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story.lead_photo.caption Dolores Justus of Hot Springs puts the finishing touches on her oil painting New Paths, which will be on display at her art gallery in December. Justus will join other gallery owners in celebrating It’s a Wonderful Life in Hot Springs events on Friday through Dec. 3. - Photo by William Harvey

The community is invited to the second annual It’s a Wonderful Life in Hot Springs holiday celebration Friday through Dec. 3.

The holiday season will kick into gear Friday night as several fine-art galleries and studios host a special Holiday Gallery Walk and a weekend of art demonstrations, exhibits and events.

“We did this last year but were not able to promote it as much as we wanted,” said Dolores Justus, owner of the Justus Fine Art Gallery and a board member of the Hot Springs Area Cultural Alliance that helps promote the monthly Gallery Walk, as well as all of the arts in the area. She is also a member of the Hot Springs Fine Art Association, a group of galleries and studio spaces that come together to promote the gallery and studio offerings in the area and print and distribute a gallery-guide brochure.

“We want to try to do more events like this to extend the Gallery Walk to more than just a Friday-night event,” Justus said. “For more than 25 years, the art galleries have been staying open late for Gallery Walk on the first Friday of each month to host the openings of new exhibits. We hope more galleries will consider expanding activities into the weekend as well.”

Justus said there is no admission charge to the art galleries, but visitors are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item or a cash donation to benefit the efforts of Jackson House.

“This is a way to ‘earn your wings,’” Justus said, smiling as she noted the reference to a quotation in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life about Clarence, an “Angel Second Class” who has to earn his wings by doing good deeds. “That’s why I suggested the theme for the Holiday Gallery Walk — It’s a Wonderful Life in Hot Springs. There are so many positive and fun things we can play off using that theme.

“Collection boxes for donations will be available at participating galleries for those who wish to make a monetary donation.”

The Justus Fine Art Gallery will offer holiday refreshments from 5-9 p.m. Friday during the opening reception for the December Holiday Exhibit.

Justus said a new selection of angel studies by Randall M. Good of Denton, Texas, will be included in the December exhibit. Good will attend the event and give a reading from his book project, The Shael Ovalis, at 2 p.m. Saturday.

Justus will also show a variety of her work, along with Kristin DeGeorge of Hot Springs and France; Matthew Hasty of Memphis; Gerri Much and Gary Simmons, both of Hot Springs; and Rebecca Thompson and Emily Wood, both of Little Rock.

The Justus Fine Art Gallery is at 827A Central Ave. For more information, call (501) 321-2335 or visit

Laura Scott, owner of Gallery Central at 800 Central Avenue for the past two years, said she looks forward to the holiday event.

“The gallery walks always bring people in,” Scott said. “That’s big for us. Having a two-day gallery walk is hard but will be worth it.

“We will feature demonstrations by Sandy Newberg of Little Rock and Amy Hill-Imler of North Little Rock.”

Scott added that Gallery Central has been in existence for more than 25 years.

“Sandy and Amy will both be here Friday night and Saturday,” Scott said. “Claude Lambert, a sixth-generation leathersmith and knife-maker, will be available to discuss knives on Friday night.”

Scott said several artists will introduce new work, including Jason Gammel of Atlanta, Georgia; Paige Morefield of Nashville, Tennessee; Holly Tilly of Little Rock; Lee Gipson of Starkville, Mississippi; and Charles Guess of Madison, Mississippi.

Gallery Central is at 800 Central Ave. For more information, call (501) 318-4278 or visit

Other galleries participating in the Holiday Gallery Walk include the following:

• American Art Gallery LLC will feature a demonstration by painter Ellen Schumacher of Hot Springs Village and Siloam Springs from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday. Work by Jimmy Leach of Stillwell, Oklahoma, and Bill Sorrells of Hot Springs Village, and woodturnings by Virgil Barksdale of Seminole, Oklahoma, will also be showcased.

American Art Gallery is at 724 Central Ave. For more information, call (501) 624-0550 or visit

• The Artists Workshop Gallery will feature several artists during the weekend.

Several artists will present demonstrations on Friday, including Pati Trippel of Hot Springs Village, Acrylic Dyed Tissue Collage at 1 p.m.; Gary Weeter of Hot Springs, Watercolors at 2 p.m.; and Marlene Gremillion of Hot Springs Village, Polymer Clay Canes at 6 p.m. During the Gallery Walk, from 5-9 p.m. Friday, Jan Briggs of Hot Springs and Joanne Kunath of Hot Springs Village will discuss their work, which will be on view throughout December. In addition, the December Featured Miniature Artists are Marlene Gremillion and Pati Trippel.

On Saturday, Jean Pennucci of Little Rock will give a watercolor demonstration at 1 p.m., and Caryl Joy Young of Hot Springs Village will demonstrate Impasto Oils at 2 p.m.

On Dec. 3, Kunath will offer a pastel demonstration at 1 p.m., and Carol Hannon of Hot Springs will present Alcohol Inks at 2 p.m.

The Artists Workshop Gallery is at 610A Central Ave. For more information, call (501) 623-6401 or visit

• Legacy Fine Art Gallery will host Christmas carol singalongs with John and Anne Cooksey of Hot Springs during Gallery Walk on Friday. Carole Katchen of Hot Springs will also demonstrate her new techniques with mixed media and pastels.

On Saturday, visitors can enjoy shopping with the artists, along with special discounts and Christmas cookies. Artists Daisy McDonald of Hot Springs and Elizabeth Weber of Little Rock will give demonstrations. Legacy Fine Art Gallery is at 804 Central Ave. For more information, call (501) 762-0840 or visit

• Whittington Gallery and Studios will feature live painting demonstrations by June Lamoureux of Hot Springs Village and John Payne of Hot Springs during the Gallery Walk on Friday, and on Saturday. Lamoureux will demonstrate techniques for painting reflections in water, and Payne will share texture and faux-painting tips. Steve Johnson and John Faginkrantz, both of Hot Springs, will also be painting in their studios during the weekend of events. Whittington Gallery and Studios is at 307 Whittington Ave. For more information, call (501) 607-0214 or visit the studio’s Facebook page.

Justus said other holiday events scheduled for the weekend include the Arlington Hotel Gingerbread House Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony from 4:30-5:30 p.m. Friday; the Pocket Community Theatre’s presentation of A Miracle on 34th Street on Friday through Dec. 3 and again Dec. 8-10; the Festival of Lights on the Arlington Lawn and in Hot Springs National Park each night through December; and Garvan Woodland Garden’s Holiday Lights through Dec. 31.

“It’s a Wonderful life in Hot Springs,” Justus said, smiling.

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