Christmas Potluck at Mena Art Gallery

On Wednesday, December 14, at 6:30 pm, Mena Art Gallery will hold its annual Christmas Potluck at the gallery, 607 Mena Street.

Come, bring something good to eat, and join the fun. You do not have to be a member, and this is a great chance to get to know the people who make your local art gallery possible.

We are a non-profit 501(C)3 corporation so, basically, we are a bunch of volunteers who love the arts (not all of us are artists) and do what we can to make sure this organization continues. Since its start in 1945, we have been growing from a few people meeting in their living rooms to the current 185 members. We bring you a dozen shows a year—all the way from the Young Artists Exhibit featuring the work of children and teens to the annual Ouachita Expressions fine arts exhibit, Photography Show, and Art of the Heartland national juried painting competition.

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Christmas at Mena Art Gallery

The Gallery's 2016 Christmas Tree

The Gallery’s 2016 Christmas Tree

Get in the holiday spirit with all the activities at this year’s Christmas Festival: Downtown Parade, then music, fireworks and the official Lighting Ceremony at Janssen Park.

Festivities kick off with the Christmas Parade at 6 pm sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. The
Christmas Festival presented by the Mena Advertising & Promotion Commission will begin immediately following the parade.

Mena Art Gallery will be having a Christmas Open House and Bake Sale on Saturday, December 3 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be all kinds of goodies for sale all day. There are plenty of wonderful gifts available in our Christmas Show as well as beautiful ornaments made by our members. Stop in and see us, warm up with hot drinks and chili during and after the parade. It’s a great way to start the season!

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Christmas Shopping at Mena Art Gallery

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Christmas Shopping at Mena Art GalleryIf you still have some uncrossed-off names on your Christmas shopping list, you will find lots to choose from this month and next at your local gallery: Pen & Ink, Pastels, Acrylic Paintings, Oil Paintings, Crocheted Afghans, Quilts, Multi-Media, Wood Carvings, Walking Sticks, Tote Bags, Purses, Jewelry, Metal Art, Photography, Dream Catchers, Wood Working, Flower Arrangements, Wreaths, Cards, and so much more.

In addition there are beautiful handmade ornaments (created by our members) on our Artist’s Tree and in the windows so you can either choose something for a gift or to enhance your own Artist’s Tree.

For that hard to buy for person, we now have Holiday Gift Certificates. You can select the amount you want to spend, and they can select the gift they would like.

There is a raffle for the Christmas Star Wreath: tickets are $1 each or 6 for $5.

Purchases made from November 17 through December 15 can be entered into a drawing for a gift basket from the Downtown Partners. The basket includes dinner for two at Stache’s Cookery, tickets to the Ouachita Little Theatre, and other gifts from participating partners.

And don’t forget about yourself. You can make out a wish list and give it to us along with the prospective giver. We will call the gift giver and let them know you have a list here of items you would like. We will even wrap it for free! We love playing Santa.

The gallery is open from 11 am to 2 pm Tuesdays and 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.

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Bread and Soup Dinner at American Artisans to Benefit Gallery

Soup and Bread

Soup and Bread

This “Third Thursday” from 6 to 8 pm on November 17, American Artisans is hosting a fund raiser to benefit Mena Art Gallery. Many of you attended the last one (thank you very much!) and this will be just as delicious. There will be five of Donna Chrisman’s wonderful soups for you to choose from: Cheddar Ale, Caulini (Cauliflower/Zuccinni), Tomato Bisque, Chicken Enchilada, and Potato Corn Chowder. To go with it, you can choose from these home-made breads: Pumpkin/Walnut/Cranberry Whole Wheat, Walnut/Cranberry Whole Wheat, Whole Wheat French, Classic French Baguettes, and Buttery Rolls.

To go with the breads, there will be whipped butter with basil; if you prefer your butter without bits of basil in it, there will be some plain butter available too.

To top it all off, there will be some of MaryAnn’s cupcakes.

Instead of a set price, we are requesting a donation to Mena Art Gallery, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization, which makes your donation a tax deduction for you as well.

