows made it all the way back to Arkansas to a home overlooking the White River a few miles from where she grew up. Her rough-textured angel painting was auctioned off at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Crownover’s pieces are in homes and offices throughout the United States.
In 2014, Crownover was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is currently a cancer survivor and is a passionate advocate for cancer patients. She is a local ambassador for the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Little Rock.
Crownover and her husband, Brad, are happy to be back in her beautiful home state of Arkansas, and she is showing it with her clay Arkansas jewelry. These and her other pieces were made with love and in hopes of making you smile.
David and Becki Dahlstedt, Mountain View
David and Becki Dahlstedt began making pots together at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View. David studied pottery at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. Becki had a studio with California’s Berkeley Potters Guild before coming to Mountain View, Arkansas.
The Dahlstedts share a talent and passion for the craft of pottery and have been making pottery together for over thirty years. In their home studio in Mountain View, they create handcrafted utilitarian vessels for the everyday rituals of eating, drinking, and sharing meals. Each piece is unique—formed individually on the potter’s wheel, then airbrushed with overlapping layers of earth-tone glazes to create the subtle colors and textures that distinguish their work.
The artists make their functional stoneware pottery in the home studio they built with assistance from an Arkansas Arts Council Fellowship. They welcome Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour visitors to their workspace each year during the third weekend in September.
The Dahlstedts sell their work in the Arkansas Craft Gallery in Mountain View; at Toll House Antiques & Gifts in Cotter, Arkansas; and at other galleries throughout the state.
All of the Dahlstedts’ high-fired stoneware pottery is lead free and safe for use in the oven, microwave, and dishwasher. They invite you to use and enjoy their pottery in your home, in your kitchen, and on your table.
Chloé Deaton, Little Rock
Chloé Deaton, a Little Rock native, is a miniature-maker working in a variety of materials including fiber, metal, clay, wood, and film. Her current body of work is titled Tiny Tastes, a series of miniature wearable foods made primarily from polymer clay and pastels.
Suzi Dennis, Hot Springs
The shapes, designs, and colors in our environment intrigue me – whether the relationship of the environment to its own surroundings or the relationship of the surroundings to the environment. God has given us the gift of all that surrounds us, and He has given to me the gift of seeing ordinary, everyday things in a different light and the ability to translate these perceptions into tapestries of color and design onto paper. I celebrate God’s gift of life through my art.
Amy Edgington, Little Rock
Amy Edgington was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas. Aside from public school classes in charcoal drawing and watercolor, she was mostly self-taught. She began making collages in the early 1970s, while living in an isolated farmhouse full of old National Geographic magazines. In the early 1990s, she began making large pieces on canvas with fabric, found materials, paper, and other mixed media. Her work has been purchased by the Central Arkansas Library System, the Museum of Discovery, and Heifer International. Her piece Gaudi’s Cat was accepted for the 50th Annual Delta Exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center. Edgington worked for more than twenty years as a cataloger for the Central Arkansas Library System. She could not bear to throw away a discontinued library book, so many of them received a new life in her collages. Edgington retired in February 2014 to spend more time creating art and writing poetry; she died on November 19, 2015, at the age of 69.
I think of collage as recycling elevated to an art form. I use discarded magazines, calendars, wrapping paper, fabric scraps, and found objects, with decorative art papers as the icing on the cake. I combine these materials with acrylic, pastel, colored pencil, and pen. My themes range from the playful to the serious and sometimes combine both. I especially like to poke fun at our nostalgia, our myths, and our forgetfulness of history, hopefully reminding us of the dangers that result from them.
Kelly Edwards, North Little Rock
Kelly Edwards attended the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and the Arkansas Art Center in 1997, where she has been the center’s ceramics instructor since 1999. She is currently working on her BA in Fine Arts at the University of Arkansas in Little Rock.
You will find Edwards to be humble, down-to-earth, and passionate about her work. Her art has been recognized in Inviting Arkansas and At Home in Arkansas, and it was displayed in former President Clinton’s temporary office during the two-year construction of his presidential library. Kelly enjoys collaborating with several local interior designers. She lives in North Little Rock, Arkansas, with her two children.
My interest in art was inspired by other artists, and it began to develop at a young age. This led me, as an artist, to create three-dimensional wall hangings that replace flat paintings on your wall. I am also a Raku specialist. This is a ceramic technique developed by the Raku family in Japan more than 350 years ago, and it requires more tenacity than luck. My pottery is modern, without being overstated. Each piece is hand-built, carefully engineered, and often embellished with subtle carvings and striking copper accents.
Tom Flynn, Rogers
Tom Flynn has been doing found object metal art for the last 9 years. He lives in Rogers, Arkansas where he works as a lighting and electrical designer. Tom also brews beer and makes homemade root beer, writes music, and players several types of musical instruments.
I want my work to look like what it is made out of. I am not looking to make beautiful things, I just want to make people smile and maybe look at my work and see that things are not always what they appear to be.
Sharon Franke, Little Rock
I am constantly looking at the world through the prism of “Could that be a painting?” Sometimes it drives me a little crazy! I always have my camera handy to log possible paintings. Lighting is an important part of any painting—color, value, seeing light and dark, and knowing how to incorporate spatial qualities to give believability and interest. I consider myself an impressionist. I get frustrated if I get too bogged down in detail. I love laying out the composition, deciding values and mid-tones, lights and darks. Sometimes that stage of the painting is my favorite in the process. Then I build and constantly make adjustments. When the end is near and I can bring on the color, I let my creative instincts take over. I also love this part of the work.
I have always loved art. I am from St. Louis, Missouri, and have also lived in Santa Barbara, California. I attended the St. Louis Community College, with emphasis in art; Fontbonne College and Washington University in St. Louis; and numerous workshops in Missouri, California, and Arkansas. We moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1995 from Santa Barbara. I have learned to love Arkansas and Little Rock. Someone once described Little Rock as “a city in a park” and I agree!
I have five beautiful, productive children who have brought me so much joy and pride. When I married Chris, our family grew by four, so now we have nine! We are blessed with five grandchildren and hope for many more. Being a stay-at-home mom kept me very busy, but I always had a “studio” at home in which to paint.
When my youngest went to college, I was able to concentrate on my painting. I have taken several workshops and have been fortunate to paint with many talented artists in Arkansas. I am a signature member and past president of the Arkansas League of Artists, and currently serve as secretary on the board. My paintings have won numerous awards. My work is in various private collections in California, Missouri, and Arkansas, along with the Patrick Hays Center in North Little Rock and the Winthrop Rockefeller Cancer Institute Art Collection at UAMS.
I am most inspired by the beauty of nature. I paint with oils, mainly from photographs I am constantly taking of the beautiful Arkansas landscape. My husband and I have a houseboat on the Arkansas River, and I have been greatly influenced by the breathtaking and ever changing beauty surrounding the river. Much of my training was in the studio, so I feel at home and love to design and paint still life compositions, along with portraits and paintings of animals.
Caren Garner, Conway
Caren Garner has been painting for more than thirty years. She has studied with numerous artists in workshops and classes both in Arkansas and during her time in Washington DC. Her art is on display in both private and corporate collections around the country, including work done for Walter Reed Army National Military Medical Center in Washington DC and a beautiful patriotic mural on the Palliative Care Unit at the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock. Garner has also created murals for several Little Rock restaurants. Garner’s work has won numerous awards.
Garner teaches art and is a member of Conway League of Artists and Mid-Southern Watercolorists. She is also available for floral design, faux finishing, and interior design work.
Garner does experimental and non-objective work in water media, acrylics, mixed media, and collage with the addition of lots of textural elements. A favorite subject is wildlife, especially African wildlife. She is also adept in a variety of genres including florals, landscapes, portraits, and abstract work. Her goal is to share her passion, energy, and love of art in her work.
Garner is the mother of two children and “MiMi” of eight grandchildren. She is a retired craft care specialist of Help Hospitalized Veterans and has enjoyed many years of sharing her love of both arts and crafts with veterans at VA hospitals in Little Rock, North Little Rock, and Washington DC. Garner retired in 2013 and moved back to Conway, Arkansas. She is looking forward to having more time to devote to making art.
Steve Garrison, Russellville
Steven Garrison graduated from Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, Arkansas, in December 1995 with a bachelor’s degree in geology. He is self-taught in woodworking and has had his work in several museums, galleries, and private collections, including the del Mano Gallery in Los Angeles, California; the River Valley Art Center in Russellville; Arkansas lieutenant governor Bill Halter’sts office in Little Rock, Arkansas; River Market Art Space in Little Rock; and Arte Bella in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He won second place at the Scroll Saw Association of the World Expo in 2012 in the open complex category with his piece World Globe.
Artist Statement: Most of my artwork uses segmented construction instead of being made from a single block of wood. This is not only a more efficient use of material but also makes construction easier. I am constantly dreaming up new ideas to make my artwork unique.
The shells are made from various hardwoods that are first milled into wedge-shaped pieces. The beginning of a shell is the first piece cut from a wedge, and subsequent pieces become bigger and bigger as each piece is used as a pattern for the next piece. Each piece is cut with a scroll saw at a bevel, and the angle of the wedges is typically around 18° to 20°. The pieces are glued together, shaped, and sanded as the shell progresses, growing from the inside out and spiraling around in a logarithmic spiral much like actual nautilus shells. Finally, the lip is shaped and the shell is sprayed with several thin coats of polyurethane for a glass-like finish.
The spheres start as various kinds of polyhedrons before being turned into spheres on a wood lathe. Each face is precisely cut with the correct angles using methods that I developed. The parts are then taped together into a ball, and glued all at once. After the glue dries overnight, the polyhedrons are turned into spheres and sanded on a lathe. The larger sphere used for my globe piece was too big for my lathe and was made round using a router jig I designed.
Marlene Gremillion, Hot Springs Village
Marlene Gremillion enjoys creating and designing in many media and has done so for over thirty-five years. Texture, color, and light play an important role in what she designs, be it in oil, pastel, watercolor, photography, collage, glass, polymer clay, or jewelry. She enjoys working, manipulating, and creating with her hands and experiments to see if she can come out with a pleasing artistic piece. She says, “It sort of reminds me of being a child at play. I just enjoy having fun, along with it being therapeutic for me.”
Gremillion is active in the arts and enjoys teaching. She says, “I enjoy watching others learn and get excited about creating their own works. As adults, we forget to have fun. I encourage students to do just that; you must enjoy what you are doing to be creative, and then it shows in your works.”
Gremillion teaches at the National Park Community College, at Pulaski Tech in the continuing education program, and at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. She also enjoys traveling and teaching workshops. She is a registered teacher through the Arts on Tour with the Arkansas Arts Council Little Rock. Gremillion is in the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ 2017–2018 Artists’ Registry and is a member of the International Society of Experimental Artists.
She recently organized the Ouachita Mountain Polymer Clay Guild in Arkansas, the only active guild of its kind in Arkansas.
Gremillion is a charter member of Ouachita River Art Guild in West Monroe, Louisiana, and is a member of Brush Strokes in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas. Her art is presented at the Butler Center Galleries in the Arkansas Studies Institute building in Little Rock; Backwoods Gallery in El Dorado; Artists’ Workshop Gallery in Hot Springs; and Ouachita Artists Gallery in Mount Ida.
Gremillion is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists, Louisiana Watercolor Society, and Arkansas Pastel Society.
Austin Grimes, Little Rock
As a college zoology major, Austin Grimes sketched the common skeletal elements of lower animals and humans when he studied comparative anatomy. In medical school, he painted muscle origins and insertions on a skeleton. During a forty-year practice in orthopedic surgery, he sketched anatomical explanations to augment x-ray findings and to explain procedures to patients—often adding Donald Duck to coax laughter from a child. It wasn’t until retirement that Dr. Grimes took art classes, starting at the Arkansas Arts Center in 1994. Next, Little Rock impressionist Barry Thomas instructed him in oils, teaching him light and value and encouraging him to paint what he sees, despite being color blind. Thomas and Arden Boyce of Russellville remain his mentors and friends.
