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Arkansas paints Max

Exhibit, contest coming to Clinton Library.

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LADY LIBERTY: Peter Max's work is coming to the Clinton Library.
  • LADY LIBERTY: Peter Max's work is coming to the Clinton Library.

Who can picture the 1960s without Peter Max?

Max's psychedelic colors, billowing lines and images of peace and love and rock and roll are the iconography of an era.

But the artist didn't go the way of bell bottoms. He kept painting, and his free lines — the ones that created portraits of popular icons such as Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney — took on freedom's themes, capturing Lady Liberty, the American flag and American presidents. For Arkansas's favorite son, Max created an official poster for the 1993 Clinton Inauguration, artwork for the Clinton Presidential Center opening and a painted globe for the Clinton Global Initiative.

Now comes the “Peter Max Paints America” exhibit to the Clinton Library. The exhibit, of 250 works by Max — including the globe — opens Presidents' Day, Feb. 16, and runs through May 25.

Exhibited along with Max's work will be the winning entries in the “Peter Max Paints America Coloring Contest,” which the library is sponsoring for students in grades pre-K through 12. Winners will receive a signed Peter Max poster as well as a spot on the walls of the Clinton Library.

Max's design for the coloring contest — as well as more information on the exhibit — will be revealed in a special section in the Feb. 12 issue of the Arkansas Times. The special section will also include a coloring form for kids. They've got until March 28 to put their era's own stamp on things.

 

Hearne Fine Art is leaving the River Market district at the end of the month to set up shop in a new building at 1001 Wright Ave. Construction should be complete by June, Garbo Hearne, who owns the gallery with her husband, Dr. Archie Hearne, said. Part of the new space will be a doctor's office.

The gallery will include a frame shop, book store and gallery of work by African-American artists, just as it does now. It will offer affordable fine art as well as high-end pieces. Hearne plans an early masters exhibit there in the future, a show that would include 19th century artist Henry Ossawa Tanner, early 19th century artist Edward M. Bannister and others.

Hearne said she and her husband chose the neighborhood location because “if we don't build up our own communities, who will?” The new space will also have parking, which isn't easy to come by in front of the Museum Center, the gallery's home until Feb. 21.

The Museum Center space will be closed temporarily until Feb. 12, as Hearne prepares for the National Black Fine Art Show in New York. It will reopen Feb. 13 for 2nd Friday Art Night. Books and decorative art will be on sale through the following week. A groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the new gallery is set for noon Feb. 21.

 

Bob Workman, Crystal Bridges Museum's executive director since 2006, announced last week he is resigning the position. He will remain at the museum until the end of 2009, but a national search for a new director is under way.

Workman told the Times that he was proud of the work he's done to date with the museum's organization, collections and construction — he was consultant and project manager prior to taking the director's job — but he didn't want to make the time commitment the director's job will require when the museum opens its doors in 2010. He also said he looks forward to the opportunities the museum presents, which sounds like he may have future business plans connected to the museum. He said he planned to stay in Bentonville.

Alice Walton has so far invested more than $250 million in the construction of and collection for the museum, which should open next year. Given the state of the arts in the current economy and the pay — Workman was paid $228,800 in 2007 — applications for the director's job should start coming in by the truckload.

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