The Picture Never Changes
This exhibition combines printmaking and painting and is a collaboration between Dustyn Bork, whose work “is deceptively simple with underlying motifs that explore cultural notions of pattern, color, and design,” and Carly Dahl, whose work “pictures psychological pressures and gender identities women deal with in society.” A husband-and-wife duo, Dahl and Bork collaborate frequently and enjoy their respective positions as Kresge Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Art, both at Lyon College in Batesville, Ark.
Dustyn Bork is a printmaker and painter working in mixed media. Dustyn was born in Monroe, Michigan and earned his MFA in printmaking from Indiana University: Bloomington, Indiana in 2002 and his BFA in printmaking from the University of Michigan: Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1999. His work is deceptively simple with underlying motifs that explore cultural notions of pattern, color, and design. Dustyn Bork is an Assistant Professor of Art at Lyon College where he joined the faculty full time in 2010. His work has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions including at the Butler Center at the Arkansas Studies Institute in Little Rock, Hendrix College, Caseworks at the Art Museum of University of Memphis, and the Hunterdon Museum of Art in New Jersey. He has participated in projects international in scope including artist residencies at the Franz Masereel Centre in Kasterlee, Belgium in August of 2008 and at MIRA in Martignano, Italy May 2011. His work can also be viewed online at
Carly Dahl is an artist/ printmaker who’s work visually deals with ideas and ideals of beauty and representation in society. These artworks psychologically picture pressures and identities women deal with in their gender. Carly works mostly in printmaking and painting with hand drawn details into the work. In the images faces are left blank so that the women represented could potentially be any woman and the viewer can project themselves or others into the artwork.
Carly Dahl has a BFA in Printmaking from the University of Toledo, Ohio. She was born in Monroe, Michigan and currently resides in Batesville, Arkansas.
explores and conveys a sense of place through the personalities of the people who inhabit that place. People and places are interconnected because each influences the personality of the other. Many of the subjects in Wood’s paintings are people whom the artist has known from her hometown in south Arkansas as well as friends and family from other rural areas of the South. Wood quotes Mexican muralist Diego Riviera as her inspiration, “He who hopes to be universal in his art, must plant in his own soil.”
Emily Wood holds a BA and an MA in Art. She has lived and worked in New York City and studied painting at the Art Students’ League of New York. Wood is currently the Chair of the Painting and Drawing Department at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. Wood’s work has been accepted into and won awards in juried exhibitions throughout the South and can be found in public and private collections across the United States. Learn more at www.emilywoodart.com.
"A refinery is an establishment that takes a raw or crude material and purifies it by removing unwanted substances. The end result is a product of value -- usable and desirable.
All of the women I’ve encountered in my life, including myself, are on a constant journey to refine themselves; on a never ending mission of self-improvement. A mission at times that leads us to genuine betterment and other times to utter paralysis of dissatisfaction and disappointment. This collection with the woman as the subject challenges what it means to be refined in terms of beauty. This body of work means to combat the current unattainable standard of beauty that plagues women on a daily basis, both in the media and in our thoughts. Loose watercolor washes offer the ideal medium to embrace a new concept of beauty. Colors run and bleed into each other and features become distorted and ambiguous —imperfections are celebrated. A high gloss resin coating then cements this new notion of what it is to be beautiful and refined, creating a reflective surface to include the viewer’s image."
After taking her first formal drawing classes in high school Lisa attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, receiving a B.A. in Studio Art and Biology. After graduation she attended the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, receiving a M.ed. in Secondary Education. Outside her studio, she teaches art full time in Little Rock.
Lisa’s work has been featured in several local and international publications including The Jealous Curator and Anthology Magazine. In 2009 she was selected as one of Arkansas Life Magazine’s “4 Artists to Watch”. In 2012 she was chosen as one of Little Rock Soiree’ Magazine’s “Women to Watch”. Her work is included in many national and international private collections.
See more of Lisa's work at www.lisakrannichfeld.com
"We all experience moments in which the roles we play in our daily lives come to define us in powerful ways. In the pursuit of prosperity, leisure, social status and personal meaning, we often assume identities that both define and fail to define us. My current body of work explores the possibilities and limitations of our daily occupations at a time in which we frequently change jobs, balance multiple roles and cannot easily delineate between private and public life.”
-John Harlan Norris
John Harlan Norris
Norris, originally from Kentucky, earned his B.A. from Centre College in Danville, Ken., and his M.F.A. from Louisiana State University, where he served as adjunct art instructor. He resides in Jonesboro, Ark., where he is associate professor of art at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro.