Dr. Grimes’s light-filled home studio has glass ceilings for light and floor-to-roof windows that view a backyard waterfall frequented by birds and chipmunks. Art supplies are transferred to a Roadtrek camper for driving trips, and a heavy backpack is utilized for off-road sites and trips abroad. His paintings reflect trips with his wife, Anne, to destinations from Key West to the Pacific coast, as well as their travels to China, the Baltic Sea, Italy, Costa Rica, Peru, and French Polynesia. Dr. Grimes helped form a small group of plein air (outdoor) artists, with whom he has painted in central Arkansas, southern France, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
In 2002, Carelink, Inc., featured Dr. Grimes’s Home Fires, his depiction of a Tuscan farmhouse fireplace, for the nonprofit agency’s first holiday card original by a local senior artist. The painting’s brilliant colors, bold impressionism, and liveliness are testimonials to the artist’s own assessment of his evolution in careers: “My passion shifted seamlessly from practice of medicine to art.”
Andrea Guidry, Springdale
My love of playing in the mud began as a child, making mud pies with my cousin in the mountains of North Carolina and later at Girl Scout camp during arts and crafts. My love of art continued as I studied form, texture, and design in the process of completing a degree in fine arts. I have been playing in clay for over thirty years.
My pottery consists of hand-built and wheel-thrown pieces. Hand building one-of-a-kind, whimsical pieces of art is my specialty. Inspiration comes from nature, which surrounds me in my garden, on hikes, or during float trips down the Buffalo River. My desire is not to only make utilitarian pieces but also to create works of art to be enjoyed by the senses of touch and sight. Whether as a dish or platter to serve delicious delicacies to family and friends or displayed as a work of art, each piece has its own personality.
Debby Gwaltney, Ozone
I was born to be an artist. The first time my folks dragged me kicking and screaming to my very first art festival as a young child, I saw the incredible variety of works that were created with glass, and I was instantly mesmerized. Since then I have always wanted to work with glass, but in what form? No answer ever really came to me. Then, eventually, I found a passion in doing beadwork. This led to buying beads. Buying beads led to discovering handmade glass beads. It seemed perfectly natural for me to blend my two loves into one art form: making glass beads. I love to make small, delicate pieces of art that can be worn close to the body. I think of my art as an intimate connection; it carries a piece of my spiritual energy that connects with the energy of the person who wears it. It is the perfect creative expression for me. I don’t worry about where my art will take me, because I know the journey will be full of happy surprises, disappointments, roadblocks, and breakthroughs. When I’m working, I am able to completely lose myself in the work. Lampworking is my path into a fantasy world where I can be anything I want, anywhere I want—and that comes through in the glass. The glass constantly challenges me to keep discovering more ways to play and dance with it. I firmly believe that art comes from the soul. My soul has had the deepest need to create art ever since I was first able to pick up a crayon and color on paper. I need to make art as much as I need to eat, breathe, and sleep. Art is my inner fire and is the essence of my being.
I begin a piece by thinking of a design and a shape, and then choosing the colors. Sometimes I go out to the studio with a plan, sometimes I throw that plan out the window once the torch is lit and just hang a right on the next tangent. Those are often the most fun, and most rewarding, times. I love exploring just one aspect of a technique and trying it out in many different ways. I’ll have an idea what I want, but the final result will be something completely different yet just as exciting, if not more. I do not have just one favorite color. I love ALL of the colors of the rainbow simply because I love the different relationships the colors have with each other; I rarely choose to use just one or two colors in my work. I also prefer subjects found in nature. God gave us all of these beautiful things to experience and enjoy. The earth is one giant toy box for all of us to sense, taste, smell, touch, and see. I enjoy creating art that connects with that force. God, followed by anyone with vision and creative spirit and the passion and the confidence to do what they want to do, mostly inspires me. Every artist is different in their own way, with a different set of skills and techniques, so I do not worry about how different my art is from others simply because I know that it is. I love to learn and discover new techniques, and so the journey along the way is so much more important to me than the actual destination.
Sheliah Halderman, Hot Springs Village
Sheliah Halderman is a member of Brush Strokes, Hot Springs Fine Arts Center, Arkansas Pastel Society, Artists’ Workshop Gallery, and Hot Springs Village Arts Council.
She is past president of Brush Strokes art group in Hot Springs Village. She was a past president of the Arkansas Pastel Society and as a charterer, remains a signature member. She is serving currently as the president of the Artists’ Workshop Gallery.
Halderman is a retired elementary education teacher. She has a master’s degree in education from Indiana University and completed 60 hours in art at National Park Community College. She has also taught pastel classes through National Park Community College and through various local art organizations.
She is also an antiques dealer and rents booths at an antique mall in Bryant, Arkansas. Creating jewelry is one of her other loves.
Anita Hejtmanek, Fayetteville
A graduate of Indiana University with a BFA with an emphasis in sculpture, Anita Hejtmanek discovered stained glass by finishing one of her sister’s projects. That’s when her interest in glass began, and she’s been making jewelry for more than eighteen years. She has also been a fiddler with a Celtic band in Fayetteville for thirty-five years. She and her husband built their own house and also started and own a local cooperative artists’ gallery (Heartwood Gallery), which has been successful for fifteen years.
Whimsical designs form the basis for Hejtmanek’s stained-glass jewelry, mobiles, and glass ornaments. She draws inspiration from the natural world, creating ornaments that feature colorful winged insects and necklaces that resemble leaves and vines. Use of glass, beads, and intricately woven wire makes each piece delicate and intriguing.
I have been creating my stained-glass jewelry for thirty-three years and have been a member of the Arkansas Craft Guild for almost as long. My inspiration comes from nature. I select, cut, and grind stained glass and add copper and Czech glass beads to bring it all together in my own unique designs.
Tim Hogan, McRae
Tim Hogan was born in 1959 and raised just outside of Searcy, Arkansas. He continues the family tradition of living on and operating the family farm. Hogan has worked with nature all of his life. He has worked with wood for many years, in one aspect or another, from building and remodeling homes to creating beautiful one-of-a kind woodturnings. Hogan started woodturning with his father several years ago as a hobby in the winter months. This off-season hobby has turned into a love of making vases, bowls, hollow forms, and many other unique creations.
I have been turning wood seriously since 2000. Most of the local wood that I use is salvaged from storm damage. I like to see what I can make of these odd pieces of wood; burls, knots, stumps, and odd-shaped pieces are my favorite to work with. Each piece of wood has its own unique personality, and you never know what to expect from it.
Karlyn Holloway, Austin
Karlyn Holloway grew up in North Little Rock, Arkansas, and currently lives in Austin, Arkansas. She started drawing at a very young age, often having a sketchbook with her and drawing portraits of friends. She graduated from ASU-Beebe with an associate’s degree in art, then furthered her education at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.
Holloway is trained in multiple art mediums, including pencil, watercolor, and oil. She creates distinctive floral paintings, but has also completed many portrait commissions. Holloway has won numerous awards and has been in many national and regional juried shows, including Watercolor USA, Mid-Southern Watercolor, and Bosque Conservatory in Clifton, Texas.
Holloway belongs to the Mid-Southern Watercolorists organization, Arkansas League of Artists, and Conway League of Artists. Her work is in collections nationally and internationally. She currently is represented by Casa La Pace gallery in Ghivizzano, Italy, and by the Galleries at Library Square in Little Rock.
It is hard to convey to someone the innate need to create. I just know for me it’s as important as breathing. I started out young with simple drawings and still love to draw. Though I have been working predominantly in oils and watercolors for the last few years, drawing is still the foundation of my work.
The next consideration for myself is, can I bring something new to the table? My style is based on a realistic tradition, but I try to blend it with a contemporary, elegant design. I use strong values as a symbol of hope, bringing light and subtle color to a sometimes-dark world. Shadow patterns represent the patterns of our life always changing. I feel the subtle color changes in nature are given as a gift for our soul.
Julie Holt, Little Rock
Holt graduated from the University of North Texas in 1994, with a BFA in ceramics. Then, she moved to Little Rock and began working in clay, watercolors, and oil.
As I moved from clay, watercolors, and oil toward two- and three-dimensional sculptural work, there remained a deep satisfaction for me in making functional pieces-that is, something useful but at the same time artistic and beautiful.
In college, I began making the stamps that I use today on my slab pieces. I have always been drawn to Egyptian art, and these pieces feel to me like my own personal hieroglyphs.
After years of making wheel-thrown, stoneware pottery, I am now concentrating on hand-building terra cotta or porcelain objects. I love the pristine white of the porcelain and the imperfect, organic construction of a hand-built vessel.
My earthenware pieces, with their bright underglazes, indulge my love of color, whimsy, and pattern.
My work attempts to create something precious and that honors connections from various experiences in my life: spending endless hours in fabric stores with my mom; learning to sew and garden by watching my mom; my love and appreciation of animals; and lucky adventures like living on an apple orchard, living in Ireland, and traveling around the world. These, and other experiences like favorite music and friends, have influenced my paintings in the form of lines, patterns, colors, and lyrical subject. My paintings are how I feel the world, and the clay pieces are the beautiful little tools of daily life-sacred treasures or reminders of what I love. I hope you enjoy them.
John Honey, Sherwood
John Honey is a member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists and Arkansas League of Artists. He was a professional accountant who finally decided that art is a more appropriate outlet for his creative urges. He has studied the use of water-based mediums and collage under several nationally recognized artists. He is constantly challenged to find a different approach for including the elements of design in his paintings. His focus now is acrylic on canvas. He favors abstraction over realism as a means of expression.
John’s work has been seen in juried exhibitions at the Arkansas Art Center, Cantrell Gallery, and the Galleries at Library Square.
He paints at Natural Expressions Studio with Amy Hill Imler and other artist friends.
Judy Shantz Honey, Sherwood
Judy Shantz Honey enjoyed an interest in art as a child, and this interest continued through her studies at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and in the Museum School at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. She has also studied with nationally recognized art instructors in art workshops around the United States and in Mexico.
Watercolor, acrylic, and collage are her primary mediums, with work on paper and on canvas. Her paintings are exhibited in the Retail Gallery at the Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock. Her work is included in private collections locally and nationally. She is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists and the Arkansas Arts Council. She is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists.
Shape, pattern, and texture are everywhere around us, and they are strong influences in my work. Color is always a most exciting element, and a strong composition or design adds underlying strength. My spiritual journey as an artist and as a person is expressed as I become sensitive to what each painting wants to be or wants to say. Every painting is a journey, and it is an adventure to see what it will become.
Archie Hoskins, Mayflower
I have always been interested in Native American culture, clothing, and weapons for survival. Because of my interest and love for Native American art work, I learned to design Native American arrows, quivers, and jewelry.
My art work is made with the following materials: cedar shafts, stone arrow points and bone arrow points, deer skin, turkey feathers, beads made of wood and bone, and artificial sinew. These items are used to give an authentic Native American appearance.
These items could be used for other purposes, but I recommend that my art be used for wall decoration. The jewelry creates a unique accessory for both men and women but can also be used for Native American home décor.
Maria Hoskins, Mayflower
Maria Hoskins has served as community outreach specialist for the federal government for over fourteen years and has been employed in the field of community outreach for over twenty-five years. She spent ten years on the senior district staff for Arkansas’s 2nd Congressional District congressman Vic Snyder until his retirement in January 2011.
Hoskins is a native of Mayflower, Arkansas, and a graduate of Philander Smith College, from which she received a BA in English and communications. Hoskins has published four children’s books through her independent publishing company, C & V 4 Seasons Publishing Company. Her fourth book, My Easter Story, debuted in spring 2017. Hoskins’s first children’s book, Christmas Night on the Farm, gives a vision of Christmas Eve at her grandmother’s farm, recalling memories and considering the meaning of Christmas. The touching stories focus on a girl’s memories of her family’s holiday season in the mid-1960s on a rural Arkansas farm.
Hoskins says, “I am excited to share my books with students throughout Arkansas! The purposes of my books are to share a happy memory from a moment in time and to encourage young readers and writers that there is a book in all of us.” She is married to Archie, has two children, Christina and Victoria, and is an active member of the Palarm Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Mayflower, Arkansas.
