02 Oct 2023 New exhibit to open in Historic Arkansas Museum
LITTLE ROCK – Historic Arkansas Museum will open “A Beautiful Struggle” on Friday Oct. 13 at 5 p.m. in its Trinity Gallery for Arkansas Artists, 200 E. Third St., Little Rock. The opening coincides with the museum’s 2nd Friday Art Night and is free and open to the public.
Through mixed media paintings, artists Rashawn Penister, Justin Thomasson and Markeith Woods each draw from a deep well of lived experience to share personal stories of injustice, but they also envision communities devoted to equity, love and respect, where Black people thrive. They never shy away from the perplexing truth that life is often both extremely difficult and intensely meaningful at the same time, much like the exhibit title, “A Beautiful Struggle.”
Penister, Thomasson and Woods share elements of a common background. All three studied with renowned Arkansas artist and educator Henri Linton at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and are now educators themselves.
Penister holds a Bachelor of Science in visual arts from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Memphis.
Thomasson earned a Bachelor of Science in visual arts from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Thomasson teaches visual arts at Mills High School in Little Rock.
Woods is a visiting assistant professor in the visual arts department of Morehouse College. Woods holds a Bachelor of Science in visual arts from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville. He also co-curated this exhibit.
2nd Friday Art Night will also feature music from The Jellies, Arkansas-made beer from Stone’s Throw Brewing and activities on the historic grounds.