He has exhibited work in venues including Jonathan Ferrara Gallery (New Orleans, LA), David Lusk Gallery (Memphis, TN), Contemporary Arts Center Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV), Visual Arts Center of New Jersey (Summit, NJ), Arkansas Arts Center (Little Rock, AR), Florida State Museum of Fine Arts (Tallahassee, FL), Texas A & M University (Corpus Christi, TX), The Hilliard Art Museum (Lafayette, LA) and many others. In 2012 he was awarded an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Arkansas Arts Council.
Learn more about Norris’ work at www.johnharlannorris.com.
Space Is the Place
“An image begins to appeal to me after repeated exposure, usually through some routine or other, which leads me to decide to paint from it.”
-Jon Shannon Rogers
Jon Shannon Rogers
Rogers is well known in Arkansas for his unusual landscapes, which are typically large, dreamy interpretations of everyday scenes familiar to Little Rock residents.
Rogers earned his MFA from New York Studio School and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago before serving as an adjunct professor at Henderson State University and Hendrix College. He has just returned from a month-long residency at the Dumfries House in Scotland. Rogers is the recipient of several prestigious scholarships and awards, including: Arkansas Arts Council’s 28th Annual Small Works on Paper, Purchase Award; Lindquist Purchase Award, DNSPE, Bradbury Gallery, Arkansas State University; and being named to Oxford American’s “Top 100 Under 100: New Superstars of Southern Art.” Originally from Arkansas, Rogers now resides in Oakland, California.
Learn more about Jon Shannon Rogers at www.jonshannonrogers.com.
Fourteen Minutes and Fifty-Nine Seconds
Viewers often comment on the wide range of subject matter depicted in Guy W. Bell’s work. In response to this observation he states, “Experimentation and curiosity drive me.” He acknowledges mankind’s increasing intrusion on the natural world. Bell often includes contrails, towers and distant buildings into otherwise natural landscapes, actively juxtaposing the manmade with the organic.
Guy W. Bell
Originally from Florida, Bell settled as a child in Little Rock, Ark., where he still resides. While studying at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, he worked briefly as a political cartoonist for the Arkansas Traveler newspaper, for which he earned an award. He left the university before graduating in order to work full-time, later returning to finish his undergraduate degree from University of Arkansas at Little Rock. After assembling a body of work created recreationally, Bell hosted his first art show in 2009, which unexpectedly succeeded in launching him as an artist-to-watch. In 2014, Bell’s work “Cain & Abel” was selected by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for its “State of the Art” exhibition.
Find more about Bell at www.guywbell.com.
River, City, Streets, Bridge
"Currently, my paintings have a lot to do with photography. I use color and contrast to try to capture the feeling of a moment. A lot of my work has been a catalog of the better part of two decades spent living and working in downtown Little Rock. Our city has a wide range of hot to cold and old to new. One consistent theme is “life in the urban landscape.”
John Kushmual was born in Selma, Alabama, to Arkansas parents and has spent most of his life in Arkansas. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas and calls Little Rock home. He has had a painting studio above Vino’s Brewpub since 1998 and has worked off and on in television news. Arkansas Times readers voted him Best Artist in 2014.
"A gal is a specific type of female. She is strong and independent, but she is not perfect by society’s standards. She drinks too many diet sodas, doesn’t replace the toilet paper, wears her grandmother’s nicest fur to eat a TV dinner alone, and she can’t for the life of her paint her own fingernails. Food plays a supporting role in her life and no matter what her actual mood is, she almost always has a scowl on her face. And she is okay with all of this.”
Sally Nixon was born and raised in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. She graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a BFA degree in illustration and self-published her first book, The Inevitability of Spiders and Flies. You've probably seen her work gracing the pages of magazines all across central Arkansas. Learn more about Sally and her work at sallynixon.com.
Morgan Hill, of Wynne, Arkansas, has been a conceptual designer since 2009 working primarily in wood and metal. Her main influences involve subjects of death, horror, cult and mystery. Hill graduated from the University of Arkansas Little Rock with a BFA in Woodworking and Furniture Design in 2013. Since then she has been an artist’s assistant to Mia Hall and a Creative Director at the Esse Purse Museum. Today she lives, works and makes art as a Core Fellow at the Penland School of Crafts. For more information about Morgan Hill, visit morganhillcreative.com.
"[This is] work from two friends who have over time become each other's inspiration, conspirator and confidante."
Mia Hall received an MFA in Furniture Design from San Diego State University in 2004 and has since 2007 been the head of the Furniture Design and Woodworking program at UALR. Mia's work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Fuller Craft Museum, The Arkansas Art Center, The Logan Airport and Wayne Art Center. Her work is in several private and public collections such as the Arkansas Library System, the John and Robyn Horn Collection, San Diego State University and the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Her work can be viewed at miahall.com.
