Flyer Guide: First Thursday – May 2010

It’s First Thursday time again and this month marks the return of outdoor movie night. Add to that a partnership with the Walton Arts Center’s Artosphere festival (including a mayoral proclamation at 6 p.m.), four new shows inside Fayetteville Underground, a student art exhibition, an outdoor art walk, and a gypsy jazz band and we’re pretty much looking at a forecast of mostly radicool with a zero chance of nawesome.

Here’s what we know:

On the street

Last month was the first time in First Thursday history that East Ave. was blocked off to traffic for artists on the street from 5 – 8 p.m. This week the street party continues with about 20 artists set up for the outdoor art walk.

Fayetteville Underground

Fayetteville Underground, located in the downstairs section of East Square Plaza (just follow someone if you’re unsure), hosts four art openings in the Revolver, Hive, E-Street and Vault Galleries. All exhibitions generally run through the entire month.

Django – 2010 paintings by LEILANI
Fayetteville Underground, Revolver Gallery

Longtime Fayetteville artist Leilani Law is showing a two-series exhibit of paintings titled “Dream Awake” and “Enthronement.” Although Leilani once owned her own gallery in Fayetteville, “Django” (Romani for “I awake”) is her first solo exhibit in a gallery here in town. For more on “Django,” make sure to check out Maryevelyn Jones’ writeup in last week’s Fayetteville Free Weekly issue.

Aside from being a creator, Leilani is also a teacher of art. As an added bonus this month, some of her students – both private/individual and students of her Art Mentorship program offered through The New School – will be showing work behind the Hive Gallery. Don’t worry, you’ll find it.

We’ve Been Holding This Moment for You – Photography by Sabine Schmidt
Fayetteville Underground, Hive Gallery

Artist Statement: Two people walk down a city street. Do they see the same street and have the same responses to what is around them? Or do each person’s senses create a different street? The street consists of moments in time, offered to the passers-by. Almost all of these moments are as mundane as the environment in which they take place, but they all have the potential to become something bigger, something symbolic or memorable. Whether in cities or out in the country, the camera eye is ready to find the formal in the mundane, give it permanence, and connect time with place.

Sabine Schmidt was born and raised in Germany and came to Fayetteville to study literary translation at the University of Arkansas. As a music journalist, college instructor, and translator, she has lived in several countries and likes to test the walkability of cities in North America and Europe. Her top three so far: Hamburg, Montreal, and New York.

Glass works by Ed Pennebaker
Fayetteville Underground, E Street Gallery

Much of Ed’s work with glass shows its fluid qualities and its interaction with light. He derives inspiration from the garden and the woods surrounding his home and studio near Osage, Arkansas. “The many seeds, buds, blooms, pods, and growing and developing plants and organisms continually amaze and inspire me,” he says. “But I see no need to replicate nature, I prefer to interpret and re-imagine.”

Ed owns and runs Red Fern Glass, a one-man glass blowing studio. His glass has been shown thoughout Arkansas as well as in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Hsinchu, Taiwan. One of Ed’s pieces was even chosen in 1993 for the White House Crafts Collection.

Art by Chris Mostyn
Fayetteville Underground, Vault Gallery

Artist Statement: “I’ve been making monsters my whole life, says Mostyn. “I grew up in a day when Saturday mornings made kids kings for a moment. As a bored suburbanite, I needed something to keep me interested and pop culture was just the ticket. Monsters, sci-fi, comics, all fed an insatiable appetite, one fueled but the ordinariness of the neighborhood and the dysfunction of the family.”

The work in his show is mostly new with a few older images thrown in. “Sheer joy is its one constant theme,” he says. “I have recently returned to making comics and this may be the last show of strictly “art” for a while but who knows. If there is one thing I have learned it is not to underestimate the power of ennui.”

ddp gallery

ddp gallery, located next door to East Square Plaza at 7 E. Mountain, continues this month with Found & Fauna, an exhibition by sculptor Chris Weaver.

You may be more familiar with Weaver’s work than you think. In fact, you’ve probably seen his deer grill sculpture inside ddp gallery before. It was there most of last season and was one of the first pieces to grab our attention.

The music

The Walton Arts Center has partnered with First Thursday to bring gypsy jazz band Harmonious Wail to town as part of its Artosphere Festival this month.

The band will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. on the front steps of the Town Center. Specializing in the style of Django Reinhardt, The Wail is made of mandolin, guitar, bass, and female vocals with snare percussion. The band has toured throughout the United States and Europe over the past 17 years.

The movie

Also as part of Artosphere, the film A Man Named Pearl will be shown in the loading dock of the Old Post Office on the Square at 8 p.m.

The film, which chronicles the story of self-taught topiary artist, Pearl Bryer. The film traces Pearl’s journey from a small town sharecropper’s son to an internationally-acclaimed artist, and from his initial goal to win the Bishopville, SC, “Yard of the Month Award”—a goal instigated by a bigoted remark—to the many accolades that followed, including museum exhibitions and his status as the celebrated cultural icon of his impoverished town.

Jammin Java

Jammin’ Java, located on the downtown Square (behind Tim’s Pizza), is hosting an art show all month and tonight is the opening reception from 5 to 9 p.m.

15 local artists have donated their time and talent by contributing work to Art for Homeless Animals, an art show benefitting five local animal shelters. The art is of all mediums and subjects and includes photographs, paintings, jewelry and mosaics.

For more information on First Thursday Fayetteville, visit