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story.lead_photo.caption Donald Smith Jr. of Newport has been making art since he was a young boy. Now the owner of Signs by Don Smith in Newport, the artist was asked several years ago by a man in Batesville to take a round piece of metal he had found in a junkyard and create a baseball from it. He is shown here completing the piece of art, which, he said, spins on a base.

— Artists from the Three Rivers 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 who grew up in the Delta, live or have lived in the Delta or produce Delta-themed 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 artists in the 10th year. The biggest reward is seeing adults and children enjoy a wide range of art in northeast Arkansas.”

Newport native Donald Smith Jr. will participate in the Delta Visual Arts Show for a ninth year.

“I missed that first year and have always regretted it,” he said. “I got involved that next year, which was the second year for the show. We had lots of people there.

“It has really grown over the years. Jon Chadwell has really done a good job with it.”

Smith started making art when he was about 7. He gained some art training when he was about 15 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art and graphic design at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, graduating in 1975.

Smith has owned Signs by Don Smith in Newport since 1977. Freehand lettering and pin striping are specialties of the company.

Smith works in acrylics, oil, watercolor, pen, pencil, pyrography and pottery.

“I do a lot of abstract painting,” he said. “Something new I have added in the last couple of years is pyrography, or woodburning,” he said. “I will have several pieces at the show that I have created with pyrography, a lot of abstract pieces and some pieces of realism.”

Smith will be in the Newport Business Resource Center during the Delta Visual Arts Show.

Musical artist Dave Smith of Fox will be among the local musicians playing during the Delta Visual Arts Show. He was voted 2017 Male Musician of the Year at the Ozark Folk Center in Mountain View and has performed throughout the United States as a member of the Folk trio Harmon. He will be playing in the First Baptist Fellowship Hall and at Frankie’s Place at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Other local artists who will participate in the Delta Visual Arts Show include Trenity Roberson of Bald Knob; Annette Allen, Beverly Altman, Paige and Dustyn Bork, Sabina Burnett, Laynette Cole, Carly Dahl, Dewey and Rose Dau, Brenda Lawrence, Peggy Ann Meitzen, Leia Parks, Julie Reardon, Kimberly Shetron, Dave Timko and Mike West, all of Batesville; Carla Carlton of Beebe; Angelia Graham and Fayleen VanFerson, both of Biggers; and Clifton Brown of Black Rock.

Also showing art will be Benoni Bullard, Eugene McCall and James Lavon Pollard, all of Bradford; Janet Foster, Shirley Howard, Marty Smith, and Zina, Kayla and Hunter Underwood, all of Cabot; Judy Brown, Sheila Donley, Elizabeth Fern, Roberta Hanson and Cindy Harris, all of Cherokee Village; Aline McCracken of Concord; Frankie Stovall of El Paso; Maria Smith of Fox; Luanne Stone of Gepp; Patti Dunlap, Suzanne Fry, Sherri Groves and Dianne Reidling, all of Hardy; and Jaclyn Holland, Janet Loftis, Tammey Ring and Iana Sinkutch, all of Heber Springs.

Artists will also include Erica Sommer of Horseshoe Bend; Delana Epperson of Jacksonport; Stacy Cox and Mindy Robinson, both of Jacksonville; Susie Johnson and Cheri Wright, both of Judsonia; Judy Tubbs of Newark; and Julia Davenport, Tim A. Davis, Linda Fergerson, Angela R. Gibbs, Anita Hodge, Debra Bennett Jackson, Elizabeth Kyser, Sharon Johnson, Katie Lewis, the Newport High School Art Club, Joy McClendon, Charley McClendon, Cynthia McCloud, Cody Newman, Joyce M. Price, Nicole Reid, Latasha Robinson, Barbara Smock, Debra Thompson, Haley Watson, Judy Welch, Sandy Wheaton and Ginger Willis, all of Newport .

The final group of artists with works in the show are Shana Cochran of Mammoth Spring; Deanie Floyd of Melbourne; Liz Lloyd and Denny Maynard, both of Mountain View; Karen Barker and Teresa Sanders, both of Pleasant Plains; Jean Pearcy of Pocahontas; Haley Proctor of Quitman; Carla Quataert and Michael Quataert, both of Salem; Glenda Brooks, Charles R. Gilpin, Brian Hickey, Deb Johnson, Donna Malone, Janet Pace, Cheri L. Peden, Janelle L. Selvidge, and Rick and Kelly Vanhook, all of Searcy; Patricia Corder, Dewana McIntosh and Jacob McIntosh, all of Smithville; James Cason of Tuckerman; Amy Morris of Walnut Ridge; and Linda Gonzales of Williford.

Literary artists participating in the Delta Visual Arts show include K.S. Haigwood, Lisa Huffman and Corinna Montgomery, all of Batesville; Cecelia Wilson of Cabot; George Jared of Hardy; Kathy Parish of Judsonia; Donna H. Nelson of Kensett; Joyce M. Price, Latasha Robinson and Debbie Teague, all of Newport; and Sadie Jones of Searcy. Authors will read at various times throughout the day upstairs in the First Baptist Family Life Center in Newport.

Other area musical artists participating in Saturday’s event include Nancy Browning of Judsonia; and Ed Casper and Hal Mantooth with the band Revolution, both of Batesville. Musicians will play throughout the day at First Baptist Church in Newport, and some will join the Musicians’ Jam at Frankie’s Place on Front Street.

Tuckerman artist James Carson will present a workshop for adults on photography from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Saturday upstairs in the First Baptist Church Family Life Center in Newport. Julie Reardon of Batesville will present a children’s workshop for ages 9-13, The Artist Paintbrush, from 2:30-3:30 p.m. in the First United Methodist Church Sunday School Annex. Stacy Cox of Jacksonville will also present a children’s workshop for ages 9-13, Finding Images: Tips and Tricks for Composition, from 1:15-2:15 p.m., also in the First United Methodist

Church Sunday School Annex.

For more information, call (870) 523-1009 or visit the Facebook page, Blue Bridge Center for the Delta Arts.

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