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Arts and Science Center posts events, activities for busy May

by Special to The Commercial | May 1, 2023 at 3:26 a.m.
The Josh Park Band will perform at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansass Live@5 concert at 5 p.m. May 5. (Special to The Commercial/Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas)

May at the Arts & Science Center is a busy month with live music, artist receptions and exhibitions, including Live@5 featuring The Josh Park Band, "Small Works on Paper" exhibit and the Second Saturday Family FunDay: STEAM Corner.

Exhibition: "Small Works on Paper" -- May 4--27

The Arts & Science Center will host the 36th annual "Small Works on Paper" exhibition from May 4-27 at ASC's home building, 701 S. Main St. The exhibition is organized and sponsored by the Arkansas Arts Council.

Southeast Arkansas artists selected for this year's exhibition include Rashawn Penister of Pine Bluff and Tom Richard of Monticello.

The traveling juried exhibition showcases two-dimensional artwork no larger than 18-by-24 inches and spotlights artists who are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry. "Small Works on Paper" travels to up to 10 venues throughout the state in a yearlong show, according to a news release.

This year's entries were juried by artist Margaret LeJeune, associate professor of photography at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill. Out of 275 submissions, 40 artworks and 27 artists from across Arkansas were selected.

Live@5 featuring The Josh Park Band -- May 5

ASC will host The Josh Park Band during its Live@5 concert series from 5-7 p.m. May 5. "The band's heavy electric blues and rock sounds will bring explosive solos and rich tones to the ART Yard behind The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St.," according to the release. Entry is $5 for ASC members and $10 for nonmembers. Guests must be 21 or older. Complimentary alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks and snacks will be available.

ASC's Live@5 concert series, sponsored by MK Distributors, is home to live jazz, blues and rock & roll at 5 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.

Reception: "A Simple Heart" by Kim Kwee -- May 11

ASC will host a free, public opening reception for a new exhibition by artist Kim Kwee from 5-7 p.m. May 11.

"'A Simple Heart' is a series of paintings, fabric works and assemblages representing a series of investigations into family, specifically mothers and daughters, and the shifting ontological status of dolls, decorative objects and ephemera like the vintage paper dolls the artist used," according to the release.

The artist's work combines textiles and drawing media. Kwee, a Little Rock native, has been teaching drawing and design at the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College since 2010. She has a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

This exhibition is sponsored by Simmons Bank and will remain on view in the William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through July 8. Gallery admission is always free.

The reception is sponsored by ASC volunteer group Art Krewe and MK Distributors.

Watercolor and Wine, with Greta Kresse -- May 12

ASC will host Watercolor & Wine with artist Greta Kresse from 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 12 at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St.

Painter and graphic designer, Kresse, will introduce participants to watercolors in an approachable way. Participants will learn to focus on color relationships, light, composition and form, using reference materials to create visually compelling imagery. No experience is necessary. Complimentary wine, beer and nonalcoholic beverages will be available.

This workshop is for ages 21 and older. The cost is $25 for members and $35 for nonmembers.

Register at, call (870) 536-3375 or visit in person. For details, contact Shakeelah Rahmaan at Watercolor and Wine is sponsored by MK Distributors.

Second Saturday Family FunDay: STEAM Corner -- May 13

Patrons are invited to attend STEAM Corner from 1-3 p.m. May 13 at ASC, 701 S. Main St. This all-ages event explores science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics with hands-on "STEAM" activities. Participants can engage in step-by-step valuable learning powered by exploration, creativity and discovery.

ASC is partnering with Pine Bluff organizations to provide the educational experience for the community.

"There will be activities for all ages that spark wonder, help celebrate innovation and engage future entrepreneurs. Recycle Bikes for Kids will also be giving out 30 bicycles," according to the release.

STEAM Corner is part of ASC's Second Saturday FunDay program, which offers monthly, hands-on arts and science activities. It is sponsored by the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation, an affiliate of the Arkansas Community Foundation. For details, contact Shakeelah Rahmaan at or (870) 536-3375.

Auditions: "Rock of Ages" -- May 13

ASC will host auditions for its summer musical "Rock of Ages" from 1-5 p.m. May 13. Performances are scheduled for July 21-23 and July 28-30. Auditions and performances are in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater in ASC's home building, 701 S. Main St.

This tribute to classic rock was written by Chris D'Arienzo and arranged and orchestrated by Ethan Popp. It is directed by Lindsey Collins and Joel Anderson, with musical direction by Bethany Gere and choreography by Heather Sweat Bankhead.

