NASAA Notes: January 2023

January 3, 2023

Arkansas: Small Works on Paper Exhibition

A graphite pencil sketch of a young woman resting her palm on her face. The lower half of the work is overlaid by prehistoric landscape and different kinds of dinosaurs. Images of smaller red tyrannosauruses in a bright green background surround the background of the sketch.

“Apocalyptic Thinking,” graphite and colored pencil on paper by Crystal Jennings of Rison, Arkansas. Photo courtesy Arkansas Arts Council

Many state arts agencies facilitate art exhibitions, not only to support the work of artists in their states but also to celebrate creativity and invite civic engagement around art. Touring exhibitions are a special strategy state arts agencies use to make those benefits accessible to diverse communities.

Small Works on Paper is a unique annual traveling visual art exhibition that showcases 2-D artwork no larger than 18″ x 24″. Produced by the Arkansas Arts Council, the exhibition celebrates paper as an artistic medium and offers Arkansas artists an opportunity to showcase their artwork to audiences all over the state. The exhibition invites submissions from members of the Arkansas Artist Registry, a free service provided by the Arts Council that is open to all visual artists who are Arkansas residents ages 18 and up. Eligible mediums for the exhibition include painting, photography, drawing, printmaking, mixed media and collage. An out-of-state juror is invited to review submissions and select artworks that travel to up to 10 venues across Arkansas in a yearlong event.

The small scale of the artworks makes them readily portable, simplifies exhibit installation and makes exhibitions more affordable to host. Venues include not only traditional exhibit spaces such as galleries, museums and arts centers but also sites like community colleges, libraries and other civic spaces, which attract audiences from many walks of life. Each venue hosts the selected exhibits for a period of time ranging from three weeks to more than a month.

In 2022, the juror reviewed about 250 entries from across the state and selected 39 artworks by 28 artists. The Arts Council awards up to $2,000 for juror-selected works, which become part of the Small Works on Paper permanent collection. Artists also may offer works for sale.

2023 will mark the 36th year that the exhibition has captured the evolving reflection of art and culture in Arkansas. To learn more, contact Arkansas Arts Council Special Projects/Events Manager Cheri Leffew.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




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