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New UA Little Rock Exhibit Will Feature Figure Drawings Inspired by Pandemic

Robert Bean
Robert Bean

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host a new exhibit inspired by an artist’s reaction to the COVID 19 pandemic on a personal and professional level.

The new exhibit, “Robert Bean: Figure Drawing On and Off Screen,” will be on display in the Ann Maners and Alex Pappas Gallery on the first floor of the Windgate Center of Art and Design at UA Little Rock from Jan. 17 to Feb. 28. A reception for the artist will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, in the Taylor/Mourning Lobby on the first floor of the Windgate Center.

A graduate of UA Little Rock, Bean now serves as the department chair of painting and drawing at the Windgate Art School of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts and is an adjunct instructor of figure drawing at UA Little Rock.

“Robert is an adjunct drawing instructor who took on the problems posed by Covid for studio art instruction as a personal and professional challenge,” said Nathan Larson, interim art gallery director at UA Little Rock. “This exhibition presents drawings created pre-pandemic, during the pandemic, and post-pandemic that look at how the pandemic affected his artistic practice as a working artist and as a college studio art instructor.”

The new exhibition represents how Bean adapted as an artist and a drawing instructor during the pandemic.

“I’ve spent several decades now working in places as far apart on the spectrum of quality studios as university classrooms to the ramshackle walls of a former warehouse that an artist friend stubbornly called his studio,” Bean said. “I’ve drawn from the life model again and again in so many different types of places that I’ve lost count. And until 2020 and the tragedy of the pandemic struck, these sessions had always been in person, face to face, with the model and among my fellow artists. But when you cannot be around others because of the risk of infection, how do you continue this practice? You adapt.”

The UA Little Rock Art Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday, and 2-5 p.m. Sunday. For more information, contact 501-916-5104 or email Larson at