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Installations, exhibitions, museums, galleries and more

Sherwood ‘Ink Master’ contestants remain in competition

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Missed Lost Forty Brewing’s Aug. 11 viewing party for the latest episode of Spike TV’s Ink Master? Don’t worry, your favorite Sherwood-based tattoo artists are still in the running.

For this week’s “Predator/Prey” elimination competition, the 12 remaining tattoo artists grouped in teams of four, and each team member had to tattoo a matching animal print on a human canvas — at the same time. This week’s animal theme resulted in tattoos of a Brazilian rainbow boa, cheetah and crocodile print, which also led to the judges’ high expectation of accurate and cohesive textures.

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 10.04.36 AMSherwood’s Katie McGowan of Black Cobra Tattoo was a member of the team that tattooed cheetah spots on a woman. Unfortunately, the human canvas had a panic attack during the session, and McGowan’s team was unable to finish the work.

The animal prints were judged on the entire team’s ability to execute the textures, and discrepancies in sections of the cheetah print led to McGowan’s team taking a loss this week, judges noted.

Although Black Cobra Tattoo owner Matt O’Baugh was on the Brazilian rainbow boa team that did receive praise, there wereScreen Shot 2015-08-13 at 9.59.39 AM
critiques from judges on the size and placement of the scales, … Read more >

Quick Picks: Disney on Ice, Spring Tour of Homes, more


Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy begins at 7 p.m. at Verizon Arena. The five-day spectacular includes high-speed stunts, an undersea world and more as characters from Disney’s Cars, The Little Mermaid, Toy Story and more show magic on ice as Toy Story toys escape from Sunnyside Daycare and embark on a journey toward home. Tickets range from $16-$61 for adults and are $13 for children 12 and under. For more showtimes and to buy tickets, click here.


Listen to stories on motherhood at Listen to Your Mother at Ron Robinson Theater at 7 p.m. The live reading is part of a national series that celebrates Mother’s Day by allowing local writers, storytellers and bloggers to perform original works of various themes about mothers. Ten percent of ticket proceeds will support the Arkansas Coalition Against Domestic Violence. General admission is $20. Tickets can be purchased here.


The Quapaw Quarter Association’s 51st Spring Tour of Homes showcases the new and older buildings that illustrate the diversity of Little Rock’s Quapaw Quarter and the need for preservation of historic buildings. This year’s tour includes Christ Episcopal Church on Scott Street, … Read more >

Review: Nine a local take on an Italian tale

Photo by Grant Dillion

Heather Smith (left) as Luisa Contini, Antisha Anderson-Scruggs (top center) as Carla Albanese, Rachel Van (right) as Claudia Nardi and James Norris (bottom center) as Guido Contini. Photo by Grant Dillion

In a little theater in downtown Little Rock, there’s a Venetian spa where Italian film director Guido Contini is stressed about his next project but distracted by the many women of his past and present.

And there’s an intimate — but committed — audience watching it all unfold.

This isn’t the 2003 revival or 2009 film you may have seen. This is Nine: The Musical at The Studio Theatre, and it’s got a style of its own.

Knowing that this is Arkansas Repertory Theater Production Manager Rafael Colon Castanera’s directorial debut in Little Rock, it’s refreshing to see how 14 people move on and off a stage as compact as The Studio Theatre’s. And viewing this show on its second night, it’s easy to picture how the cast and crew progress as the show completes its run.

Contini (James Norris) takes off to a spa with his wife, Luisa (Heather Smith), but he is still pressured by producer Liliane La Fleur (Mary Ann Hansen) to create a new film … Read more >

Be Italian: Nine to premiere at Studio Theatre

Photo by Grant Dillion

Photo by Grant Dillion

With just 12 women and one man — played by both a child and adult — the story of Italian film director Guido Contini comes to life onstage when Nine: The Musical premieres Friday at The Studio Theatre.

As an adult, Contini struggles with forming a plot for his next production while balancing his romantic troubles, which stem from pivotal experiences in his childhood. As a boy, Contini attended a strict Catholic school with corporal punishment and scary nuns that left a traumatic effect, says James Norris, who plays Contini.

But near the school was a beach where a prostitute lived and taught young Contini about love, and he became consumed. The title relates to key moments in Contini’s life at age 9.

Throughout Nine, viewers are taken on a surrealistic journey where, like a Greek chorus, 12 women surround Contini and embody characters from his past and imagination — and even the imagination of other characters. The women include his wife, mother, muse, mistress, producer Liliane Le Fleur and more, and they also take on roles as reporters, fans, aunts and churchgoers.

