For folks in Fayetteville, a trip to Art Ventures (nee Fayetteville Underground, 101 Mountain St.) is in order to see the gallery’s retrospective of works by University of Arkansas emeritus art professor John Newman. It’s a rare opportunity to see Newman’s work, which has been exhibited in Little Rock and numerous other places but which you won’t find on the internet. I deeply regret not buying a Newman silkscreen (as I recall) print exhibited at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean several years ago: It was an image of African-American children looking through a barbed-wire fence at children interned at Rohwer. (Newman lived in Rohwer until he was 5; in 2006, he and former Minidoka, Idaho, internee Roger Shimomura collaborated for the show, “Views from Both Sides of the Barbed Wire Fence” at the Baum Gallery at the University of Central Arkansas at Conway.)
Newman taught at the U of A from 1990 to 2013. His artist’s statement:
“I consider myself an artist whose work is a commentary on social issues and social circumstances. These come from my own memories, talking with my family and friends who understand my own life, reaching out to individuals who are very different from me but may have parallel circumstances to which I can relate, and responding to societal constructs and norms that affect me. I have attempted in my work to capture people’s candid emotional circumstances and situations, including my own.”
Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.