NEWPORT — Artists from the River Valley & Ozark Edition coverage area are getting ready for the 10th annual Delta Visual Arts Show, set for Saturday in downtown Newport. Visual, musical and literary artists alike will be on hand to show their latest creations.
The art show, presented by the Blue Ridge Center for the Delta Arts, will open to the public at 10 a.m. and will remain open until 6 p.m. There is no admission charge.
Jon Chadwell, executive director of the Newport Economic Development Commission and coordinator of the show, said the show is “at capacity,” with 210 visual artists, 10 musicians and 25 authors. The show features artists from four states and 65 communities, highlighting primarily artists that grew up in the Delta, live or have lived in the Delta or produce Delta-theme work.
“From the beginning, volunteers in Newport realized that the Delta Visual Arts Show was something special,” Chadwell said. “When we saw the excitement and enthusiasm people had for experiencing art in our region, we knew the show would grow. And it has grown from 17 artists the first year to approximately 250 in the 10th year. The biggest reward is seeing adults and children enjoy a wide range of art in northeast Arkansas.”
Amy Bonds Green of Maumelle will make her fifth trip to the art show in Newport, which is her hometown.
A daughter of Eddie and Cassandra Bonds of Newport, Green graduated from Newport High School in 1997. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism from Ole Miss, with an emphasis in magazine/publication design. She is director of creative services at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock.
“I will be taking my vintage jewelry that has been upscaled, as well as some of my jeweled Christmas trees,” she said. “One of the newest things I am doing is taking double-sided frames and inserting antique greeting cards, or postcards. Looking at it from one side, you see the outside of the card; turn the frame over, and you can read the verse on the inside. Some of the verses, or notes, are handwritten. The cards are mostly from the early 1900s.”
Green and her husband, Chad, have a 4-year-old son, Cooper, who is going to participate in the children’s division of the Delta Visual Arts Show.
“He has really taken an interest in arts and crafts,” Green said. “He has done all these drawings. … I thought we might as well enter some of them in the children’s art show. He is also going to take some of the children’s workshops they are having.”
Green said she is glad the art show has “gotten some momentum behind it.”
“Newport needed something for the people to get behind,” she said. “For many years, it was Portfest that the community supported with their attendance, but that festival seems to be on the decline.
“The Delta Visual Art Show brings culture to the town and gives people a sense of civic pride,” she said. “It’s really a weekend of revitalization.”
Tena Brooks of Russellville will participate in the Newport art show for the first time.
“I’ve been pouring candles for 14 years, but this will be our first year to participate in the Delta Arts Show,” she said. “We are so excited to bring Rock Creek Candles this year. I hand-pour highly scented soy candles and melts in our shop, [Rock Creek Candles] in Russellville.”
Steve Jones of Conway will make his sixth trip to Newport this year with his woodwork.
“I go to the show to talk to the people and to explain how to make things out of wood,” Jones said. “This year, I will have rolling pins, duck calls, fishing lures, bottle stoppers and plates. I am adding wooden butter knives and Christmas ornaments this year.
“I will also teach a class on making bottle stoppers,” he said. Jones is scheduled to present an adult workshop, Wood Wine Stoppers, from 2-3 p.m. Saturday upstairs in the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Newport.
Adralyne Elliot and Dylan Hull, both of Conway, will share a booth at the art show.
“I started participating in this art show seven years ago,” Elliot said. “Dylan has been in it with me for four years now. We both enjoy art and love getting to see all the different types of art being brought to the show. This year we will be featuring Prismacolor art on wood and on blackboard, pyrography and cedar-framed art, mostly,” she said. “We keep participating because it is a lovely way to get your talent out for other people to admire, and there’s no better feeling in the world than people knowing who you are because of the art you produce.”
Haley Proctor of Quitman will participate in the Newport show for a fourth year.
“I continue to participate in this show because it is the best art show in Arkansas,” she said. “No other show I have ever been to has had the traffic or the amazing art that this show offers.”
Other visual artists from the River Valley & Ozark Edition coverage area scheduled to participate in the Delta Visual Arts Show include Ron Almond of Maumelle and Jaclyn Holland, Janet Loftis, Tammey Ring and Iana Sinkutch, all of Heber Springs.
For more information on the Delta Visual Arts Show, call (870) 523-1009. Information is also available on Facebook.