AZALEAS: Walter Anderson water color.
There’s so much going on at art galleries here and there in the next few days, you’re going to need wheels — especially if you live in Central Arkansas, because you’re going to need to get to El Dorado for the March 15-18 exhibit of the work of Mississippi artist Walter Anderson at the South Arkansas Arts Center.
On the night of Friday, March 11, however, art lovers can roll on the River Rail and its rubber-wheeled sister to downtown galleries for the first 2nd Friday Art Night. From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., the trolley will provide rides to Amy Howard Richmond Fine Art, River Market ArtSpace, the Cox Creative Center, Hearne Fine Art, the Clinton Museum Store, the Historic Arkansas Museum and Oval Art Gallery. Afrjamex, listed as a participant in last week’s advance of Art Night, is going out of business and has dropped out.
(Also, a line inadvertently cut from last week’s list of Oval’s participating artists merged Liz Deering Morris with Stephano, and omitted Dominique Simmons. Morris and Stephano have not merged and Simmons has not dropped out. We regret the trim.)
Earlier Friday, as a warmup to Eggshibition XIV — Coming of Age at Clear Channel Metroplex off Interstate 430 (see page 27), hit the Arkansas Arts Center’s Wolfe and Jeannette Rockefeller galleries to see its new exhibits, Masters of American Watercolor, Part 1 and the Young Arkansas Artists 44th Annual Exhibition.
The watercolor exhibit includes works from the Arts Center’s collection dating from the late 19th century to the present. Part 1 features works made before 1950 by such watercolor masters as Thomas Moran, Maurice Prendergast and Charles Burchfield.
The children’s art show includes 125 works by students in grades K-12 all across Arkansas and celebrates both the talents of Arkansas’s future famous figures and today’s art teachers. Don’t let “student art” put you off; witty pieces are a trademark of this show.
On to Saturday night. The Center for Artistic Revolution is holding a silent auction fund-raiser, Paz del Corazon (Peace of the Heart), at 6 p.m. March 12 at the Quapaw Quarter United Methodist Church, 1601 S. Louisiana. Area artists, among them Hamid Ebrahimifar, Ila Hallmark, Randi Romo, John Van Horn and Sabrina Zarco, have painted wooden hearts for the fund-raiser, and a Mexican dinner of tamales, rice and beans will be served. Tickets are $8.
Back to El Dorado. Walter Anderson was an artist of lyrical genius drawn to the coastal waters of Mississippi where, in isolation for 18 years, he painted the flora and fauna of Horn Island. Born in New Orleans in 1903, Anderson was educated at the Parsons School of Design and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and traveled Europe before moving to Ocean Springs, Miss., to work with his brother at Shearwater Pottery, where he painted designs on the pottery. Starting in his late 30s, he was institutionalized for mental illness off and on, and though he produced much fine art during his recuperation in the country with his family, in 1947 he decided to move, alone, to the Mississippi coast, where he indulged his passion for natural history and science, spending long periods on Horn Island.
For “Walter Anderson Week” in El Dorado, the SAAC galleries will feature “Crossing the Salt Line into the World of Walter Anderson,” an exhibit of Anderson watercolors, woodblock prints and ceramics loaned by El Dorado collectors. The exhibit also will feature an exact replica of “The Little Room,” a room in Anderson’s home whose entire surface he painted with birds, insects, fish, flowers and trees. The replica is on loan from the Walter Anderson Museum of Art in Ocean Springs and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans.
Special events will be held daily during the exhibit’s run, including talks at 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 15, by Walter Anderson Museum curator Dr. Patricia Pinson; noon Wednesday by Anderson’s daughter, Mary Anderson Pickard, and noon Thursday by Anderson enthusiast Redding S. Sugg Jr. An opera based on Anderson’s book, “Robinson, the Pleasant History of an Unusual Cat,” will be performed twice daily at the Arts Center, and a black-tie event featuring operatic singing, music and dance will be held Friday at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $75 to the black-tie event.
For more information on events scheduled for Walter Anderson Week, call 870-862-5474.
Coming up: Pulaski Heights Picassos, an auction of more than 400 works of art to benefit the elementary school’s art program, 6 p.m.-9 p.m. March 19 at Ricks Armory. Details next week.