Book Synopsis: My Easter Story
Some family traditions we carry with us from childhood into our adult lives. The memories are stored in the very depths of our souls. As children, it did not matter one’s religion, race, or social status; holidays may be celebrated in different ways, but we have that common thread: we celebrate with our loved ones and create memories that last a lifetime.
Easter is one of the holidays that may take on a different name depending on religion, place of residence, or ethnic culture, but the traditional celebrations are similar.
Such is the tradition with the writer’s family. Maria Hoskins recalls how fun, exciting, and special Easter preparation and Easter Sunday activities were during her childhood, especially at her grandmother’s house. Hoskins hopes each reader will enjoy her Easter story and recall those moments when things like finding a basket of colored and candy eggs felt (and tasted) like there was nothing else better in the whole wide world.
Gailen Hudson, Springdale
Gailen Hudson was born and raised in Pittsburg, Kansas, graduating from Pittsburg High School in 1971. After military service from 1972 to 1975 in the U.S. Army First Infantry Division, he studied anthropology and landscape architecture at Kansas State University, graduating in 1982 with a BS in anthropology. His first pottery classes were with Angelo Garzio at Kansas State University. He attended the University of Arkansas for graduate school in archeology, continuing classes in pottery under Don Curtis in 1984.
He opened a home studio in 1986 in his carport and later built a room addition as a studio. Pottery was therapy and a hobby while he had “real jobs”: in archeology, in carpentry, at a production pottery studio, in plastics manufacturing, as a business broker, as a geotechnical engineering technician, and as a construction inspector. He has sold functional and traditional wares at local craft shows and mountain man rendezvous re-enactments for several years. He enjoys the technical aspects of ceramics and formulates and tests glazes and clay bodies of local northwest Arkansas clay. His work today is primarily cone 6 electric and raku firings. Gailen is the owner of The Clay Bank, Inc., a pottery supply, equipment, and studio business located in Springdale, Arkansas, which opened in July 2010. He and his wife, Cathy, have three children and have lived in Springdale since 1983.
I like to make things out of clay, the raw earth minerals, and glaze to create forms to place into the fire. Due to the amorphous nature of the raw clay, the things I create may be small insect or animal forms or functional ware pottery. The fire hardens the mass into a new level of beauty and purpose to bring enrichment in my life and to others by the creative process of forming the clay and the effects of the fire. Manipulating clay is a most therapeutic activity to calm the soul and refresh the human spirit. This is why I like to use my hands to form clay—it is calming and gives me a gentler approach to life. I use a potter’s wheel to make most of my forms, but I also use several hand-building techniques to create the forms and assemble them. My work is influenced by many others whose skills and insights into the pottery processes I admire, but I also look to other cultures with their values, materials, and technology to find a new outlook for the creative process.
Angela Davis Johnson, Little Rock
Angela Davis Johnson is best known for her vibrant narrative paintings that examine universal connections, southern identity, and historical occurrences through personal symbols. Navigating between academic influences and outsider art individuality, she creates textured figures using oil paint, scrap paper, and fabric within unique compositions. She is a signature member of the Arkansas League of Artists, and her work can be seen in galleries and private collections throughout the United States. She divides her time between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Atlanta, Georgia.
I articulate my deepest thoughts visually. Through this visual language, I reconstruct the human figure through line and saturated color to express my concerns with a wide range of interests, including relationships between differing social classes, economic disparities, and the emotional battle we all face when trying to find self worth. Lately, I have been applying fabric and paper collage with my painting methods to create depth to the narratives and intrigue to the overall composition.
Junk Food Junkies, Little Rock
Junk Food Junkies (JFJ) is an anonymous group of street artists from Little Rock, Arkansas. The collective consists of several street artists going by the names Woozel (founder), Loogie, and FUGA.
In about 2009, Woozel created JFJ and its central motif of an iconic kid-friendly, messy, silly, junk-food-eating lifestyle, using his signature character throughout the streets of Little Rock and other cities including Austin, Texas, and New York City. He spent several years executing the motifs behind JFJ with his signature character and soon became a staple in Little Rock street art.
Woozel befriended Loogie, a punk cartoonist who, for several years, had been contributing to the Independent/DIY comix scene. Often working collaboratively, they completed a significant amount of work both on the street and for private collectors. Most recently, Woozel and Loogie joined forces with a local artist who works in many different media who is known as FUGA. The adventure continues.
Bonnie Kastler, Hot Springs Village
When I was just six years old, a neighbor friend of my mother gave me a very old sewing machine. It was not long before I became fascinated with it and began to sew dresses for myself. As the years went on, my sewing led to making things for others including formal dresses and eveningwear.
My younger sister did not like to sew, but she started to learn how to knit. I came to enjoy the beautiful things she made, and, in short order, I picked up her skills of knitting. These crafts were a large part of our lives growing up in Wisconsin—because neither of us liked the very cold outdoor activities in the wintertime.
After getting married, I continued to knit and quilt. When my husband and I moved to Florida, I visited an arts-and-crafts show where I was introduced to beaded crocheted jewelry. As time went on, I joined many different quilt guilds and now I am proud to say my quilts have won awards. More recently I was bitten by the beading bug, and it was just natural for me to combine my quilting/crocheting/beading skills into art that others have come to enjoy.
Living in Florida was a wonderful experience because there were a lot of very talented artists there who were willing to share their skills. However, southern Florida is too far from my family in Wisconsin, so Arkansas became my home.
Jacquelyn Kaucher, Little Rock
Jacquelyn Kaucher is a member of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Association and has taught basic watercolor and experimental water media at the Arkansas Arts Center for nineteen years. She has traveled with other artists to the Oregon Coast; Vicksburg, Mississippi; the Grand Canyon area of Arizona; and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. During her travels, Kaucher gives demonstrations and conducts painting workshops.
Kaucher earned her letters from the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Association by being in five juried exhibitions. In 2002, Kaucher was selected to decorate an Easter egg for the White House that will be in the Bush Presidential Library collection. In 2004, she received the prestigious Purchase Award from the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, and the Gold Award in 2010 from the Mid-Southern Watercolorists juried exhibition in Little Rock.
Kaucher’s work can be seen in Mountain View, Arkansas, at the Arkansas Craft Guild Shop, and in Clinton, Arkansas, and is collected by many Arkansans and others in outlying states. Her work has also been accepted for the Rocky Mountain National Watercolor Show in Colorado. She has been working on a series of acrylic floral paintings that are 60″ x 48″ on gallery canvas. Kaucher also has completed an extensive collection of 22″ x 30″ watercolor paintings.
I love how art enables you to share your own thoughts and perspectives of the world. Teaching allows me to share my knowledge with students and watch them build on it. It is rewarding to see what they make and the joy it brings into their lives.
John Kushmaul, Little Rock
John Kushmaul was born on a military base in Selma, Alabama, in 1972. He graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas, in December of 1993, with a minor in art. Kushmaul has been working and painting in Little Rock for the past fourteen years. Also, he worked in local television for over four years.
Currently, I am in the middle of a series of paintings depicting downtown Little Rock. Most of the works are based on photographs that I take of the city. Little Rock serves as a convenient subject because of the variety of architecture covering the history of modern life in Arkansas. The street lights, power poles, wires, and satellite dishes show parts of the layers of technology that cover this history. The light of the seasons, also, is the subject of some of these works.
Beth Lambert, Little Rock
Beth Lambert is a studio potter and beekeeper who lives in Little Rock, Arkansas. She also teaches clay classes for adults at the Arkansas Arts Center.
I became interested in terra cotta as a way of playing with clay again after working with very serious functional stoneware and porcelain. Working with terra cotta felt freer somehow, like a vacation. During this vacation, I started explorations in colored terra sigillatas, which opened spectral doors previously forbidden.
A slab-built hollow avian form developed from this darkness. I liked that every part of it was hollow, and I liked using very thin slabs. It became a dare to see how light and thin I could make them. One day, I realized they were so light they would float. This was very exciting to me, even though there was no logic to it. Who wants ceramic objects that float? But it took them in a different direction. Impressed markings started to suggest stars and maps and the idea of floating in the sky, and then I realized they didn’t need wings.
In this mythology, we have noted the appearance of a fantastic new creature that has been far away and brought back to us in new constellations of mysterious significance. These birds have evolved without wings to move simply between dimensions; migratory patterns innate to the species become part of the plumage.
Each color of terra sigillata on the birds is mixed from several different colors to give the colors a subtle depth. I don’t keep the recipes. When my supply of that color is exhausted, I formulate new ones. I enjoy this alchemical aspect of creation.
Russell Lemond, Little Rock
“Raw industrial” is the term I like to use to describe the sculpture and furniture I’ve been experimenting with since 2001.
After stumbling across a “goldmine” of scrap aluminum years ago, the thought of making things from it was filed away for a couple of years and finally acted upon when my wife and I decided we needed some ultra-contemporary tables for our home.
With encouragement from friends and associates, I began to design and build more furniture – all the while giving me the chance to hone my skills as a fabricator, welder, and artist using various abrasive methods to bring out unique characteristics of the metal.
While I consider my furniture pieces as “artistic,” I’ve really enjoyed moving into the more sculptural arena. Being completely self-taught, it’s been eye-opening to discover how light plays over the metal after I use various techniques and tools. When placed in the right light, many of the pieces exhibit a holographic effect, and the surface of the work can give the appearance of being several inches thick.
While I’ve heard it commented that my work is “outside the box,” I enjoy a more open view of it (and life in general)– there is no box!
Lori Taxer Lewis, Hot Springs
I have always collected crystal and glass, and have always been fascinated with the material itself. While the optical quality of crystal is fascinating, it is the way it can be manipulated in a myriad of ways that I find irresistible. I love making light dance on the highly polished surface or the soft satiny sheen of the matte surface of glass. With the addition of heat, I have the freedom to turn this hard, brittle material into a soft, flowing, molten liquid that I can comb, stretch, drip, pull, and totally control the dynamics of.
When I see beautiful things, I am forced to stop and take a break from my busy life and just appreciate them. My goal is for my work to give people a chance to stop and just appreciate the beauty of the crystal or glass for just a moment.
Erin Lorenzen, Little Rock
Little Rock native Erin Lorenzen is an artist, teacher, designer, and business owner. She received her BA in studio art and Spanish at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and she became a certified yoga instructor in 2010. She has had solo art exhibitions at Gallery 26 in Little Rock, Merkle and Price Galleries at the South Arkansas Arts Center in El Dorado, and Argenta Public Arts Space in North Little Rock, as well as participating in several group exhibitions.
I create objects with reclaimed materials. My works are equal parts diary, scrapbook, and travelogue. Family hand-me-downs, objects and images collected while traveling, food labels, and production scraps chronicle my life in an ongoing collection of paintings, sculpture, clothing, and jewelry. By using the old to create the new, I hope to encourage saving and mending in a culture that is often wasteful and excessive. My recent works explore every part of daily life. They are a constant investigation of what people devote themselves to and why.
Jane Lovett Holt
Award-winning Little Rock artist Jane Dees Lovett Holt began her study of painting with Jack Diner at the Arkansas Arts Center. She then graduated from the University of Arkansas with a BA in art and studied portraiture with Michael Shane Neal. By invitation, Holt painted with Jeff Legg in France as part of the Plein Air Masters’ Program.
Holt paints in oil from life, either en plein air or with a model, and is a founding member of the Portrait Society of America and an associate member of the Oil Painters of America.
Her soft-realism oil paintings are in national and international collections, including the Arkansas Court of Appeals, the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion, NEA Baptist Hospital in Jonesboro, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute. To learn more about Holt’s art, visit her website at www.JaneLovettHolt.com.
I paint with passion. Always aware of the effects of light, I find great reward in capturing the way it reflects off my subjects and the shadows they cast. I desire to lead the viewer into quiet places with warm feelings, similar to what I experience as my paintings evolve. My work is soft realism with a little surprise. It is my own style!
LunaTick Designs, Little Rock
LunaTick Designs is a local design company created by Arkansas artists Marianne Nolley and Brianna Peterson. The two met in middle school, where they kindled a friendship from a shared passion for art. They attended high school (Parkview High School) and college (University of Central Arkansas) together, both earning a degree in art education. Nolley teaches art at Mount St. Mary Academy, and Peterson teaches art at Bryant High School. Over the course of their friendship, they have shared art lessons, collaborated on exhibitions, and sought input from one another in their personal artwork.
