University of the Ozarks senior art major Stephanie Payton will present her Senior Exhibit, Atmospheric Anomalies, from May 6-18 in the Stephens Gallery. As part of her senior show, Payton will present an artist’s talk at 7 p.m., May 8, in Baldor Auditorium in the Boreham Business Building. There will also be a reception from 7-8 p.m. on May 11, in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Payton, from Hackett, Ark., is a sculptor and installation artist who creates compositions that express the idea of contrast by exploring the complexities of geometric forms in relation to organic forms. She experiments with techniques such as slip casting and sculpting with plaster. Payton said she uses art to communicate her life experiences and to express what she cannot through language. “My fascination with geometry and abstraction is based in an attempt to control forms because of an inability to control certain areas of my life,” she said. “My work is a response to dramatic changes in my life and demonstrates my inner struggle with perfectionism and control. I am drawn to geometry and simplified forms because they exemplify the possibility to dominate and minimize the complex. The soft, organic forms serve as a relief from the throes of the strict order of the geometric pieces.” Payton said Atmospheric Anomalies juxtaposes clean lines and crisp geometric forms with unconstrained organic shapes. “This contrast, both intentionally and unintentionally, manifests through form, surface detail, or color,” she said. “I simplify imagery, reducing it to abstraction, which can be seen in Domicile Disparity, in the clouds, mountains, and houses. Imagery in my work includes forms seen in nature such as cubes, spheres, and pyramidal shapes. A variety of surface textures provide contrast as is seen in Order >>> Atrophy. I favor sharp, defined lines in my structural pieces and allow loose lines to describe softer, organic forms. The color palette accentuates my aesthetic of contrast through the duality of deep black and pure white. I also use gray and slate blue to balance the color scheme, to accent or to emphasize important elements of the piece. Additionally, I vary my use of matte and glossy finishes to communicate contrast and to emphasize elements of a piece.” Payton’s three-dimensional sculptural forms use a variety of media, including plaster, plastic and wood. She primarily creates work using molds, slip casting and hand-building in clay. Her artwork is predominantly installation based. “The slip casting technique is essential because it allows me to create a repetition of forms that I arrange into diverse compositions,” Payton said. “These compositions contradict how forms traditionally interact and can cause discomfort due to the viewer’s expectations of a gallery setting and of reality itself. This concept is found in Domicile Disparity, where clouds are arranged on the floor and mountains are installed upside-down from the ceiling. To further enhance the atmosphere, I include sound and lighting effects in my work. These sectioned installations form a larger environment, which creates a gallery experience that is unified by my aesthetic of contrast, color scheme and texture.” A life-long Arkansan, Payton will graduate with honors from Ozarks on May 18. She has received several awards and scholarships which include the Amanda Alders Pike award in Art, an art scholarship from the University of the Ozarks, a scholarship from Carroll H. Rowbotham, and more. Payton also served as the president for OzArts art club. In addition, she has served as an intern at Terra Studios in Fayetteville, Arkansas, has worked with artists in Project Space at the NCECA conference and has worked as a tutor and studio assistant for several years. North Little Rock artist Virmarie DePoyster will showcase her exhibit of pastel paintings titled, “Bits and Pieces,” at the University of the Ozarks’ Stephens Gallery throughout March as part of the Artist of the Month series. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 5-6 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6 in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. The gallery is open to the public throughout the week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and there is no charge for admission. DePoyster, who is a visual artist in residency with the Arkansas Arts Council Arts in Education program, was born and spent her childhood in Puerto Rico before moving to Arkansas at the age of 15. “There’s a little dictionary I’ve had since I was a teenager. When I look at it, I can still remember the aroma of strong Puerto Rican coffee in the kitchen as my sisters and I sat practicing our English,” DePoyster said. “Thirty-five years later, the pages and I are both well worn, each stain and tear a reminder of the past that has shaped us. As an artist, I feel like that little translational dictionary. My work connects my past with my present and gives me a voice. It also allows the viewer to experience courage and vulnerability as I explore issues of