The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute recently hosted its fourth annual Arts in the Air Professional Art Exhibit and Sale. Nine of the 20 artists selected for the exhibit live in the 501.

Julie Hall, program coordinator at the Rockefeller Institute, said that while the event helps to raise money, it also raises awareness about some of the state’s most talented artists and the importance of art in Arkansas. A portion of the benefits the Rockefeller Institute’s student art education programs.

“This show is a fundraiser, but it is also a part of our broader effort to develop and offer programs that give all Arkansans more opportunities to experience and celebrate the value of creative expression,” Hall said.

Each year at the exhibit and sale, the Rockefeller Institute has offered a $1,000 purchase prize, which means a judge selects one piece to become part of its permanent collection. There are also general prizes, including a Best of Show and some Awards of Merit.

Sheila Cantrell’s “Two Mangoes” was this year’s Purchase Prize and her “Asian Pears and Redwing Pitcher” received Best of Show. In addition, she received an Award of Merit for “Duet #1 (Bartlett Pears).” She resides in Batesville.

Other artists receiving Awards of Merit included:

Robert Bean of Little Rock with “Magen Was Burning Through Yesterday.”

Darrell Warren Berry of Little Rock with “The Radio.”

Virmarie DePoyster of North Little Rock with “All the Difference in the World I.”

Patrick Larsen of Conway with “Cadron Creek.”

Dennis McCann of Maumelle with “2 Houses.”

Thu Nguyen of Cabot with “Beijing in August.”

Other Arkansas artists selected to participate in this year’s event included Nina Louton, Hot Springs; Gary Simmons, Hot Springs; and Robin Young, Malvern.
For more information about the exhibit and sale, visit or call 501.727.5435.