The Visual Arts Committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center invites the public to a grand reopening of the beautiful and swanky, newly refurbished, Price and Merkle Galleries on Thursday, January 19, from 5:00-7:00pm. The first exhibit to show in the brand new gallery is the Membership Showcase with an artist’s reception that night honoring the local artists who have their works in the show. The Membership Showcase is an annual art exhibit featuring SAAC members’ art that will hang in the galleries until January 31.

The newly refurbished galleries feature new black walls, gorgeous gray tile floors, new lighting and stunning double glass doors. This refurbishing of the galleries was made possible only through the kindness and support of local arts patrons and many professionals who worked on everything from design to installation. Acknowledgments and thank you’s will be at 6:00pm during the reception.

Dean Inman, chairman of the SAAC’s membership committee, is thrilled with the new gallery and said, ”It is so exciting to see the new gallery fully finished. It has really transformed into something that people would normally only see in really big cities. With the black walls and the new tiles, it really makes the art work shine. The new lighting system enables SAAC to highlight the art and not the walls. Walking into the new gallery the first time took my breath away and transported me almost into the actual art! If you have not seen the membership show, you’ll be amazed at the talent that we have in the membership of SAAC. You need to make visiting the South Arkansas Arts Center and the membership show high on your priority list. Once you see the show, you will want to become a member of the SAAC just to be around so many talented people.”

This year’s Membership Showcase boasts 58 works of art from 39 SAAC members, everything from landscapes and abstracts to photography and mixed media collages, as well as 3-D art and sculpture. Some of the artists are new SAAC members and this will be the first time their work has been shown in the SAAC galleries. The exhibit is free and open to the public for viewing Monday through Friday from 9:00-5:00.

For more information on the gallery grand reopening or the Membership Showcase, please call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474. The SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.