From the Director
Photo by Brian Chilson
A Note from Todd...
Despite the weather—severe thunderstorms and tornado watches—the opening of 30 Americans brought an active, inquisitive, and diverse audience through the doors of the AAC. Our opening night speaker, artist Hank Willis Thomas, delivered one of the most engaging and thought-provoking lectures in recent memory. If you have not yet seen 30 Americans, there is still time. Bring a friend. The work encourages discussion!
While you are in the building, do not miss the 54th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition. These young artists from across the state always impress with their talent, sense of color and fun, and individual viewpoints. There is a purity in the way a child approaches art—turning his/her imagination into reality unfettered by preconceived ideas of ‘correctness’. This exhibition always reminds me of a quote by Pablo Picasso: “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”. The next Picasso may be hanging on these walls!
OR, perhaps the next Matthew Broderick or Maggie Smith await on the stage of the Children’s Theatre. This upcoming season promises to continue the great success of last season with such classic titles as Puss in Boots, The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, and Schoolhouse Rock Live. We are also introducing Studio Shows which are more intimate, black box production where the audience is close to the action.
Summer is a season of great activity at the Arts Center. The 57th Annual Delta Exhibition opens July 10 and energetic children of all ages fill our halls and classrooms for summer art camps, Junior Arts Academy, and Summer Theater Academy. If you are looking for educational and fun projects for your child, grandchild, niece or nephew, we have what you are looking for. Remember, our exhibitions and permanent galleries are free. What better way to spend a warm summer day than enjoying art with your family?
I end this letter with a heartfelt “thank you” to Thom Hall who has been the very able registrar at the Arkansas Arts Center for 40 years. Thom retired on April 28—40 years to the day—and is looking forward to focusing on his own drawings. Thom has helped shape and grow the Arts Center. He is known and respected throughout the state and beyond. Anyone who is lucky enough to have been part of one of his famous tours knows what an asset he has been to this institution. We all owe him an enormous debt of gratitude and wish him only the best.
Todd A. Herman, Ph.D.