Please welcomes El Dorado artist John Ginger to the Lobby Gallery for August. He is currently showing his first solo exhibition “Beginnings” at the South Arkansas Arts Center August 2-30, with an artist’s reception on Saturday, August 5th from 6:00-7:30pm.

Born and raised in El Dorado, John Ginger did not come to art by a direct route. A 2005 graduate of El Dorado High School, he faced many challenges during his younger years. While he has never studied art formally, John had always felt connected and moved by it, from the first time he saw Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” On January 7, 2022, John walked into a local art supply store and purchased a few items and started painting. According to John, “I felt like a new man.”

After a friend saw his blossoming interest in art, she invited him to Gay Bechtelheimer’s watercolor studio class at the South Arkansas Arts Center. He joined the class, and it changed his life for the better. John said, “I owe everything to her and to everyone in that class. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier or more excited about my future.”

John’s main objective with his exhibition is to inspire people to try something different that they might not otherwise try. “You never know. You might like it and discover that you are good at it. I sure did, and I think it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

“I want to give a huge amount of credit to Gay and to the South Arkansas Arts Center. I really look forward to Gay’s class every week because it is fun and relaxing. I think I owe everything to Gay. Mrs. Bobbi introduced her to me, so I do also want to give credit to everyone that has encouraged me along the way. I feel like I am an all-around better person than I ever have been or ever would have been had I never started painting.”

For more information about the exhibit, please call SAAC at 870-862-5474. Gallery viewing hours are Monday- Friday 9:00-5:00.