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New gallery in town

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PAINTER OF HOUSES: Stephano's work on display at his new gallery.
  • PAINTER OF HOUSES: Stephano's work on display at his new gallery.

Arkansas's Warhol is getting another 15 minutes of fame with the opening of his gallery, Stephano's Fine Art Gallery, at 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd.

Before Stephano Sutherlin opened the gallery a couple of weeks ago, his claim to fame was his large pop art work. Now he's venturing into the gallery business, renting space to other artists and taking a comparatively small commission on sales of their work. The gallery is in business now, but Stephano's throwing a grand opening party that will start at 6 p.m. Aug. 25.

The gallery's stable features 13 artists (beside Stephano) working in a wide range of style and medium. They are painters Henri Linton, Dan Thornhill, Cherylon Reid, Kathy Sanders, Lisa Wilson and Ron Logan; sculptor Diana Ashley, pencil and pastel artist D. Arthur Wilson, jeweler Malissa Payne, glass artist Kyle Boswell, watercolorist Mike Gaines, raku ceramist Kelly Edwards and metal sculptor Robbie Wellborn.

Stephano is still doing pop art portraits, but he's more focused these days on thickly textured impressionist paintings of homes.

The gallery, Stephano said, “is a dream come true after all my health problems.” Stephano was quite ill for a while cardiac problems and had heart surgery in 2004; he said his cardiologist gave him “100 percent approval” to start the gallery.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; phone is 563-4218.

It's time to put together teams for “THEA Paves the Way” chalk art event to be held Sept. 15 on the Clinton Presidential Center grounds.

Sponsored by the Thea Foundation, the art event drew in its inaugural year last year some 500 visitors in 55 teams to create chalk murals on the sidewalks in front of the Clinton Center. This year's event will feature two competitions: a barbecue cook-off and a college-level chalk art competition. There's no charge for the artists; registration for the barbecue cook-off is $75 a team.

There will be music, games, face-painting and other activities as the art is being made.

Things kick off for the cook-off — which organizer Matthew Bell describes as a “average-Joe” contest — at 8 a.m. Chalk teams will start at 9 a.m. College teams will be limited to six and are to incorporate video game or movie themes into their work; first and second place trophies will be awarded. Judging for the barbecue competition will start wrapping things up at noon. Participants will be able to sample the barbecue for $5. Tyson Foods is donating the pork.

The Thea Foundation is an advocate for the arts in education, awarding scholarships in visual, theater and dance arts. It is also a co-sponsor with the Clinton Foundation of the Art Across Arkansas program to put original art in schools across the state. (An exhibit of the works in the program, “Art Is ...,” runs through Aug. 19 at the Clinton Center.

To sign up, call the foundation at 833-8304 or register on-line at www.theafoundation.org.

President Abraham Lincoln's Declaration of Emancipation will be on view Sept. 22-25 at the Clinton Presidential Center as part of the city's commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the integration of Central High School.

To reserve a place to view the document, call 244-2856. Viewing hours will be 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 22, 23 and 25 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 24. Admission to the Clinton Center is $7 for adults; $5 for seniors and retired military and $3 for ages 6-17.

The document will be part of a larger exhibit, “The Long Struggle,” that opens Sept. 8 at the Clinton Center. It will include documents and artifacts that illustrate presidential action on equal rights from Lincoln through the civil rights movement of the 20th century.

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