Le Fleur, dressed in a fur coat, black gloves and flashy … Read more >

Quick Picks: Get Down in the Garden, Nonviolence Youth Summit, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


Get Down in the Garden, a fundraising party presented by the Pulaski Technical College Foundation, will feature continuous performances of the song “Teach Your Children,” by Crosby, Stills and Nash, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the Bernice Garden. Funds will be used to buy a piano for the not-yet-open Center for Humanities and Arts building at Pulaski Technical College. For more information or to make a donation, visit here.


Nine: The Musical will premiere at The Studio Theatre at 7 p.m. The play chronicles the story of film director Guido Contini and his efforts to craft his next project while being pursued by many beautiful women. The show runs through April 19 and shows at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Opening night’s admission is $50. Tickets for additional shows are $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students.


The Arkansas Martin Luther King Jr. Commission will present the Nonviolence Youth Summit XII: Knock Out Bullying from 7:30 a.m. to noon at the Little Rock Job Corps Center. This year’s keynote speaker is professional boxer Roy Jones Jr. State Attorney General Leslie Rutledge … Read more >

Arkansas Arts Center calls for entries for annual exhibition

Jim Badami is silhouetted against Robin Tucker's 2013 piece titled "Grace and Faith (I Remember It All)" hung in the 56th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center.  / ADG file photo

Jim Badami is silhouetted against Robin Tucker’s 2013 piece titled “Grace and Faith (I Remember It All)” hung in the 56th Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center. / ADG file photo

The Arkansas Arts Center has announced a call for its 57th Annual Delta Exhibition, an exhibit that showcases talent from across the Mississippi Delta region. Exhibiting artists must live in or have been born in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas.

The exhibition will be open July 10 through Sept. 20. Juror for the exhibit is George Dombek, a watercolorist and previous Delta Exhibition exhibitor and award winner. Dombek will assign awards to the winning exhibitors — a $2,500 Grand Award and two $750 Delta Awards. A $250 Contemporaries Delta Award will be selected by the Contemporaries, an auxiliary group of the AAC.

Artists’ entries must be submitted by April 17. Visit for more information on the exhibition and submissions.… Read more >

Arkansas Arts Center announces Tabriz 2015

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The Arkansas Arts Center has officially announced details for Tabriz 2015, the biennial fundraising event that secures funding for the center’s exhibits and educational programs.

Tabriz is a twofold event. First, the Bazaar of Tabriz on March 12 features a silent auction, drinks, hot dogs and snacks. According to a news release, the auction will feature more than 300 items ranging from parties to travel opportunities, art and antiques. Tickets are $50 per person.

Second, the Gala of Tabriz is a black-tie affair held in the Townsend Wolfe and Jeannette Edris Rockefeller galleries on March 14. The release indicates the event will be “fresh, exotic, creative, different and at the same time, authentic.” Tickets are $750 per person, and only 350 tickets are available.

All proceeds benefit the Arkansas Arts Center. For more details, visit… Read more >

Nog-Off, exhibit openings at Historic Arkansas Museum on Friday


Raise a glass: The Historic Arkansas Museum celebrates its 10th Ever Nog-Off on Friday. From 5-8 p.m., stop by the museum to taste nogs from Cache, Capital Bar and Grill, The Empress of Little Rock, Loblolly Creamery, Bridget Fennel Farris, John Selig and family, and Stone’s Throw Brewing. A winner will be determined by “culinary celebrity judges” — that’s Mayor Mark Stodola, lawyer and blogger Joel DiPippa, and Sync‘s food writer, Emily Van Zandt.… Read more >

8 holiday shopping alternatives in central Arkansas

Christmas shopping doesn't have to be like this. I promise. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Christmas shopping doesn’t have to be like this. I promise. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo)

Like it or not, there’s no denying that it’s beginning to look a little bit like Christmas. But if thinking about completing your holiday shopping gives you nightmares of lines at the mall and crowded parking lots at big-box stores, consider these creative, local alternatives (and sleep in on Black Friday!).

Dazzle Daze

Girls’ Nite Out: Thursday, Nov. 20 (6-9 p.m.)

