Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition moves online

The Arkansas Arts Center’s Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition will open online May 9 on the AAC website, arkansasartscenter.org. Pictured is “Go-Go Juice,” by Ruth Rodriguez, an 11th-grader at Greene County Tech.

LITTLE ROCK — The creativity of Arkansas students statewide will be on view in the Arkansas Arts Center’s Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition May 9 to Aug. 2. This popular annual exhibition and associated events will move to a digital format to maintain social distancing.

Each year, art teachers and instructors throughout Arkansas submit their students’ work and a panel of art professionals selects works to be included in the exhibition. The Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition showcases artwork from kindergarten through high school in a wide range of mediums and techniques – from crayon and pastel to collage and sculpture.

The exhibition is now part of the Arts Center’s new digital engagement initiative, Arkansas Arts Center Amplified.

“The Arkansas Arts Center remains committed to our community. I commend Arts Center staff for their work developing an innovative, technology-based solution that ensures the continuity of this treasured exhibition,” Executive Director Victoria Ramirez said. “Young Arkansas Artists offers us an opportunity to see the world through the eyes of young artists, and the remarkable talent, creativity and perspective of these students is an absolute joy to experience.”

This year, the panel selected 65 works from 478 entries. Guest juror Jonathan Wright, associate professor of art at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, selected a Best in Class and two Honorable Mention awards for each grade.

Wright also selected the recipients of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Award for Achievement in Watercolor and Ray Smenner Award for Achievement in Painting. Members of the Arkansas Art Educators Association selected one Teacher’s Choice award from each grade.

Each winning artist’s school receives a monetary award to support its art program funded by Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Young Arkansas Artists awards will be presented at a virtual awards ceremony and family festival at 11 a.m. May 9. The awards ceremony will be hosted via Zoom with art activities using household objects available on Arkansas Arts Center social media channels. The digital exhibition will be open for online viewing beginning May 9 at arkansasartscenter.org.