Saturday, December 5, 2015

Words of sculptor Jason Davis

“I sometimes aggravate myself because I can’t capture this vision I have. With art I’m able to speak things that are unspeakable. It’s like chasing a feeling of wonder.”

Birdman by Jason R. Davis

This piece found it's new home this week at the studio of David and Alice McKee of Fayetteville.

Friday, December 4, 2015

It's great to talk to artists who are really excited about their work. Here at the Underground yesterday, I had the pleasure of actually meeting Jason Davis, who produces neoprimitive vernacular sculptures from Oklahoma marble. Jason said he has been inventing an alphabet that will be incorporated into his next piece, one that is half finished. Something to be read intuitively instead of literally.
I thought of Hank Kaminsky's work with script and language fragments. Some of Hank's work has lines that are presented as 'writing,' but interpreting the content is left to the viewer. It is interesting that these two artists have a parallel interest in the 'script' that infuses their work. I think it is an ingenious way of engaging the viewer in an interactive experience. It is also interesting to ponder the nature of the 'languages' of art.
Eugene Sargent brought some new drawings to the gallery yesterday and we talked about his current interest. He described his work as 'encoding visual information in space,'  and I thought that was about the most economical definition of art that I've ever heard. The 'code' is both highly individualized for each of us and yet universal at the same time. Language again.
Last night I had the pleasure of talking about art with Brandon Bullette and Candy Lee. Brandon is currently working on 'edges' in his crisp visual montages. He's interested in softening the lines in form and finding accents of detail in the lost edges.[my  paraphrase of his words]. That got my interest up, and I said something about the boundaries of form extending beyond our human ability to see. I think I mentioned that a world that insists on photorealistic images denies the opportunity for seeing in an artistic way. Or maybe Brandon said that. Anyway we agreed that our personal 'seeing'
experience is much different from the camera's experience, and that we both pursued the artistic places where definitions fade and overlap and intersections  and other interesting non photorealistic phenomena occur. Two more artists working on a visual language. Whew! Can't believe I wrote all that. All for now.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Welcome Brandon Bullette

Focus on Local:

Exciting Contemporary Work by Fayettevillain Brandon Bullette will grace the gallery walls in December.

Emily Chase is back with a selection of paintings.


Adventure Hat 2

Look for the Eminent Return of Jan Gosnell:

And held over by popular demand:

Jason R. Davis's Vernacular Stone

Monday, October 26, 2015

Well, It's about time I wrote again. There have been a lot of things going on in the Underground World. This week a young visitor in the gallery asked, "Is this like a foster home for Art? "Hank Kaminsky was in the lobby of the Underground. He replied, "It's more like an adoption agency."

 I think I must have said something about finding a home for the dinosaurs. After all, it is their swan song at the Underground this week. I'll be sad to see them go. Thanks, Brenton.

We have certainly adopted a new Executive Director here at Fayetteville Underground, the inimitable J Aleczander. It's been fun working with him the past week as he gets oriented. I'm looking for great things happening in the near future.
Also, I'm looking for his photo.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Yesterday making final preparations in the Underground Galleries for tonight's First Thursday Exhibition opening, I was overwhelmed with the impact of the work we are showing this month. 

Featuring Hank Kaminsky:

These are commemorations, nautilus, dreadnaught, signs of an artist’s presence. “I have been here.” Like a heart carved in the skin of a beech on the trail, Kaminsky has left his mark. 

Rockstars of Fayetteville:
On that same artistic trail we might find Kai in the back studio stacking stones, “building a relationship between the art and the observer.” How did he do that?

On View Now at Fayetteville Underground

Ed Pennebaker, glass master:
Ozark Topography has erupted within a gallery space, interrupted that space and re-defined it, re-arranging nature in a distilled form. Pennebaker has placed luminous and lithic monuments among us.

Brenton Smith's Mesozoic Mahogany:
Continuing the theme of timeless space, Brenton Smith’s opii in mahogany brings the delicacy of a paleo cuisine to heroic scale for our artistic nourishment.

All this surrounded on gallery walls by pre-literate runic glyphs of colored porcelain made by Siegele and Haley, intimate and cool forest pastels by Judy Maurer, elemental acrylic studies by Steven Schneider, and the layers and scratches  in paint that constitute Douglas Randall’s investigations into the ultimate truth of landscape.

Around the corner you can go sailing with Cheri Bohn's latest creation:

Bohn Voyager

. . . or continue and find some new directions in wood by John Sewell:

Jungle Sunrise

Why do we artists make these marks and stack these stones?


A leaner,
old and bleached and bare,
presiding where
the young and grey-bright shafts
are rooted in the bank,
watches over all the
winter water conversations:
rocks alive with light rippling
and soothing lyric,
sounding questions, “who was here?
to find this shale and sandstone carpet
worn by time and friction,
hear the blue silt-prompted teal
and lucent liquid chuckle,
dropping gently in between colossal chunks
of  fallen mountain piece;
here to lose the shoulder bag and sense of purpose
lying prone and prone to dally,
belly cool on rock and gravel,”
while the sun burns through
to heat the near side skin.