In the summer of 2018, Nolley and Peterson decided to merge their artistic skills and interests to form LunaTick Designs. Peterson creates hand-drawn illustrations inspired by nature. When she isn’t teaching, she often spends her time outdoors. Her designs are based on personal experiences and connections to the natural world. Nolley then converts Peterson’s illustrations into digital images, adding her own aesthetics to the design through color, pattern, and text. The two collaborate until they are both satisfied with the design. Electric Ghost, another great local business in Little Rock, screenprints all of their t-shirts and hats.
Eleanor Lux, Eureka Springs
Eleanor Lux was born in Memphis, Tennessee. She began her art training at the Memphis Art Academy at the age of ten under Burton Callicott. She continued on scholarship, studying weaving under Henry Easterwood, until she was twenty-two. At the same time, Lux was attending MSU, where she received a BFA cum laude in printmaking and printing.
Lux moved to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, twenty-five years ago, where she became fully involved with fibers – they easily express the beauty and spirit of the area. It was a class in beading that moved her into sculptural beadwork. Lux has won numerous awards, and her beadwork has been acquired by various museums.
Expressing my thoughts and feelings in a visual way has always been the most relaxing and/or exciting way for me to belong in this world. I spent many years working by day in stained glass and by night as a weaver. When I began to blend the two together in beading, I finally felt comfortable and wanted to stay there forever. Bringing light and reflection to softness and movement made it possible for me to say everything. Now I have a studio with five looms and weave by commission during the day and bead all night. Most of my woven commissioned work consists of large fiber pieces for the wall, but I also weave rugs, curtains, and chair slings.
My beadwork is all sculptural, and I enter competitive shows with the different pieces. So, they are on the road most of the time.
Brian Madden, Little Rock
My drawings thrive on intuition and chance. They are gestural automatic drawings that develop through the layering of different media such as graphite, ink, wash, color pencil, and collage.
I recycle old drawings, collaging and re-working them to achieve a tactile effect. Though this comes at the risk of losing part of the original drawing, I am able to find new images and resolutions by sacrificing these parts. Sometimes the images are abstract, figurative, or a mixture of the two. The titles may make sense but could also be an afterthought or a joke.
The surface of the drawing is in service to its completion. It’s a prop that points to the real action of the story; the materials and how I use them to create what I consider to be a finished piece.
I attended Memphis College of Art in the 1990s and received a BFA with a concentration in printmaking and drawing.
My artistic output slow-brewed while I was bumming around in New Orleans, and then one day about ten years ago I decided to stop playing around and get down to brass tacks. Since then I’ve been showing around Little Rock, mostly at Gallery 26 but also Gallery 221, Gallery 360, and Chroma Gallery, and I had a piece in the Small Works on Paper show in 2016.
My work has gone from strictly comics to strictly abstract, and over the years I’ve learned to marry the two. The honeymoon is still in progress.
I like vegan food, Carroll Cloar, Vincent Price movies, funny women, and the Beatles.
Ann Manees, North Little Rock
Rug hooking is a form of folk art that surfaced in New England and the Canadian Atlantic during the eighteenth century. At that time, our predecessors gathered precious bits of family garments and blankets that were worn beyond any other use and created rugs for cold bare floors. Early designs for rugs were simple, even primitive—proportion and perspective were often disregarded. Even in the simplest of circumstances, creative expression sprang forth.
The fibers were colored with native plant dyes and hand-cut into thin strips. Loops were pulled through rough burlap with a bent-tip nail embedded into a hand-carved wooden handle. Today’s process is largely unchanged, but the availability and durability of materials is remarkably improved and supports the resurgence of rug hooking for function and fun. Like the patterns of those who came before me, my rug patterns reflect the things that touch my soul and the world I have lived in.
From thrift stores to garage sales, I search for wool in excellent condition. The fabrics are washed, dismantled, and torn into small sections ready for the Cushing dye bath. Only a small percentage of my wool is new yardage from the bolt. Most of the wool is over-dyed by hand into many rich colors and textures. Some of the wool is wonderful and used as I find it—this is called “as is” wool. Increasingly, I am using wool and silk yarn and even repurposed wool sweaters and scarves to create texture and dimension.
Thousands of quarter-inch strips are cut by hand and by machine. The strips are hooked into sturdy, long-lasting linen or cotton foundations stretched tautly over a frame. Each strip is chosen for its color and texture to “paint” the rug canvas. The strips are hooked loop by loop by loop. The loops have their own rhythm that sings quietly to the soul.
May you enjoy your rug as much as I have enjoyed hooking it for you…loop by loop by loop.
Ann Manees is a native Arkansan, retired nurse, quilter, beader, gardener, wife, grandmother, and hooked-rug artist.
Monica “Mokasso” McGee, Little Rock
Monica McGee, MBA, also known by the artist name, “Mokasso,” was born in Bakersfield, California and currently resides in the Central Arkansas area. Monica owns a small Creative Arts and Media company and is a Professional Visual Artist. Monica has a degree in Organizational Management and a master’s degree in Business, obtaining both from Nyack College in Nyack, New York. She has been creative and intrigued by art for most of her life and initially started out as an Art minor in college; however, it wasn’t until 2017 when she battled heavily with depression and anxiety that she would begin painting as an outlet.
Themes consistent in Mokasso’s body of work are bright vivid colors as they counterbalance the darkness that she has experienced in her life. Although she does mix medium, Black Art, on large canvasses, Mokasso is known for her body of work with images depicted from the back as they represent looking forward and leaving the past behind. Mokasso’s body of work tells the story of her life through pictures, which tend to have a motivational or life lesson attached to each piece. Her goal through her body of work is to uplift, inspire, and share her story with the world through art. Monica’s paintings have been featured in galleries in Arkansas statewide and has won awards for her body of work.
Maura Miller, Fayetteville
Maura Miller has worked in clay since the fourth grade. When she moved to Fresno, California, she found that the dirt in the garden was mostly made of clay. She added special ingredients and many fantastic creatures to this clay.
She graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a BA in studio art and cultural anthropology. She worked as an archaeologist in the United States and some territories for six years. During this time, she took clay classes whenever she could. She finally decided to leave archaeology and return to her artwork. She started working at Terra Studios, as a potter, in 2001.
I have always preferred to work three dimensionally. I like being able to put my hands around what I am working on. I love looking at two-dimensional work, but I am more satisfied working in the round.
I usually consider myself to be a potter of non-functional works, although about forty percent of my work is now functional. But I never worry that most of my work is non-functional. I love making vessels for the sheer joy of exploring a shape that intrigues me. The whole process excites me. I achieve an intense satisfaction when I figure out how all of the parts come together to form a whole.
I cannot imagine ever leaving my work in clay. There is still so much to learn and explore. I could never grow tired of working in clay.
Greg Mitchell, Fayetteville
I’ve been a cartographer for more than thirty years and have worked making maps for the City of Fayetteville for most of the last decade. I’m old enough that when I started in school we still drew maps with Rapidograph pens and cut patterns with an X-Acto knife—the craft of it always appealed to me—but I changed with the times and in recent years have spent most of the day in front of a computer. Something gained, something lost.
I always liked pen and ink. I’m a hands-on kind of guy and am always drawing something, whether it’s a doodle or my next furniture design. So when I finally started drawing pen-and-ink maps, I wondered why it had taken me so long.
Letterpress is a recent love. I’d already begun making hand-drawn maps and printing them on my inkjet printer when I saw the announcement of a letterpress workshop nearby—a match made in heaven! The wonderful old presses were immediately inviting, and the quality of the product a perfect fit with my hand-drawn maps. I worked in an offset print shop in the ‘80s, so I wasn’t a complete novice, but the vintage presses and tactile feel of the prints had me hooked as soon as I tried it. There’s a great satisfaction to the simple process and human scale and speed of production, not to mention the gorgeous product.
Fayetteville, Arkansas, has been my home for about the last thirty-five years. I moved to Arkansas in 1981 after living my first thirty years in California. My hometown of Palo Alto—or “Camelot” as my wife Pati and I like to call it—is kind of like the Garden of Eden: not a place you move back to once you’ve left. Not on my salary anyway.
Not that I’ve regretted it; Fayetteville is a great college town nestled in the Ozark Mountains of northwest Arkansas, with beautiful scenery, miles of bike trails, great music and theater, an awesome public library, and a flourishing cafe, restaurant, craft beer, and nightlife scene. Its combination of feisty liberals and down-to-earth Arkies keeps it interesting and real.
Other interests include baking (I make a mean sourdough sprouted-buckwheat-oat-wheat-spelt-barley-raisin bread), rustic furniture making, gardening, biking, and hanging out with my wonderful family, which includes wife Pati, five kids/stepkids, and three fast-growing granddaughters. I AM HERE CARDS now lets me create fun and accurate hand-drawn maps—which is what I always pictured myself doing anyway—and combines it with working with these great old printing machines. Hope you enjoy my cards as much as I do.
Moody Brown, North Little Rock
Moody Brown is a business founded by three teachers who create art to highlight Arkansas landmarks, parks, and attractions. We are inspired by traveling to the different destinations in our home state. The original designs that we create have a vintage farmhouse feel, and each one is a little different. Each piece is hand-printed on 100% cotton towels, and the ink we use is water-based and eco-friendly in an effort to keep Arkansas beautiful!
Gregory Moore, Little Rock
My art-making process begins with rummaging through salvage yards and dumpsters in search of discarded objects to paint on. I seek out artifacts that are uniquely stained, rusted, or otherwise damaged. As I paint, I let the characteristics that attract me to the piece guide my painting, overlaying imagery that integrates and honors the character of the found object.
I am interested in what manmade debris tells us about the nature of “the outside.” I find pieces of rusted, dented metal and paint on them in a way that doesn’t obscure their original texture and color. Because these scraps have been rejected, they function as a reminder of our collective shadow, and because they undergo processes that our human bodies could not withstand, they bear witness to dramas and stories that go on outside of our daily awareness.
The subject matter I choose is largely informed by the detritus I start with. Often, I evoke or reimagine the scene where decaying trash might be found (a field of red clover, a cluster of thistles). When I began painting on found objects, the images that emerged were weeds and wildflowers. Now I find myself letting the specificity of each object guide me into a more diverse range of imagery that can move beyond the natural world. More and more, I find myself playing with the tension in meaning that can be created when an image from my own memory or imagination is paired with a discarded rusty metal object.
It is my hope that these works provoke thought about the richness and complexity of elements we might otherwise ignore.
Daniella Napolitano, Little Rock
Printmaker Daniella Napolitano was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and currently lives and works in Little Rock. She studied at American University in Washington DC, where she received her BA in studio art with a minor in graphic design. She sees printmaking as a combination of fine art and design and is drawn to linocut and screenprinting techniques that lend themselves to bold visual interpretation. She draws her inspiration from nature and ecology. Her art explores the diverse and complex relationships between animals, humans, and the environment. She highlights the unique personalities of her subjects with detailed line work and bright color.
I use my aesthetic appreciation of wildlife to deepen my ecological appreciation and understanding of them. I compare my process to looking through an encyclopedia or field guide and reading about the pictures you find interesting. I choose an animal and begin researching what impact that animal has on its environment and how it is viewed in today’s society. I use this research to exaggerate the details I find most thought-provoking, allowing the viewer to gain a different or nuanced perspective, based on biological fact, of the subject matter. If the viewer learns something from my work, I consider it a successful piece. I focus on anatomical accuracy over drawing generalized figures that represent animals, often referencing dozens of source photos at a time. Having this kind of clarity in my research informs the clarity of my precise line work in my prints. I create bold lines and shapes to make striking compositions and use fine details to draw the viewer in. For me, this close attention to my subject matter takes my work from an aesthetic appreciation of these animals to an appreciation of them biologically and ecologically. By examining the relationship between various animal species and their surroundings, my work pushes the viewer toward a greater awareness of the ecological relation between man, animal, and environment.