spirituality, racial identity, and connection. In many of these works, words manifest as layers of my past. Some have a base layer of printed words from the Bible, and others come from sources that are personally meaningful.” DePoyster said that in many of her pastel paintings, the printed layers are clearly visible, and in others, they are obscured. “This method is meant to illustrate the meaningful selectivity we use in deciding which layers of our personal stories to share with others and which to withhold,” she said. “Additionally, in the acrylic works, I explored the use of symbols as an alternative way of storytelling. As always, color is a technique, a tool, and a language I use to emphasize an overall mood. Although diverse, these paintings are unified by their manipulated shapes, gradation, and incorporated textures that evoke an emotional response. Art eternalizes moments in time, bits and pieces of all our journeys, and brings us closer to understanding the human experience.” Driven by her love of fabric, textures and bright colors, DePoyster studied apparel merchandising and design at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. In 2004, she decided to take her creativity in a new direction and enrolled in classes at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. She quickly fell in love with the bright pigments of soft pastels and developed a love for painting with pastels on different types of paper, especially on textured surfaces that she creates. DePoyster was an instructor in drawing and pastel at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School for seven years. In 2012, she developed and implemented a therapeutic art program for Community Services, Inc., teaching at-risk youth in Conway and Russellville how to heal through art expression. In 2016, she began providing art therapy services to children and adolescents in acute care at The BridgeWay. She has also facilitated professional development workshops for schoolteachers, focusing on how to add more art into their curriculum. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and internationally in numerous group and solo exhibitions. Her piece, Hay Field Glow, was awarded the Purchase Award from the Arkansas Arts Council and toured throughout Arkansas as part of the 2008 Small Works on Paper Exhibit. Furthermore, her portrait, Diagnosis = Ovarian Cancer, was awarded honorable mention at the 50th Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center. Her paintings are included in private and public collections internationally and throughout the U.S. She and her husband, David, live in North Little Rock and they have two college-aged children, Grant and Anna. Arkansas printmaker David Warren will present his exhibit, “Reclamation,” at the University of the Ozarks’ Stephens Gallery from Jan, 16 to Feb. 22, 2019, as part of the University’s Artist of the Month Series. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 5-6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 30, in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. There is no cost for admission. A Little Rock resident, Warren has taught printmaking at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia since 2008. Warren said “Reclamation” is a series of handmade prints that feature his mythology. “The images display a variety of compositions that feature archetypes inspired by nature and industrialization,” he said. “The exhibit includes etchings, lithographs, and relief printmaking techniques.” His recent works consist of relief prints created during a recent art residency in Japan. “Mokuhanga is the Japanese woodblock technique used by artists such as Hokusai and Hiroshige during the Edo Period,” he said, “Reclamation was inspired by my renewed interest in water based relief printing and research in sustainable materials.” Born in Memphis, Warren received his undergraduate degree in art from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and his MFA in printmaking from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. His work has been shown in Tokyo; the Arkansas Arts Center Delta Exhibit; Delta National Small Prints at Arkansas State University; the Arkansas Arts Council Travelling Exhibit Small Works on Paper; the Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale, Ark.; and the Deep South Print Exhibition at the Hammond Arts Center in Hammond, La. University of the Ozarks alumna and art and education adjunct professor Dr. Cathy Caldwell was recently presented with the Barbara Teague Leadership Award by the Arkansas Arts Educators at their 2018 conference in early November. Caldwell is a 1969 graduate of Ozarks and has taught as an adjunct faculty member for the U of O art and education programs since 2015. She has taught on all levels, from elementary school to college, in her 45 years in education. “I am so thankful for the 45 years of students who have never failed to provide a catalyst and inspiration for my teaching,” Caldwell said. “Teaching is a most creative art form. It is a special honor to be a recipient