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Artists taking stage at ASC

by Richard Ledbetter Special to The Commercial | June 4, 2022 at 2:49 a.m.
ARTSpace on Main opened Friday evening for June’s Live@5 in coordination with the Art Rocks: Summer Bash fundraiser of the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas. (Special to The Commercial/Richard Ledbetter)

Located in the heart of downtown Pine Bluff, the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is continuing its Art Rocks: Summer Bash from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

The summer bash began Friday and will be held at ASC’s ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main, 623 and 627 S. Main St., with free family oriented activities.

ASC is throwing the gala summer celebration that began Friday with the Live@5 concert on the Art Yard patio. The Jacksonville-based The Neighbors band was scheduled to take the stage. The band plays jazz, R&B and neo-soul music.

In addition to the usual complimentary refreshments provided by MK Distributors, a pair of food trucks were also scheduled Friday and today. Lucy Mae’s Southern Foods and Kings and Queens Homestyle Burgers serve hot, fresh food for hungry art patrons.

Morgan Henson, the ASC’s communications and development coordinator, explained the purpose of the summer bash.

“Our usual annual Potpourri fundraiser is held in the winter months,” she said. “It typically consists of a formal dress dinner, drinks and live auction. This year, we decided to break our fund-raising efforts into two parts and do a more casual Art Rocks: Summer Bash this month in coordination with our usual first Friday of the month Live@5.” The weekend’s activities are a more affordable version of Potpourri with no dressing up, no huge auction and a laid back atmosphere to welcome regular patrons as well as those who haven’t discovered what ASC offers, she said.

“The focus is on everyone coming out and having a good time. The Friday night entry fee was minimal at $5 for members and $10 for non-members while Saturday events are free of charge to all ages. Besides our usual live music from 5-7 Friday, the Art Bash included karaoke from 7-9 hosted by ASC’s Lindsey Collins. We also held a Friday night silent auction for an inflatable kayak filled with Arkansas craft beers. The kayak and beer auction naturally generated a lot of interest,” Henson said.

The summer bash also includes artists making products at the scene.

“During the weekend event we have three live artist demonstrations taking place. Greta Kresse and John Kushmaul are doing painting demonstrations while Ms. Troy DeBill will be throwing handmade pottery on a ceramic wheel,” Henson said. “The items they produce in their demonstrations will be available for purchase by the public. Saturday’s free event is intended as very family oriented, including kid-friendly snacks, music, dancing, a tie-dye station for canvas tote bags, face painting and sidewalk chalk art in the next-door alley. The Pine Bluff Art League has also donated several 6-inch-square paintings that will be offered for auction to attendees.” This event is meant to raise money for ASC programs as well as raise awareness of the two new spaces, ASC’s ARTSpace on Main and ART WORKS on Main. The pair of repurposed vintage structures now contain two art galleries, resident artist studio apartments and a black box theater as well as the Art Yard outdoor patio.

“This weekend is designed to show people what possibilities these spaces can be utilized for and make them aware of the variety of activities we offer,” she said. “We are excited and hope people will participate and be encouraged to get involved with us in the future. We want to see all our regular patrons as well as new community members come enjoy these great spaces now available to us in Pine Bluff. Anyone of any age is welcome.” All Art Rocks proceeds will go toward enlarging the Creative Construction Zone to accommodate more pre-K through third grade children’s activities along with furnishing a micro-kitchen for CrEATe cooking classes and reconfiguring the Creative Art Zone patio to better serve a greater variety of community events.


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