The Art of Hair at Mena Art Gallery

The reception for the March exhibit at Mena Art Gallery, The Art of Hair, will be from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday, March 3, at 607 Mena Street. Awards will be presented around 2 pm.

You will find two types of display: photographs of models both before and after hairdressers have worked their magic and styles created on mannequins. There are four categories under photography: braid, color, cut, and style.

The theme for the mannequin is Xanadu: anything imaginative, magnificent, beautiful. We are excited to see what the hairdressers can come up with! Come join the fun, but if you can’t make the reception on Saturday, the exhibit will be on display the month of March during regular gallery hours: 11 am to 2 pm Tuesdays and 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.

This show is sponsored by University of Arkansas Rich Mountain.

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Twining Workshop at Mena Art Gallery

Twining is a method of making rugs, purses, and a variety of other fabric-based creations from strips of fabric. It’s something like the rag rugs that your grandmother made, but done on a loom.

Niki Dempsey is doing a twining workshop on Friday, March 9 from 11 am to 1 pm. The cost is $15.00 per person. All materials will be furnished, and each member of the class will create a small square suitable for use as a potholder.

Once you understand the process, you will be able to create larger and more complex items. Your imagination is the only limit. The looms are very simple to make. Niki says she makes them from old picture frames and a handful of nails. If you’re handy with a hammer, you could also make them from small pieces of lumber.

Niki is a talented teacher and artist and makes the class fun. To register, please call the gallery at 479-394-3880 during regular gallery hours: 11 am to 2 pm Tuesdays and 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.

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Youth and Beginning Adult Art Classes

Art Class

Mena Art Gallery has been conducting Children’s Art Classes for many years, but now we have a new approach: classes for youth and beginner adults. Students for these classes should be at least 10 years old, but they are also suitable for adults who are beginners in the art field.

Our instructor is Nicky Dempsey, a talented artist who has many years experience teaching both children and adults.

These classes will go back to the basics: how to mix colors using only the three primary colors and white (did you realize that any color—even black—can be mixed from the primaries?), terms to communicate about art, and construction methods. The focus will be on three-dimensional art (with some work on two dimensional art as well). The classes are three hours long and will be on the second Saturday of each month from 11:00 am to 2 pm. Fee is $3 per class.

Whatever project the class decides on will begin with basic instructions and will continue over several classes so that students will have ample opportunity to complete their projects.

Please call the gallery at 479-394-3880 to reserve your space in these exciting new classes.

We are still searching for a qualified instructor for the younger children and will resume those classes as soon as we find someone with the necessary skills both in art and in working with children. Deborah Longest, who passed away a few weeks ago, had been handling these children’s classes and she is sorely missed.

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The Art of Hair at Mena Art Gallery

Imagination!

Your local art gallery is bringing you an exhibit that is in our tradition of embracing all forms of art, and this one is truly new to us: The Art of Hair.

Artists will have two entry opportunities: photography (with before and after photographs) and mannequin. There are four categories under photography: braid, color, cut, and style.

The theme for the mannequin is Xanadu: anything imaginative, magnificent, beautiful. Let your imagination go wild

Entries will be accepted on Tuesday, February 27 at the gallery (607 Mena Street) from 10 am to 4 pm.

There will be a reception and awards ceremony on Saturday, March 3, from 1 to 3 pm. Awards will be presented around 2 pm.

You will find entry forms on the gallery website, http://www.MenaArtGallery.org. You may call the gallery at 479-394-3880 if you have questions. Or better still, stop by and see the current exhibit, Portrait of Arkansas, at the same time you get answers.

This show is sponsored by University of Arkansas Rich Mountain.

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Mena Art Gallery: 2018

I have been working with Mena Art Gallery for over a dozen years and have seen it grow and change. Here are some of the things planned for 2018:

Two national juried painting competitions will bring the best work from artists all over the U.S. Artists can enter either or both by posting photographs of their work online; a jury of three artists will select the best work and those artists will send their paintings to the gallery. We especially welcome local artists to both shows—there are special awards for the best Arkansas entries. More details are available at http://www.TheArtoftheHeartland.com.

