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story.lead_photo.caption Iron Works, by Dennis McCann

LITTLE ROCK — Works by two artists from the River Valley & Ozark Edition coverage area have been accepted into the 2019 Small Works on Paper touring exhibition. Works by Dennis McCann of Maumelle and Neal Harrington of Russellville are among the 37 artists selected for the show.

The exhibition will open Saturday at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, where the show will remain through Jan. 26. It will then travel to various parts of the state. The public is invited to the free opening reception from 1-3 p.m. Saturday.

Small Works on Paper is a juried visual-art exhibition sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council that showcases artwork no larger than 18 by

24 inches. The work is by Arkansas artists who are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry, an online gallery. The exhibition features new and established artists and offers those artists the opportunity to have their work seen by patrons all over the state.

McCann has a pastel drawing titled Iron Works in the exhibit.

“On a recent visit to Birmingham, Alabama, I was inspired by images found at Sloss Furnaces,” McCann said.

“I took a couple hundred photos of the pipes, gears and ironwork that day, which led to a series of industrial compositions. The drawing Iron Works is a small drawing from that series accepted in this year’s SWOP exhibit. I continued the industrial series by doing large oil paintings from other sources, such as the cotton gin in Scott, Arkansas,” he said.

“After this series, I revisited other compositions, such as acrylic hard-edge paintings and draped lawn chairs from the 1980s,” McCann said. “I move to diverse subjects and scale to help motivate me to explore things that interest me from one day to the next.

“It is always humbling and an honor to be included in any critically juried exhibition such as Small Works on Paper.”

McCann has been in several SWOP exhibits, including the first one 32 years ago. He received purchase awards in both the 2014 and 2015 exhibits. He said he hopes to continue to stay busy making art in 2019. He said he and his wife, Connie, and his son, Jason, who are also artists, will be featured in a three-person show this summer at Boswell Mourot Fine Art Gallery in Little Rock.

McCann said he will be the juror for the SouthWest Artists Inc. Small Works National Exhibition, planned for April 30 to June 1 at the Mena Art Gallery.

McCann holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a Bachelor of Science in Education degree and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He is retired from the Little Rock Fire Department.

Harrington’s pen-and-ink drawing selected for the Small Works on Paper exhibit is titled Delayed. He, too, has been included in several past SWOP exhibitions and received a purchase award in the 2014 show.

“The work in the latest SWOP, Delayed, is just as self-explanatory as it sounds,” he said, smiling.

“During one of my visits during my mother’s hospice in South Dakota in 2018, I got delayed for quite some time in the Rapid City Airport Terminal. Sketching really helps the time go by,” Harrington said.

“Not all people want to be included. The lady with the glasses got up and moved once she figured out that I was documenting the scene,” he said.

“I was able to wait out the delay and get a work that I was happy with in my sketchbook, which is a win-win,” Harrington said.

“I have some irons in the fire but nothing definite yet for 2019,” he said when asked about other art exhibits planned for this year. “I keep making work, though, and that seems to help when opportunity presents itself.”

A native of South Dakota, Harrington holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in painting from the University of South Dakota in Vermillion and a master’s degree in printmaking from Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas.

He and his wife, Tammy, who is also an artist, moved to Russellville in 2001 when he accepted a position at Arkansas Tech University, where he is now a full professor.

Following the close of the show in Pine Bluff, the Small Works on Paper exhibit will travel to the following places during the year:

• Feb. 5-25 — The University of Arkansas at Monticello, Taylor Library.

• March 1 to April 13 — UA Pulaski Technical College, Center for Humanities and Arts (CHARTS), North Little Rock.

• May 1-30 — The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, Mullins Library.

• June 5 to July 6 — The Searcy Art Gallery.

• July 15 to Aug. 31 — UA Fort Smith, Campus Center Gallery.

• Sept. 2-27— East Arkansas Community College, Forrest City.

• Oct. 3-25 — Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia.

• Nov. 11-22 — UA Hope, Hempstead Hall.

For more information about Small Works on Paper, contact Cheri Leffew at (501) 324-9767 or cheri.leffew@arkansas.gov. Information is also available at arkansasarts.org.

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