This is a great opportunity to support your local art gallery so that we can continue bringing you a variety of exhibits such as the annual Ouachita Expressions regional art competition, the Photography show with entries from all over the state, the annual children’s and young artists exhibit, and the Art of the Heartland national painting competition which was on display during October, the Christmas Show and Sale which is up now, and a variety of exhibits of the work of local artists as well as children’s art classes and much more. Where else can you have a fabulous dinner and support the arts at the same time?

So next Thursday, November 7, plan to stop in between 6 and 8 pm at American Artisans. After dinner (or before if that works for you), plan to see what Mena Art Gallery has on display for Christmas gifts and do some shopping at the other downtown merchants, most of whom are staying open until 8 pm for your convenience once a month.

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OAC: A Fun Day in Mena

Vintage Tin

Vintage Tin

On Saturday morning at 10 am, the gates opened and the people (from Mena, from Texas, and all around) began streaming into the two blocks closed to traffic in the Downtown Arts District in Mena. This was a win-win day for everyone: artists were selling their work; the people here got to hear the music not only from talented and established musicians but from the young people from the Mena High School Choir; there were crafts and face painting for children; the Vintage Tin car show was the star of the show. And that’s just a small sampling of what was going on.
The Skyline Café was so busy that you had to take a number and come back later for breakfast; American Artisans fed what seemed like everyone in town with their wonderful chicken pot pies; the Mena Art Gallery helped to fill lots of Christmas stockings for the holidays; and Tommy Young helped many people understand more about birds of prey with a great horned owl, a peregrine falcon, an American kestrel, and a couple of hawks.
If you didn’t manage to make it for this year’s Ouachita Arts Celebration, mark your calendar right now for the 2017 version: it will be Saturday, November 4, 2017. And I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that next year will be even bigger and better.

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Christmas Show and Sale at Mena Art Gallery

tree-3    The reception for the annual Christmas Show and Sale at Mena Art Gallery will be Saturday, November 5, from 1 to 3 pm. As this date is also the annual Ouachita Arts Celebration, we will have artists demonstrating how they create their work as well as the usual reception coffee and snacks. If you want to be an early bird to capture your ideal and unique gifts, you can see the show on Thursday or Friday from 10 am to 3 pm. It will remain on display during regular gallery hours (11 am to 2 pm Tuesdays, 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays) for the remainder of 2016.

You will find unique items from stocking-stuffers to that special piece that will make someone’s eye light up on Christmas morning. There will be paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, and almost anything you can imagine in the art field. Most of the prices will be between $10 and $50, although there will be a few “luxury” items as well.

This year the decorations on our Christmas Tree were made by local artists and will be for sale. Come enjoy a fun way to get most of your Christmas shopping done early and know that your gift is a one-of-a-kind made by one of the many talented artists in the Mena area.

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Third Annual Ouachita Arts Celebration

"Doc Hudson" - One of the Vintage Tin Cars

“Doc Hudson” – One of the Vintage Tin Cars

On Saturday, November 5, the third annual Ouachita Arts Celebration festival will open at 10 am with the Mena High School Choir singing the national anthem. From there, it will be non-stop events until 3 pm. You can pick up a schedule of events at the Mena Art Gallery so that you will be sure not to miss the things that are most important to you.

Among the highlights will be the Vintage Tin “Making Old Cars New Again” exhibit featuring “Doc Hudson” from the Pixar movie “Cars.”

The Junior Ouachita Little Theater will be performing; the Acorn choir will sing; there will be a fashion show; belly dancers will perform; and when you need a rest from all of the activity, American Artisans will feature Donna Chrisman’s fabulous chicken pot pies for lunch.

The city will block off Mena Street between Maple and Janssen streets so you can stroll between artists’ booths and all of the other events safely.

Mena Art Gallery will have their annual Christmas sale up with lots of unique gifts for you to fill those stockings. In addition, there will be artists demonstrating several different media techniques.

The day will wind up with a drawing at 3:00 pm for a $250 cash prize, so be sure to get your name in that pot early.

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