Guest blog by Catherine Garratt Fothergill
Michael and I joined the Artistic Staff at Ballet Arkansas in July of 2017, and one of our goals was to build transformative collaborations across many mediums throughout the nation.
In our 520 Main Street studios, we have the pleasure of being neighbors of Cranford Co., Education at the Rep and Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery. Throughout our 2017/18 REBORN season, we have partnered with each, but a collaboration with Matt McLeod, visual artist and proprietor of Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery, was the true kickoff to the new year.
Matt was one of the first people we met in Arkansas, and soon after we began exploring ideas to work together and utilize our shared space. What emerged was a collaboration called Art Movement, “which will be an exhibition that celebrates ballet and the dancers’ influence on contemporary visual art,” Matt says. “I think this exhibition will give ballet lovers and visual art lovers so much to enjoy.”
We started with an initial session, where our dancers shared the studio for three days with artists from across the United States. Visual artists of all mediums came together to study dance postures and movements. Matt says, “Ballet is a unique art form, combining athletic power with balance and grace to interpret a piece of music or creative theme. It is easy to find inspiration from the dancers’ movements and gestures. There is even powerful elegance to the dancers when they are simply standing or warming up. So to collaborate with Ballet Arkansas to create visual art for Art Movement has been truly amazing.”
Likewise, Michael and I wanted to be a catalyst for motion on Main Street, to breathe new movement into the Creative Corridor through partnerships just like this one. Over the course of the year, Matt and other artists have been creating new works, which will be featured on Friday, March 23rd. We hope that the community will drop in to the Matt McLeod Fine Art Gallery between 5:30-8:30 p.m. to experience this beautiful new exhibit. Guests can enjoy a live dance performance at 6:00 p.m. and a live visual art demonstration at 8:00 p.m., and that artwork will be auctioned at the end of the night.
Partial proceeds support Ballet Arkansas. Visit balletarkansas.org for more information.