The South Arkansas Arts Center is pleased to host the opening exhibition of the 2023 Small Works on Paper touring show in our galleries in January. Small Works on Paper is a juried visual art exhibition showcasing Arkansas artists’ artwork no larger than 18 inches by 24 inches. The exhibit, sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council, will be on display in Merkle and Price galleries through January 30 with a reception and artist talk on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, from 5:30pm to 7pm.

The exhibition spotlights artists who are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry, an online gallery designed to promote and market Arkansas art. Every year, an out-of-state juror selects works for Small Works on Paper from submissions by Registry members.

The 2023 Small Works on Paper entries were juried by Margaret LeJeune, associate professor of photography in the Department of Art and Design at Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. LeJeune reviewed approximately 275 submitted artworks to select the 40 pieces that are part of the Small Works on Paper exhibition. She also selected five works to receive purchase awards, which are cash prizes equivalent to the value of the artworks. Purchase award pieces become part of the Small Works on Paper permanent collection.

“The overall quality of the submissions was very high with a vast array of mediums and concepts from emerging and established artists,” said LeJeune. “Art has the unique ability to challenge and engage its audience, to encourage the viewer to consider their own experiences in relation to the work at hand. I am hopeful that this collection of works will provoke meaningful discussions and inspire thoughtful reflection on the technical processes and conceptual ideas contained within these works.”

The exhibition features 40 works of art by 27 artists from across Arkansas and will tour to nine venues statewide during the year-long tour, including stops in El Dorado, Batesville, Fayetteville, Mena, Pine Bluff, Helena, Little Rock, Russellville and Fort Smith. Most works will be available for sale. The exhibition at the South Arkansas Arts Center is free and open to the public from 9am to 5pm, Mondays through Fridays.

“Small Works on Paper provides an opportunity for new artists to share their portfolios and their insights into the world around them,” said Patrick Ralston, Arkansas Arts Council director. “Through the years, this annual glimpse into the minds and studios of Arkansas’s best artists shows us an evolving reflection of art and culture in Arkansas.”

“In its 36th years, Small Works on Paper highlights the work of emerging visual artists and fosters their individual talents,” said Stacy Hurst, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism. “The exhibition travels the state, giving Arkansans the opportunity to view and appreciate the work of our local artists.”

The artists selected to participate in the exhibit are:

Tony Baker, Little Rock
Judith Beale, Jacksonville
Dustyn Bork, Batesville
Maria Botti Villegas, El Dorado
Barbara Cade, Hot Springs
Gary Cawood, Little Rock
Terra Fondriest, St. Joe
Diane Harper, Little Rock
Neal Harrington, Russellville

Carol Hart, Fayetteville
Leigh Jacobs, Little Rock
Ekaterina Kouznetsova, Bentonville
Rhaelene Lowther, Magnolia
Mandy Mooneyham, Paragould
Jennifer O’Brien, Little Rock
Rashawn Penister, Pine Bluff
David Rackley, Russellville
Tom Richard, Monticello

Sabine Schmidt, Fayetteville
Suzannah Schreckhise, Fayetteville
Trevor Segraves, Siloam Springs
Dominique Simmons, Little Rock
Gary Simmons, Hot Springs
Adrienne Thompson, Little Rock
Marcus Vasquez, North Little Rock
Jan Waldon, Bentonville
Anna Zusman, Magnolia

The South Arkansas Arts Center is located at 110 East 5th Street in El Dorado, AR. For more information about the artist reception or the SAAC galleries, contact us at 870-862-5474. For more information about Small Works on Paper, contact Cheri Leffew, special events/projects manager, at or call 501-324-9767.