AAC Highlights Arts During Tourism Conference

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Scarlet Sims

Artist Services Manager

Monday, January 30th 2023
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The Arkansas Arts Council is pleased to partner with South Arkansas Arts Center and the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra to showcase Arkansas’s strong creative economy and creativity via an artist demonstration by Maria Botti Villegas and Jorge Villegas during the opening reception of the 49th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism.

The art demonstration will take place before the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performs at 7 p.m. Tickets for the music event are available online. The public may attend the opening reception, artist demonstration and musical performance for $75 at the door.

Starting at 5 p.m. at the Municipal Auditorium in El Dorado, Maria Botti Villegas will use Fabriano, high-quality watercolor paper to demonstrate the different techniques acrylic paints offer on paper. From texture to gouache, to watercolors techniques, acrylics are very versatile. Simultaneously, Jorge Villegas will be drawing a 6-by-4-foot portrait of a nurse using a reference photo. He will demonstrate pencil drawing techniques in large sizes and will talk about his portrait series that highlights healthcare workers during the pandemic. Jorge Villegas will also display portraits from his “Venus’ Gaze” series.

Jorge Villegas and Maria Botti Villegas are the recipients of a 2023 Governor’s Arts Award in for arts educators. They are teaching artists at the South Arkansas Arts Center and in arts-in-education programs in El Dorado area public schools. Both relocated to Arkansas from Argentina.

Jorge completed 14 years of degree programs from three art colleges in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He specializes in drawing, painting and murals. Jorge has worked with such diverse groups as alternative education schools, people with disabilities and death row inmates. Maria holds a five-year degree from the national school of fine arts in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is a professional muralist and multidisciplinary artist. Her artwork has been included in regional exhibitions and she has painted more than 30 public art murals in Arkansas and Louisiana. During the pandemic, Maria and Jorge were determined to continue arts education for students. They developed video lessons for use in the classrooms. With their help, SAAC was able to provide online virtual arts camps throughout the summer, broadening the reach to even more isolated areas.

For a complete agenda on the 2023 Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, click here. The Arkansas Arts Council is grateful to be able to participate and highlight how the creative economy contributes to tourism and the overall economy in our state.

About the 49th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism

The annual Arkansas Governor's Conference on Tourism includes sessions on tourism, marketing strategies, the importance of social media, current travel trends and more. The event kicks off Sunday night with an opening reception, followed by two full days of educational sessions and culminating Tuesday night with an awards banquet. Register for the conference at https://www.arkansas.com/industry-insider/meetings/arkansas-governors-conference-tourism.


About South Arkansas Arts Center

The mission of the South Arkansas Arts Center in serving the people of the bi-state region is to promote, bridge, facilitate and support the ideas and forms of artistic appreciation, education, ability, confidence and cooperation for all age, cultural, social and racial groups.

About the South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

The South Arkansas Symphony Orchestra is a 70-member, professional orchestra that is widely recognized for quality musical performances and programs. The first concert was held in 1957 – making the orchestra the longest performing arts organization in South Arkansas. Learn more at https://southarkansassymphony.com/.

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