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Glimpse Josephine Graham

And bid on art for Easter Seals.

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Josephine Graham (1915-1999), one of Arkansas's premier artists, is perhaps best known today for her portraits and primitive work (see the Historic Arkansas Museum's piece, “Even a Blind Sow Gets an Acorn Onct in a While”). But as a student of Dong Kingman, Max Beckman and Richard Diebenkorn, Graham turned out formalist paintings in the dawn of her career. Cantrell Gallery will open an exhibit of those works, “A Glimpse into the Past,” 35 paintings and drawings, on Friday, Nov. 2.

Graham was a founder of the Mid-South Watercolorists and taught at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Central Arkansas. At one time, her primitive style was more popular in New York than in Arkansas, her son, Nathan Graham, said. Her Madison Avenue gallery sold them “quicker than she could paint them, and getting New York prices,” he said.

Among her portraits of public figures were two Arkansas Supreme Court justices, which hang in the state Capitol, and one of Hillary Clinton. “She always said she painted portraits in Oil of Olay,” Nathan Graham said.

Graham is also remembered for her “Suggin Cookbook: Old Timey Receipts,” which included a recipe for bear cooked in juniper berries, or gin if the berries couldn't be found. The recipe was “completely fictitious,” Nathan Graham said.

A reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. Sale prices will range from $150 to $5,000.

Graham did the cover for the Southwestern Bell Telephone Book in 1976, part of a decade of covers by Arkansas artists. Another was of those artists was Warren Criswell, who will show new drawings, paintings and film starting Friday at Taylor's Contemporanea Gallery in Hot Springs. Criswell will be at an artist's reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday for Gallery Walk. Strollers will see new sketches and paintings by Randall M. Good at Blue Moon Gallery and the first art show ever by the Henderson State University Art Club. An art and music event to be held at Low Key Arts after the Gallery Walk is featured in the ToDo list in this week's Art and Entertainment section.

n “Art and Soul,” live and silent auctions of artwork by Little Rock artists to benefit Easter Seals, is set for 6:30 p.m. Friday at M2 Gallery in the Pleasant Ridge shopping center. Contributing artists include Sissy Clinton, V.L. Cox, Patty Criner, Mari Eilbott, Jason Gammel, Ellen Hobgood and others, as well as Easter Seals clients. The live auction begins at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased at www.ar.easterseals.com or by calling 227-3700.

Some of Arkansas's best known artists are among the 24 whose work was selected for the Arkansas Arts Center's 50th annual Delta Exhibition, to open Dec. 7. They are: Melissa Bacon, David Bailin, Stephanie Sargent Cassat, Gary Cawood, Susan Chambers, Elizabeth Dismang-Breitweiser, Emily Galusha, Amy Edgington, Ariston Sedrak Jacks, David Mann and Margaret Wang, all of Little Rock; Betsy Brackin of West Memphis; V.L. Cox, Virmarie DePoyster, Kyle Floyd and Keith Melton, all of North Little Rock; Warren Criswell of Benton; William Mayes Flanagan and Don House, Fayetteville; Benjamin Krain, Sherwood; Dusty Mitchell, Mountain View; Jarrett Murphy, Batesville; and Bill Rowe and John Salvest, Arkansas State University, Jonesboro.

Juror James Surls of Texas, a sculptor, chose 54 works for the exhibition, including paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, photographs and mixed media pieces. Award winners will be named Nov. 9.

n The Thea Foundation is seeking donations of art supplies for the public schools to make up for scarce funding. Donations will be accepted Nov. 2-30 at Stephano's Fine Art Gallery, Red Door Gallery, Eagle Bank and Trust locations, Twin City Bank and Bedford Camera stores.

New and used art supplies and discontinued art supplies will be accepted. A complete list of what is needed is at www.theafoundation.org. Volunteers who'll help distribute supplies should contact Paul Leopoulos at 833-8304 or paul.leopoulos@sbcglobal.net.

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