Vernon Oberle, Jacksonville
I am a retired IT manager, and I live in Jacksonville, Arkansas. I have been woodworking for about twenty-five years and woodturning for twenty years. My hobby started out as building telescopes, but I found I enjoyed the woodworking more. A friend and I built furniture and church fixtures. I also like to make my own tools. I enjoy turning hollow forms (vases), platters, boxes, pens, and kaleidoscopes. I also paint, dye, and put texture on some of them. I make some of my own lampworked glass for my kaleidoscope cells. I like to use mixed media in my pieces.
I have a David Lindow rose engine (ornamental lathe) that I use to enhance my pieces with ornamentation and guilloche. My shop also includes the usual woodturning and woodworking equipment.
Connie O’Mara, Springdale
Connie O’Mara was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1957. After the sudden death of her father in 1962, her family moved to northwest Arkansas. She graduated from Springdale High School in 1975. She attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and received a BSE in art education in 1979.
Her jewelry career began in 1985 when she began working as a bench jeweler at the Northwest Arkansas Mall. She was introduced to natural stones (turquoise, lapis, malachite, rutilated quartz, jaspers, etc.) while employed by Olivia Sordo in 1990. While working for Olivia, she became well acquainted with silver and silver repair. After ten years in the retail jewelry business, she decided it was time to leave and concentrate on her own art. With the support of her husband, Ralph, she set up her home studio. Her goal was to create her own line of one-of-a-kind silver jewelry.
In 2000, she entered her jewelry in the Fayetteville Fine Arts Festival and was accepted. This was the first exposure of her own designs. Due to that exposure, she was able to have her work shown at Enigma Gallery in Fayetteville. In 2001, she received the People’s Choice Award at the Fayetteville Fine Arts Festival and was asked to show her work at Zarks Gallery in Eureka Springs. More of her jewelry can be seen at the Galleries at Library Square in Little Rock. Bartholomew Jewelers in Fayetteville also sells her line of jewelry.
She began participating in the Fayetteville Arts Festival in 2000. At the 2008 show, she was runner-up in 3D Design. Also in 2008, she received first place in 3D Design at the Eureka Springs Arts Festival. In May 2009, she was one of the featured artists at Zarks Gallery during the 2009 May Festival of the Arts.
“That’s different” seems to be the first statement people make when they see my jewelry. I consider that a compliment. My designs are a combination of love for the stones, with their unique differences, and my desire to let them shine. I draw upon my appreciation for all things in nature, for where else can you find such untouched beauty?
Be it jasper, malachite, lapis, agates, or stones I find along creek beds, I take into consideration each stone before putting my designs into metal. I keep the designs simple so as not to take anything away from the individual beauty of the stones.
It all starts with a simple curve.
Tina Oppenheimer, Fayetteville
A relentless individualist, I was always “artistic” and particularly liked to draw. While a teen at Moseley Road School of Art in Birmingham, England, I was enveloped in the ornamentalism of old European craftsmanship—ordinarily mundane things here are very intricately decorative there. “Wall” art started to seem frivolous to me. I flummoxed at what a waste it is to make art just to hang there on the wall when you could make functional things that were also art. At that young age, I committed my own creativity to art that was functional. Though I always continued drawing, I poured my “art” into crocheting. The hook was my brush and the yarn my paint, creating things to be used, worn, walked on, sat upon, wrapped in, and snuggled under. Ordinary objects can be made magical, leading from a mundane world into one of infinite beauty. This dedication has been a constant in my life.
I view my cards as a combination of art and craft, mostly the latter. All my cards are my original designs, mostly pen-and-ink drawings, some reductions of prints. I print them myself on a variety of quality card stocks and I cut, fold, and glitter them each by hand. This meditative process makes them each virtually a one-of-a-kind item. I perform and enjoy every step in the production, sales, and distribution myself.
I made my own Christmas cards for years before launching Ozark Cards commercially in 1992. I am providing my customers and outlets a local and handmade option to combat our corporate industrial society. My cards are also facilitating communication between people who care about each other.
Bennie Parker, Little Rock
Bennie Parker began drawing at the age of six, when his mother first bought him crayons and colored pencils. As his drawing skills developed through the years, Parker became a promising teenage artist. He has won a nationally sponsored art contest that was held in Arkansas.
I always try to express myself through my art, and my numerous drawings have been an inspiration for everyone. Recently, I discovered oil painting, and I am very pleased with my first works. I have participated in art exhibitions and shows throughout the Arkansas region (especially Little Rock) and Tennessee. I am available for portrait commissions and other works.
Ed Pennebaker, Clinton
Ed Pennebaker makes all of the glass at Red Fern Glass, an individual art glass studio near Osage, Arkansas. In 2005, one of Pennebaker’s works was installed in the Fred W. Smith Conference Center on the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences campus in Little Rock, Arkansas. Glass made by Pennebaker has been shown at SOFA Chicago by Function Art Gallery. His chandeliers were awarded the “Excellence in Lighting” award at the Philadelphia Furniture and Furnishings Show, and a Red/Amber/Smoke chandelier was chosen to exhibit in the 2001 Hsinchu International Glass Art Festival in Hsinchu, Taiwan. His work was chosen in 1993 for the White House Crafts Collection. He sells glass in major museum shops and galleries nationwide, including the Galleries at Library Square in Little Rock.
Cary Pollock, Berryville
I’m sixty-four years old and retired from service in the public schools of Northwest Arkansas, but I’m unwilling to just shut down and vegetate in front of the “boob tube.” I’ve always had an artistic bent, and I’ve made a career of photography, television production and post production, and production systems design and engineering, mostly for secondary and post secondary schools; I also spent some time doing commercial production, and that work garnered me some accolades.
Now, I’m applying my “artsy” interests to a new endeavor, silversmithing, because I just love the way silver feels in my hand. And, I love to see people sporting my “wearable art.” It feels like I’m able to participate a little in strangers’ lives by their appreciation of my jewelry. I hope you like what you see.
Richard Prewitt, Little Rock
Years ago, artists crafted quality watches with beautiful designs. My pieces display their works, while enhancing them with jewels from around the world.
I was raised in Osceola, Arkansas, and I have lived in the Hillcrest neighborhood of Little Rock for all my adult life. My career has been very diverse, from social worker to Army officer, and for the last twenty-five years I have been in real estate development. My formal art education is limited, so I am primarily self taught.
A few years ago, I found some movements from old pocket watches for sale. I knew that these were real works of art, so I bought several, not really knowing what I would do with them. With much inspiration and assistance from my daughter, Jennifer, who is a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, and input from many talented, artistic friends and neighbors, I started turning them into one-of–a-kind pieces of jewelry. Now, after much experimentation, I am offering these works for sale. The true art is in the workmanship of craftsmen many years ago; my work is to convert them from timepieces to jewelry using jewels from all parts of the world.
When not working on my newfound venture, my interests include spending time with family, backpacking, and other outdoor activities.
Walt Priest, North Little Rock
Walt Priest is a photographer living in North Little Rock, Arkansas. After spending nearly forty years as a funeral service professional in his hometown of Beebe, Arkansas, Priest began pursuing photography in earnest in 2008. Although the natural landscape is his primary subject of interest, he ventures into other subject matter, such as urban landscapes. Priest travels the state and the country in pursuit of his love of photography and the outdoors. Priest has made it his mission to capture images that will inspire an appreciation and recognition of God’s creation. Drawing on his experience in funeral service, Priest is ever conscious of the powerful feelings and healing power that photographic images, done well, can evoke.
Priest’s photographic process involves digital capture with post processing using Photoshop. For final prints, he chooses museum-quality canvas known for its durability and archival features.
Priest is a graduate of Beebe High School, the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He served in the U.S. Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam. He married his wife, Sheryl, in 1967. Priest is a member of Lakewood United Methodist Church in North Little Rock, a lifetime member of the Ozark Highlands Trail Association, and a member of the North Little Rock Rotary.
Mark Rademacher, Eureka Springs
After graduating from high school, where he was focused on academics, and a brief unsuccessful attempt at a university education, Mark Rademacher chose to pursue a livelihood by working with his hands. He had his first lesson in wheel-throwing about 33 years ago. He has been involved in the ceramic process in some way ever since. He has also been a carpenter and woodworker for at least as many years. The two disciplines are excellent with and in contrast to each other.
Rademacher is currently a professional artist and craftsperson, and has been making his living as such for the past 18+ years. He and his wife are residents of Eureka Springs, and he has been able to participate in many local exhibitions. He has been a regular participant in the Zarks Gallery Annual Invitational Theme Show and is a member of the Eureka Springs Artist Registry. His work is on display in the Supreme Court building at the State Capitol, and his pottery has been presented to visiting foreign dignitaries as official gifts. He currently enjoys a commission with Walmart Pharmacy of the Bentonville headquarters to produce a series of awards called Respy Awards, for deserving Walmart pharmacists. His work is collected by Bill and Hillary Clinton. He was selected to produce the Governor’s Arts Awards for 2009.
What I currently produce is a small part of all that I have been involved with in my art and craft career. Fresh out of the university with an interest in percussive instruments, I hit the road with my collection of drums, both wood and ceramic. I started experimenting with the pit-fire process initially as another decorative finish for my ceramic drum forms. As I have a little bit of the “pyro” in me, the whole process was very intriguing, and I am still experimenting.
In my mind, my most significant accomplishment relative to the ceramic process is my mastery of a particular style of pit-fire or saw-dust fire. I also believe my decorating techniques are unique to the process. The interactions among leaf shapes, patterns, and textures; the subtle color shifts produced by the copper patina chemistry; and the heat and smoke of the pit-fire combine to produce the defining features of my pottery. These integral processes are wedded to my classical vases and bottles to create one-of-a-kind pieces. I continue to change and refine my approaches and techniques. The nature of the art process embraces change, and I am compelled by the process. I have most recently been exploring the combination of wood and clay in both pictorial-style framed tiles and as architectural elements in sculpture.
Red Road Woodworks, Leslie
Red Road Woodworks was founded by Brad Archote; a rural Arkansas homesteader from South Louisiana, he was an organic farmer and woodworker who moved to the mountains during the Back-to- the-Land Movement of the 1970’s. A love for food and cooking led to a love for handmade kitchen utensils. Struggling to raise a family on a sustainable farm in rural Arkansas, Brad mastered the woodworking skill and the family business was born! As the woodworks and the farm grew, Brad extended the work out to his children, who were raised on the steps of the wood shop. Brad passed away on July 20, 2014 and the two daughters, who grew up by his side in the wood shop, took over. Now Red Road Woodworks is owned and operated by a second generation – while a third is being raised with the same traditions.
Jordan Archote is the leader with family friend Adrienne Freeman running the businesses online identity. Jordan, her brother Seth, and nearby woodworker Brian Avey all work to bring the traditional Archote family designs into being.
Our goal is to grow our father’s business and vision for sustainable living, passing it down to subsequent generations and sharing a small piece of it in your home through our beautifully crafted pieces.
The shop uses timber sustainably harvested from local land, as well as recovered woods as a result of storm damage and scraps from other area wood workers who require larger pieces. Our primary woods are Black Walnut & Cherry, though we do occasionally have Silver Maple, Osage Orange, Pecan, and White Oak. Each item we make is tagged with its wood variety and a little information.
RenV, Little Rock
Lauren Kelsey Hansen, nicknamed “Ren,” was born and raised in Little Rock. She started to draw in pencil when she was four, creating the things from her mind on paper. Stories and worlds grew around these places and creatures, with some created solely for the purpose of expressing an emotional state.
Hansen began to use a variety of media in high school to better understand them and figure out what would express her ideas the best. She graduated with a BA from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Her main focus was on illustration, because of her strong interest in storytelling through artwork.
She primarily uses Ohuhu markers coupled with Bic pens that create fine detail and sharp edges that contrast well with the vibrance and soft, watercolor-like feel of the markers. She creates her ideas from her dreams and also from animals in the natural world. An artwork can be born from seeing an interesting animal, having an emotional struggle, or enjoying a triumph.
Her artwork is not only about showing the audience a creature or place they’ve never seen in real life, but it is foremost an emotional statement, created to connect a foreign place or being with the viewer. It is a state of mind locked in place through ink and marker.