"With music from hit bands such as Styx, Bon Jovi, and Whitesnake, 'Rock of Ages' is set in Hollywood at the end of the 1980s. When a development company comes to town with plans to turn the Sunset Strip into another capitalist strip mall, it's up to a group of wannabe rockers to save the day -- and the music. The electric score features favorite '80s rock anthems and power ballads, including 'Every Rose Has Its Thorn,' 'Here I Go Again,' 'Don't Stop Believin' and more," according to the release.

Auditions are open to ages 17 and older, and previous theater experience is not required. Auditions are by appointment only. Visit to register for a time slot. This production includes mature themes, sexual innuendo/situations, adult language and is in a bar setting, according to the release. For details, contact Theater Programs Manager Lindsey Collins at or (870) 536-3375.

Exhibition: "Arkansas Women to Watch: 2023" -- May 19-Aug. 12

ASC will host the exhibition "Arkansas Women to Watch 2023: New Worlds" from May 19 to Aug. 12 at ASC's home facility, 701 S. Main St.

"New Worlds" is the latest exhibit in the Women to Watch exhibition series, conceived by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts organizes the statewide tour of the art by the Arkansas nominees.

The exhibition's guest curator is Chaney Jewell, former curator of collections and exhibitions at ASC. She nominated four Arkansas artists whose work embodies the "new worlds" theme of "migration or stagnation of an individual, environmental changes, physical or emotional growth of an individual and imaginary worlds": Heidi Carlsen-Rogers, Anaïs Dassé, Hannah McBroom and Aimée Papazian. Relyance Bank is the sponsor of the ASC presentation of the exhibition.

Yoga in The Loft with FloEssence -- May 20

Ages 13 and older are invited to exercise and to relax with certified yoga instructor FloEssence every third Saturday of the month from 1:30-3 p.m. during Yoga in the Loft. The next session is May 20. This class is part of ASC's Flex Pay program, with $15 being the recommended price. Yoga in the Loft takes place in the Loft Gallery at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St.

FloEssence will lead participants through an hour of yoga, followed by guided meditation. New and experienced practitioners are welcome.

Advanced registration is required at or by calling (870) 536-3375. Participants may use provided yoga mats or bring their own. Participants are asked to wear yoga-appropriate attire. For details, contact Shakeelah Rahmaan at The event is sponsored by Angela White Smith, Realtor -- eXp Realty.

Fused Glass Class with Aida Ayers -- June 3, 10

ASC will host a two-part Fused Glass Class with artist-in-residence Aida Ayers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, June 3 and June 10 at The ARTSpace on Main, 623 S. Main St.

The workshop will begin with the basics of fused glass, including safety practices, introduction to materials, pattern creation and glass-cutting. Over the next two sessions, participants will practice cutting and grinding glass, learn the basics of using a kiln and learn bottle cutting and slumping. Participants will finish the class with an understanding of fused glass art and will take home their own creative works of art. The event is for ages 12 and older.

The cost is $185 for ASC members and $222 for nonmembers. Attendees can save 25 percent with the discount code "GLASS25." To register, visit or call (870) 536-3375. For details, contact Shakeelah Rahmaan at

Play: "The Last Five Years" -- Beginning June 22

ASC Arts & Science Center will open ticket sales for its production of "The Last Five Years" on May 1. Performances are 7:30 p.m. June 22-24, and 2 p.m. June 25. The production is in the Adam B. Robinson Jr. Black Box Theater at ART WORKS on Main, 627 S. Main St.

"The Last Five Years" is written and composed by Jason Robert Brown. It is directed by Bethany Gere.

"This intimate musical traces a five-year relationship from opposite directions between Jamie, a rising novelist with the start of the innocent romance, and Cathy, a struggling actress lamenting the end. The two sweetly intersect during their wedding song," according to the release.

Tickets are $13 for ASC members and seniors, and $18 for nonmembers. They can be purchased at

This production includes mature themes and adult language/content. Patrons should use discretion when purchasing tickets for young teens, according to the release. For details, contact Theater Programs Manager Lindsey Collins at or (870) 536-3375.

  photo  Join the Arts & Science Center for Create on Main for science, technology, engineering, art, and math-based activities May 13 at the main ASC facility, 701 S. Main St. (Special to The Commercial/Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas)
  photo  The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will host a two-part Fused Glass Class with Aida Ayers on Saturdays, June 3 and June 10. (Special to The Commercial/Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas)

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