Batesville arts council director puts together fashion, beauty

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published May 5, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated May 3, 2013 at 1:51 p.m.
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Nick Hillemann

Carly Dahl has had a long run in printmaking and drawing. She said her work is usually feminine-based, and she gets her inspiration from fashion magazines.

— Ever since she can remember, Carly Dahl has drawn.

“It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” she said.

Dahl is the interim director of the Batesville Area Arts Council.

She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking and a minor in drawing from the University of Toledo (Ohio) and was born and raised in Monroe, Mich. She’s been in Batesville for three years.

“I really like the people here,” Dahl said. “I’ve made some really great friends here and everyone in Arkansas is so nice.”

Dahl and her husband, Dustyn Bork, moved to Batesville when he got a job as an art professor at Lyon College.

Aside from her duties as interim director of the council, Dahl also works at Maurices, a clothing store.

“I’ve always worked in retail, and I think that inspires my work,” Dahl said.

She also serves as director of the Kresge Gallery at Lyon College.

Dahl said she’s always done really feminine-based artwork, and it shows through in all of her pieces.

“I get all of my inspiration from fashion magazines,” Dahl said.

All of the women depicted in Dahl’s screen prints and paintings are shown without facial features.

“It allows you to project who you want [into the painting],” Dahl said.

Her screen prints and paintings have a faceless woman in front of a patterned background. Dahl said she developed this style of art during her senior year at the University of Toledo.

“I started looking at patterns and Japanese prints,” Dahl said.

She takes patterns from fabrics and things she sees and incorporates them into her art, Dahl said. All of her pieces are very colorful and can fit most anywhere, she said.

“I think my work fits well in the home and in the gallery,” Dahl said.

One of her pieces, Fitting the Mold, is made up of tiny dresses made out of fashion magazines.

“All of the dresses are molded around a Barbie,” Dahl said. “It represents the way that women are portrayed in media. It’s unrealistic for an everyday person to look like that.”

Although all of Dahl’s paintings and screen prints have a similar style, only her screen prints get named, Dahl said.

Some of her work was inspired by her artist residency in Italy, Dahl said, and she then named the four prints Italia 1, 2, 3 and 4.

She and her husband are working on an exhibit that will be on display in October at the Thea Foundation in Little Rock.

“We’re working on all new stuff,” Dahl said.

Dahl said her husband’s artwork complements her work.

“He does a lot of abstract and pattern-based work,” Dahl said.

The feminine undertones and sense of empowerment in Dahl’s work are a way to send a message through what she does with her paintbrush.

“I really want people to appreciate [my art],” Dahl said. “I’ve gotten a lot of really good responses.”

More information on Dahl’s artwork can be found at

Staff Writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or

Online News Editor Lisa Burnett can be reached at

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