Elizabeth Rogers, Little Rock
I was born in Alaska but transplanted very early to Arkansas; my appreciation of contrast started young.
I’m a compulsive and unrepentant polycrafter, with interests in jewelry and knitting design and visual arts. My jewelry is mostly brass with semiprecious stones and beads. Things that inspire me are lots of color, contrasting textures, and all the possibilities a little scrap of metal holds, ready to be realized with a few blows from a hammer.
I received some formal art training at Hendrix College and the Arkansas Arts Center, and I’m still learning, every day. I love that.
Judy Tipton Rush, North Little Rock
Judy Tipton Rush is a self-educated fiber artist who studied at the University of Arkansas and came to her avocation from an art background. Her work has been exhibited in numerous juried shows and has toured both the United States and abroad. Her works are included in many private collections.
She received a first-place award for two-dimensional art at the juried 1985 Arts, Crafts, and Design Fair in Little Rock, Arkansas. Rush has received several other awards for her work and has been published in All Flags Flying (Bishop, Houck, 1986) by E. P. Dutton in association with the Museum of American Folk Art, New York, New York, for her work Immigrants Hope. Her works have been juried and accepted for special exhibits by Quilt San Diego/Quilt Visions 2004 and Art Quilts at the Sedgwick Cultural Center in Pennsylvania for 2004. Most recently, her work was accepted as one of the winners in Quilters Newsletter magazine’s 35th Anniversary International Competition. The quilt titled Beyond the Panes was featured in the September 2004 magazine issue and traveled with the magazine’s exhibit to the Houston Festival in November 2004.
Most recently, Rush was selected as a major artist to the Donald Reynolds grant to Warren, Arkansas, YMCA Renovation and Decoration Project. Rush is a professional member of Studio Art Quilt Associates, Quilt San Diego-Quilt Visions, and American Craft Council. Currently she is lecturing and teaching classes on color, design, and composition, as well as many other techniques.
My work is an extension of my imagination, always functioning at a level of levity to keep myself entertained. It is in the spirit of expressing a language of recognition between me and the viewer that I create through light, movement, and color. It is in my nature to pay attention to the gentle nudging and reveal some of my sensitivities.
The cloth, stitches, and embellishments have a language of their own and a tactile quality I just can’t resist. Combined, they are a sensual experience always at work giving me great joy and serenity. My abstracts are a visual language of a felt or perceived experience, either real or imagined. I react intuitively, always waiting on spirit for inspiration and guidance. The interactions of color are intended to offer an escape from the real and provide in the imagination real drama, adventure, and joy. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” I believe it! We are all either green and growing or we are ripe and rotting. Come, grow with me!
Michael Schwade, Eureka Springs
Michael Schwade was born in 1942 in Boston, Massachusetts. As a child, he drew, painted, and made model airplanes. As a teenager, he explored his fascination with the universe through a telescope, a microscope, and the chemistry lab. When Schwade learned that these fields involved mathematics, he became less interested in science but continued to express himself by exploring the arts.
In the early 1960s, Schwade studied art at Boston University’s Liberal Arts College and the Vesper George School of Art. He spent a lot of time experimenting with various media in two- and three-dimensional forms – drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture – before settling on jewelry design as a form of sculpture. Primarily self-taught, Schwade has studied with Cuban sculptor Ernesto Gonzales in Key West and New York sculptor Hank Kaminsky. Others who have influenced Schwade include Alexander Calder, Karl Tasha, and Wolfgang Richter. He continues to evolve as an artist, always developing new designs in jewelry and sculpture.
I utilize an oxyacetylene torch to weld bronze alloys, and brass to sheet copper shapes in a thin but textured layer. Copper strips are formed around glass cabochons to make bezel settings. Often, contrasting metal wire forms and balls are fused with or embedded into the thin bronze or nickel silver layer. Pieces are finished by hand buffing to a bright, satin luster. Chemicals or heat are often used to patinate the surface, and raised surfaces are selectively polished to show the contrast between these areas. Finally, all pieces are signed by myself and lacquered with three coats to preserve the finish.
I have always admired the jewelry of ancient civilizations. The ornaments of Egyptian, pre-Columbian, African, and Celtic cultures have an almost magical power that taps into the archetypal energy underlying the mythical consciousness of modern humanity. My goal is to design jewelry that has the look and feel of ancient artifacts. I try to create pieces that add a touch of drama to a contemporary ensemble, bringing out the inner Cleopatra in every woman.
As an older man, I have been interested in art for decades, as long as I can remember. Art is not my profession, though it has a professional grip on me.
I believe in constant training in any endeavor that we choose. In art, it starts with daily observation, drawing, and humility. Approach any thing with desire to learn and it becomes interesting. It will captivate you. I like shapes, colors, and children’s drawing and their pleasure in play. I read, write, and work hard.
The media I have used are watercolor, oil, and acrylic paints, and wood and terra cotta. Most of my recent works are acrylic. I enjoy the tongue-in-cheek and pleasant mischief and alternative thinking. Some of my work is rooted in thinking.
I believe that there are always two artists that create a piece of art. Both of them are equally creative. One artist is the one who creates a piece of art, the other is the one who stops to look at and reflect on it. That is you. When you look at a piece of art, stop and think how it hits your fancy. What thoughts, memories, and feelings does it stir in you? Reflect on your hopes and dreams, the reason why you are standing and looking, and where you have been and where you are going. You are the artist and I hope your art is satisfying.
Thank you for stopping to look. You are important to me.
Lynn Sickel, De Valls Bluff
Lynn Sickel is an Arkansas native and lifelong resident. He is a retired, fourth-generation farmer on the Arkansas Grand Prairie, living on a designated century farm. His love of the outdoors has led him to his next calling in life: creating walking sticks. His custom-crafted walking sticks made mostly from native Arkansas woods are quickly becoming much-sought-after treasures. The woods used that are not native to Arkansas are a few special varieties that come from beyond Arkansas’s borders; he uses ones that he finds eye-catching. Some walking sticks have wild turkey feathers on them, harvested by this craftsman and his wife from Arkansas wild turkeys taken from their farm. Please “test drive” one of his walking/hiking sticks. Finding one that fits you perfectly will add to your outdoor experience.
Maria Smith, Fox
I have been in Arkansas for thirty-six years—I love this area! There is art everywhere. Crafts are a way of survival and beauty. My husband, Dave, and I have a small farm on the edge of a ridge in Fox in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. We raised two sons here. We grow a garden, have a small orchard, and raise cows, a pig, and chickens. We, mostly Dave, built our log house, and we have solar power for electricity, with a generator back up. It is a wonderful way to live. We are, as Dave puts it, “self unemployed.” My husband was gracious enough to give up his desk in his shop in our barn to me, so I could have my own work shop; he is now building a shop just for me.
When my hands started to wear out from making mosaic tables, a friend suggested I try their glass studio and learn lamp work. I enjoyed it so much that I took lessons from Sage Holland and her son Beau Anderson and bought several books for instructions and ideas.
Lamp work is a type of glass work in which a torch is the primary tool used to melt glass. I use an oxygen/propane mix and soda lime glass. The glass comes in a variety of widths and lengths and in a vast array of colors. To make a bead, the glass is slowly introduced to the flame to prevent thermal shock or cracking. The molten glass is wrapped around a steel mandrel that has been coated in a clay-based substance. Once the glass is molten, it can be shaped by hand movements and tools to form the desired pattern. All parts of the work must be kept at a uniform temperature to prevent shattering. Beads are placed in a kiln at a predetermined temperature to anneal. Annealing relieves the internal stresses, so the piece should last for many years. The main thing about glass work is practice, practice, and more practice—and learning what colors work with each other and trying new ideas.
I enjoy trying different patterns. I combine colors from nature that are pleasing to the eye. I make earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and single beads to place on a cord or silver chain. The earrings have sterling ear wires. The necklaces have either sterling or silver-plated toggles or clasps. I also make necklaces and earrings to match.
My work is shown in the Arkansas Craft Gallery and the Ozark Folk Center Gift Shop (both in Mountain View) and at the Galleries at Library Square. I also participate in the Off the Beaten Path Studio Tours
Mary Ann Stafford, Maumelle
Drawing has always been my first love, and nature is my favorite subject: landscapes, still life, and animals. I love working with line to build up shapes, textures, and values. I sometimes divide my compositions into rectangular sections and vary the colors and values in juxtaposition. My personality is calm, steady, and structured, and those traits show up in my art works.
One of my latest series is about trees—pen-and-ink drawings of bare trees superimposed on colorful watercolor backgrounds. I am fascinated by the patterns of limbs and branches and the negative spaces between. This inspiration is endless, even as the seasons change, and I am exploring new ways to incorporate the theme.
Recently, I have expanded my drawing media to include colored pencil and scratchboard. Although both of these require painstaking, patient attention to detail, they also offer flexibility and contemplative experiences. Colored pencil drawings can be seen as paintings, while scratchboards can also be painted as well as scratched.
In 2013, I published a book that included images of my pen-and-ink drawings of the twenty-five historic structures on the National Register of Historic Places in the Argenta District of North Little Rock after receiving a scholarship award from the Arkansas committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The publication also includes my research of the historical and architectural facts of this area.
My paintings and drawings have been included in four publications: Best of America: Landscapes, Best of America: Pastel Artists, Art & Artisans of the Ozarks, and The Art of Living, presented by Arkansas Hospice. I am a signature member of the Pastel Society of the Southwest, Arkansas League of Artists, the Arkansas Pastel Society, and a diamond signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists.
Red Star, Fayetteville
Rocks and mist in the hills drew me to Northwest Arkansas more than twenty-five years ago. Though I’m originally from Missouri, this feels now like it has always been my home. The beauty of the landscape is fertile ground for my creativity. I paint, sculpt in clay, and work with beads. Since childhood I have been fascinated with the insect/arachnid world, especially with their lifestyles and the symbiotic relationships that occur between all kinds of things. My mother taught me to love and respect all God’s creatures, especially spiders. As a young woman she was afraid of them and swatted a large one. Hundreds of tiny spiders scattered from the big one’s body, and my mother realized that she had killed the mother of many babies. Years later she cried telling me that story. The spiders in our house were pets. So now I make beaded spiders and remember her.
Celia Storey, Little Rock
Clay artist Celia Storey of Little Rock calls ceramics “a form of problem solving that solves your problems by creating problems for you to solve.” And she knows this from personal experience.
In the early 2000s, a foot injury sidelined this once constant runner. She was curdling in frustration until a friend suggested she enroll in a pottery class at the Arkansas Arts Center (AAC) Museum School. Storey had learned to like clay as a child when she noticed that certain oily-feeling dirts had the excellent virtue of raising welts when shaped into blocks and thrown at her brothers’ heads. She had even tried to study pottery at AAC once before, in 1979, enrolling in a class taught by the acclaimed Rosemary Fisher, but her hours at the statewide daily newspaper forced her to drop out in the second week. (Storey is a reporter and editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.)
This time, Angela Cummings’s instruction and the beneficial challenges of clay-work changed Storey’s life—immediately. Suddenly she was a person who made pots and little figurines and pots with little figurines attached to them.
In 2008, the AAC Museum School hired her to teach in the ceramics department; in 2010, she began building her studio in the basement of the home she shares with her husband, Michael, owner of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Otus the Head Cat.
Her functional pottery is thrown on the wheel and altered, or it is built using traditional handbuilding methods, especially slabs. She chooses clays that mature to stone-like density when fired to 2240° F in her electric kiln, so that her finished pottery can be used in a microwave. And she formulates her own glazes from raw materials using recipes she picks up through the community of potters or develops through her own research.
She aims to create work that 1) makes people smile and 2) leaves the viewer sensing there’s a story happening in the clay. That story is generally about conflicts and problems we cannot change. Storey calls her whimsical ware and sculptures “Get-Real Pottery” to remind herself that lovingly handcrafted trays, mugs, vases, jars, and little figurines probably will not save the world. But they can make strangers smile, and that’s a start.
Lynn Sudderth, Little Rock
Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, I have lived in Asheville, North Carolina, and in Memphis, with short bouts in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Little Rock. My path through life has followed I-40!
