Young Arkansas Artists highlights the remarkable talent, creativity and perspective of Arkansas students.
Each year, art teachers and instructors throughout Arkansas submit their students’ work, and a panel of art professionals selects works to be included in the exhibition. The Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition showcases artwork from kindergarten through high school in a wide range of mediums and techniques – from crayon and pastel to collage and sculpture.
The 59th Young Arkansas Artists is part of the Arts Center’s new digital engagement initiative “Arkansas Arts Center Amplified’ through which the center is committed to bringing engaging art experiences where many people are now spending much of their time – online. The new digital format offers increased accessibility to the exhibition – both to families and students as well as educators as classroom instruction moves online for the foreseeable future.
This year, the panel selected 65 works from 478 entries. Guest juror Jonathan Wright, associate professor of art at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff, selected a Best in Class and two Honorable Mention awards for each grade. Wright also selected the recipients of the Mid-Southern Watercolorists Award for Achievement in Watercolor and Ray Smenner Award for Achievement in Painting. Members of the Arkansas Art Educators Association also selected one Teacher’s Choice award from each grade. Each winning artist’s school receives a monetary award to support its art program funded by Arkansas Children’s Hospital.
The Arkansas Arts Center offers creative and engaging online arts experiences through “Arkansas Arts Center Amplified.” The innovative slate of digital programming includes the 59th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition along with the prestigious Delta Exhibition, virtual art and theatre classes, and social media initiatives. Through “AAC Amplified,” the Arts Center will continue to elaborate on its mission to engage communities throughout Arkansas and beyond with art and creativity. Join the “Arkansas Arts Center Amplified” Facebook group or learn more on our blog.
About the Juror
University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Associate Professor of Art Jonathan Rashad Wright served as the juror for the 59th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition. A native of Pine Bluff, Ark., Wright received his Associate Degree from Southeast Arkansas College in 2009. After graduating, he went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Visual Arts degree from the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff where he studied under Henry Linton Sr., Danny Campbell, Paul Hooven, and Husny Dahlan. During this time, his artwork was featured in the “2015 Creativity Arkansas” exhibit at the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center in Little Rock, and his work was selected for a purchase award into their prestigious permanent collection. He has been influenced by several teachers, most notably, his high school mentor, artist and teacher, Cathy Burns. He completed his MFA in printmaking this year at Arizona State University. His most recent accomplishment was the 2019 juried ASU Galbut prize purchase award. He is currently an instructor at the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff. His current body of work emphasizes the rich history of the African American community – particularly in their experiences and heritage.
Young Arkansas Artists Programs
Young Arkansas Artists Virtual Awards Ceremony
Saturday, May 9 at 11 a.m.
The Arkansas Arts Center is proud to present an online version the long-standing Young Arkansas Artists program and exhibition. Artists of the 59th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition and their families will gather – virtually – for an awards ceremony with remarks by Executive Director Victoria Ramirez and Guest Juror Jonathan Wright and awards presented by KATV’s Renee Shapiro.
Young Arkansas Artists Facebook Family Festival
Saturday May 9 at 12 p.m.
Celebrate the talented young artists of the Natural State! Join us on the Arkansas Arts Center’s Facebook to participate in at-home art activities for the whole family.
The 59th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition supported by:
Arkansas Arts Center programs are supported in part by:
Arkansas Arts Center Foundation; Arkansas Arts Center Board of Trustees; City of Little Rock; City of North Little Rock; Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau; and the Arkansas Arts Council, a division of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts.