SAAC is pleased to welcome back Hot Springs artist Richard Stevens and his new exhibit “Richard Stephens Watercolors” to the Merkle and Price Galleries.  An artist’s reception honoring Stephens will be held on Thursday, February 3, at 5:30pm in the galleries where his show will hang January 7 until February 3.  Face coverings are required for entry to the reception.

Richard Stephens, a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas, graduated with an art degree from the University of Central Arkansas in 1969.  It was in college where Stephens discovered the medium of watercolor and always knew that was his real “calling”.  After serving in the Army as an illustrator, he began his commercial art career in 1971 with a design studio in Little Rock. There, he began forming a network of other artists, vendors, and suppliers that allowed him to open his own studio in 1974.  He has been freelancing out of Hot Springs since that time.  While his passion for watercolors would occasionally emerge prior to 1992, he didn’t start painting consistently again until then.

Although recognized for his landscape, architectural, and figurative work, Stephens feels the real subjects of most of his paintings are his brushwork and the light he tries to capture and amplify through value contrast and an unexpected color pallet. Believing that drawing is the foundation for all good art and design, Stephens often allows his pencil work to show through and become an engaging element in his watercolors.

“First, let me say I am very honored to be showing at the South Arkansas Arts Center. The gallery space is wonderful and the staff is extremely helpful and professional.

“In this one-man show, titled “Richard Stephens Watercolors”, I have included some current work along with a few of my favorite, older paintings that I have hung on to because they are special to me for reasons of subject matter or what they represent to me in terms of watercolor technique. I have also tried to present a variety of subjects and techniques to engage, entertain and inform the viewer as to the range and possibilities this wonderful medium of watercolor offers to both the artist and viewer.”

Gallery viewing hours are Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00. For more about the artist, visit his Facebook page, Richard Stephens Watercolors.