I became interested in art in high school and graduated from Rhodes College in Memphis, taking no art courses. I realized something was missing and returned to art, taking clay classes at the Arkansas Arts Center. At that point, I was hooked.
I don’t like doing an artist statement. I am humbled to even think I might be called an “artist.” That label fills me with a heavy feeling that I should bring some truth to the world through my art. That is not my truth. I bring myself to the world through my art. Without any expectations or demands, I form what I feel at the moment. It may be an expression of something I feel that is pleasing and beautiful, or something functional to use and add a little joy to daily life. It may be an outpouring of feeling, when my emotions are bubbling to the surface, ready to erupt. Extreme lows have led me to write my story in clay. Appreciation for my blessings has led me to honor those feelings in clay. Good friends have been immortalized in humorous, happy moments. Some people write, I create. I take my life and open it up to the clay to see where it leads me, enjoying the journey.
Clay as a medium is sensual and tactile. It is playing in mud. It is getting dirty and loving it. It is letting go and being childlike. And, for me, it is a process that simply brings me great joy.
Byron Taylor, Little Rock
For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt like and wanted to be an artist. My mother was an artist, so, as a child, the materials and inspirations were close at hand. I began painting with the tools and materials of childhood—watercolors, crayons, finger paints, etc.—and graduated to “real” artists’ materials—oils, acrylics, photography—as a teenager. Even through periods when I didn’t create anything resembling art, the desire was ever present and I would always find a creative outlet, ultimately returning to classic art media.
Since I’ve been “of age,” I’ve painted, sculpted, and photographed the female figure, and have never tired of it. More recently, I have discovered the beauty of the mundane and become aware of the aesthetic potential of the everyday, and I have taken great pleasure in rendering that in watercolor.
Diana Taylor, Little Rock
Fiber artist Diana Taylor, inventor of Ficklesticks, has been an architecture aficionado since early childhood. She returned to Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2008 after spending the previous five years in the San Francisco Bay area, trying to become a California girl, but mostly hanging out with her children and grandchildren, who all lived there. This stint included a failed attempt at re-inventing herself as a real estate agent, and the launch of STICKBALL studio, from a bedroom in Oakland. She was producing large sculptural fruits, cactuses, figures, and animals made of patchwork fabric and paint, somewhat reminiscent of her early work at GRANNY’S FAN. Her designs were sold in artisan galleries, boutiques, and museum gift shops, such as the Museum of Arts and Design and the American Folk Art Museum in New York City; the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco; the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Along the way, Ficklesticks were born. Originally, these thicker and heavier fabric-and-wire sticks served as stems for stuffed cherries and pears, legs on animals, and as parts of some very large wall weavings. In 2007, she discovered a way to produce Ficklesticks that were only about a quarter inch wide. This opened some fantastic new doors. Suddenly, she was a jewelry designer—a fiber jewelry designer, to be exact, whatever that was! These smaller Ficklesticks also worked very agreeably for making baskets, mobiles, flowers, wall weavings, and the Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired wall art she began creating.
In 2008, she published an instructional crafts book for making Ficklesticks titled Fast, Fun and Easy Fabric Ficklesticks. This led to teaching workshops and lectures to sewing and quilting guilds about her work. She has been selling her Ficklesticks art, book, and supplies for making Ficklesticks at quilt festivals throughout the United States. She also launched a website: stickballstudio.com. In 2009, Interweave Press published three articles featuring Ficklesticks in Cloth, Paper Scissors Magazine (April 2009), Studios Magazine (July 2009), and Quilting Arts Gifts (September 2009).
Taylor has lived in the Netherlands, Spain, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, California, and, for most of her adult life, Arkansas. It could easily be said that she has stitched her way across time and space for more than fifty years. She has outfitted brides, Halloweeners, cheerleaders, prom goers, drag queens, and herself and her family. She has made hundreds of dolls, quilts, doilies, and sweaters. By her estimate, she has also made about 10,000 Ficklesticks.
Angelo Thomas, Little Rock
Angelo Thomas is a 1984 graduate of Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, receiving a BS in art education with a minor in library science. After teaching at various public schools in the Arkansas area from 1984 to 1990, he relocated to Little Rock in 1991. He has been the director of the Teacher Education Laboratory at Philander Smith College since 1991.
Thomas has been painting seriously since 1995 and feels that his artistic maturity is peaking only now. Mainly working in oils and acrylics, he specializes in realistic portraits but also does landscapes, montage portraits/scenes, fantasy art, and still-life compositions.
He has shown many of his works in galleries and exhibitions in Arkansas and Louisiana. He also accepts commissions for portraits and other works. He currently resides in Little Rock.
As an artist, I draw upon my personal experiences to create artwork that inspires others through individual expression, hard work, and God-given talent. I have been blessed to share this gift with others, and I enjoy using the full range of art techniques and materials to do so. I often do many pencil sketches on paper before I can begin a draft version of a particular painting. I then gradually transfer these rough sketches to a canvas, where an under-painting is done in either acrylic or thinned oil paint. Then, the developing painting is completed in stages (using both glazes and alla prima techniques).
The final paintings are the result of planning and changes, while improvising and being original, too. As we venture along the path of life, many things are shared and cherished. What we experience through our senses is often magnified through our inner spirit. If one can harness the power of the inner spirit and soul, what wonders might be accomplished?
Greg Thomas, Elkins
Greg Thomas started making furniture in the 1980s. His primary focus was on the Craftsman and Arts-and-Crafts styles. He continued to do this until in 2000, when he spent a week at Anderson Ranch and learned the basics of wood turning from master turner Judy Ditmer. As a result of this experience, he changed the focus of his work from furniture making to bowl turning.
The next year, he studied with Trent Bosch in Colorado because he wanted to learn hollow form techniques and study his innovative ways of shaping wood. Bosch, who is a sculptor as well as a wood turner, proved to be a great teacher. In March 2009, Thomas spent a week at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, taking an advanced turning course with English wood turner Ray Keys.
In 2005, Thomas began exhibiting at the Galleries at Library Square. In 2005, Mount Magazine State Park purchased a large sculptural bowl as part of the restoration of the lodge. He was commissioned by interior designer Toni Wyre to produce 107 turned cherry-and-black-walnut medallions for the Arkansas Bar Association’s Memorial Wall in its new headquarters in Little Rock. This installation won the Gold Award from the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana Chapter, in the custom detail category.
In June 2008, his Oak Burl Bowl was chosen to be photographed for the Arkansas Artist Engagement Calendar produced by the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion. From November 2008 until April 2009, his Oak Burl Bowl was in Arkansas senator Mark Pryor’s exhibit “A Celebration of Arkansas Artists” at his Little Rock offices. In April 2010, Mim’s Bowl, a box elder bowl, will be on display at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion.
In February 2002, he participated in “Tiger Tiger,” a group show at the Mehu Gallery in New York. In October 2004, he had a one-man show, “Arkansas Wood,” at Handmade in Fayetteville. In September 2005, he exhibited in “Equis,” another group show at the Mehu Gallery. In June 2008, he taught a bowl turning class at Eureka Springs School of the Arts. In October 2008, his sculpture Ravens was accepted for the South Arkansas Art Center juried exhibition. In July 2009, Ravens was awarded Best in 3-Dimensional Art at the Artists of Northwest Arkansas’s fifteenth annual Regional Art Exhibition at the Art Center of the Ozarks in Springdale.
When I first look at a piece of wood, the process of discovering its form and function begins. Some pieces will produce a flawless bowl that will serve salads, fruit, or nuts for generations, taking on a priceless patina from both its contents and its handling. Some have been invaded by insects and fungi. Some have knots, checks, and cracks. These woods will become turned art-objects that will be collected because of the sheer interest they invite. I take an art project that nature has started and work to show it at its best advantage. Some woods are a little of both, their worm tracks and fungal lines adding interest to a fully functional bowl.
As I continually expose new facets of the wood by cutting a tree into sections and the sections into bowl blanks, I make a series of decisions about how this bowl will turn out. Some are based on physical clues present in the exposed grain and natural shape of the wood; some are intuited, based on a feeling for what I will find beneath the surface of the wood. I am reminded of a favorite quote from Lao Tzu, “From wonder into wonder existence opens.” The journey from tree to bowl fills me with this sense of wonder.
Carmen Alexandria Thompson, Little Rock
Carmen Alexandria Thompson, or “Allie” to her friends and family, is proud to call Little Rock home. At an early age, Thompson showed an aptitude for the arts—undoubtedly due to the influence of her two grandmothers, one an illustrator and the other a painter.
In 2012, Thompson graduated from Hendrix College with distinction in studio art. However, upon leaving Hendrix, Thompson failed to find the time, energy, or passion to create. This led to a two-year hiatus in making art. In early 2014, Thompson decided to leave the United States and travel to Argentina, teaching English for almost a year in Buenos Aires.
Before Thompson left Buenos Aires, her coworkers and friends implored her to abandon teaching and pursue art instead. With this in mind, Thompson returned to the United States, finishing her first painting in over three years in January 2015. Since then, Thompson’s work has been shown in several galleries as well as being published in various magazines and blogs.
My painting work process is very different from my printmaking process. In my paintings I like to use patterns and shapes to create chaotic but engaging spaces. Three of my grandparents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia when I was young, and that had a huge impact on my perception of our minds and our surroundings. My paintings are intended to captivate their viewers with spatial inequity, patterns, and scattered objects. Our mind is naturally a very structured thing, but it can become a very chaotic thing when that underlying order is upended.
Printmaking channels a different side of my creativity. Patterns and anatomical figures dominate the imagery in my prints. Printmaking makes my work more accessible; I like anatomy, botany, and fusing the two—playing with design and style. I hope that the central Arkansas art community might come to understand the art of printmaking over time.
TommyGunGlass, Tom Dempster and Kara Gunter, Hot Springs
TommyGunGlass is a husband-and-wife maker team based in Hot Springs. She’s a sculptor. He’s a composer. His name is Tom. Her last name is Gunter. Together they make TommyGunGlass!
TommyGunGlass designs and makes functional and funky glassware for your home and fresh jewelry for yourself. Their glassware is created using a variety of kiln-formed techniques like fusing, slumping, and casting. They have fun with glass, and it shows! They favor bright colors and bold designs. TommyGunGlass is the perfect place to find the unique, the well made, and the occasionally off beat!
Glass allows for a simple, yet sophisticated aesthetic. It doesn’t take kindly to overworking, and, more often than not, the more concise the design, the stronger the piece. Glass is fascinating in that it undergoes an almost alchemical transformation in the kiln. It enters the kiln as a raw material, endures the heat, and is transformed into functional beauty. We like bright and bold, sometimes with a dash of humor! Glass is the perfect medium for creating strong, geometric designs in color combinations that pop. Making functional glassware fulfills in us the desire to meld beauty with functionality.
Pati Trippel, Hot Springs Village
As a daughter of a watercolorist and abstract acrylic artist, as well as a granddaughter of an oil painter, Pati Trippel was exposed at a young age to many forms of art. She vividly remembers smashing balloons of paint on gesso-covered hardboard with her father in the backyard of their home and attributes much of her creativity and out-of-the-box thinking to her art-adventurous father.
Trippel’s love of nature, as expressed in much of her representational work, stems from being raised in southern California near the ocean, traveling across the United States, raising a family in New England, and recently moving to Arkansas, “The Natural State.” Pati double-majored in art and elementary education at Purdue University in Indiana in the mid-1970s and since then, her multi-faceted career has taken her to roles as a systems engineer at IBM, owner of three Laundromats and a hand-scrub distributorship, legal secretary, teacher of after-school art classes, faux-finish painter and muralist, and finally, ten-year restaurateur in Woodbury, Connecticut.
Trippel was also recently ordained as an interfaith minister from the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City and is a Shalem-trained spiritual director and companion. The constant passion through all these career moves is the love of the process of creating works of art. Trippel seeks to capture the spiritual essence of her subject and allow her viewer to participate in the creative process of interpreting her paintings. Because she is a lover of nature, her landscapes, florals, and nature studies are crisp, clean, fresh, and vibrant with color. Snake skins, grasses, pine needles, wildflowers, leaves, and butterfly wings are often found incorporated into her work as she weaves reality and fantasy into her paintings.
