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‘Tis the season to be inspired at the Arkansas Arts Center

December programming at the Arkansas Arts Center, the state’s premiere center for visual and performing arts with a renowned collection of international art, includes a wide-ranging collection of unique exhibitions, educational lectures, dance lessons, a poetry slam, Children’s Theatre productions and a Collectors Show and Sale.

“December programming brings the perfect holiday shopping opportunity to find a wonderfully handcrafted gift for that special someone at the 45th Collectors Show and Sale or in our museum shop,” said Arkansas Arts Center executive director Todd Herman. “We can also help visitors get into the festive spirit of the season by signing them up for an ornament making workshop at the Museum School or by attending one of our holiday parties.”

Below is a complete listing of the Arkansas Arts Center’s December programming. For more information or registration, visit

Thursday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m. Lesson and 8 p.m. Milonga, Lower Lobby

Art of Motion: Tango

Beginner and advanced dancers alike will learn to tango and dance the night away. Dance lessons begin at 7 p.m. with instruction from local and national tango teachers. After the lesson, guests will be able to practice their new moves. No partner is needed. Admission is $10 and is free for Arkansas Arts Center members.

Friday, Dec. 13, 12 p.m. - 1 p.m., Lecture Hall

Feed Your Mind Friday Film: Rothko’s Rooms

In conjunction with the exhibition Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade, this documentary focuses on Mark Rothko’s life and the development of his work over time and explores his pursuit of the perfect space for his artwork to be displayed. Admission is free for this event.

Open now through Dec. 22, Children’s Theatre

The Engine That Thought It Could

Go on an exciting journey in this classic tale of determination when it’s left up to the Little Engine to save the day. The Little Engine learns that hard work pays off even when faced with adversity. The Engine That Thought It Could is written by Alan Keith Smith and is based on the 1906 story by Rev. Charles S. Wing. The production is sponsored by Landers Fiat in Benton, Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield, Centennial Bank, JPMS Cox and All Aboard Restaurant. Show times are Fridays at 7 p.m., Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12.50 for non-members and $10 for Arkansas Arts Center members.

Open now through Jan. 3, Museum School

Museum School Winter Quarter Registration

Register now for Museum School winter quarter which will be held Jan. 6 - March 15. To view the winter course schedule,

Open now through Feb. 9, Winthrop Rockefeller Gallery

Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade

Regarded as one of the leading American artists of the 20th century, Mark Rothko (1903-1970) changed the landscape of modern American art. Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade will be the first exhibition and catalogue to reevaluate this work in the context of Rothko’s thoughts about art from the period.

The exhibition will bring to light many works not seen before by scholars or the public and highlight a period of his career that is often overlooked. Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade is organized by the Arkansas Arts Center, the Columbia Museum of art, the Columbus Museum of Art and the Denver Art Museum, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The exhibition is funded in part by the Dedalus Foundation and is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. It is sponsored locally by Harriet and Warren Stephens; Chucki and Curt Bradbury; The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston; Mary Ellen and Jason Vangilder and the Capital Hotel.

Open now through Feb. 9, Jeannette Edris Rockefeller Gallery

Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge

From the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., comes Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge, which focuses on the intersection of contemporary drawing and portraiture. The six artists in this exhibition are Mequitta Ahuja, Mary Borgman, Adam Chapman, Ben Durham, Till Freiwald and Rob Matthews. Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge has been organized by the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. The tour to Arkansas has been supported by The Stella Boyle Smith Trust. This exhibition and its programming have been made possible through the Rebecca Houser Westcott Fund for Portraiture Now, the Abraham and Virginia Weiss Charitable Trust, Amy and Marc Meadows and the Paul M. and Christine G. Wick Fund. The Arkansas Arts Center sponsor for Portraiture Now: Drawing on the Edge is Edafio Technology Partners.

Open now through Feb. 9, Townsend Wolfe Gallery

Face to Face: Artists’ Self-Portraits from the Collection of Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr.

In the Face to Face exhibition, the artist invites the viewer to share what he or she has discovered in the mirror, and far more. Long-time Arkansas Arts Center supporters Jackye and Curtis Finch, Jr., are fascinated by these visual exposés. They are engaged in assembling one of America’s great collections of graphic self-portraiture, which they are gradually transferring to the Arkansas Arts Center. This exhibition is sponsored by Mr. and Mrs. Merritt Dyke and Metropolitan National Bank.

Open now through Feb. 23, Museum School Gallery

The People There: Paintings by Emily Moll Wood

Since 2008, Emily Wood has taught art for the Little Rock School District, has been a painting and drawing instructor at the Museum School and is currently the Chair of the Painting and Drawing Department at the Arkansas Arts Center. Emily has been accepted into and won awards in juried exhibitions throughout the South, and her work can be found in public and private collections across the United States.

Open now through 2013, Paul Signac Gallery

Paul Signac Drawings and Watercolors: The James T. Dyke Collection

This new and improved installation of watercolors and drawings by French neo-impressionist Paul Signac features a selection from the gift of 133 works by local collector James T. Dyke. With this donation, the Arts Center has become the most significant repository of the artist’s drawings and watercolors outside of France.

Open now through 2013, Alice Pratt Brown Atrium

50 Works / 50 Weeks / 50 Years

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Arkansas Arts Center. To celebrate this important milestone, and to honor the Arts Center staff who makes its ideas, programs and mission a reality, each member of the staff has selected their favorite work from the Arts Center’s extensive collection. Each week for the remainder of 2013, a new work of art will be displayed in the atrium along with the name of the employee who selected the piece.

Ongoing exhibition, Jackson T. Stephens and Stella Boyle Smith Galleries

Art in Context

The exhibition Art in Context features highlights from the Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection. Master works on view extend from the 19th century to the present day, including Impressionist paintings and drawings by Pierre-August Renoir and Camille Pissarro, and Berthe Morisot and Post-Impressionist works by Paul Cézanne and Edouard Vuillard Moving into the 20th century, viewers will be delighted by a rare early Cubist painting by Diego Rivera and a symbolist painting by Odilon Redon. The American modern and contemporary focus of the galleries includes paintings by Thomas Hart Benton and Andrew Wyeth, as well as drawings by Abstract Expressionists Robert Motherwell and Richard Pousette-Dart.

Tuesdays – Fridays 1p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and Sundays at 1 p.m.

Ongoing drop-in tours

Drop in and get inspired. Museum docents will be giving one hour tours each week of Mark Rothko in the 1940s: The Decisive Decade. Admission to the tour is free with ticket purchase. Space is limited to 20. Please sign in at the Stephens Inc. Visitors Center.

For more information, visit or call (501) 372-4000.

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