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Small Works on Paper Opening Reception Draws Crowd

Arkansas Arts Council - Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Artist Virmarie DePoyster examines a portrait by artist Jane Rockwell during the 2020 Small Works on Paper opening reception in January.About 150 people attended the 33rd annual Small Works on Paper opening reception Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center. 

“We had an amazing night celebrating the arts and artists of Arkansas,” said Patrick Ralston, director of the Arkansas Arts Council. “We are honored to be able to showcase so many wonderfully talented, skilled and diverse artists.”

Eighteen of the 35 artists chosen for the touring exhibition attended the opening reception. About 14 artists talked about the inspirations, methods and processes behind their artworks. The touring exhibition includes 39 artworks with seven receiving purchase awards. The purchase awards mean the work is now part of the Arkansas Arts Council’s permanent collection.

A complete list of artists participating in this year’s Small Works on paper is available at arkansasarts.org.

At least three artworks were purchased by individual collectors during the opening reception. Last year, at least a third of the pieces included Small Works on Paper sold before the 2019 tour concluded.

The 2020 exhibition will stay at Mosaic Templars Cultural Center until Jan. 25 and will open next at Harding University on Feb. 10. A complete touring schedule is available at arkansasarts.org.

Small Works on Paper is a juried visual art exhibition that showcases artwork no larger than 18-by-24 inches. The exhibition spotlights Arkansas artists who are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry, an online gallery.

This year’s Small Works on Paper entries were juried by Jamie Adams, associate professor of art at the Sam Fox School of Design and Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Adams reviewed more than 300 submitted artworks to pick out the 39 pieces that are part of the Small Works on Paper exhibition. He also selected works to receive purchase awards.

Adams stated that the group of artists chosen for the 2020 Small Works on Paper exhibition demonstrate “considerable breadth of intention and conceptual interests, oftentimes serving as documentarian, observer, activist and poet.”

“The show has been selected to feature notable pieces that speak to contemporary life and are developed, not only from a range of disciplines (drawing, painting, photography, digital media) but also, a wide range of working processes that are both traditional and unconventional,” Adams said.

Videos, photos and discussions about this year’s Small Works on Paper exhibition and the opening reception are available via Facebook. For more information about the exhibition, contact Cheri Leffew at 501-324-9767 or cheri.leffew@arkansas.gov.