A drawing by the late Theodore "Ted" Beard IV has been selected to appear in an art exhibition at the Batesville (Ark.) Area Arts Council.
Beard, a biology major and art minor from Tyler, Texas, died from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident in March. He was scheduled to graduate on May 16 as part of the University of the Ozarks’ Class of 2015.
Beard’s artwork, "N.W.A Experience," was accepted into the 2015 National Juried Exhibition at the Batesville Area Arts Council. The juror, artist Delita Martin, was impressed with the overall quality and competitive level of the work and selected 26 out of more than 250 pieces submitted. The exhibition runs from April 28 through June 13, 2015.
A private reception was held for accepted artists and members of the BAAC on May 1. Beard’s family, including his mother, aunt, and cousin, attended the reception as well as U of O Professor of Art Tammy Harrington. This is the first juried exhibition that Beard’s work has been accepted in.
Family members of the late Theodore "Ted" Beard IV joined Professor of Art Tammy Harrington (right) recently at the at the Batesville (Ark.) Area Arts Council where Beard’s artwork, "N.W.A. Experience," is being displayed as part of the 2015 National Juried Exhibition.
"When I heard about this exhibition and who the juror of the show was, I immediately told Theodore and we discussed about entering the exhibition." Harrington said. "We worked together to select which artworks to enter and to prepare his images for submission. I am always encouraging my students to enter juried art competitions. It is a great way to build a resume and to share artwork with the public. I was very pleased to receive the news that one of Theodore’s artworks was accepted into this exhibition. I believe in the quality and content of his artwork."
According to Harrington, the direction of Beard’s work was inspired by African-American history, pop culture, and his own experiences as an American minority.
"He strove to find truths within this world and his identity," Harrington said. "He worked in a realistic portraiture style that focused on raw and unfiltered narratives in order to provoke thought and emotion. Theodore investigated the hereditary social issues surrounding African-Americans and likened them as Colorisms. He composed what he believed to be truths surrounding Colorisms with the intention of igniting dialogue that would manifest into various forms: education, self-worth, perseverance, and new ways of thinking. This artwork is very haunting in the imagery he selected to depict the feeling of being an outsider. The African woman in traditional ethnic garb and lip plate represents a primitive depiction of an African stereotype. The letters N.W.A. has dual meaning, it refers to the hip hop/gangsta rap group N.W.A. and Northwest Arkansas. The rap group was known for their explicit and blunt songs that spoke about social injustice and anger towards authority, in particular, the police force. The lip plate contains the image of the University of Arkansas Razorback. This artwork was his expression of how he felt like an outsider at times living in Arkansas. As a temper to this social message, Theodore depicts the humanity of this figure. The expression of the eyes and the treatment of the skin and hair give life to this portrait."