of an award from fellow art educators which also honors the difference arts engagement makes in the lives of students.” The Barbara Teague Leadership Award is presented to a past state association officer that is “recognized for their outstanding contributions and service to the profession in the performance and/or development of specific programs, goals, or activities at the state or province association level.” “Dr. Caldwell is an amazing asset to the art program,” said Tammy Harrington, professor of art at Ozarks. “Her knowledge and experience in the art education field is unparalleled and we are so lucky to have her teaching our students.” Caldwell has served as AAE president, membership chair, higher education chair, and conference coordinator. She has been a visual arts specialist, curriculum coordinator for 14 schools, curriculum coordinator for all subject areas for two elementary schools, a professor in higher education and art department chair. In addition, Caldwell has been the recipient of the AAE’s Higher Education Art Educator Award. She was also selected as the Western Region Higher Education Art Educator of the year and the National Marion Dix Leadership award by the National Art Education Association. She has also been awarded and coordinated grants in curriculum development and preservice education school partnerships. Caldwell took four Ozarks art students to the conference: Aubree Sisson, Tonya Palmer, Kirsten Endicott, and Willow Stratton. “This experience is invaluable to the students and allows them to interact with other art educators from across the state,” Harrington said. “Experiences like these also encourage the students to continue to develop skills and knowledge in this profession.” Caldwell’s husband, Blaine Caldwell, is also a 1969 graduate of Ozarks and taught art at the University for 29 years before retiring in 2011. University of the Ozarks student Ana Sofía Camargo will present her Senior Art Exhibit, “Pinkhood,” from Nov. 15-26 in the Stephens Gallery. An opening night ceremony with the artist will be held at 6 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Camargo will also present an artist talk at 7 p.m. on Nov. 12 in Baldor Auditorium in the Boreham Business Building. The exhibit and events are open to the public and there is no cost for admission. The exhibit is recommended for mature audiences. Camargo, an art and strategic communication major from Panama who will graduate in December, said “Pinkhood,” examines the association of the color pink with the domestication and sexual objectification of women developed through her own experience as a Latin American woman. “Each piece is a portrait of the double moral standards that women have to live by,” she said. Camargo said her artwork also depicts passage of time through process by reflecting her intervention with the medium on the object of art. “In ‘Frustraciones,’ my bite marks are a violent reductive process that sculpts the vases and is evident in their final product,” she said. “I also use repetition of actions, symbols, and/or text to stress the passage of time and the performative quality of my work.” Text is also an important component of Camargo’s works. “I use it to emphasize how this oppression of the female gender has been internalized by popular culture and is reflected in our colloquial language,” she said. Camargo said she perceives “Pinkhood” as a “self-portrait of my own frustration particular of my Latin American roots.” “The ritualistic dialect in which I perform is reminiscent of my Catholic upbringing, the found-text is inspired by my conservative and popular social context, and finally, the general narratives of each artwork are autobiographical to my experience as a woman that has been living through a pink filter.” University of the Ozarks art major Aubree Sisson will present her Senior Art Show exhibit titled, “Back to my Roots,” from Nov. 7-13 in the Stephens Gallery. Sisson will give an artist talk from 7-8:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 12, in Baldor Auditorium. There will be a reception to meet the artist from 4-5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10, in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Sisson, a senior from Paris, Ark., said her exhibit was inspired by the lifestyle and culture as well as the flora and fauna of her life-long home state of Arkansas. “My works reflect the journey I have had in life, as well as the people I have met and the things I have seen,” Sisson said. “Connections to family and life events are symbolized within my works through the use of found objects and items from nature.” Sisson utilizes a variety of media, including ceramics, photography, cyanotype printing and assemblage to create arrangements that spark memories and emotions. “I often use imagery of Arkansas native fauna, such as small mammals and insects, within my work,” she said. “Having lived here my entire life and having the opportunity to work within the Arkansas State Parks has shown me much more of what the Ozarks have to