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‘Backwoods’ art for Crystal Bridges

Smokehouse-raising at HAM.

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More Crystal Bridges Museum of American art news:

Crystal Bridges at the Massey, the temporary gallery that's opened on the Bentonville Square in the former Massey Hotel while Crystal Bridges museum is being constructed, is exhibiting photographs taken from 1961 to 2005 by color pioneer William Christenberry. The 50-plus photographs are of individuals Christenberry photographed repeatedly over the 40-year period.

The show was originally scheduled for the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, but WAC has altered its mission to focus on the performing arts.

The exhibit is the first of five exhibits scheduled over the next 12 months at the Massey.

Crystal Bridges, which is being built by Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton, recently released an image of a newly publicized acquisition, Jasper Cropsey's “The Backwoods of America.” The Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City announced June 9 that Crystal Bridges had loaned the 1858 painting for Nelson-Atkins' opening of its new Bloch Building and the Crystal Bridges website followed up with its own announcement and image of the painting.

Cropsey was part of the Hudson River School style of romanticized American landscape painting and was known as “America's painter of autumn” in England, which was amazed at New England's fall color. “Backwoods” depicts a log cabin set against a lake with mountains in the background and a man hunting with his dog in the foreground.

 The Historic Arkansas Museum is holding a smokehouse-raising today (Thursday, June 28) starting at 2 p.m. The smokehouse will go up on its original foundation in back of the 1840s Brownlee House on the museum's grounds. Timber-framer Michael Langford of VR Smith and Sons will oversee the construction.

The foundation was found during archeological testing, part of HAM's Brownlee Backyard project to restore the site and 19th century timber-framing methods. The Brownlee Backyard is being returned to a 19th century urban “working” backyard, with detached kitchen, smokehouse, swept dirt yard, kitchen garden, chicken coop and privy.

A reception will follow the smokehouse-raising from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The project architect is Tommy Jameson; funding came from a grant from the state's Natural and Cultural Resources Council.

More notes on Arkansas artists showing outside the state:

Little Rock artists AJ Smith and Marjorie Williams-Smith, both professors at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, are showing work at the Fort Worth Community Arts Center. A reception is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 6. Smith's exhibit, “Facing Personalities,” features his large graphite portraits. Williams-Smith is showing silverpoint drawings. The shows run through Aug. 18.

Ariston Jacks of Little Rock, whose representative works often embody social statements and personal story-telling, opens his first solo show, “Intutitive Disclosure,” July 6 at the African American Museum in Dallas, Texas. The show runs through Oct. 21.

In Memphis, Little Rock artist Pepper Pepper is showing botanical artwork at the Memphis Botanic Garden. “All Things of Nature” features digital photographs manipulated with layers of color inking and texture and printed on canvas.

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