About Town

Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts

Photography by SARAH ODEN | | On Location at ARKANSAS MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS  Spring Song by Artist NATASHA BOWDOIN

When leadership reimagined the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, reverence for its storied history remained paramount. Today, this vision is a beacon for arts education as well as a catalyst for cultural collaboration. What began at the turn of the century has evolved into a multi-faceted experience that Executive Director Victoria Ramirez believes can enrich the lives of all Arkansans and build a stronger, more inclusive community. She will welcome friends and members later this month to a series of celebrations commemorating the first year of AMFA.

“Our goal is for everyone to see the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts as their museum.” Victoria notes this objective directs programming at every turn. “The way we involve the community in everything we do is important and incredibly special.” She explains that the first major exhibition was organized by AMFA staff and curators with special consideration to a diverse range of artists and media. “Together was a love letter to our community that we missed so much while we were closed during construction.”  With works from more than 30 artists, it illustrated compelling stories – celebrating differences that can bring together humanity.

Last fall, Whitfield Lovell: Passages invited constituents to an immersive storytelling joruney of the artist’s work as well as an opportunity to share personal stories through a digital album: The Story Project. Victoria emphasizes that the fundamental purpose for AMFA is seemingly simple. “We’re creating a welcoming, inspiring, educational and enjoyable environment. Guests of all ages and backgrounds have walked through our doors.” This includes every Central Arkansas county as well as 47 states. “It’s a building for the people. It wants people to feel comfortable … to enjoy visiting.”

Victoria believes that museums offer unique perspectives and enrichment to every life. “When we organize an exhibition or showcase an artist, we are thinking of Arkansans. Will this artist help Arkansans experience something new or see the world in a new way?” This aligns with the values of Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts as a cultural center. And with the revitalization of the MacArthur Park campus, it provides ample accessibility. As Victoria reflects on a year of accolades and looks forward to celebrating a year of AMFA, she recounts her own experience and what she hopes the museum brings to the community. “This was an opportunity to rethink what a museum can be… This is a powerful place to be if you are searching for somewhere to belong.”


Inviting Arkansas

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