offer. I love to forage for supplies, plants and leftover animal bones, while exploring the Ozarks’ forests and streams. Bringing natural elements into the gallery allows for me to show viewers aspects of the state that they may have not had the opportunity to see otherwise.” Sisson’s clustered 2D-wall piece titled, “Little Wonders,” includes “many moths, plants, and other images from around the state that I hope inspires others to get outdoors and see the beauty of the flora and fauna of this area.” Her subtle use of symbolism ties back to different moments within her life and the slowed down lifestyle of rural Arkansas. “My crochet works imply the passing of knowledge from one person to another since crochet was taught to me by my grandmother when I was very young,” she said. “’Life Goes On’ is a piece of mine that contains my crochet works, but also depicts nature taking over a space reminiscent of an old cabin. I arranged the items within this piece to create a sense of a lived-in space that has been forgotten.” “Back to my Roots,” was created to convey nostalgia as well as the passing of time. “This show is a culmination of my life and everything that I have experienced within my lifetime,” she said. “Accumulation and layering objects and images allows me to show my memories and life experiences all within a single space. I symbolize everything from the people who entered my life, to those who left, and the experiences that I grew from. Without my memories and experiences, I would not be who I am today. In a way, this body of work took 22 years to complete and is a culmination of my life thus far.” Jen Owen, a pioneering champion for affordable and accessible 3D-printed prosthetic hands and arms, will speak at University of the Ozarks on Thursday Oct. 25, as part of the University’s Walton Arts & Ideas Series. The event begins at 7 p.m. in the Rogers Conference Center. There is no cost for admission and the public is invited to attend, Owen is the founder and owner of enablingthefuture.org, a website dedicated to sharing the open-source designs and stories from a global community of volunteers who are creating free 3D printed hands and arms for those who were born missing fingers or who have lost them due to war, accident, natural disaster or disease. Her philanthropic focus in recent years has involved helping to found and collaboratively lead e-NABLE, a global movement of makers and digital humanitarians who strive to increase the accessibility of prosthetic hands for children and introduce 3D printing technology and curriculums into STEM-based learning environments around the world. What started as a fun cosplay costume project in her family’s garage turned out to be a catalyst in a series of incredibly timed events that led to the creation of the first 3D printed prosthetic hand for a single child in South Africa. It has since grown into a worldwide passion project of thousands of volunteers in more than 100 countries and 2,000 schools who have delivered more than 5,000 free 3D-printed assistive devices to children and adults in need of a “helping hand.” Owen’s presentations have been called inspirational, personal and from the heart. Her examples of making a difference in the world leave audience members inspired and encouraged to use their ideas and imaginations to create collaborative programs in their own communities and start making a difference as well. Owen is an internationally recognized blog author, photographer, storyteller, graphic designer and philanthropist from Washington State. University of the Ozarks alumna Stacy Bates will present her exhibit, “The Art of Permanence,” in the Stephens Gallery from Oct. 8 through Nov. 2 as part of the University’s Artist of the Month Series. There will be a reception to meet Bates and view her artwork from 5-6 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 26, in the gallery, which is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center. Bates is an artist and illustrator and owner of Stacy Bee Art in Fort Smith, Ark. She graduated from Ozarks in 2007 with a degree in art and a minor in education and was named the University’s outstanding student in art in 2007. Bates specializes in creating black-and-white, pen-and-ink illustrations, along with murals that combine her two favorite styles — drawing and printmaking. The result is her signature “vintage-esque” imagery. Her most recent focus has been creating a series of animal rights illustrations. Bates’ work appears on a variety of projects, from gig posters for musical acts to Arkansas-themed illustrations to public murals. Over the past three years, she has completed seven murals in Arkansas and Oklahoma and her illustrations have been featured in three separate books and one fully illustrated children's book. Some of her work has recently been on display at Gallery 1988 in Los Angeles. The Stephens Gallery is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, and there is no cost for admission. Arkansas River Valley artist and professor Jesse Ring will present his