Small Works on Paper exhibit travels to Russellville center

Carol Rolf Originally Published May 2, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 1, 2013 at 9:04 a.m.
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The Small Works on Paper touring visual arts exhibition coordinated by the Arkansas Arts Council is on display through May 31 at the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center, 1001 E. B St. in Russellville.

The public is invited to view the exhibit and meet some of the artists at a reception from 1-3 p.m. Sunday. There is no admission charge.

The show features 37 works, which were selected by juror Anne Austin Pearce from more than 300 submissions. Pearce is an associate professor of art and director of the Greenlease Gallery at Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Mo.

Artists from the River Valley & Ozark Edition’s coverage area with works in the exhibit include Brittany Madalone of Greenbrier, Scott Mattson of Conway and Rachel Trusty of Little Rock, formerly of Russellville. Both Madalone and Trusty received a purchase award for their artworks, which will become a part of the exhibit’s permanent collection following the year-long tour through the state.

Madalone, originally from Tulsa, Okla., is scheduled to graduate in December from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway with a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art with an emphasis in printmaking. She plans to complete an internship this summer at Flatbed Press and Gallery in Austin, Texas, and in the fall, she will be a student teacher at Conway Junior High School.

She said her work, Disasters of War, is an etching influenced by one of Francisco Goya’s pieces in his series also named The Disasters of War.

“I aimed to convey a similar mood that he did in his works,” Madalone said. “The dead trees, gray scale and hanging man create a dark and despondent atmosphere.”

Madalone, who grew up in rural areas of the South, said she is inspired to depict scenes of nature and the outdoors through printmaking, pen and ink, watercolor and sculptural media. She said her work explores memories, narratives and states of mind by creating characters, settings and stories that come from real-world experiences.

“I ultimately aim to weave together the real and the unreal in order to rouse unique yet universal experiences of escape and adventure,” she said.

Mattson is a native of Hot Springs. He holds an associate degree in graphic design from Garland County Community College and a bachelor’s degree in graphic design from Arkansas State

University. He works for Lockheed Martin at the Little Rock Air Force Base in Jacksonville.

“The drawing Start/Finish that is in the show actually started out as a simple office doodle,” Mattson said. “I had started doing abstract doodles during breaks at work. On this particular drawing, I decided to fill the page with one continuous line, then fill every other hole with color. It took about a week to complete.”

Trusty is a native of Russellville and the daughter of Lola Trusty Roberts and the granddaughter of Willeen Trusty, both of Russellville.

She said her painting in the show, Blue Beyond, “is a painting that really spearheaded my Loud White Space painting series. I had begun painting it in 2010, and it sat around the studio for almost a year before I came back to it.

“For my paintings, I take a magazine image, and I white out the background and then draw a new one in. For this piece, I was really intrigued with the girl and had a really hard time trying to work out the right background for her. For whatever reason, I felt she should be looking out to sea.

“That’s where the piece finally started. I don’t want my work to be obvious, so if the viewer sees something else, that is fine. I like that there is an empty background that you can fill in with your imagination.”

Trusty said she is “very excited and honored” that her work is included in the Small Works on Paper exhibit for the second time.

Blue Beyond was purchased this year for the Arkansas Arts Council as one of the seven purchase prizes,” she said. “The piece is definitely one of my favorites, and I couldn’t think of a better place for it to be. I’m truly honored by the award.

“It is very exciting that the [Arkansas River Valley Arts Center] is hosting the exhibit this year. I have attended classes there since I was in elementary school, and as a teacher, I bring my students back there to work with Winston Taylor in his wonderful ceramics studio. I love the ARVAC and have a very strong connection to it. I’m so glad that Russellville has such a great place for the arts.”

Trusty is a 2002 graduate of Russellville High School and a 2006 graduate of UCA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in art education. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Art Institute of Boston in 2011. She teaches ceramics and eighth-grade art at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock.

To view the exhibit’s complete 2013 touring schedule and a list of the artists whose work was selected, visit www.arkansasarts.com/programs/swop.aspx.

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