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Quick Picks: Czech That Film Festival, Mini Comic Con, more

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette file photo


Little Rock’s Movies in the Park kicks off its 2015 lineup with a screening of Divergent at sunset (approximately 8:18 p.m.) at the First Security Amphitheater. The 2014 sci-fi film follows Tris (Shailene Woodley), a teenager who discovers she is considered a member of a targeted faction of society and embarks on a quest to learn more. The event is free to the public.


Get acquainted with the world of gin and tonics at the Gin & Tonic with David Burnette class at Eggshells Kitchen Co. from 6-8 p.m. Burnette is the bar manager at South on Main, a SoMa restaurant known for its inventive menu options. Registration for the class is $50, which covers all drinks and light snacks. For more information, click here.


The Czech That Film Festival will set up in Little Rock to present five films made in the Czech Republic at Ron Robinson Theater. The event begins with a 7 p.m. showing of Clownwise on Friday, with four other films to be screened Saturday. Czech actress Eva Jenickova, who has a role in Clownwise and other notable Czech projects, will be present. The festival is … 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 >

Crafting a career: A conversation with artist Morgan Hill

A shorter version of this Q&A with Little Rock artist Morgan Hill ran in the June 25, 2014, issue of Sync.

Even if you haven’t heard of Morgan Hill, chances are you’ve seen her work — especially if you spend any time in the downtown Little Rock neighborhood SoMa. She’s responsible for Moxy Modern Mercantile’s wall-sized logo made of yarn hanging behind the register. Her faceted wooden jewelry is for sale in the Esse Purse Museum gift shop, where she works part time. And a large wooden sculpture at South on Main was specially commissioned for the space. While she’s making her mark on the art community in the capital city, Hill draws inspiration from her life growing up in Wynne. Also on her resume? Midcentury furniture design, taxidermy and some of the most awe-inspiring costumes you’ve ever seen.

Arkansas artist Morgan Hill in front of her piece featured at South on Main

Arkansas artist Morgan Hill in front of her piece featured at South on Main

When someone asks, “What kind of art do you do?” what do you say?Read more >

Vintage hat exhibit to open at Esse Purse Museum


Anita Davis knows more than just great purses. She knows stylish hats, too.

This spring, Davis’ Esse Purse Museum presents its first temporary exhibit, The Milliner’s Art, since its opening in June 2013. The exhibit features vintage hats from 1910 to 1960 from the collections of Davis and Catherine Nugent.

An opening reception (with tea and scones) for The Milliner’s Art is Sunday (April 6) from 1-4 p.m., and the exhibit will run through June 8. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors.

Esse Purse Museum’s permanent collection features a decade-by-decade look at women’s purses and the things inside them. The museum is located at 1510 S. Main St., Little Rock.… Read more >

SoMa Mardi Gras Parade: Bon Temps on South Main


This Scene was originally published in the Feb. 26, 2014, issue of Sync.

The season of Carnival comes to an end Tuesday, but not before Little Rock celebrates the season with a Mardi Gras parade on South Main Street complete with floats, beads and king cake.

The City of Little Rock, SoMa and the SoMa Business Alliance present the SoMa Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday at noon. The parade begins at Main and 24th streets and ends at Main and 12th streets, and spectators are encouraged to line the route with folding chairs and blankets to enjoy the event. The parade takes place rain or shine.… Read more >

New shops (and locations) in the Heights and SoMa

The month of February has welcomed new boutiques to both the Heights and South Main neighborhoods.

1899034_10100993793147567_809808187_nIn the Heights, Southern Accented opened at the corner of Kavanaugh Boulevard and Polk Street (in the same strip of storefronts as Eggshells and Cafe 5501). The women’s clothing and gifts boutique opened doors Jan. 27, but bad weather has push the grand opening celebration to Saturday. Join owners Katy Julian and Meagan Murphy for a party featuring hors d’oeuvres, drinks and shopping from 6-8 p.m. Southern Accented is at 5501 Kavanaugh Blvd. Suite A in Little Rock.

When we talked Lara Kahler at Moxy Modern Mercantile back in January, she said she and co-owner and husband Jon Estelita were set to open in mid-February. Moxy pealed back the paper on Feb. 11 to reveal a store filled with vintage home goods, fun gifts and gourmet foods — check their Facebook page for and idea of what they carry, from plush kids’ toys to candles and coasters. Moxy Modern Mercantile is located at 1419 S. Main St. in downtown Little Rock.

And while on the subject of Moxy, I couldn’t help but notice Sweet Home Furnishings & Clement‘s new home across the street. … Read more >

5 Ways to get geared up for Valentine’s Day

We’re two weeks out from the Hallmark lovers’ holiday, Valentine’s Day. Here are five upcoming Valentine’s Day-themed activities and events for you to share with your loved one, your BFF or your kids.

