Winners: Young Artists Competition

Some of the 2017 Young Artist Winners

From the looks of the 2017 Young Artists Competition exhibit at Mena Art Gallery, the future of Art here is in very good shape. You will have an opportunity to see what tomorrow’s artists already can do from now through April 29. Come by the gallery at 607 Mena Street during regular gallery hours: 11 am to 2 pm on Tuesdays, 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.
Following are the winners in each category, the titles of their work, and their location:

Category #1 – Ages 5 – 8
BEST OF SHOW Jimena Luna “Red Feather” dequeen
1st David McWhorter “Cat” Horatio
2nd Wyatt Gunn “Art Supplies” Vandervoort
3rd Yesenia “Pretty Lady” Wickes
HM Camila Figueroa “Feathers in the Wind” DeQueen

1s Rylee Warren “Picasso Style Face” Caddo Hills
2nd Mason Pinkerton “VanGogh’s Starry Night” Caddo Hills
3rd Stella Smith “N/A” Holly Harshman
HM Lori Shirley “VanGogh’s Sunflowers” Caddo Hills

1st Braxton Marshall “Feather” Horatio
2nd Eunice “A Touch of Green” Wickes
3rd L. J. Blackmon “My Bowl” Wickes
HM Violeta “The Blues Have It” Wickes

Category #2 – Ages 9 – 13

BEST OF SHOW mia goforth “the frozen stare” holly harshman
1st Cooper Hayes “At Bat” Wickes
2nd Dusty Davis “Little Darlin” Mena
3rd Sasha Richardson “Daydream” Cossatot River
HM Kyla Ferguson “Tree-ly” Wickes

1st Hailey Emerson “Mrs. Self” Holly Harshman
2nd Charity Beyer “Party in the House” Holly Harshman
3rd Frank W. Booher “Antique Monster” H.E.D.G.E.
HM Raegan Gates “Georgia O’Keeffe” Holly Harshman

1st Josi Hall “Rock Gator” DeQueen
2nd Marlen Perez “Happy Armadillo” DeQueen
3rd Jenna Anderton “South African Garden” Home School
HM Kayla Cary “Quilled Owl” DeQueen

Category #3 – Ages 14 – 18

BEST OF SHOW amy Parkhurst “evan’s friend” waldron
1st Archer Pearce “Kepler” Mena
2nd Danielle Underwood “Bird” Waldron
3rd Tani Gipson “It’s A Tiger” Waldron
HM Kelli Adamson “Horse” Waldron

1st Esteban Sierra “Lighthouse” Waldron
2nd Michael Carson “Trees” Mena
3rd Dennis Kirsch “Flowery Hills” Mena
HM Carol Locke “The Man in the Mirror” Waldron

1st Cameron Mooneyham “Bullrider” Horatio
2nd Steven “W/H Candlesticks” Walnut Grove
3rd Reacheal Hicks-Dixon “Exposed” Cossatot River
HM Luis Luna “Flying Gator” DeQueen

Jerzie exley “water friends” Louise durham

Sasha Richardson “Daydream” Cossatot River

We would also like to say a very special thank you to our judges, Jim and Jane Brace, artists both. It was no easy job to pick out the best from well over 300 entries.

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Governor’s Arts Awards

Each year the Arkansas Arts Council selects eight recipients for the Governor’s Arts Awards. This year, one of the awards recognized Sam and Barbara Tobias for the Arts Community Development Award because of their long-time work with our local Mena Art Gallery. Other recipients were:

Thom Hall, Little Rock, Lifetime Achievement Award

Art Porter Music Education, Inc., Little Rock, Arts in Education

Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, Little Rock, Corporate Sponsorship of the Arts

Freda Cruise Hardison, Mountain View, Folklife Award

Reese Rowland, Little Rock, Individual Artist Award

Johnelle Hunt, Rogers, Patron Award

Max Elbo, Eureka Springs, Judges Recognition Award

Nominations from the public are sent to the Arkansas Arts Council and turned over to an independent panel of arts professionals from around the state.

All awards were presented at a luncheon in Little Rock at the Governor’s Mansion in mid-March.

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Young Artists Competition

Mena is fortunate enough to have many excellent young artists. We feel at Mena Art Gallery that supporting these young people is one of the most important things we can do as they are our future.

On Tuesday, April 4, from 10 am to 4 pm, Mena Art Gallery will be accepting entries to our 2017 Young Artists Competition. It is open to all artists ages 5 through 17 (or through 18 if the student is still in high school). Home-schooled and independent students are also welcome.

If a young artist has work to enter but cannot get it to the gallery on April 4, please call the gallery at 479-394-3880 before April 4 to arrange for a different date.

There will be a reception on Saturday, April 8, from 1 to 3 pm. Awards will be presented at 2 p.m.

The types of artwork that can be accepted are these:

Drawing – Pencil, Graphite, Charcoal, Pen & Ink, Colored Pencil, Marker, Digital
Painting – Acrylic, Oil, Watercolor, Pastels, Mixed Media, Digital
3-D – Any Three Dimensional Artwork

Categories within each type are:

Ages 5 – 8
Ages 9 – 13
Ages 14 – 17

There are no entry fees for this show.