The Wondrous Possibilities of Falling and Flying
"'The Wondrous Possibilities of Falling and Flying’ explores the idea of what liberation can look like after perceived failure, whether societal or personal."
-Angela Davis Johnson
Navigating between academic influences and outsider art individuality, Angela Davis Johnson creates textured figures using paint, scrap paper and fabric within unique compositions. Her practice has extended to installation, performance and public art to amplify social issues. Davis Johnson was selected as 2015 Joan Mitchell/Alternate Roots Visual Arts Scholar for her work as an artist and activist. Her pieces can be seen in cultural centers, galleries and private collections throughout the United States. A wife and mother of two, Davis Johnson lives between Little Rock, Arkansas, and Atlanta, Georgia. For more information about Davis Johnson, visit angeladavisjohnson.com.
“The urgent connection between creation and destruction is on display within the pieces I've broken apart then reconnected,” Church said about his work. “It is in this space that I speak of the world around me and to the voice within myself simultaneously. I have a strong desire to confront myself through artistic ventures."
Arkansas native Michael Church’s thought-provoking works of collage have been featured nationally in publications including Satellite Magazine and Kolaj Magazine, and a 2016 show, titled “A Murder of Crows: A Southern Retrospective,” was a joint exhibition with renowned artist V.L. Cox. For more information about Church, visit cargocollective.com/puredirtart.
“Inspiration in full functioning order is when you grab onto one thread of curiosity and allow it to unravel many other thoughts. This body of work’s inspiration comes from memories and personal emotions of family and youthful years. This particular effort has been created over an eight year time span. My enjoyment of constructing things led me to the blending of 2D and 3D elements, which I call 'Dimensional Paintings'."
Born in 1961, Sandra Sell was raised in Auburn, New Hampshire. Upon completing a Military career, she relocated to Arkansas, where she achieved a Master of Arts degree at The University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Sell has fulfilled the position of studio assistant for Stoney Lamar and Brent Skidmore at Penland School of Craft in North Carolina, and attended workshops instructed by established artists like, Tony Couch, Hunt Clark and Bill Garrison. She has developed a personal working relationship as an apprentice to artist Robyn Horn of Little Rock, Arkansas. Since 2007, her work has been included in 25 exhibitions in the United States. She is represented in the permanent collections of the Arkansas Arts Center, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the Historic Arkansas Museum, as well as in private collections. To learn more about Sell and her work, visit sandrasell.com.
“A habitat is the zone in which an organism lives and where it can find food, shelter, protection, and a mate for reproduction. Whether natural or physical, the environment that surrounds and sustains a species has long been subject matter for art. From John James Audubon to Walton Ford, composing a singular image that captures the essential details related to a species’ habitat has advanced our understanding of the world around us."
Kat Wilson hails from Fort Smith, Ark., and resides in Bentonville, Arkansas. Through photography, she captures the people with whom she shares community. She presents unfiltered imagery of her closest companions, total strangers and unique characters, all set in their natural habitats. Wilson’s photographs have been published widely, including in theWashington Post, Oxford American, Los Angeles Times and most recently the Virginia Quarterly Review. A ten-time participant in the annual Arkansas Arts Center’s Delta Exhibition, Wilson has achieved numerous awards for her work. To learn more about Wilson and her work, visit katwilsonartist.com.
The Thrill of It All
“In the past, I have used visuals to break down and critique status and beauty in American culture, searching to achieve a better understanding. Now, through a heavy reliance on bold line and diluted acrylics, I seek to celebrate beauty in our world."
Originally from Long Island, NY, Michael Shaeffer spent his teen years in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After graduating high school, he returned to New York, where he spent several years working in construction while simultaneously pursuing art and eventually attending New York School for Visual Arts. After graduating, he returned to Hot Springs before moving to Little Rock to work as a visual merchandiser for Dillard’s. Shaeffer’s latest exhibition first showed at the home of Dylan and Christie Turk in Bentonville before traveling to Fayetteville Underground and finally making its way to Thea Foundation. About his work, Shaeffer said, “Contemporary artists I think fall into two categories; ones who make the world they want, and those who comment on the world there is. I feel like I have always been the latter. As far back as I can remember, my work has been an attempt to slow down the perpetual flow of information that surrounds us all — a constant investigation of what ‘beauty’ in our world looks like.
"Astro Pulp is the culmination of three years I’ve spent exploring my love of retro comics and fantasy. The primary focus of this work has been developing my ‘FrankeNaut’ universe of mashed up science fiction tropes and horror archetypes. Once completed, the goal is that the FrankeNaut series feels like an old comic book world that's been forgotten and unearthed for a modern audience.”
