It would be entirely too easy to suggest that everyone beat the heat by stopping by the latest UALR gallery exhibit. While escaping the sweltering summer is one reason to visit the Fine Arts Building right now, it’s not the only, or best, reason.
Reason No. 1 is the visual feast on display in the “Works from the Permanent Collection.” The exhibit showcases several pieces from the 1,600-object Permanent Collection, from photographs and sketches to mixed media sculptures.
Forty years in the making, the entire Permanent Collection includes such varied pieces as pages from the “Book of Hours” dating to the 13th century, camera works from Alfred Stieglitz, and rock-and-roll posters from graphic artists in the Haight-Ashbury district.
Gallery Director and Curator Brad Cushman said the majority of the collection is made up of late 20th Century contemporary drawings, prints, paintings, sculptural objects, and ceramics created by professional artists and current and former UALR art students.
The collection grows as he and Assistant Curator Nathan Larson meet with art department faculty to select pieces when funds become available.
Larson put together this most recent exhibit, which includes professional artists Takeshi Katori, Lawrence Rugolo, Karen Kunc, Beverly Buys, Tim Hursley, Henry Cravens, William Poe, Jeff Freeman, Al Allen, Kathe Kollwitz, and Giovanni Battista Piranesi as well as works from the annual student competitive show from Valerie Wingert, Terry Wooldridge, and Liu Nan.
Cushman offers a guide to those visiting:
• Be mindful of the objects on display.
• “Touch” with the eyes, not the hands. Oils from our skin can damage works.
• Read the label and consider how the artist made the work. Consider what materials were used and how those materials were handled by the artist.
• Put yourself in the artist’s shoes. How would your hands and boy work together to create a piece?
So soak in the art and the air conditioning: Gallery hours for the summer are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The next Gallery I exhibit, “Poetic Transformations,” begins Aug. 15 and will feature Alice Briggs, Sylvie Rosenthal, Jacqueline Bishop, Holly Laws, and Jennifer Anderson.