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introduction


introduction


Drawings abound in the city of Little Rock. On the walls of restaurants, offices, private homes, galleries and throughout the Arkansas Arts Center itself, drawings take pride of place much as paintings do in other cities. The efforts of Arts Center founding director Townsend Wolfe and his successors have made drawings an integral part of Little Rock’s soul. The outstanding drawings collection has been gathering images by top artists all over the world since 1971. Since 1986, the Arts Center has taken an active role in American contemporary art by inviting the most deserving artists from all over the country to exhibit recent drawings in the 12th National Drawing Invitational.

Virtually every artist draws, but the National Drawing Invitational showcases artists who make drawing the focus of their practice. In this latest iteration of the Arkansas Arts Center’s venerable tradition, eight contemporary artists based in the Mid-Atlantic region present expanded notions of what drawing can be, to include experimentation with scale, site-specificity, evidence of process, and conceptual approaches. Their work continues to redefine the conventions of drawing, bringing awareness to the choices that an artist makes in terms of size, materials, technique and subject matter. The 12th National Drawing Invitational brings together a stunning array of themes, styles, media and concepts of art in the universal medium of drawing.

In addition to the magnificent contemporary drawings on the walls and in cases, the 12th National Drawing Invitational features installations of life-sized drawings-based prints by Gary Kachadourian showing the gritty back alleys of his native Baltimore. Come and explore the Arts Center building or the web site to find these “pop-up” works of graphic art in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery and other spaces around the Arts Center. If you are at the Arkansas Arts Center between August 20th and August 22nd, you can watch live as Nigerian-American artist Victor Ekpuk draws on the wall under the inspiration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. The artist has made dynamic, brightly-colored wall drawings all over the world, but this will be his first experience drawing to music.

Starting with exhibition co-curator Laura Roulet’s illustrated lecture for the Members’ Opening on the evening of July 17th, there will be events throughout the National Drawing Invitational. Artist Gary Kachadourian will give a Feed Your Mind Friday talk about his installations in the galleries at noon on Friday, July 18th, when the exhibition opens to the public. On the evening of August 21st, artist Victor Ekpuk will give an illustrated lecture about his drawing on walls and on paper. Artist Mia Rosenthal will travel to Little Rock in September as a Lenore Annenberg Arts Fellow. On September 12th at noon, she will give a Feed Your Mind Friday talk in the gallery about her computer-inspired ink drawings. That weekend, Rosenthal will lead a Museum School workshop. The final event of the exhibition will be an illustrated lecture by Curator of Drawings, Ann Prentice Wagner, on the evening of Thursday, September 18th.

Keep checking back with this web site to see fresh images and videos of the exhibition after it is installed and as it transforms. Be sure to come and see the drawings in person before the show closes on October 5th. The 12th National Drawing Invitational will be the most exciting yet!

 

Ann Prentice Wagner
Curator of Drawings

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Drawings abound in the city of Little Rock. On the walls of restaurants, offices, private homes, galleries and throughout the Arkansas Arts Center itself, drawings take pride of place much as paintings do in other cities. The efforts of Arts Center founding director Townsend Wolfe and his successors have made drawings an integral part of Little Rock’s soul. The outstanding drawings collection has been gathering images by top artists all over the world since 1971. Since 1986, the Arts Center has taken an active role in American contemporary art by inviting the most deserving artists from all over the country to exhibit recent drawings in the 12th National Drawing Invitational.

Virtually every artist draws, but the National Drawing Invitational showcases artists who make drawing the focus of their practice. In this latest iteration of the Arkansas Arts Center’s venerable tradition, eight contemporary artists based in the Mid-Atlantic region present expanded notions of what drawing can be, to include experimentation with scale, site-specificity, evidence of process, and conceptual approaches. Their work continues to redefine the conventions of drawing, bringing awareness to the choices that an artist makes in terms of size, materials, technique and subject matter. The 12th National Drawing Invitational brings together a stunning array of themes, styles, media and concepts of art in the universal medium of drawing.

In addition to the magnificent contemporary drawings on the walls and in cases, the 12th National Drawing Invitational features installations of life-sized drawings-based prints by Gary Kachadourian showing the gritty back alleys of his native Baltimore. Come and explore the Arts Center building or the web site to find these “pop-up” works of graphic art in the Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery and other spaces around the Arts Center. If you are at the Arkansas Arts Center between August 20th and August 22nd, you can watch live as Nigerian-American artist Victor Ekpuk draws on the wall under the inspiration of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode to Joy. The artist has made dynamic, brightly-colored wall drawings all over the world, but this will be his first experience drawing to music.

Starting with exhibition co-curator Laura Roulet’s illustrated lecture for the Members’ Opening on the evening of July 17th, there will be events throughout the National Drawing Invitational. Artist Gary Kachadourian will give a Feed Your Mind Friday talk about his installations in the galleries at noon on Friday, July 18th, when the exhibition opens to the public. On the evening of August 21st, artist Victor Ekpuk will give an illustrated lecture about his drawing on walls and on paper. Artist Mia Rosenthal will travel to Little Rock in September as a Lenore Annenberg Arts Fellow. On September 12th at noon, she will give a Feed Your Mind Friday talk in the gallery about her computer-inspired ink drawings. That weekend, Rosenthal will lead a Museum School workshop. The final event of the exhibition will be an illustrated lecture by Curator of Drawings, Ann Prentice Wagner, on the evening of Thursday, September 18th.

Keep checking back with this web site to see fresh images and videos of the exhibition after it is installed and as it transforms. Be sure to come and see the drawings in person before the show closes on October 5th. The 12th National Drawing Invitational will be the most exciting yet!

Ann Prentice Wagner
Curator of Drawings