Friday, Nov. 21 (10 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday, Nov. 22 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

The Conway Regional Women’s Council brings its annual holiday shopping extravaganza, Dazzle Daze, back to Conway at the Conway Expo Center. More than 85 merchants from around the country sell everything from gourmet food items to holiday decorations. Tickets for Girls’ Nite Out are $25, and a general shopping pass is $5.… Read more >

Co-opt: UALR artists showcase work at South on Main



Co-opt: An Evening of Fine Arts with UALR returns to South on Main for a showcase of student work from the fine art department of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Works from the school’s painters, sculptors, printmakers and illustrators will be displayed throughout the venue, and the theater, dance and music departments will perform onstage. The showcase begins at 7:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public, but it’s suggested that you call (501) 244-9660 to make a reservation.

RSVP to the event on Facebook hereRead more >

Esse Purse Museum exhibit honors 10 years of Clinton Presidential Library

Esse Purse Museum LogoEsse Purse Museum and the Clinton Presidential Center join forces for the first time for Handbags for Hillary, a temporary exhibit featuring handbags given to Hillary Clinton while she served as first lady of the United States. The exhibit opened today (Oct. 14) and runs through Nov. 30 at Esse, 1510 S. Main St. in Little Rock.

You can see Handbags for Hillary at regular museum hours (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday) with the price of regular admission ($10 for adults; $8 for seniors, military and students; free for ages 5 and under).

The exhibit serves to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Library.

Learn more about Esse Purse Museum and Anita Davis, the woman behind it, here.… Read more >

A gift in the garden: A conversation with artist Katherine Rutter

This Q&A was originally published in the Aug. 20, 2014, issue of Sync.

One hundred twenty hours. That’s how long Katherine Rutter spent on the mural in The Bernice Garden that she finished in early August before leaving Little Rock to see what opportunities await in California. When the Ferndale native decided to move west, she realized she couldn’t go without leaving some sort of gift for the city. Rutter, 29, took a break from finishing her oversized piece to talk with us about her artistic process and the importance of public art to the culture of a city.

05_katherinerutter_tumblrRead more >

Creative use of space: Art Studios 221 at Pyramid Place

This Scoop was originally published in the Aug. 20, 2014, issue of Sync

While some downtown workers use their lunch breaks to catch up on personal emails, take a walk or actually grab a quick bite, others use the hour a little more creatively. You’ll find people doing just that on the second floor of the Pyramid Place, the mixed-use building in redevelopment at the corner of Center and Second streets that, when built in 1907, was called the city’s first skyscraper.

Art Studios 221, open since March 2012, is home to a range of artists getting inspired in the downtown office space. The studios mostly house artists working in 2-D. “Since we can’t have a kiln up here, we don’t have any potters,” says Amanda Judd, building manager at Pyramid Place. “But it’s a real versatile group up here.”… Read more >

August artists news roundup

John Harlan Norris featured at Thea Foundation’s quarterly Art Department

A piece in John Harlan Norris' exhibition "Cast" opening Aug. 8 at Thea Foundation.

A piece in John Harlan Norris’ exhibition “Cast” opening Aug. 8 at Thea Foundation.

Thea Foundation‘s Art Department, a quarterly exhibition meant to get the young professional crowd in central Arkansas involved in the local arts community, hosts its fourth installment Aug. 8. Jonesboro artists John Harlan Norris shows an exhibit called “Cast: John Harlan Norris” which explores the different roles people play in their everyday life.

The Aug. 8 opening reception is 6:30 to 9 p.m. Admission is $10 at the door, or $7 with a special event password to be revealed on the foundation’s social media outlets at 5 p.m.

The reception also offers an open bar (!), heavy hors d’oeuvres, music by the Funkanites and a drawing for a painting by Norris. “Cast” will remain on display at the Thea Foundation through the end of August.… Read more >

Simply abstract: A conversation with artist Ray Wittenberg

A shorter version of this interview was originally published in the July 16, 2014, edition of Sync. 


In between his time spent working at Oxford American and playing in a couple of local bands, Ray Wittenberg finds time to paint. His career as an artist dates back to 2000 when he and his wife, Tina Turner, moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Stuck with a case of writer’s block, Turner suggested Wittenberg take a drawing class to clear his mind. At the recommendation of a mentor in Santa Fe, Wittenberg headed to New York City in 2002 for a year of intense training in drawing and painting at the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture. Counting music, minimalism and his time in New York as major influences, Wittenberg has been painting more than ever lately. His first exhibit, “So What!” It’s the Least I Can Do …, is currently on display at the Historic Arkansas Museum.… Read more >

Syd Hayman is a beauty, entertainment and pop culture fanatic who enjoys trying different metro restaurants that satisfy picky eaters. Tweet her at @TheSydRichi.