Awards include:

Best of Show – $50
For each category in each medium:
First Place – $40
Second Place – $30
Third Place – $20
Honorable Mention – $15

Special awards include the McDonalds Award and Lucy Mulcahy Award. New this year is a People’s Choice Award or $20. Plan to come to the reception to vote for your favorite.

And if you know a budding artist who may not have heard about this competition, will you help us spread the word?

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Arkansas Gives

“Arkansas Gives” is coming soon: April 6 from 8 am to 8 pm. During this one-day event, each donation you give to Mena Art Gallery through Arkansas Gives will help us qualify for additional bonus dollars from the Arkansas Community Foundation. All participating nonprofits will receive a portion of a pool of bonus dollars provided by Arkansas Community Foundation; the more a nonprofit raises, the more of the bonus dollars it will receive.

When you go online at you can search for “Mena” and will bring up the information you need to make a donation to your local gallery. ArkansasGives is a one day, easy way to make your charitable dollars stretch farther and shower your favorite nonprofits with support. Good things are happening in Arkansas, and you can help the good grow! And since this is a one-day thing and all of us are busy, you can ask the Arkansas Gives organization on their website to send you a reminder so you don’t forget.

Mena Art Gallery has also set up a funding campaign on In October, 2017, we will have the third annual Art of the Heartland national painting competition. The 50 best paintings will be selected from entries from artists from every part of the United States and they will be exhibited here in Mena for that month. The 2016 competition saw a 50 percent increase in entries from the 2015 exhibit. We believe that this growth will continue and within a couple of years make the gallery self-sustaining, and in time will make Mena an “art destination” bringing tourists and art collectors here. But we need your help to reach that point.

Please check us out at Make a donation of any size; comment with your thoughts about the gallery; share on any social media that you use or help spread the word by email. In spite of the growing tendency of all of us to rely on the Internet, you can also use the telephone or even speak to people in person!

Right now, we have a $300 donation that is conditioned on our matching that amount on our Razoo website by the end of March, so you can double the effect of your gift if you act right away.

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Bread Making Class at Mena Art Gallery

Smell the bread!

Smell the bread!

Saturday, March 18, at 12 noon, Barbara Tobias will conduct another class at the gallery on how to make bread.

It will include a demo (with hands-on opportunity) of how to make classic French bread, the recipe, and lunch of the freshly baked bread and two different soups.
Many of you have probably sampled Barbara’s bread at the “Soup and Bread” fundraisers for the gallery held at American Artisans. This is your chance to learn how to make this simplest and most popular of all breads.

The cost will be $12 per person with all proceeds going to support the gallery. Reservations are required as we can only accommodate about 18 people in the classroom. To make sure you have a place, call the gallery at 479-394-3880 any time during regular gallery hours: 11 am to 2 pm Tuesdays or 10 am to 3 pm Wednesdays through Saturdays.

Better still, stop by the gallery at 607 Mena Street and get your name on the list while enjoying James Anderson’s great photography exhibit: A Photographic Journey Across America.

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Young Artists Competition

Some Work of our Young Artists

Some Work of our Young Artists

Mena Art Gallery is holding its annual art competition for young artists in April. If you are between the ages of 5 and 17 (including 18 if still in high school), this one is for you! Older than that? Do you know of a young person who is a budding artist? Tell them about this one.

This competition includes home school, independent and others. You can find full details including entry forms on our website:

Work should be brought to the gallery (607 Mena Street) on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you cannot get your work to the gallery on April 4, be sure to make an appointment PRIOR to the 4th to set up a date when you can bring it in. Just call the gallery at 479-394-3880.

There will be a reception on Saturday, April 8 from 1 to 3 p.m. with children and their parents invited. Awards will be presented at 2 p.m. McDonald’s of Mena and the Mena Title Company are again sponsoring this show, and we very much appreciate them making it possible.

Shows featuring professional artists such as the Art of the Heartland exhibit in the fall are great, but the young artists are our future. We are extremely happy to be able to help support them.

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Meet the Artist: Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson with One of His Photos

Jim Anderson with One of His Photos

Mena Art Gallery’s featured artist for March will be James Anderson, a photographer from Van Buren.

Jim is a retired school teacher who taught and coached in Poteau, Oklahoma for 30 years. He has a true love of geography, and his love of teaching showed in the students he taught. He now resides in Van Buren, Arkansas, with his wife, Theresa. Jim’s photography business is located in his home in Van Buren.

He has won national awards with his camera; you can see some of it on his website site: In addition, his photographs hang in law offices, banks, libraries, and in private homes all across America. Some are in private homes in Europe.

He has a true love for the natural world and has traveled and photographed in all 50 states and on four continents.
Jim has been involved in the Photographic Alliance of Fort Smith, Arkansas for over 20 years . He has photographic exhibits at the present time at Western Heritage studios and US bank in Van Buren ,First National Bank in Poteau, the Fort Smith Public Library, and Bedfords Camera and Video in Fort Smith.

His work will be on display at the gallery here in Mena during the month of March, with a reception on Saturday, March 4, from 1 to 3 pm. The name of the exhibition is “A Photographic Journey Across America.”

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