Organic Matters

Stephens Gallery to host Arkansas Women to Watch exhibit

The Stephens Gallery at University of the Ozarks will host the opening of the state touring exhibit, “Organic Matters: Arkansas Women to Watch,” from Jan. 19 to Feb. 16.

"ArtworkOnce Upon a Time in the Forest of I’m Not Good Enough” by Dawn Holder.

The exhibit will feature four women artists from the state, including U of O assistant professor of art Dawn Holder of Clarksville, as well as Sandra Luckett of Conway, Melissa Wilkinson of Little Rock, and Katherine Rutter, formerly of Little Rock.

A reception for the exhibit will be held from 5-6 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 27, in the gallery. Prior to the reception there will be an Organic Matters discussion panel featuring three of the artists in the exhibition: Holder, Luckett, and Wilkinson in the Rogers Conference Center from 3 to 4:30 pm. The artists will share insights about their artwork. A question and answer session will follow.

The exhibit and the reception are free, and the public is invited.

The Arkansas Women to Watch exhibit features unique contemporary interpretations of nature, a historic theme for women artists.  Selected artists’ work invites contemplation of approaches that go beyond traditional landscape and still life paintings.

The exhibit features work by the four artists in photography, painting and drawing, and a mixed-media porcelain installation.

“Once Upon a Time in the Forest of I’m Not Good Enough” by Holder features a 10′ X 10′ amalgam of trees, flowers, cattails, and pools made of porcelain, porcelain paper-clay, poly-fill, plaster, sugar, chocolate and butterscotch almond bark, hard candy, cotton candy, and iridescent paint.  “Sexy Puddles” by Luckett is an installation of 12 digital photographs featuring silken fabrics in mysterious aqueous environments that suggest character and action.  Luckett is an assistant professor of art at the University of Central Arkansas.

Various titled mixed-media drawings by Rutter combine graphite, gouache, watercolor, wallpaper, ink, acrylic, and algae to explore how beauty is perceived and understood. Various titled watercolor paintings by Wilkinson feature fractured mash-ups of historic still life compositions and the human figure that deconstruct traditional associations of sexuality. Wilkinson is an assistant professor of art at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.

“It is a great honor for my colleague, Dawn Holder, to be featured in this exhibition,” said Tammy Harrington, professor of art at U of O. “It is a testament to the quality and complexity of her artistic message and her ability to connect with the viewer. I serve on the board of the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts and I am proud of this organization and the opportunities they provide to Arkansas women artists.”

The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts organized the exhibit tour with assistance from the Windgate Foundation.  It is traveling to community and educational institutions across the state through Spring 2017. Venues have included, The Art and Sciences Center for Southeast Arkansas in Pine Bluff, the Windgate Fine Art Gallery at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith, the Fine Arts Gallery at Hendrix College in Conway, the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, the South Arkansas Arts Center in El Dorado, the UALR Department of Art Galleries in Little Rock, the Kresge Art Gallery at Lyon College in Batesville,  the Argenta Branch Gallery of the William F. Laman Library in North Little Rock, and the Arkadelphia Arts Center in Arkadelphia. The tour premiere and additional information can be found on the Arkansas Committee website: www.acnmwa.org.

"ArtworkArtwork by Arkansas artists Dawn Holder, Sandra Luckett, Melissa Wilkinson and Katherine Rutter will be on display during the “Organic Matters: Arkansas Women to Watch,” exhibit from Jan. 19 to Feb. 16 in the University’s Stephens Gallery.