AETN launches statewide arts initiative

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) has launched LOUPE, a statewide initiative magnifying Arkansas artists, arts organizations and art events. The initiative includes the one-hour broadcast of “LOUPE” at 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, as well as the interactive LOUPE website,

Artwork by Kevin Cole, one of the featured artists.

The LOUPE initiative is intended to build an arts and culture collection by curating a gallery of information, visuals and events from across Arkansas. The initiative will also feature new stories about the arts in Arkansas, in addition to revisiting classic features from the AETN archives. The LOUPE broadcast special will share these video segments on-air, while a variety of special “artisodes” will be presented alongside articles, events and educational resources on, an engaging aggregate website highlighting various topics related to arts and culture in Arkansas.

Films produced for the initiative, several of which will be featured in the “LOUPE” broadcast, include:

  • “Love You, Too” – This film profiles Peggie Wallis, an 88-year-old ballet teacher who grew up in New Zealand and studied ballet in Europe. She now lives in northwest Arkansas where she trains young dancers to amazingly high levels of technique using her unique brand of energy and humor. Produced by Dale Carpenter.
  • “The Music of Friends” – This film follows the Meadow Lark Trio – made up of Rachel Herman, a violinist from western Pulaski County; Jenny Nulson, a pianist from Greenbrier; and Michael Stiritz, a cellist from Russellville – on their journey to prepare for the Faulkner Chamber Music Festival. Produced by Hans Stiritz.
  • “Westland” – This film explores the life and art of reclusive Winslow (Washington County) artist Tim West. Filmed over a period of six years, the film details Winslow’s active career, which spans more than 60 years. It features his early success to his battles with personal demons and his return home. Produced by photographer Diana Michelle.
  • “LeeNora Parlor” – This film follows self-taught folk artist, Arkansan LeeNora Parlor, who creates paintings inspired by her ancestors and other beings who have given her insight into their lives and, by proxy, her own. Parlor depicts and shares how memories of her childhood in Camden drew her back to the country and how her return to the South has enhanced her work and health. Produced by Hop Litzwire.
  • “Robyn Horn” – This film documents the life of abstract sculptor Robyn Horn and invites viewers to experience the artist’s creative process. Describing her attraction to the artworks’ many elements and her exploration of form, texture and geometry, Horn leads the audience through her more than 25 years of active work and varied series and a recent installation at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Produced by Mat Bradley, and edited by Les Galusha.
  • “Carousel” – This film profiles the work of Becky Witsell, a Little Rock artist and expert in historic restoration. With a career spanning more than 30 years, Witsell’s work has long been exhibited across the state. In “Carousel,” she explains the process of restoring the horses of the historic carousel at the Little Rock Zoo to their original colors and design. Produced by Mark Wilcken.
  • “Kevin Cole” – This film showcases the varied aptitude of Pine Bluff native Kevin Cole through interviews with the award-winning artist – now a resident of Atlanta – about his thematic use of neckties in his work. Produced by Casey Sanders.

Designed to increase the visibility of the arts around the state, LOUPE is supported in part by a Cultural Regional Art grant from the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage. In addition to its function as an arts and culture collective, LOUPE will introduce enthusiasts to the stories about the artists behind the creations. Studying how creators document the human experience, LOUPE artist features will document how contributors explore meaning, purpose, feelings and the history of mankind in their search for truth.

The Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN) is Arkansas’s statewide public television network that enhances lives by providing lifelong learning opportunities for people from all walks of life. AETN delivers local, award-winning productions and classic, trusted PBS programs aimed at sharing Arkansas and the world with viewers. AETN depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. For more information, visit, or follow the AETN blog at AETN is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), and KETZ (El Dorado).