Making art is one of humanity’s oldest methods of expression and connection. To provide our community with an outlet for their creative expression during this unprecedented time in all of our lives, the South Arkansas Arts Center invites you to participate in an art exhibition which will showcase any and all art created under the everyday conditions which are new to us all. This community exhibit and competition will be a fun and distracting way for artists, adults and children, to keep producing great art while at home.

SAAC executive director, Laura Allen, said about this competition, “One of the strongest ways that people have to deal with their feelings of uncertainty during this pandemic crisis is to express themselves creatively. As the quarantine began, it seemed that every artist I spoke to was working more than ever, and creatives of all types were reaching out to each other in new and innovative ways. I think it will be so interesting to bring together in one room all the work that has been created by our artistic community, while they have been engaged in these very separate pursuits.”

Artists over age 18 are eligible for the adult division, “Under Quarantine: Art During Unprecedented Circumstances.” Art is accepted in any medium, and two-dimensional and three-dimensional work will both be accepted. Artist may enter up to two piece of artwork created while working at home during the quarantine, started on or after March 14.  This is an open competition – no entry fee or SAAC membership required, and there is no need to sign up in advance in order to participate. Our end date and our exhibit date are contingent upon the opportunity to again gather in groups. Prizes are: Best of Show $200; First Place $150; Second Place $100; Third Place $50. Honorable mentions may be awarded with no cash prize.

UPDATE: June 26, 9am-noon, and June 29, 9am-4pm Deliver Artwork • July 1-July 28 Exhibit Dates, July 29 Pickup Artwork

Our youngest artists are working equally hard right now, and “Kitchen Table Art: Art Created during School Closures” will showcase artwork created while the kids are at home during quarantine. Divisions for kids are grades K-4, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12. This exhibit will follow the same general guidelines as the adult division. One piece of work will be accepted per student. Prizes will be awarded for First Place $75; Second Place $50; Third Place $25. Honorable mentions may be awarded with no cash prizes.

UPDATE: June 1-5, Mon-Thur 9am-4pm & Fri 9am-noon Deliver Artwork • June 8-26 Exhibit Dates • June 29 Pickup Artwork

Gallery Manager Kelly Campbell said about the idea, “A friend of mine called me on the first Saturday that we went into ‘quarantine’ with the idea for this exhibit, and the idea of a competition came at the very end of our conversation. She was so excited about the possibility of artists who could share the art they are creating, and I just jumped right in there with her.

“We have a large visual arts community, and many of the artists have ‘real’ jobs; these circumstances provide them with the opportunity to work as full time artists, every day, to face and meet the challenges inherent in that method of working. Another artist perhaps said it best: paint like it’s your job! As far as the rules go, they’re very loose. We trust people to be honest about when they started, just as we trust them to complete their work within the dates that have yet to be determined. The show dates and delivery dates are also up in the air, contingent upon our release from quarantine.” (Exhibit dates have now been selected. See UPDATE above.)

Interested artists should do two things: first, get started creating! Second, they should check the SAAC Facebook page on Monday afternoons. Campbell will be posting updates weekly. 

For more information on this competition, please email Campbell at kelly@saac-arts.org, or call SAAC at 870-862-5474. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.