Artists Among Us: ALA Show Features Notable Regional Talent

The community of artists in Arkansas will be represented with style and originality in the Arkansas League of Artists’ Show, opening on Second Friday Art Night in our Galleries at Library Square.

Show2016_4One of the joys of a show created by the regional artistic community is the sheer variety of works on display. According to president Sharon Franke, the Arkansas League of Artists is a working artists’ group open to artists in all kinds of visual arts media. The current group of members tends to work in oils and acrylics, but watercolors, inks, pastels, photography, digital art or 3D art forms are also welcome.

“What makes us unique is that we are an inclusive artists’ group that supports many types of artwork,” Ms. Franke said.

Sharon Franke and Patrick Edwards are co-chairs of this year’s show.

The  juror for the 2018 show is Jason Sacran, who is an award-winning contemporary representational artist living in Arkansas. He has received many awards from organizations such as the Oil Painters of America and the American Impressionists Society, and his work has been featured in numerous art magazines. Mr. Sacran evaluated the ALA’s submitted artworks initially in digital form to select the works that would be included in the show.

“A lot of work goes into this show,” Ms. Franke said. “One of our ALA members takes the digital photos of all the works and labels them for submission.”

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The day before the show’s opening, Mr. Sacran views the works in person and picks the award winners. Awards will be presented in five categories, and Art Outfitters, a local art supply store, will also present the People’s Choice Award which earns an Art Outfitters gift certificate for the winner of the popular vote. Cash and prizes will be awarded with a value between $3,000 and $5,000.

Show2016_2Ms. Franke said that the Arkansas League of Artists was founded in the early 1970s and has been going strong ever since. Membership hovers around 100 members. At every monthly meeting, each artist may submit a work for the monthly contest. The group then votes to select the top 5, which are then awarded display spaces around the city.

“We have a great relationship with Cantrell Gallery,” Ms. Franke said, “And so the number one artwork for the month gets to occupy the easel at Cantrell Gallery.”

In addition, group members also see live demos or presentations from artists at their monthly meetings. Several times a year, a critique will be offered. The goal of the ALA is to support working artists and offer them community and resources to encourage their work.

ALA Show sponsors for 2018 include corporate-level sponsor Business World and family-level sponsors AquaJava, Art Outfitters, and Kraft Claims Service.

The Arkansas League of Artists 2018 Show will open this Friday, November 9, at our Galleries at Library Square, 100 Rock St. in downtown Little Rock. Join us from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. for light refreshments and music from Arkansas Sounds.

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