The Merkle and Price Galleries will be filled with portraits of notable citizens of El Dorado through September 29, and we welcome guests of all ages to come spend some time with these remarkable individuals. The exhibition, entitled “Portraits: A Continuation of A Painted History of El Dorado”, is the second collaborative project with the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society.

In 2018, SAAC and SAHPS presented the first historical portrait show that showcased over 150 years of artistry from local, national, and historically recognized talent with the common theme of El Dorado bringing the portraits together. Now, in 2021, a new portrait exhibition serves as a continuation, with additional recognizable names and faces, along with a variety of artistic talent on display in the galleries. Similar to 2018’s show, many of these portraits are displayed both publicly and privately around the region, but this collection also includes portraits that have traveled back to El Dorado not just from Arkansas and the South generally, but from across North America.

Both exhibitions were curated by locals with long family histories in South Arkansas: Ann Trimble and Mac Shepperson. The pair worked to bring together a wide representation of names and faces from the past. Many of the portraits were painted by local artists, and each portrait is accompanied by a bio of both the subject and the artist in the exhibition catalogue, which serves as a companion piece to the 2018 catalog.

“This is a wonderful, eclectic group of portraits in different styles and mediums. We have been able to gather portraits from around the state to showcase the contributions of some El Dorado natives and the long history of incredible artistry in our town,” said curator Ann Trimble.

It is a privilege to bring together this eclectic group of portraits, in both subject and medium, to showcase South Arkansas’s beginnings and notable residents, and how their impact and history continues to be important today. The public is invited to come by the galleries between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to see the exhibition and take home a copy of the catalogue. Call SAAC at 870-862-5474 for more information.