A Gift to our Community

Guest Written by Amy Tarpley

It’s been a “colorful” two months in my new position as Executive Director, and although I knew it was a job with many hats I have also learned that the job never stops. Some might think that sounds unappealing, but I can’t wait to go to work each morning, and that’s a great feeling. I always knew the Arts Center was a fun and educational place, and supported local artists, but I now have a truer understanding of all the work that is put into such a place.

Russellville has seen a boom in artists and how art can bring a community together.  We see this in the growing success of the Downtown Art Walk. As I write this, I worry most that I might miss telling the community about something going on at the Arts Center. The Arkansas River Valley Arts Center is a busy place. We have painting and pottery classes, summer art camps, monthly exhibit receptions, monthly sign up parties hosted by our board of directors and fun music nights each month. We have also hosted a few elementary classes on field trips and held special pottery classes for a few local scout groups. So don’t let the quiet Arts Center fool you. We are hopping, and ready for a full summer.

As we close the month of May, I am excited to have a great group of Girl Scouts come and help get our art classroom organized and ready for the summer art camps.  It will be like a new room and I am so excited to see it fixed up.  We are also working on an area for younger children to interact with art when visiting the center with their parents.  And don’t forget about us for your child’s next birthday party!  May’s music special was Friday, May 30th and we rock-out to the tunes of Rufus Elam, Wren Whiteseven and Ben Drain.

But one of the best things about the center is Winston Taylor, a true legend in his craft and I am in awe of his work. If you have not taken a class, you really need to call us. Our gallery in September will feature his works.  We also have the amazing Darlene McNeeley, who can teach even the most stubborn person to paint beautiful water color with ease and make it fun.  I also hope to host a photography and creative writing classes very soon, and adding even more classes to encompass many other art forms. I welcome ideas from the community and would love to work with anyone who cares about the arts and enriching the lives of others thru creative expression.

In addition to the classes, camps and parties, the Arkansas River Valley Arts Center is going full steam with this summer’s children’s musical theater production of Oliver! Based on the Charles Dickens novel “Oliver Twist”, Oliver is about a young boy who meets a pickpocket  on the streets of London, and is taken in by the pickpocket, joining a household of young boys forced to steal for their caretaker.  The River Valley area is blessed with some talented children and adults who will amaze you with their singing and acting talents. The production dates will be June 25-28th at 7 pm and June 29th at 2 pm at The Center for the Arts. If you are interested in being a sponsor please let us know.

In closing, I can’t thank my family, my sweet boys Hunter & Alex and the community enough for their continued support and to expect some fun times ahead at the Arts Center.  The Arts Center is necessary, a gift to our community and our artists of all kinds. Come by and see what amazing talents are right here in the River Valley. My door is always open and I hope to see you soon!

Please call us today at 968-2452 and see how you can join the Arts Center and get firsthand information on classes, camps and events in the River Valley. The center is free to all to visit.   Like us on FB @ Arkansas River Valley Arts Center or visit our web site at www.arvartscenter.org.

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Category: On a Personal Note

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