In February, we will have our first “Portrait of Arkansas” exhibit featuring a variety of artists’ concepts of what our state means to each.

We have several other new exhibits this year: The Art of Hair, Photography, and Fiber Arts to name just a few. Our annual Young Artists Competition is open to all our up-and-coming artists.

The gallery will take part in the annual Ouachita Arts Celebration in November: an opportunity to see what is happening in the many different aspects of art in our community.

We hold workshops with local artists teaching the basics of many different aspects of art, most recently a series of classes on drawing skills and an ongoing series on creating pencil portraits.

There are monthly classes for young people: one for children 6 to 12 years old and another for teenagers and beginner adults. Our classes for the younger artists are on hold for this month as our instructor, Deborah Longest, recently passed away. She will be missed; she did a great job. The classes will resume as soon as we can find another qualified instructor.

And for those of you who don’t care for organized classes, there is Art Day every Tuesday from 11 am to 2 pm. Artists come and go to work on current projects and to visit with each other. You are welcome to join them either to work on any project that is portable enough to bring or just to watch and join the conversations. It’s always fun.

Some of the concepts we are working on include some videos teaching basic art skills and once-a-month Brown Bag Lunches where you bring your lunch to the gallery and one of our artists will demonstrate some aspect of art. We’ll tell you about these as soon as they are available.

As many of you know, we are a 501(C)3 non-profit corporation: we are funded primarily from membership fees and donations from many generous and supportive businesses and individuals in our community.

We have one part-time employee: Julie Vande Zande does a great job as Executive Director. Most of the people who greet you when you come into the gallery are volunteers who give of their time to make it possible to keep the gallery open. If you would like to join their ranks, talk to Julie: there is a task to match whatever skills and time you can bring. Another way to support the gallery is by becoming a member: memberships start at $20 per year and keep you up-to-date on whatever is going on by our monthly newsletter.

You can also keep up with what is going on by checking our website: http://www.MenaArtGallery.org. You are welcome to attend our monthly Board of Directors meetings held on the second Tuesday of each month at 5:30 pm. Your ideas and suggestions are always welcome and we would love to have you take part!

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Mena Art Gallery is Working with the “Cash Mob”

The “Cash Mob” is a creation of Mena’s Downtown Partners, a group of merchants in the Mena Arts District who are working to help Mena grow.

They (approximately 10 to 15 ladies) meet at 10 am the second Saturday of each month for coffee and snacks, a couple of planned activities, and to draw the name of the store to be mobbed. They then conspicuously parade down Mena Street with music and balloons to the store chosen for the month to spend $20 each. They met at the gallery this past Saturday.

Our gallery is in the hat and will be drawn at some point as the “target of the month.” If you are interested in joining the fun, you can pick up information at the gallery (607 Mena Street) about when and where the Mob will meet in February. It’s a great way to meet new people, find out more about what Mena has to offer in the shopping department, and have a good time while helping to support our local merchants.
And the end result of all this will be a healthier economy for your home town and a growing, thriving arts district.

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Portrait of Arkansas

The February Exhibit at Mena Art Gallery will be An Artist’s Portrait of Arkansas, the Natural State. Each artist will find something that means “Arkansas” to them and that will be the subject of their work.

Entries can be in any media: Paintings, photographs, drawings, pen and ink, and three-dimensional work will be included.

This will be a judged show, open to nonmembers as well as members. Entries must include a description of the work, including the date, location, and the artist’s thoughts about
the subject on a card to be exhibited with the work. For details, see the gallery website:
http://www.MenaArtGallery.org.

Not an artist? Then mark your calendar for January 31 through February 24 to see the exhibit and find out whether there is an artist out there who sees the same things in our state that you do. Or you may find that there are aspects of our beautiful state that you have not yet noticed. Reception will be from 1 to 3 pm on February 3; regular gallery hours are from 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesdays and 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.

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