Explore #AuthenticArkansas Art

National Inspire Your Heart Logo

January 31 is National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day! Arkansas is full of artists. At the Department of Arkansas Heritage, we are inspired every day by different art forms, whether it's a painting, a needlepoint piece, a hand-carved instrument, a poem, a song, a quilt, dance, a photograph or any other form of artistic expression.

We work to preserve and encourage the artistic expressions of all Arkansans through the work of the Arkansas Arts Council, and our various sites - Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, Delta Cultural Center, Historic Arkansas Museum, Arkansas State Archives and Old State House Museum. Check out this quick list of ways to spend this day exploring all #AuthenticArkansas artistic expressions.

We Real Cool painting

1. Check out the Arkansas Arts Council's Small Works on Paper Exhibition

     Now in its 31st year, the Arkansas Arts Council's Small Works on Paper is a juried visual art exhibition that showcases artwork by Arkansas artists. These artists are members of the Arkansas Artist Registry. The exhibition travels to 10 venues throughout the state in a yearlong show, offering Arkansas artists an extraordinary opportunity to showcase their artwork to patrons all over the state. Catch it at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock through Jan. 27, 2018. The next stop will be at Harding University in Searcy.

Black Crafted Logo

2. Take home Arkansas Made, Black Crafted pieces

     The Mosaic Templars Cultural Center is home to the Arkansas Made, Black Crafted initiative, which supports Arkansas African American artisans. Here you can find handmade jewelry, bath products, greeting cards, woodcarvings and more. Each piece is carefully crafted by local artisans and is a special way for you to explore, enjoy and support their artistic endeavors and remember your experience. Stop by the museum store or browse online and take a special piece home!


Sonny Payne Delta Sounds

3. Experience the sounds of the Arkansas Delta

      The Delta Sounds exhibit at the Delta Cultural Center will immerse you in the world of Delta music. Visit the listening stations and hear the gospel, rockabilly and blues legends that have had a major impact on music in the Arkansas Delta throughout the last century, such as Sonny Boy Williamson, Louis Jordan, Johnny Cash, Conway Twitty, Levon Helm and Charlie Rich. Or, watch an Arkansas legend, Sonny Payne, host his "King Biscuit Time" radio broadcast live. The sounds of the Delta are truly its purest art form.

These various threads I drew tapestry

4. Explore Arkansas's needlepoint handiwork

     A special new exhibit at Historic Arkansas Museum is These Various Threads I Drew: Needlework Samplers From The Permanent Collection. Open through June 2018, this exhibit offers a rare glimpse into the lives of everyday Arkansan women from the 19th century through their needlework samplers. Come experience the ornate design patterns, embroidery stitches and sentiments of women who were living in Arkansas and beyond.

Putthoff Stilley playing guitar

5. Curiosities: woodcarvings, pottery and more

     The Old State House Museum holds various artistic treasures in its temporary and permanent exhibits. The Cabinet of Curiosities exhibit is a diverse collection that includes artistic pieces such as Chinese Ming Dynasty pottery, woodcarvings from tribal ceremonies, jewelry and other ancient artifacts. A tour of this exhibit will take you from different continents and centuries in a few minutes, exploring art and artifacts. Or, check out the hand crafted instruments by Arkansan Ed Stilley in the True Faith, True Light exhibit, available through March. Feeling called by God, Stilley made guitars and folk instruments to give away. He created some 200 instruments over 25 years.

We love exploring and experiencing Arkansas's artistic offerings. Take this opportunity to celebrate National Inspire Your Heart With Art Day and enjoy various #AuthenticArkansas art forms with the help of the Department of Arkansas Heritage.