exhibit, “Orchard Floor,” in University of the Ozarks’ Stephens Gallery from Aug. 22 through Sept. 26 as part of the University’s Artist of the Month series. There will be an artist talk featuring Ring from 4-5 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 19 in Baldor Auditorium and a reception to meet the artist from 5:30-6:30 p.m. on Sept. 19 in the gallery. Both events are free and open to the public. Ring, an assistant professor of sculpture and ceramics at Arkansas Tech University, said “Orchard Floor” is a remix of recent sculptural projects. “The works include collections of re-materialized artifacts, depictions of specific landscape elements, and photographs of site specific installations,” Ring said. “Each work, in varying degrees, spurs from a poetic response to loss of life and the desire to celebrate or memorialize it.” Ring said the “re-materialized artifacts” are personal artifacts that have been re-made, in a new material, with new touch. “They survey the artifact as an object format with visual meaning dependent on its own history,” he said. “Meaning which is inherent but can be influenced by the alteration of materiality and articulation of its display. For example, a wooden composition originally made with my father in 1989, my first act of sculpture, is mimicked in Formica and paired with a gradient and a marbled stone resembling an ear and framed by a reproduction of persimmon bark from his land. It remains primarily formal while taking on qualities of an alter framed to view.” Haptic materials like clay, paper pulp, and wax are prevalent in Ring’s studio because they are responsive plastic materials with the ability to take on diverse visual qualities. “Formable in a spectrum spanning accurate depiction to expressive interpretation,” he said. “The process of material transmutation that is paramount to ceramics is further applied as an ideology in my approach to sculpture. Considering how the process of formulating the material and composing the object can be used equally to affect the imbued meaning of a representational form. Like a moon, milled out of foam, based on code generated from a spliced and re-assembled NASA lunar model, coated in phosphorescent dust.” Ring was born in an octagonal home that his father built on Seven Springs Cooperative in Eastern Missouri. Growing up as the son of an inventive carpenter was foundational in his approach to sculpture. He received his bachelor’s degree in 2006 from the Kansas City Art Institute. Over the next eight years he moved 12 times between nine states to purse artist residencies and other opportunities that expanded his studio practice. In 2015, he received his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. He has since been a visiting artist at CAFA City Design School in Beijing, University of Cincinnati DAAP, a resident artist at The Vermont Studio Center, and Zentrum Fur Keramik in Berlin. The Stephens Gallery is located in the Walton Fine Arts Center on the U of O campus and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The University of the Ozarks’ art program has received a grant for $109,000 from the Windgate Charitable Foundation to improve facilities and assist students in exhibiting their artwork. The grant has two components — $59,000 for renovations and safety improvements to art facilities and a $50,000 Windgate Student Fine Art Exhibit Endowment to provide funds for art students to purchase presentation materials for art shows. Among the facility improvements scheduled to take place this summer in the Walton Fine Arts Center’s ceramics and sculpture rooms are improved ventilation systems, floor drains and sinks. “The Art Department is pleased to receive this grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation,” said Tammy Harrington, professor of art. “The safety improvements to our facilities will have a positive impact on our program and will provide an enhanced environment for our students to create artwork. The foundation has been such a champion for the arts and we are honored to be included in their philanthropy.” The endowment will assist art students in the purchase of materials such as frames and matte for senior capstone exhibits, juried or competition exhibits, or presentations and events. “We are a small art program, but we still ‘think big’ in regards to our students and their future goals,” Harrington said. “Our mission is to provide the art majors a strong foundation of skills, development of art themes and content, professional preparation and knowledge, and individualized plans of study. Each art graduate works towards a solo exhibition in Stephens Gallery and that experience is so important in creating a professional in the field. This grant will be instrumental in the continued improvement of our program.” The number of students pursuing a major or minor in art at Ozarks has grown almost 20 percent since 2013. Based in Siloam Springs, Ark., the Windgate Charitable Foundation provides funding for the support and development of the arts in K-12 and higher education institutions.