Sammy Peters, Arkansas’s venerated abstract expressionist, has been creating large-scale geometrical works for more than 50 years. Visitors to the Butler Center galleries will see an exhibition of his paintings from the early 1960s to the present as “Sammy Peters: Then and Now,” opens Friday, June 9, 2nd Friday Art Night.
The after-hours gallery walk, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., also offers up an opportunity to see the works of many Arkansas artists in one place, in “Gordon and Wenonah Fay Hall: Collecting a Legacy,” at the Historic Arkansas Museum. That show will include paintings and photographs by Elsie and Louis Freund, Doug Stowe, Sally Williams, William E. Davis, Sheila Parsons, Jorge and Maria Villegas, Henri Linton and others.
From the start, Peters has worked in layers of lines and stripes and fat, scumbling strokes that only partly cover the colors and forms that lie beneath. The resulting palette is at times murky and mysterious, as if Peters was trying to find a new color we’ve yet to recognize. Thanks to their strong geometry, the pictures hold together; though abstract, the forms allow the viewer to create a narrative about what is going on. Peters’ titles hint at what the artist is working out with the work, with an equally abstract grammar: “Experience: isolation; reason,” for example, is four panels of pink/ochre/red set upon black horizontal lines. But don’t get too carried away with the reason bit; just enjoy the experience of getting to see the artist’s work, especially as it’s presented through time.
“Sammy Peters: Then and Now” travels here from the Memphis College of Art and was earlier on exhibit at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith. It will remain at the Butler Center through Aug. 26.
Gordon and Wenonah Fay Holl started collecting in the 1940s from their closest friends; their collection eventually numbered into the hundreds. HAM received the artworks and objects when Wenonah Fay Holl died in 2011. The show closes Feb. 4, 2018.
Also part of 2nd Friday will be the pop-up Antigallery at Sway, 419 Louisiana St., where “Out of the Gallery, Back Into Life” will feature work by LGBTQ artists and allies and drag performances (through 9 p.m.). Arkansas Capital Corp., 200 River Market Ave., is showing the Arkansas Society of Printmakers exhibition “Print Make!”; the Cox Creative Center, 120 River Market Ave., is showing “Kaleidoscope,” work by Sandra Marsden; Matt McLeod Fine Art features “Just the Way Things Are,” work by Jeremy Couch; Bella Vita Jewelry, 523 S. Louisiana St., features Boggy Creek Beehives; and the Old State House Museum features “Cabinet of Curiosities: Treasures from the University of Arkansas Museum Collection” and “True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley. The rubber-wheeled trolley will be running to get people from point A to point B and so forth.
The Arkansas Arts Center opens the 59th annual “Delta Exhibition” on Thursday night (free to members, $15 to nonmembers) with a lecture by juror Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art. Bradley will announced the prize winners.
Bradley selected 73 works by 57 artists, including Larry Wade Hampton, Jim Volkert, Gene Sparling, Zeek Taylor, Robin Parker, Robyn Horn, Daniel Mark Cassity, Cindy Arsaga, David Bailin, Dennis McCann, Jason McCann and many others.
The show officially opens Friday.
“Nasty Women,” paintings, photographs and multimedia work by 35 women artists put on by Henderson State University during Women’s History Month in February, is coming to the University of Arkansas at Little Rock on Wednesday, June 14. The show — the title refers to President Trump’s characterization of Hillary Clinton — deals with the misogyny brought to the fore with the election of Trump, who also claimed he could grab women by the genitals and they would readily accede because he’s such a hotshot. Among the artists showing work are Joli Livaudais, Zina Al-Shukri, Melissa Cowper-Smith, Norwood Creech, Mia Hall, Diane Harper, Robyn Horn, Catherine Nugent, Kat Wilson and many others whose talents have made their names well known.
Etchings and paintings by Brad Cushman, gallery director at UALR, go on exhibit this week at Boswell-Mourot Fine Art, 5818 Kavanaugh Blvd. A reception for the show, “Though False Intended True,” will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 9.
In North Little Rock, the William F. Laman Public Library is exhibiting the Arkansas League of Artists’ “Members Show,” and will host a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.