The visual arts committee of the South Arkansas Arts Center announces the award-winning entries for the Under Quarantine Art Competition and Exhibition. “Under Quarantine: Art During Unprecedented Circumstances” continues to hang in the Merkle and Price Galleries at the South Arkansas Arts Center through Thursday, August 27.

A total of forty-eight artists from El Dorado, Smackover, Camden, Warren, Strong, Hampton, Calion, Norphlet, and Junction City, Arkansas, and The Woodlands, Texas, contributed 82 pieces for the exhibit. Of the exhibiting artists, 31 have never shown work at SAAC before, and 27 of those are entirely new to SAAC. Kelly Campbell, gallery manager, said, “It’s wonderful to see such exciting artwork from artists who are new to us! The galleries are open 9am-5pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-1pm on Friday. I hope everyone makes time to see this show.”

Awards in the competition are: Best of Show – Clayton Bolding, Strong; First Place – Mike Means, El Dorado; Second Place – Missy Inman, El Dorado; Third Place – Emmaline Landes, El Dorado; Honorable Mention – Marla Tomlinson, Brent J. Rowley, Nelson Post, and Mandy Kingery, all from El Dorado.

Other exhibitors are: Sandy Bennett, Cherie Bright, Stephanie Brown, Dana Burke, Kelly Campbell, Jo Cunningham, Ann Downs, Mary Lou Doyle, Marian Dunn, Jenn Elmore, Kelsey Farley, Alec Gatewood, Michael Herren, Jessica Honeycutt, Janice Hughes, Beth Jones, Helene Lambert, Cynthia Landaverde, Jeremy Langston, Charles Lawrence, Patricia Lowery, Kassidy Marsh, Kate McDaniel, Leah Moore, Nathan Odom, Ann Palculict, Patti Simpson, Pat Peel, Millie Reap, Rob Reep, Christopher Silkwood, Mallory Slaughter, Brittany Stanton, Chris Stone, Christine Street, Lisa Burton Tarver, Angela Thurmon, Steven Wall, Lainey Walthall, Ruth Wells, Anna Williams, and Ann Wilson.

The governing idea behind the exhibit is to showcase work done by artists beginning with the two week stay at home order March 14 through the implementation of Phase 1 reopening. Many people found that they had more time to work on their art, and that it helped them cope with the isolation. The show includes 2D and 3D work, and the subject matter runs the gamut from florals to animals to abstracts and beyond. According to Assistant Executive Director John Lowery, “The artwork was not required to have COVID 19 as a theme. We do have a few COVID related pieces, but the majority of the work reflects what artists focused on during the stay at home order. The exhibit is a very eclectic, very interesting mix of work.”

Local artist and SAAC’s Visual Arts Committee chair Helene Lambert served as judge for the exhibit. Lambert recently retired after teaching art for 34 years in Union County, including “31 wonderful years” at Barton Junior High School in El Dorado. Lambert currently works with Arts Integration Services and is Arts In Education (AIE) teaching artist, in addition to working in her studio in Hampton on her own artwork.

For more information about the exhibit or to place a reservation to attend the reception on Saturday, July 25th, please email before 4pm on Thursday, July 23, or call SAAC at 870-862-5474. As per Governor Hutchinson’s statewide order, masks must be worn. If you are drinking a beverage, you may remove your mask, but you must practice social distancing of at least 6 feet when you are “uncovered”.