The Arkansas Arts Center stokes the innate creativity of all its visitors with a close look at artistic expression. Since its creation in 1960, the AAC has amassed a permanent collection of more than 5,300 drawings and paintings (primarily American and European), 1,000 contemporary crafts and sculptures, and 27 lost mittens. Examples of French neo-impressionist drawings share space with the work of old masters, while early modern paintings complement studio-forged glass sculptures and other pieces dating as far back as 1465. Throughout the year, the museum also casts its light on the local community by hosting special exhibitions of established artists and emerging talent.
Outside its gallery, the AAC encourages the community in another way. Through classes and workshops, instructors explain the fundamentals of composition in photography, ceramics, painting, woodworking, and printmaking while helping students create their own pieces. An onsite children's theatre, meanwhile, routinely stages family-friendly shows, and the troupe even offers workshops on the art of acting.
Pinot's Palette combines wine with art to create an enjoyable night out with friends or a date. The painting sessions encourage adults' inner artists whether they have any painting experience or not, resulting in light-hearted conversation, fun, and good cheer while painting and enjoying wine or beer from the wine bar. Each session's painting of the night may feature anything from landscapes to known classics such as Van Gogh's Starry Night, and each painter tackles the project from their own artistic angle under the guidance of an experienced instructor. At the end of the night, painters can take their painting home.
Jody Herndon believes that portraits should reveal as much about their photographer as they do their subjects. Whether he's photographing kids, families, or former President Bill Clinton, he approaches each session as a collaboration—a chance to capture his subjects' personalities in their favorite environments, free of contrived poses. He takes a similar approach to shooting wedding days, as he unobtrusively documents each element of the events, from the bride anxiously preparing for the ceremony to the DJ singing the traditional one-hour-long wedding sea shanty. Once his sessions wrap up, Jody preserves his color and black-and-white shots with products including high-quality prints, albums, and high-resolution CDs and DVDs.
A piggy bank covered in polka dots, a platter celebrating Mother?s Day complete with each of her children?s handprints, a ceramic replica of Sesame Street?s Ernie?these are just a few of the projects that have emerged from Seize the Clay, a hands-on art studio specializing in pottery painting. In addition to embellishing various bisque pieces with unique designs, visitors can create glass-fused pendants, multihued mosaics. They can also try their hands at the potter?s wheel, hold birthday parties, or attend an interactive summer camp.