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story.lead_photo.caption Anita and Edward Hejtmanek brought together their creative talents and their heart for the community in Heartwood Gallery, which operated in south Fayetteville for 19 years. The artists' cooperative closed Dec. 31. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / File Photos)

Edward Hejtmanek says it's time. His wife, Anita, knows he's right. But they're both sad -- and so are dozens of artists and hundreds, if not thousands, of art lovers who have patronized Heartwood Gallery in south Fayetteville for the past 19 years.

The gallery, an artist-run and artist-staffed cooperative, officially closed Dec. 31. A three-day "Last Hurrah" Jan. 24-26 will let former Heartwood artists sell their wares in the space at 428 S. Government Ave. and say thank you to their fans and friends.

FAQ

Heartwood Artists

‘Last Hurrah’

WHEN — 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Jan. 24-25-26

WHERE — The former Heartwood Gallery location at 428 S. Government Ave. in Fayetteville

COST — Artists will be selling their work individually

INFO — Email margshore@aol.com

FYI — Also showing their work will be painter Julie Brandt; woodworkers Nate & Joe Doster; painter Suzie Sanford; ceremic artist Lisa Jo Crews; jewelry maker Julie Herrick; textile artist Janine Croxford; and stained glass artist Sherry Kelley.

Anita and Edward Hejtmanek brought together their creative talents and their heart for the community in Heartwood Gallery, which operated in south Fayetteville for 19 years. The artists' cooperative closed Dec. 31. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / File Photos)
Anita and Edward Hejtmanek brought together their creative talents and their heart for the community in Heartwood Gallery, which operated in south Fayetteville for 19 years. The artists' cooperative closed Dec. 31. (NWA Democrat-Gazette / File Photos)

"Edward and Anita have been wonderful to us who needed a place to show our work. They gave folks the courage to try," says Margery Shore, a potter who has been part of Heartwood for 17 years.

"Some of the artists would have never had an opportunity to sell their work if it had not been for the hard work, kindness and dedication of Edward and Anita," adds jewelry maker Teresa Chard. "They kept this gallery going."

"Patrons enjoyed meeting the makers, discussing local issues, purchasing one-of-a-kind items locally made," Shore puts in. "We have had visitors buy items which have gone throughout the United States and all over the world."

"And because these were local artists, the money made through Heartwood gallery has stayed in the local communities," adds Chard. "More than likely the money made went to dance classes or groceries, gas and bills -- or buying the other artists' artwork. We are each other's greatest fans!"

"I will miss talking to patrons about how they found us and chatting about their lives," puts in Shore. "They enjoyed the experience of Heartwood and the 100-plus-year-old building that housed it!"

The gallery opened in 2000, when Edward Hejtmanek built a new woodworking shop and moved out of the structure at 428 S. Government Ave.

"We started with 17 artists and gradually increased it to a maximum of 30," he says. "We didn't have room for any more than that and couldn't afford less than that!"

Each artist paid a modest monthly fee and a portion of the utilities, Hejtmanek explains, and each artist took turns working at the gallery. Their profits were their own.

"It was a wonderful experience. I met and made so many good friends, both the artists and members of the public," says potter Mary Curtis.

Mary Curtis Fayetteville Mary Curtis has been making stoneware pottery for 40 years and showing it at Heartwood since 2003. Her work can also be seen at Ozark Folkways, Terra Studios and the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.
Mary Curtis Fayetteville Mary Curtis has been making stoneware pottery for 40 years and showing it at Heartwood since 2003. Her work can also be seen at Ozark Folkways, Terra Studios and the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.

"Heartwood was cozy and unpretentious but with very classy art and artists," says basketmaker Susan Bell. "I will miss it very much."

"I think I can say everyone was surprised and saddened to hear the news the gallery would be no longer," Shore says of the closing. "The community of members were drawn together here, and that camaraderie will disappear. We all acknowledge the upkeep of the building is a chore for Edward. We all understand his decision to close."

There is hope the relationships formed at Heartwood will lead to future collaborations.

"Personally, I have become very close to Mary Curtis, an original member, and now work with her in her studio -- which has changed my work," says Shore. "Three potters who showed here have banded together to form a group 'Babes of Mud and Fire,' which will be doing pop-ups and shows. People are looking into other possibilities, so the Facebook page will remain even though the gallery is closed. Any information will be posted there."

