Updated: Oct 13, 2022
What is the South Arkansas Gallery Collective?
The South Arkansas Gallery Collective initially started as a conversation about changing exhibits that had been housed by the El Dorado Conference Center for several years. Down one hallway of the conference center hung eight lovely Japanese prints from the South Arkansas Arts Center's permanent collection; down the other hallway were several black and white photo prints donated to South Arkansas Community College which have since been moved to be displayed in the Mahoney Family Library on the SouthArk campus.
What began as a desire for a fresh look, turned into an opportunity to showcase some of what El Dorado has to offer. The South Arkansas Arts Center was more than willing to take back their Japanese prints and curate a new exhibit from their permanent collection, but that left us with another entire hallway to fill. The South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society jumped on board and was excited to take on gallery space as well as a display case in the conference center.
From there, we developed a name and logo. Thus, the South Arkansas Gallery Collective: A partnership between the SouthArk Foundation, South Arkansas Arts Center, and the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society, was born. Our team has worked hard to present an exhibit that tells some of El Dorado’s story, and celebrates its people and its history.
The Current Exhibits
The Art of Politics from the South Arkansas Historical Preservation Society
Amassed over decades by Dr. Marc D. Parnell, the collection gives a retrospective view into the art of political campaigning throughout 20th century America.
Within the collection of political memorabilia are campaign buttons, bumper stickers, books, merchandise, and correspondence from local and state officials, congressmen, and past presidents.
Revealing the humor and balderdash of the American political system, Dr. Parnell’s collection gives us a personal glimpse into how "We the People" select our leaders.
Permanent Collection Selections from the South Arkansas Arts Center
Each piece in the SAAC exhibit is part of the arts center’s permanent collection, which features pieces from local and regional artists. The current selections include:
Cherry Red Cat by Charlotte Glover
Upstairs-Downstairs by Lyda Merkle
Shrimp Boat by George Price
Mexican Park by Millard Sheets
Biscuit Making by Ann Barron Green
Ship Shape by Judi Betts
Catalina by Betty Norman
After Cezanne: Vase of Flowers by Dan Thornhill
What Happens Now?
These exhibits will be rotated out every few months. The SAHPS is expected to rotate their exhibit in February 2023, and SAAC will follow a few months after that, rotating theirs closer to the summer of 2023. Keep an eye out for South Arkansas Gallery Collective news on our social media channels!
In the meantime, we invite and encourage community members and visitors to come view the exhibits. Who knows, you might just learn a thing or two.