And who would place
one stone upon another? useless act,
no reason – leaving cairns and towers,
six foot stacks of bold and fragile stones,
these urgent sculptures, positively offered
signs along the trail.

Were their hands aware
how temporal the task, like thatching roofs
or beating gathered stalks of grain?

MM Kent

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

August First Thursday

August First Thursday opening of the exhibition "Ozark Artistry" was  popular among art enthusiasts and revelers.
A Friend of Tim West looks at artwork with a 101 Club member

Executive Director Samantha Sigmon and her Mom with Ralph Nesson

Underground friends Arbor and Becky inspect one of the 'buried' etchings by Tim West.

Willi Goehring explains his role in the curation of the Tim West Retrospective Exhibition

Look for more from Willi as we move into the last half of August and Fayetteville's Roots Festival. Find Fayetteville Underground on Facebook for the latest information.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Talking with CSA artists exhibiting last night and today at the Underground was inspiring for an old guy like me. Owen and Gustav, Elizabeth Arnold, Jack and Jessie and Adrian all have unique points-of -view about their art and ways of communicating.
There is plenty to see in the Gallery with tables full of artwork through the end of the month.
Quick Draw continues on Saturdays with new artist Caryl participating today and plenty of volunteers for modeling.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A thirsty crowd welcomed Summer last night at the Underground. Thirsty for refreshment in the form of libations and chile relleno snacks made by our most special volunteer Karen Scott. Also thirsty for art and talk of art.
The gallery was abuzz with comments on the new exhibit, from Steven Schneider's sculpture to Ken Kvamme's autumn scene of Mt. Sequoia. Music of the harp provided a relaxed atmosphere at First Thursday in the Underground.
Looking ahead, Quick Draws continue on Saturdays and we have an experiment coming up on the 19th of June. CSA Fayetteville (Community Supported Art). Look at's calendar for details.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Summer Art Camps for Teens

Art Explorations
Summer Art Camp for Teens and Pre-Teens

June 15 - 19,  10am-noon -Session 1   Extended Canvas mixed media pet portraits

June 22 - 26, 10am-noon -Session 2   3-D Farmer's Market still life with oil pastel

Cost:  $85 per session per student, pre-registration required. Call the gallery at 871-2722 or instructor at 530-6023 for more information or to register.


 Classes at the Fayetteville Underground, 101 W. Mountain.

Instructor:          Laurie Foster
                             BFA University of North Texas
                        Arkansas K-12 art certified
                        Former Springdale High and Central Jr High School art teacher

Monday, May 18, 2015

May Info

While the Temporary Website Glitch is happening, I'm getting out last minute information about what's happening around the Underground. Tomorrow, Tuesday May 19th, Bill Flanagan has assured me that Figure Drawing will re-commence at 6:30pm as usual.

A Great Big Thanks to all our volunteers who have rallied this week to fill shifts in the gallery and server beer at the Block Street Block Party yesterday.

Saturday, Amy Eichler, Celestine Eichler and MM Kent painted two sets of models at the weekly Quick Draw event.

Amy Eichler's Sketches

 Keep in mind painting of two subjects was executed in less that 45 minutes! Don't worry no other executions took place on Saturday.

Our current show, Invocation: Nature, Art and the Muse, has some exceptional pieces, including large abstracted landscapes by Melissa Garrison.

Melissa Garrison's painting

There will be more Nature Inspired Art in June, including new landscapes by Celestine and by Ken Kvamme, both regulars at the Friday Morning Portrait Group.


Saturday, May 9, 2015

In the Galleries

OK, here are the images of some notable pieces in the gallery at the moment. As promised, Brenton L. Smith's Archalon entitled Soaring Through Sea Stalks is occupying a special corner.



Also a special showing of Mikayla Hoffman's painting entitled Cavern has been unveiled for the month of May, along with some vibrant landscapes by Doug Randall.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Music by Jay Unger and Molly Mason

Jay Unger just got inducted into the National Fiddler's Hall of Fame right here at the Underground, in the middle of a concert produced by Mike Shirkey's Pickin' Post. A standing-room only crowd is present and Anne is asking me to dance. Got to go ......
Another Pickin' Post Production next Friday, don't miss it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

several surprises

Several Surprises are in store for the First Thursday Reception. Martha Molina's multimedia piece is now sideways and even better. Remember Melissa Garrison, the painter who went to the west coast? Well, she is back and featured along with Amy Eichler's giant mural of Fayetteville Watersheds.
New mini-landscapes by David Bachman can be found in the giftshop. New glass artist Elizabeth James will also debut in the giftshop with fused glassware. An earthy solo gallery exhibition is shared by 5 female painters this month.
There is a lot to see. We are especially happy to present the work of Brent Smith from Siloam Springs. It is sculpture that is too amazing to describe. You have to see it.
Also, an 8:30 PM surprise orchestrated by Fayetteville Underground performance artist Cynthia Post Hunt.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The May First Thursday Reception at the Underground will feature new work from some of the usual suspects. The front gallery will be inhabited by Ed Pennebaker and Martha Molina. Martha has exceeded her previous parameters with a sumptious multi media piece.

by Martha Molina

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Current Events at the U, April on April 18th

Tonight at the Underground Soldiers Songs and Voices, Northwest Arkansas Chapter, is producing a great fundraising concert here at the Underground. The Group provides music and songwriting lessons for returning veterans.

