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25th Delta National Small Prints Exhibition to Open January 21 at Bradbury Art Museum

Heavy Tangle.jpg
Heather Huston
Heavy Tangle, 2019, screen print

JONESBORO – The 25th annual Delta National Small Prints Exhibition opens with a 5 to 6:30 p.m. public reception at the Bradbury Art Museum, Thursday, Jan. 21, on the campus of Arkansas State University. The exhibition continues through Feb. 17.

Master engraver and first artist laureate for the state of Arkansas, Evan Lindquist of Jonesboro, conceived of the exhibition as a catalyst meant to drive the enhancement of the Northeast Arkansas cultural ecosystem. Lindquist is an emeritus professor of art at A-State.

DNSPE continues to celebrate contemporary printmakers while serving to cultivate the sense of place that defines the Delta region. It is in honor of this purpose that Charlotte Dutoit of Justkids was selected as the juror for 2021, noted Garry Holstein, director of BAM.

Dutoit, a French American art producer and curator working in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, graduated in French literature and art history at Paris Sorbonne University. Always traveling and developing new projects with some of the world’s most engaging visual artists, she is founder and director of Justkids, a dynamic women-led platform producing comprehensive art projects alongside some of the most engaging contemporary artists and strategic consultants. Through public art, place-making and community-driven art, Justkids favors and encourages practices with a sophisticated street DNA.

“Every year has brought together a unique aggregation of ideas from across the globe, and one person has been selected to weave this diversity into a representative sample, drawing on experience and insight to establish a cohesion and harmony that is reflective of the breadth of the work submitted,” Holstein commented. “Each sample has contributed work that is simultaneously aware of the rich history of print media and responsive to the evolving practices that reinvent the future. The selections stand as both an individual moment and part of the whole history of DNSPE and printmaking. Size requirements, media and content have certainly changed over the years, but the original intention behind the exhibition holds true.”

Dutoit reviewed and chose the works for inclusion in the exhibition and also determined which artists would receive purchase prizes, with their work becoming part of A-State's permanent collection. Others received juror's merit awards. From the hundreds of entries by artists from around the globe, Dutoit made selections for the purchase awards and sponsorships blindly, seeing only the title, medium, dimensions and statement associated with each print, but not the artist's name or location. From this information, Dutoit focused on works that spoke to gender bias or diverse representation of women in print.

“As the founder and director of a women-led company specialized in public art, it is crucial for me to support women to pursue entrepreneurial ventures and embrace leadership roles in the art world as well as include women artists in my curations,” Dutoit emphasized. “For this same reason, it is always a rewarding and empowering experience to get the opportunity to advocate for and recognize women artists, and in this particular case, women printmakers. I hope that the final picks will help continue the conversation about how gender imbalance affects us all and will contribute to showcasing art done by women in the contemporary art scene and printmaking."

DNSPE would not be possible without the support of the group of community members many generous individuals and organizations. Contributors give not only to the present iteration of DNSPE, but also to the future of every student who has the opportunity to see the works on campus and within collection-focused exhibitions in the museum.

DNSPE is made possible by those who provide the financial and practical assistance necessary to produce the exhibition and catalog. A full-color catalog of the entire exhibition will be available at the opening reception.

“On this 25th anniversary of DNSPE, we celebrate the impact that an idea can have on the future of a community. However, we must also identify the importance and necessity of an ongoing commitment to furthering and building upon an idea,” Holstein also said. “Twenty years ago, Curt and Chucki Bradbury recognized the role arts play in enhancing the quality of life in our community when they provided the catalyst for what would become the Bradbury Art Museum. Over the years, this evolving and flourishing organization has found support from far more community members and foundations than the limited scope of this space will allow us to identify. Thanks to this ongoing generosity, we have an amazing collection of work and a beautiful facility from which we can teach, inspire and engage our community.”

Hours for BAM, which is in Fowler Center at 201 Olympic Dr., are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. The exhibition and reception are admission-free and open to the public. For additional details, one may contact the museum at (870) 972-2567 or visit its webpage, BradburyArtMuseum.org.