The process involved in creating her paintings involves many stages. First, plain white tissue paper is stained with fluid acrylics. Once dried, the papers are altered with impressions by natural objects, stamps, and paint. The tissue is then cut, ripped, manipulated, and adhered to a painting surface in many layers. After all tissue is applied, found items, wax crayons, pastel, inks, and glazes may be applied for varied effects. Abstracts, people, florals, buildings, and landscapes can all be created with this fascinating technique. Though Trippel is an accomplished watercolorist and pastel artist, the luminosity she achieves through layering of acrylic-dyed tissues renders water media collage as her preferred medium of expression.
Trippel currently exhibits her work at the Galleries at Library Square in Little Rock, Arkansas, and at Gallery 726 and Artist Workshop Gallery in Hot Springs, Arkansas. When not painting, Pati volunteers her time with the Ouachita Children’s Center, Hot Springs Village Brush Strokes, CASA, and the Fine Arts Center, and she paints murals in local centers for children.
Robin Tucker, Little Rock
Robin Tucker is an artist in Little Rock, Arkansas. He was born in Clovis, New Mexico, and lived in Europe until the early 1970s when his family moved to Arkansas. Since then, Little Rock has been his home. He received a bachelor’s degree in art from Arkansas Tech University in 1980. From 1982 through 1984 Robin studied illustration and graphic design in the graduate program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.
It would be natural to peg my work into the genre of photorealism, or hyperrealism, or any number of conventions. Close examination shows that my work adheres strictly to the forms of these categories, but there are gaps in rigid interpretation. I do not want to re-create photographs for the sake of technique or exactitude; rather, I want to form a space of personal attachment and let the subjective flow into the spaces around the work. My works can be interpretive, often symbolic, and always intrinsically close to the meaning of experience. I can hold and handle the objects I transfer onto the canvas as I try to transmit the weight of that real experience to a place where the viewer is engaged with their own sense of attachment.
I would much rather have my paintings speak for me, rather than me speak for them. They seem to have a purpose that surpasses my ability to express otherwise. These works function in service to a quality that is intangible and transient, and not knowable in a certain sense. That quality is made of emotion, connection, and affection. The objects and compositions I create I have chosen for specific reasons. I paint them with respect for their history and the connection I hold with them to almost everything in the work. All of the pebbles, marbles, skulls, and objects were either given to me by others or they are emblematic of experience shared with individuals who hold significance in my life.
Ron Ufkes, Lakeview
Ron Ufkes, his wife Jan, and their two children moved to the small town of Lakeview, in north-central Arkansas, after he retired in 1997 from a career in law enforcement and defense industry security. After spending part of two vacations in the area, they had found that they loved the area’s mountains, lakes, forests, and people, and knew that they wanted to settle there.
I have been turning wood as a hobby, in my spare time, for about twenty years, but those familiar with irregular work hours and long commutes know that there isn’t much spare time. Since my retirement, though, I can usually be found in my shop (which is a real mess) working on one of the lathes.
After a storm, I often throw a chainsaw in the back of my pickup and drive around the community to see what has blown down. Most of my work that you see here in the gallery is turned from wood from trees brought down by storms or that has been rescued from city or park landscaping crews. I rarely cut a living tree.
I am sorry to say that wood turning has not revealed the meaning of life or given me the deep philosophical insights that some have experienced while practicing their art. But, I do love to collect the wood, and I enjoy the sound of the tools cutting in the blank, and watching the ever changing patterns in the wood as the waste is cut away. The feel of the surface of a well-designed and finished piece can be an almost sensual experience. And, of course, it is also very gratifying when you find someone who liked your work enough to actually pay money for it. Thank you for coming in and taking a look at my work, and if you find something to take home with you, I hope you enjoy it for a long, long time.
Jeff Waddle, Little Rock
Artist Jeff Waddle was born in Fresno, California, in 1970 and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 1990, Waddle began service in the U.S. Navy. He served in Operation Desert Storm/Desert Shield as a hull technician working on the USS Yellowstone as a metal fabricator in the ship fitter shop. He learned the skills of welding, brazing, and fabricating different types of metals. He then moved to Arkansas and worked in metal factories.
It was then that he began using metal to create new works of art. He expanded into painting in 2000. Waddle’s artistic style creates a whimsical world linking past to future.
Waddle’s work has been shown in Arkansas in Hot Springs, Little Rock, and North Little Rock, as well as in Dallas, Texas.
My metal and paintings merge into a bigger-than-life interactive surrealist world depicting my memories; my world-travel experiences; American Indian culture; and the alienistic cosmic designs, symbols, and characters of my imagination.
As a child and even through my teenage years, I loved drawing and doodling rockets, characters, portraits of people, and odd shapes. I was influenced by growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area (along with skateboarding and walking in Berkley and other suburbs on the outskirts of “The Big City”), as well as the family road trips traveling along Route 66 through the Painted Desert in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The visuals of city life combined with the smell of the ocean, along with first seeing Bill Graham’s Fillmore rock posters and black light posters, transcended me into a psychedelic, free-flowing approach to art. Late in my teens, I found myself drawn to the greats (Dali, Picasso, Miro), who also merged their influence into my mind’s eye.
After being honorably discharged from the military in 1993, I welded professionally until 1997. I realized I was attracted to metal not only because of my skill, but for the newfound canvas that lay before me. I lit my torch and began cutting. The metal and my imagination guided my hand to a new discovery.
In 2000, I began painting and discovered I loved paint and the combining of colors. I was able to tap into who I was, and my artistry could grow with this process for years. My metal and painting would soon merge into my art form.
April Ward, Little Rock
I have always found my greatest inspiration when I surround myself with the beauty of nature. Through my love for nature grew a fascination with quartz crystals and their abundance here in this great state of Arkansas. Being a bit of a rock hound, I quickly acquired a hobby of crystal mining in the beautiful Ouachita Mountains. After years of digging and collecting crystal points and clusters, I was inspired to turn them into exquisite pieces of art. That is when I started making crystal jewelry, light fixtures, candle holders, sun catchers, and anything that I could create to incorporate these beautiful rainbow-filled crystals.
All the crystals that I use are ones I have dug by hand right here in Arkansas.
Arkansas is considered by geologists to be one of only two places in the world to produce the highest-quality quartz crystals, the other being Brazil.
Crystals are known to absorb energy and are believed by some to have unique healing properties for those who wear them.
John Watson, North Little Rock
Trained in the photographic arts at the Arkansas Arts Center and the University of Utah, John Watson is a working photographer in Little Rock. After graduating from film school, John returned to become the Arkansas Times’ first photographer. Journalism photography gave way to advertising photography. John continues to work on film and video projects; however, his time is dominated by art still photography.
Darcie Westfall, Little Rock
Darcie grew up in Pine Bluff and then moved to Arkadelphia to attend Ouachita Baptist University. She graduated in 2006 and moved to Little Rock.
After college I used art and creativity as a cathartic process. I experimented with a bit of everything—paint, pastels, photography, and mixed media—but jewelry making became my favorite pastime. I love incorporating random objects like tiny bicycle parts with more traditional materials. Stamping allows me to literally express myself. My inspiration mostly comes from pop culture and general sass.
Jackie and Gary White, Beebe
Gary White has always been a woodworker. During high school and college, he refinished antiques and built furniture. While flying USAF C-130s, he studied woodworking techniques and collected wood samples from craftsmen around the world.
Jackie White has always been a needle worker. She began with counted cross-stitch, then progressed to sewing hen piecing and quilting for the kids. While Gary collected wood, Jackie collected quilts.
In 1986, Gary and Jackie began working together to guild wooden quilt wall hangings.
In 1993, they incorporated the quilt inlay designs into boxes. The boxes were an immediate success and have been sold in the Smithsonian as well as in many other top galleries in the United States and Europe. The boxes have developed a strong following of collectors and have been presented as gifts to dignitaries around the world.
Jack and Gary continue to build a few boxes a day as a small family operation. The couple has five children: Kevin, Tracie, Jared, Jamie, and Jeni.
Every box design is built one at a time, one piece at a time. All the designs use natural colors of different wood species. Every box is handmade entirely in the USA.
Carol Ann Wilbourn, North Little Rock
I honestly have never considered myself an artist; I think of myself as someone who, late in life, decided to become a quilter, a painter, a rug maker, and now, a basketeer. Each one of these disciplines comes from a background of a love of fabric, for which I have no explanation. My parents were people of the Earth-a farmer and a gardener-and no one in my family sews.
The baskets started when I admired a friend’s purse at a quilting retreat. She took the time (while we were standing in a line) to explain how it was made, and a spark was ignited! I began by making bowls and progressed to what I am now doing. As I am blessed with a great supply of fabrics, I cannot seem to stop making the baskets!
I love the hunt for the fabrics, whether using them from my stash or searching yard sales for silk ties. I love taking the ties apart, the discovery of how each one will look once it is wrapped, how they look once sewn. Each part of the journey must hold some fascination, or I wouldn’t continue the quest. It all takes time that I am willing to invest to discover the finished piece. No two will ever be alike, so each time I finish one, I can’t wait to see how the next one will look, which keeps me captured in this whirlpool that I refer to as Basketeering-and I don’t mind a bit.
Emily Williams, Fayetteville
Emily Williams attends the University of Arkansas and is majoring in elementary education. Williams is from Fayetteville, and she began taking classes at the Art Location art school when she was seven. Her love for art, especially painting, has continued to grow. She began assisting with camps and classes at the Art Location about five years ago, and she started teaching sessions about three years ago. She loves sharing the techniques she learned at a young age with children. Her paintings have been displayed around the Northwest Arkansas area.
Renee Williams, Little Rock
Renee Williams, who was born in St. Louis, Missouri, graduated from Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas, in 1987, and is owner of Gallery 26 in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Gallery 26 was started by Williams and Steve Ross in February of 1995. After Williams graduated with an art degree, she learned picture framing from Mary Lambright at Make a Frame. When Lambright closed her store, Williams and Ross were able to purchase her equipment and open their own place, adding an art gallery to it.
Renee had participated for years in small, house art shows with a group of local artists, including Kevin Kresse, Kathy Strause, and James Hayes. It was an easy transition from house shows to a permanent gallery space.
Our current global political climate best expresses the manifestation of an almost thorough denial of a connecting principle and of a fundamental shift from personal and global responsibility to one of extreme isolationism. I believe by examining this shift in our own lives and in our collective political decision-making, we can begin to swing the pendulum back toward more holistic methods of co-existence.
Steven Wise, Rogers
Steven Wise lives and works in northwest Arkansas, where he teaches art at two elementary schools in the Rogers School District. Wise earned a BA in art history from Swarthmore College in 1991 and received an MFA in painting from the University of Iowa in 1998.
In the past five years, his work has been included in six solo exhibitions, ten group exhibitions, and ten juried exhibitions. His work has been exhibited in the most competitive exhibitions in his home state, such as the annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock (2000, 2003, 2004) and the Arkansas Arts Council’s annual Small Works on Paper Exhibition (1999, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009). In 2004, his drawings were accepted into the Viewing Program of the Drawing Center in New York, New York.
Paintings speak with pictures; not with words.
I have developed a process for making images. This process routinely involves establishing a set of limitations before I begin a body of work. First, I impose a set of restrictions on my activity of painting, drawing, or printing so that I must operate within a narrow range of formal possibilities. Second, I choose a finite number of works to be completed as a suite of related images. I have structured my activity of work so that I can concentrate on material, touch, texture, and surface.
Form is a consequence of the activity of work. Form becomes content. Although many projects have subjects, content is neither prescribed nor assigned to individual works. But rather, content is discovered while making images under a controlled set of conditions imposed on my activity of work.
I have mapped a plan of action based on the letters of the alphabet. Each letter represents a body of work. Each work is labeled with a letter and a chronological numeral (A01, A02, A03, A04, etc.). The project is named alpha/beta. If I complete one letter of the alphabet each year, I will finish my life/works/projects at the age of 58.