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Heber Springs gallery gets spring refresh

By Emily Van Zandt

This article was originally published April 7, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. Updated April 5, 2013 at 1:33 p.m.

a-group-of-artists-from-maumelle-recently-added-a-new-coat-of-paint-and-a-fresh-set-of-paintings-to-the-ellen-hobgood-associates-gallery-in-heber-springs-the-updates-came-just-in-time-for-2013-springfest-scheduled-for-april-26-and-27

A group of artists from Maumelle recently added a new coat of paint and a fresh set of paintings to the Ellen Hobgood & Associates Gallery in Heber Springs. The updates came just in time for 2013 Springfest, scheduled for April 26 and 27.

— A local gallery has a fresh look for spring, thanks to help from a group of Maumelle-based artists.

Seven artists from The Art Group of Maumelle recently traveled to Heber Springs to add a fresh coat of paint and a new selection of paintings to the Ellen Hobgood & Associates Gallery, 101 S. Third St.

Hobgood has owned the gallery for 10 years and knew the Maumelle artist co-op through her friend and artist Lori Weeks.

“She had come in before and showed her work with some of that cohort,” Hobgood said.

But instead of simply rotating out their work for spring, the Maumelle artists decided to give a little extra help to Hobgood, who is physically disabled and is limited in the upgrades she’s able to do to the gallery herself.

“We took on the task of taking all the art off the walls, filling in all the holes, repainting the holes and hanging all the work back up in an artistic way,” Maumelle artist Holly Tilley said. “It’s an all-new, fresh look. We went in there like a SWAT team.”

The makeover took the team of artists three days and several gallons of paint. They hope the new look will encourage new customers to visit the gallery. Tilley said the volunteers purposely re-spaced the art hangings to be more pleasing to the eye.

“When you create air and space around a painting, it gives you time to decide if you really like it or not,” Tilley said. “When things are too crowded, your eye struggles to focus. … Having more space should cause more sales to occur.”

The upgrades were done to prep the gallery for the 2013 Springfest, scheduled for April 26 and 27. Events will kick off at noon April 26 and will include several artists from the Maumelle group painting live at the gallery and on the street.

The artists from Maumelle who both volunteered and have their art in the gallery include Weeks, Tilley, Ron Almond, Matt Coburn, Louise Harris, Debbie Hinson and Vickie Hendrix-Seibenmorgen. All artists featured in the gallery are from Arkansas, and their works include paintings,

pottery, jewelry and more.

Hobgood’s gallery is one of several around the state in which the Art Group of Maumelle shows its members’ work.

“For the past five years, we’ve done an art show in Newport in February that kicks off our year,” Tilley said. “You wouldn’t think of Newport as being a hopping destination for work as an artist, but 10 of us went, and all of us sold multiple paintings.”

As professional artists, Tilley said, members of the group are constantly networking to try to sell their work. Hobgood’s gallery will allow them to expose their work to a new audience.

“Ellen’s gallery is well established,” Tilley said. “Heber Springs is a major tourist destination in the summertime, and Springfest kicks that all off.”

Hobgood said she couldn’t have asked for a better place than on the square in Heber Springs to have her gallery.

“It’s been awesome,” Hobgood said. “This building is already beautiful. With the fresh colors, it’s just enhanced.”

The Ellen Hobgood & Associates Gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

Staff writer Emily Van Zandt can be reached at (501) 399-3688 or evanzandt@arkansasonline.com.

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