As for the Hejtmaneks, both plan to take some time off from art and enjoy traveling. Edward, who is 70, says he'll continue woodworking, but he won't take special orders. And Anita, 73, thinks she'd like to return to creating full-size stained glass pieces -- "but not until after I've had a break!"

Daughter Darcy Ames Harris plans to move her business, Crimson & Clover, into the former Heartwood Gallery space.

"And we definitely plan to get more serious about selling the property," Edward concludes.

Judy Chatterton Harrison Judy Chatterton started working in oil, acrylic and watercolor about 25 years ago and had shown at Heartwood for over six years.
Judy Chatterton Harrison Judy Chatterton started working in oil, acrylic and watercolor about 25 years ago and had shown at Heartwood for over six years.
Karan Freeman Fayetteville Karan Freeman makes stoneware pottery and has been working in clay since the 1970s. She's been showing her work at Heartwood for about a year.
Kim Seaberg Fayetteville Kim Seaberg has been"artistic all my life." She began making stained glass about 20 years ago and has been fusing glass for three. She's also been showing her work at Heartwood for the past three years. Her work will be available at Fenix Fayetteville.
Kim Seaberg Fayetteville Kim Seaberg has been"artistic all my life." She began making stained glass about 20 years ago and has been fusing glass for three. She's also been showing her work at Heartwood for the past three years. Her work will be available at Fenix Fayetteville.
Teresa and Craig Chard Hindsville The two make one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Teresa wirewraps the fossils and other stones Craig hand cuts or tumbles and from quartz crystals they dig themselves here in Arkansas. Teresa is also a photographer and makes cute, funny greeting cards from her photos and makes art from other people's trash. They joined the Heartwood Gallery in 2013. Their work can also be seen at Terra Studios in Durham.
Teresa and Craig Chard Hindsville The two make one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry. Teresa wirewraps the fossils and other stones Craig hand cuts or tumbles and from quartz crystals they dig themselves here in Arkansas. Teresa is also a photographer and makes cute, funny greeting cards from her photos and makes art from other people's trash. They joined the Heartwood Gallery in 2013. Their work can also be seen at Terra Studios in Durham.
Susan Haley Bell Fayetteville Susan Bell has been making baskets and knitted hats "a long time" and showing them at Heartwood since 2006.
Gailen Hudson Springdale Gailen Hudson has been working in clay 38 years and has been at Heartwood about five years. His work can also be seen locally at his shop, The Clay Bank Inc., in Springdale.
Gailen Hudson Springdale Gailen Hudson has been working in clay 38 years and has been at Heartwood about five years. His work can also be seen locally at his shop, The Clay Bank Inc., in Springdale.
Kate Baer Fossils Fayetteville Kate Baer has been making jewelry for 18 years. Of her time at Heartwood, she says: "It was a gem -- a true cooperative, which are rare these days."
Margery Shore Farmington Margery Shore has been making ceramics for 30-plus years and showing at Heartwood Gallery for 17 years. Find her art on Facebook at "Shore2Shore Clay Arts" and on Instagram.
Margery Shore Farmington Margery Shore has been making ceramics for 30-plus years and showing at Heartwood Gallery for 17 years. Find her art on Facebook at "Shore2Shore Clay Arts" and on Instagram.
Janelle Redlaczyk Bella Vista Janelle Redlaczyk has been a metalsmith creating jewelry in sterling silver and brass for about 20 years and showed her work at Heartwood for two years. Her work can also be seen at Wishing Spring Gallery in Bella Vista and her Etsy shop.
Mary Curtis Fayetteville Mary Curtis has been making stoneware pottery for 40 years and showing it at Heartwood since 2003. Her work can also be seen at Ozark Folkways, Terra Studios and the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks.
Anita Hejtmanek Fayetteville Anita Hejtmanek has been creating stained glass and oxidized copper jewelry, ornaments and mobiles for over 25 years and is a founding member of Heartwood. Her work will be available at Crimson & Clover.

NAN What's Up on 01/19/2020

Print Headline: Heartwood Hearts Broken

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