A statewide tour featuring women artists will make its debut at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts recently announced the statewide tour of its biennial exhibit with the premiere of "Arkansas Women to Watch 2019: Heavy Metal" at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith’s Windgate Art and Design Building
The exibit will be on display Jan. 7 through Feb. 2 at the Windgate building, 535 N. Waldron Road. The exhibit reception will be 5-7 p.m. Jan. 18. The event is free, the public is invited, and the artists will be in attendance.
"The Arkansas Committee is delighted to continue this exhibit series—our fifth biennial Women to Watch state tour," Barbara Satterfield, ACNMWA president, says in a news release. "It promotes Arkansas women artists and it gives us an excellent opportunity to contribute to the cultural life in our state."
The Women to Watch exhibit series follows the international biennial competitive of the same name, Heavy Metal, initiated by the national museum to increase the visibility of and critical response to promising women artists, the release states. The 2018 national exhibit focused on the use of metal as an artistic medium. Long considered to be the work of men, metalsmithing was historically seen by many to be too physically grueling for women. But in modern and contemporary eras women artists have used metal to create a broad range of objects ranging from functional furniture to minimalist jewelry to purely aesthetic abstractions and large sculptural works, the release continues.
Holly Laws’ mixed media installations "Three Eastern Bluebirds" and "Placeholder" were selected for exhibit at the national museum from June through September 2018. Laws is an associate professor of art at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. A third Laws installation joins the 2019 Arkansas state tour, to be exhibited with works by artists Michele Cottler-Fox, Amanda Heinbockel and Robyn Horn of Little Rock. Matthew Smith served as guest curator for the exhibit.
The Arkansas Committee is the only affiliate of the national museum to organize statewide tours of work by its nominees to the national competitive, according to ACNMWA. Each exhibit series has been seen by an average of 5,000 Arkansans across the state. ACNMWA also sponsors annual collegiate internships that encourage research and scholarship in the arts, and annual artist awards that recognize excellence and support professional development, the release states.
"We are excited to provide this exhibit of varied, elegant and intriguing art works to venues across the state," Jaquita Ball, Women to Watch Exhibit Tour poject manager, says in the release. "Visitors will also get to see photographs of the artists in their studios and read their artist statements — clues to how techniques and ideas connect in the process of making art."
Additional 2019 venues for the statewide tour include the Norman Fine Arts Center Gallery at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville (Feb. 9 — March 9), the Russell Art Gallery at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia (March 16 — April 16), the Arts and Sciences Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff (April 20 — June 22), the Foyer Gallery at the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale (June 29 — July 27), the ArtVentures Gallery in downtown Fayetteville (Aug. 3 — Aug. 31), the Stephens Fine Art Gallery at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville (Sept. 7 — Oct. 5), and the Second Floor Gallery at the William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock (Oct. 12 — Nov. 9).
For information on the ACNMWA Program Fund or to become an ACNMWA Advocate member, visit www.acnmwa.org or find “The Arkansas State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts” on Facebook.