Fort Smith Regional Art Museum
1601 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR 72901 - United States
RAM originated in 1948 under the Arkansas Association of University Women. In 1951 the Associated Artists of Fort Smith began exhibiting art and holding classes in various locations throughout Fort Smith. In 1960 space for an art center was purchased, and in 1968 the Fort Smith Art Center was incorporated. The small Art Center offered a valuable service for local and regional artists by offering space for its artists for five decades.
RAM's mission is to foster art appreciation in the community through diverse exhibitions, educational programming, dynamic events, and cultural partnerships.
Dr. William E. Knight Porcelain Gallery
RAM has owned one of the largest collections of fine Boehm porcelain in the state of Arkansas, and now has the ability to permanently display it to the public in the new Dr. William E. Knight Porcelain Gallery.
The collection of Boehm porcelain that is now a major part of the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum’s Permanent Collection began as the personal collection of Dr. and Mrs. William E. Knight of Fort Smith. Dr. Knight (1909 – 2003) was an orthopedic doctor, world traveler and photographer. In 1975, they donated 11 pieces to the Art Center and continued to add pieces (77 pieces in total) until they retired to Blaine, WA in the 1990s. This collection contains some of the finest examples of Boehm’s art ever assembled. Each piece taking months to perfect, they follow a 2,000-year porcelain making tradition that originated in China.
David Mudrinich: An Element of Nature – Drawings, Paintings & Beehives
August 2 – November 24, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, August 1, 2019, 5-7PM; FREE for members, $10 non-members
As an artist, Mudrinich has always been interested in a sense of place, and the various characteristics that make any one location unique. This can include the natural geographic features of that landscape as well as the human alterations made to the land. Mudrinich’s work can fluctuate in perspective between both expansive panoramic views and more intimate, close-up locations.
The beehives seem to symbolize a rebirth or regeneration of purpose, giving a new life to what was once an active place. Often, their configuration seems to suggest a mysterious ritual-like setting that might be measuring time, much like a miniature Stonehenge or sundial. The pastel drawings of beehives included in this exhibit are a subtheme of mine that reinforces this overall sense of continuous change with a particular place.
Norma Tomboulian: Life into Clay
September 6 – December 29, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 5, 2019, 5-7PM; FREE for members, $10 non-members
Norma Tomboulian was born in Lansing, MI and raised in Ithaca, NY. She studied painting and sculpture at Cornell University and at the County Center in White Plains, NY. In 1977 Tomboulian moved to northwest Arkansas, and has resided there since. She is an accomplished painter and sculptor who also loves to knit, cook and interact with her four grown children. Her sculptural technique is unusual in that she creates them hollow, standing the clay on edge, unlike most artists who create them solid and then hollow them out. More than mastering this technique is her ability to capture the essence of the personality she portrays. Tomboulian also works with watercolor, stating “Watercolor gives me the chance to work with color in a way clay never really can. Also, there are subjects to which clay refuses to lend itself…one of these being landscape, which I love.”
This exhibit will showcase works of sculpture and watercolor by Tomboulian, as well as sculpture and artwork by various artists she has collected over the years, including Gloria Penry, Mary Coffin, Lou Moore Hale, Rae Dunn and Charles Banks Wilson. Also included in this exhibit will be The Camelot Chess Set, which is 16 life-sized busts by Norma Tomboulian, in the classic style of the famed Arthurian legend, now residing in RAM’s Permanent Collection.
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