SAAC is pleased to welcome SAAC veteran Sandy Bennet and her new exhibit “Through the Cracks” to the Lobby Gallery. These works will hang June 2-30. Sponsored by Cadence Bank, there will be an opening champagne reception on Friday, June 2 at 7:00pm.

This new exhibit is Sandy Bennett’s 4th at the South Arkansas Arts Center with her last being in 2017. “Art is my therapy. It is my everything. It’s what gets me up in the mornings and keeps me going,” said Bennett. Her first love is watercolor, but she enjoys experimenting with different techniques and media. Bennett’s art in this exhibition highlights flowering weeds using mixed media and watercolors. These weeds – the ones that come up “through the cracks” – represent strength and resilience. One of Bennett’s pieces in this exhibition entitled “Tickled Pink” almost didn’t make the cut. According to Bennett, “It was a blobby mess that had been laying around for weeks…then in desperation, I mixed Chinese White watercolor with my blue which made it very opaque. Some more darks added with colored pencil brought it to life, I think. So…‘Tickled Pink’ it is!”

Sandy Bennett grew up in Little Rock and then went to college at Henderson State University in Arkadelphia. While there, she met and married her husband Jim and they moved to El Dorado in 1971 where they both found jobs teaching in Strong. A little later in life when her kids were in high school, Bennett was asked to substitute for the art teacher at Parker’s Chapel High School. Bennett had never had any formal training in art at this point, so she began to study art so that she could teach the students. “I had to learn it so I could teach it,” she said. Ironically, the art teacher that she subbed for never returned, and Bennett then served as the art teacher at Parker’s Chapel High School for 12 additional years. Bennett finally retired from teaching in 2002. That’s when she started painting full-time.

Bennett has served the Board of Directors for the South Arkansas Arts Center. Additionally, she is a member of the Oil Painters of America, Arkansas Pastel Society, Arkansas League of Artists, and a Signature member of the Texas Watercolor Society. Bennett’s artwork has been juried into several national competitions and has earned a number of awards. Her work hangs in private and corporate settings.

Gallery viewing hours are Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00pm.