Find Your Heart in Hillcrest: Scavenger hunt // Now through Feb. 12

Organized by the Hillcrest Merchants Association, this scavenger hunt began on Jan. 28 and will continue for the next couple of weeks, ending on Feb. 12. Twenty-two Hillcrest merchants have hidden hearts in their businesses; you must find 10 and drop a filled out card at a box located at each of those 10 locations to be eligible to win the Heart of Hillcrest prize of over $2,000 in gift cards, services and goods.

Included in the prize package is $50 to Full Moon, $50 to Box Turtle, two massage gift certificates to Advanced Health Spa, lunch for two at Canon Grill, a heart-shaped pizza for two with drinks at Damgoode Pies and more. The winner will be drawn Feb. 13 at 8:30 a.m. at Pulaski Heights Presbyterian Church.… Read more >

Moxy on Main: Vintage-inspired shop to open in SoMa

Photo by Arshia Khan

Photo by Arshia Khan

This Scoop was originally published in the Jan. 8, 2014, issue of Sync.

The Southside Main Street district of downtown Little Rock continues its steady growth as another shop prepares to open on the 1400 block of Main Street.

If you’ve passed down Main Street lately, you might have noticed a window tiled with colorful logos and the promise “coming soon” between The Green Corner Store and Boulevard Bread Co. The space is going to be home to Moxy Modern Mercantile, a shop offering a mixture of authentic vintage furniture, retro home accessories, modern gifts and gourmet foods.… Read more >

Weekend full of holiday shopping and sipping

The weekend ahead is full of holiday events in downtown Little Rock, especially those which encourage finishing up your Christmas shopping with some handmade gifts by local artists and artisans.

If you’re a fan of our local Etsy merchants, head to the River Market Saturday for the Holly Trolley Handmade Holiday Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m in both pavilions. The market is in conjunction with Holly Trolley Day organized by the River Market and Argenta to offer free rides on the trolley (free rides are from 8:30 a.m. to midnight).… Read more >

2013 sculptures at Bernice Garden

The Bernice Garden unveiled six new sculptures last night at its fifth annual Sculpture Party and Fall Fest. The yearly party celebrates the sculptures and the artists who made them, and also gives the South Main community a first glimpse at the public works of art.

The deadline for artists to submit sculpture proposals is in the spring, and chosen artists (or teams of artists) are given a budget for their piece. The selected sculptures for 2013-14 will be installed for a year.… Read more >

One for the pocketbooks: Q&A with Anita Davis

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JOHN SYKES JR. Anita Davis amongst the displays at her Esse Purse Museum in the Southside Main Street district in downtown Little Rock.

Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/JOHN SYKES JR.
Anita Davis amongst the displays at her Esse Purse Museum in the Southside Main Street district in downtown Little Rock.

This Q&A was originally published in the July 24, 2013, issue of Sync

Anita Davis’ most recent project is Esse, a museum showcasing her purse collection. The museum’s permanent exhibit looks at purses as expressions of the women who carried them, featuring not only the bags themselves, but also their contents, along with photos and informational placards to give some history of the time period. Everything about the museum, from decor and design to the detail in each display, is striking.

Q: Esse is a museum devoted to your collection of 3,000 purses, only 300 of which are displayed in the exhibit. Why are purses so special?

A: There are so many different materials they are made of — it’s kind of like art. When you get them all together, there’s metal mesh, and there’s Bakelite and Lucite and straw … just so many different things that can keep your interest.

Each of them tell a story — some of them have a really nice scent inside, and sometimes they smell like smoke. It tells … Read more >

Weekend planner: Clinton and SoMa

What to do in Little Rock with a free weekend and awesome weather?

First up is the Head of the Class Bash at the Clinton Center. Now, if you have children, this might be enticing because it’s something to take the tots to for face painting, bounce houses and whatnot, but also free immunizations and haircuts. Wait. I could use a free haircut… I’ll get back to you on whether or not there’s an age max for those.… Read more >

Crossing Borders at Oxford American gallery

Today I was excited to have lunch for the first time at Oxford American‘s new restaurant and performance venue, South on Main. While the restaurant is still in its soft opening phase (and will open for lunch Monday), the service and food were excellent and the space is really something to see. Sync will have plenty of time to talk about food and beverage there soon enough. Today what I wanted to share is the OA gallery and exhibition next door.… Read more >

Esse gift shop

A couple weeks ago when I was lucky enough to meet Anita Davis and get a tour of her magical museum of purses on South Main, I fell in love with the museum’s gift store. It’s a wacky, modern collection of purses, jewelry, cards and more, some made by local artists and designers.

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 … 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.