Born in Roseville, California, in the early 70s, Maupin's childhood consisted of overwhelming obsessions with comic books, science fiction and old horror movies. Maupin, who often works under the alias “Big Bot,” creates illustrations and prints that reflect his obsession with the ephemera of his childhood, and his work is an attempt to recreate the feel and tone of those loves while allowing him to engage in unique world building. All of the work begins with traditional pen and ink illustration and is transformed into prints using methods that honor and sometimes emulate the processes of pulp printing techniques. His joy is in taking these tropes of childhood mythology and using them to illuminate the archetypes they represent in us all.
The Art of Place in Arkansas
"Where are you? Why are you here? Why now? My upbringing and education have trained me to pay close attention to ‘places’ and the connections people develop with different places. ‘The art of place in Arkansas’ exhibition presents my interest in exploring the beauty of places that have impacted the lives of Arkansans. The underlying message was delivered at my TEDx talk ‘My journey: a quest for the meaning of place’ in 2016.'”
Yang Luo-Branch was born in south China and raised in the north part of the country in a town that has the same name as hers, Luo Yang, Henan Province. The course of her education and career has taken her from China to Texas, and she moved to Arkansas in 2013. Luo-Branch earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture, an M.A. in sociology and a PhD in urban planning. She is currently a full-time employee at Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Yang and her husband, Andrew, live in Benton, Arkansas. To see more of Luo-Branch's work, click here to visit her site.
Meet Me In The Water
"My work explores the complex ideas of femininity and beauty within fantastical and delicate environments. Strongly influenced by the Southern region in which I was raised, I create ambiguous narratives of plant life merging with human and animal forms. My drawings usually begin by ‘painting’ with hair-like algae, an intuitive process that allows me to connect with my subconscious, like one might find images in clouds. The algae provides a natural aesthetic quality, but also nods to my Southern roots and its folk tradition of found materials in art. Conflicting themes of nostalgia, vulnerability, sexuality, wonder, subtle humor and the unknown reveal a tender experience of humanity. The vernacular expressions and innate desires we have as humans to connect to ourselves and to nature are addressed consistently throughout my work, requesting a deeper understanding of our existence.”
Katherine Rutter was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. In 2007 she received her BFA from the University of Central Arkansas. Since then, she has lived and worked primarily in Denver, CO; Oakland, CA; and Little Rock. She has shown her work in galleries and museums throughout the country, was selected for the National Museum for Women in the Arts traveling exhibition in Arkansas, as well as a residency and exhibit in Tulum, Mexico. In addition to exhibits, she has been commissioned for multiple mural projects in California, Colorado, Arkansas and Tulum. Her work explores ideas of femininity, beauty and connection to nature, with fantastical narratives of mixed media drawings and paintings. At the opening of her Thea Foundation exhibition, she will have recently returned from Nepal where she instructed a workshop for the children at Koseli School in Kathmandu with Pow! Wow! Nepal. Find more of Rutter's work here.
The Mind Unveiled
“Mental illness is a pertinent issue these days. This series of work seeks to unveil, expose and open up a discussion for everyone about the beauty and tragic workings of the human mind. Through anatomical imagery, pattern, symbolism and specific mark making, each piece strives to open a greater window into the sacred space of human thought and imagination.”
-Carmen Alexandria Thompson
Carmen Alexandria Thompson, better known as "Allie," is a 28-year-old native Arkansan and Hendrix College alumna. After graduating with an art degree, Thompson spent 2 years bartending and another year teaching English before realizing her need to create again. In an effort to expand the possibilities of outcome, Thompson fuses painting, printmaking and mixed media in her creative exploration. Her imagery focuses on subjects like anatomy, pattern, contour, flowers and sometimes spiritual symbolism in an effort to explain the human experience in a visual format.
My Selves In Constant Dissonance/My Selves In Perfected Harmony
“The African in America soon found there to be a twoness in which she/he was to exist. To be both bondsperson and boundless, to be property yet priceless, to yearn for love and home and to possess neither, save for the confines of her/his master’s debased will. From that duplicity, a vast splintering of human identity was spawned and finds its way into the now. In these photographic and mixed media works, I explore the complex navigational skills required to move about the social tapestry of present day life on this side of the Atlantic. We are all layering and shapeshifting in a constant flux of longing; for a safe space to simply exist without fear of deprivation, or violence against our minds and bodies. We shape selves atop selves within other selves, birthing even more in pursuit of the full right of citizenship and the liberties/protections thereof. It is exhausting. It is maddening. It is as necessary as the hope that somehow weaves into our cultural DNA also."
Joshua Asante is a multi-disciplinary artist, finding homes in photography, music and writing. He lives in Little Rock, Ark., and hopes his neighborhood is never fully gentrified.