AT THE ARTS CENTER: Works on paper.
Details, details. That’s the emerging theme of the Arkansas Arts Center’s 10th National Drawing Invitational, which this fall will bring some 100 works on paper by top contemporary American draftsmen to its galleries. Arts Center curator Brian Young, who drew up the guest list, said the works on paper are complex and “painstaking,” with “dense surfaces or a number of marks that are unbelievable.” The exhibit, which runs Oct. 21 through Dec. 31, will feature artists who, with a couple of exceptions, are new to the Arts Center’s walls and not represented in its significant drawing collection. Drawing is their primary genre; the works are an end in themselves, rather than sketches for other work. Young identified the artists he wanted to invite on trips with the Arts Center’s Collectors Group to San Francisco and with director Nan Plummer to New York. The two artists represented in the Arts Center’s collection already — one as a promised gift — are Marietta Hoferer of New York and Skip Steinworth of St. Paul, Minn. Other artists in the show are Astrid Bowlby, Robert Gutierrez, Jonathan Herder, Nicola Lopez, Michael Madore, Karen Moss, Beverly Ress, Oriane Stender, Danielle Tageder, Barbara Takenaga and Scott Teplin. The invitational drawing exhibit was inaugurated in May 1986 and has been held more or less biennally since. This year’s will be the second show curated by Young; the previous were curated by former director Townsend Wolfe, and the exhibit will hang in the Wolfe Gallery. The Southeastern College Art Conference coming to the Peabody Hotel is the moving force behind a current exhibit at the Arts Center and two upcoming at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Historic Arkansas Museum. At the Arts Center, “Silverpoint by Carol Prusa” features the work of SECAC’s 2004 fellow. The exhibit, in the Strauss Gallery, runs through Nov. 13. The Arts Center agreed to host Prusa’s exhibit — part of her fellowship prize — so that UALR could concurrently hang the juried “SECAC Members Exhibition” in its Gallery I from Oct. 17 to Dec. 9. (The conference itself runs Oct. 26-30, and will bring in James Polshek, architect for the Clinton Library, as one of its guest speakers.) Laura Heon, director of SITE Santa Fe and a speaker at the conference, is the juror for the “Members Exhibition” show. She formerly was with the MassMOCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). “Portfolio Two: Masterworks by Arkansas Faculty Artists” opens Sept. 30 with a reception from 5-7 p.m. at the HAM. The show runs through March 12. Florida artist Prusa created the 20 silverpoint works on exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center during her fellowship year. Given the demanding technique, in which the artist draws with a fine-tipped silver pen on reactive paper, the size of some of her work — as large as 7 by 4 feet — is astonishing.