Singing for Veterans, April 11th

Last Night the Standup Comedy Show at the Underground was a big success with the seats full,
and more quality exciting events are coming up.

Next Saturday, April 18th, April Robertson's production of dance, music, art and film is happening. Note the date:
April 18th, a previous post had April 21st as the date for this event.
 Seats will be limited, so plan to come early!
April Robertson modeling for
Friday Morning Portrait Group
at Fayetteville Underground

Heads up for May: Cynthia Post Hunt is planning a very special exodus for guests at the end of First Thursday on  May 7th.  It will take place around 8:30 at the Underground, at the customary ending of our monthly reception.

Classes are going strong, with Life Drawing Tuesday nights, Music together on Mondays and Tuesdays, Portrait Group Friday Mornings, Watercolor on Monday mornings, and proposed multi-media week-long workshops for teenagers this Summer as well as a one-day painting party!   WATCH FOR UPDATES!

Zack, one of the regulars
 painting recently at Friday Portrait Group

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Old Men Telling Lies

Speaking of that . . .

David is pointing at a technical aspect of his mixed media on wood piece.

David Bachman at the February ANA 
meeting held at Fayetteville Underground. ANA is Artists of Northwest Arkansas which meets the third Thursday each month for a demonstration by an invited artist. Look for the ANA sponsored 4 state regional juried exhibition hosted by Fayetteville Underground this coming OCTOBER.
Also look for more Old Men Telling Lies later this year.

Kaminsky preview:
A huge success at the Underground happened on last Saturday night. It was the same night I dropped my cell phone down a city storm drain. The sneak preview of Hank Kaminsky's new series: 100 Variations on the Sphere was viewed by an excited crowd. Exceptional energy emanated from the work and the crowd.

Available at the Fayetteville Underground Main Gallery

Sunday, March 22, 2015

April in April

Working together with a number of local Arts Organizations, the Underground provides a venue for a wide variety of unique shows, including regular musicals produced by Mike Shirkey, a Last Saturday variety show and poetry slam produced each month by Houston Hughes, as well as special events like the one I have dubbed April in April: a multi-media dance, music and film event scheduled for 7 – 9pm on April 21st.

April Robertson painted by MM Kent

Wednesday, March 11, 2015


INFORMATION for April 2015 Watercolor Class at the UNDERGROUND


Location: Fayetteville Underground art gallery in Fayetteville, Arkansas,
101 West Mountain Street, Suite 222, Fayetteville, AR 72701
(479) 871-2722  or (270) 313-9660

Registration will be taken at the Underground.  $75.00 per person for 5 classes

Materials:  Basic materials will be provided.

Maximum number of students: 20
Minimum number of students to make class: 4

Time and dates:  The classes will be Mondays, April 6th thru May 4th, from
 9 AM – 11:45.

Instructors: Victor Parkerson (479-445-6442) and Laverne Nelson.

This class is a joint effort between the Fayetteville Underground and the Artists of Northwest Arkansas (ANA).  The class is open to adults interested in learning the basics of watercolor painting, including watercolor technique and ideas relating to the creation of artwork.

Pre-registration recommended as class space is limited.

Victor Parkerson and Laverne Nelson have both been painting watercolor for over ten years.  Victor Parkerson taught a young persons class and adult classes in Florida before moving to Fayetteville in 2008.  During 2013, Victor Parkerson taught a watercolor class at the Schmieding Senior Center, Springdale.  Laverne Nelson has been teaching watercolor at her studio in Fayetteville for a number of years, both adults and children.

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 2015

The life of an artist is full of mystery. You may wonder where I've been all winter. I'd like to say painting on the beach at Port Aransas or Sarasota. Alas, practical matters have interfered, and I've barely been painting at all.

An update on events at the Underground for March:
 -2 Musical Events produced by Mike Shirkey

-Special Preview of Hank Kaminsky's New Work (Saturday, March 21st at 7PM)
      I have seen one of the pieces that Hank will be showing and have to say they are very exciting.

-The Friday Morning Portrait Group is operating at full speed. April will be modeling this week.  Anyone is welcome to come and draw or paint

-Coming in April will be David Bachman's newest series: Large Format Paintings. I'm excited to see what the maestro has produced.