Guest Blog by Amy Westlake, Communications Manager at Arkansas Repertory Theatre
Have you ever taken a stroll through The Rep’s Lobby and really noticed what adorns the walls? If you haven’t, then you’re missing out! On all three levels, The Rep’s walls display work from local artists ranging from pastels to watercolors, pottery to tempered glass, photography to jewelry, and so much more. And each piece is crafted by Arkansas artisans. What you may not know is that all of the art displayed is switched out six times per year to showcase new art during each of The Rep’s productions. During the three to six week production runs, these artists are on display and receive full commission for any piece that is purchased. In the spring, each exhibiting artist donates one piece of art to the theatre’s annual art auction, ArtWorks.
ArtWorks is a lively evening where guests mingle with other art enthusiasts and bid on a variety of extraordinary art work. The Rep is excited to host the 29th annual fundraiser on Saturday, April 29.
This fun live and silent auction will be complemented by live music, an open bar and light appetizers from some of Little Rock’s yummiest spots. This year’s food vendors include RSVP Catering, Sufficient Grounds, Bravo Italiana Cucina, Southern Gourmasian and Three Fold.
Here’s what to expect at this year’s fun and art-filled evening:
• 6:30 p.m. – Lite bites, drinks and live music by Danny Fletcher’s Jazz Trio
• 6:30 p.m. – Silent art auction
• 7:30 p.m. – Live art auction
Here is a look at some of the artwork that will be featured on Saturday.
Roots by B. Jeannie Fry – Valued at $850
Mixed Media Collage 40”x 30”
Jeannie is a returning participant in ArtWorks. She has sold and exhibited artwork in galleries, museums and coffee shops in both Kansas and Arkansas, including the cities of Wichita, Kansas City, Conway, Searcy, Little Rock and Hot Springs. She currently serves on the Board of Mid Southern Watercolorists here in Little Rock. “I enjoy the opportunity to be a part of ArtWorks,” says Jeannie. “It is a way that artists can cooperatively work together to support The Rep.” This year’s donated work is an acrylic collage on canvas which was recently created specifically for ArtWorks!
Zebra from Windows to the Soul Series by Shelley Gentry – Valued at $650
Acrylic on Canvas 24”x 30”
Shelley is a local artist whose work can be seen at the Art Group Gallery in Pleasant Ridge and the White Goat in the Heights, as well as in her private studio. She works in a variety of media, including pastels, watercolor, and acrylic. “I am proud to be a part of the Artworks program at The Rep because it is an excellent venue for combining visual and performance arts and strengthening the Little Rock Arts Community as a whole,” says Shelley. “I am always drawn to paint animals and their faces, in particular. Although I photograph animals whenever I travel, this painting was inspired by a zebra right here at the Little Rock Zoo!”
Interlude in Time by Nina L. Burke – Valued at $1,050
Acrylic on Canvas 30”x 40”
Nina has been painting for almost 70 years! She is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists. Recently, she decided to take a short break from painting, and feels this piece speaks to that break. “I have been donating to ArtWorks since the early 90’s,” says Nina. “I love The Rep!”
Spring Has Sprung by Bill MaGee – Valued at $495
Giclee on canvas 16”x 20”
Bill is a photographic artist living in Little Rock. He doesn’t sell his work, but donates it to nonprofit organizations like The Rep – so this is one of your only chances to own a Bill MaGee! “This image reflects the North Little Rock side of Riverfront,” says Bill. “It seeks to herald the arrival of spring, and juxtaposes the energy of the cyclist with the quiet repose of the man on the bench.”