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Center for Art and Education welcomes Fayetteville Underground

story and photos by Brittany Ransom
bransom@thecitywire.com

Two regional art organizations came together on Sunday (June 1) afternoon, as Van Buren's Center for Art and Education played host to artists from Fayetteville Underground for the opening reception of its June exhibit.

Five artists from the Northwest Arkansas-based group were featured in the exhibition including William Mayes Flanagan, Michael Davis Gutiérrez, Hank Kaminsky, Susy Siegele and Mike Haley. Several of the guest artists were on-hand at the reception to chat with visitors and answer questions about their individual collections, which ranged from watercolors and sculpture to porcelain pieces and tile mosaics.

Gutiérrez, a stone and landscape sculptor, was thrilled about the opportunity to make his debut at CAE.

"This is actually my first time here and I am really glad to be a part of it," said Gutiérrez. "This is an absolutely beautiful gallery. We all appreciate the invitation to show our work here."

Gutiérrez had several stone sculptures in the exhibition, including mixed media works such as his charcoal and paint piece entitled, "Creation."

Also hanging throughout the gallery were several colorful porcelain works by Huntsville based-duo Siegele and Haley. To create their unique porcelain designs, the two work with clay, layering the different colors into loaves. They then slice the clay, like bread, revealing carefully constructed patterns in the clay, which are shaped into different pieces of pottery. The two also specialize in one-of-a-kind tile installations which can be displayed on walls or used for archways, countertops, and columns.

Originally founded in 2009, Fayetteville Underground works to promote the visual arts in Northwest Arkansas by "actively collaborating with the community, supporting area artists working to the highest standards, and encouraging education and public engagement in the arts." The Underground presents 12 exhibits each year in its downtown gallery and hosts numerous art-related classes and weekly programming to support the artistic needs of the community.

Owen Shackelford, CAE Gallery Director, explained that it was the first time the two art organizations had joined forces.

"We are excited to have Fayetteville Underground here at CAE," said Shackelford. "This exhibit has gotten such a great reception from the community and we hope that it is just the beginning of many collaborations between our two organizations."

Also showing at CAE was local artist Ralph Wallace Ingram. Displaying in the downstairs Studio Gallery, Ingram's collections included a mixture of vibrant landscape paintings and black and white photographs of "Old Barns of Arkansas." Ingram captured most of the barn images as he happened upon the deteriorating structures throughout his travels around the state.

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The "Fayetteville Underground' and Ingram exhibits will remain on display through June 27. CAE is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by special appointment. For more information, call 474-7767.

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