Art on the Border


words: Marla Cantrell
Images: courtesy Art on the Border

Artists need solitude to create. At home, in their studios, outside in nature, they all struggle to capture what’s extraordinary about this world we live in. Once their work is complete, it goes up for sale, sometimes in galleries, sometimes online, and more often than not, we never meet the artist behind the work we love so much.

But this month, all that changes. The charity event, Art on the Border, comes to the Old Frisco Depot in downtown Fort Smith, Arkansas, on May 28, and is free to attend. And on that day, you’ll be able to meet the artists who will be selling their work. The show benefits The Children’s Emergency Shelter, the U.S. Marshals Museum, and the Donald W. Reynolds Cancer Support House.

Since Art on the Border is part of Fort Smith’s Western Heritage Month celebration, you’ll find Western and Native American pieces. But that’s only the beginning. A wide array of work will be available that ranges from landscapes to contemporary paintings in oils, acrylics, watercolors, and pastels. There will also be wood carvings, fiber art, ceramic tiles and trays, sculpture and hand-woven baskets.

Do South® was happy to introduce you to two of the artists who will be showing their work. Sydney Clayton was in our October 2014 issue, an emerging artist from Fort Smith. We fell in love with all her paintings, but our favorite was a large painting of buttons, so realistic it seemed as if you could reach out and pluck them off the canvas. We also introduced you to Dell Eddins in September 2014, a fine artist from Goshen. Her paintings of animals won our hearts, and we loved hearing the story of why horses are so important to her. Dell also does commission work, so be sure to stop by and meet her.

Other artists include Steve Brewster, a glass artist whose work is in the private collections of some of Hollywood’s elite, including Diane Keaton, Jodi Foster, Jack Nicholas, and Denzel Washington. Crea8ive Arts Network will be there, along with Jeanne Rorex Bridges, Rebecca Dunn, Martha Efurd, Jeanette Foreman, Suzanne King, Jane Hartsfield, Helen Howerton, Ed Hunter, Elisa Cossey Brock, Patsy Lane, Patricia Lappin, Peter Lippincott, Maggie Malloy, Julie Mayser, Teresa Riggins Schlabach, Kevin Walker, Bob Wright, and Western Heritage Legacy Gallery.

While you’re enjoying all this great work, be on the lookout for Deputy U.S. Marshal Rooster Cogburn, the character from Fort Smith who came to fame in Charles Portis’ Old West book and movie True Grit. Rooster will be at the show, posing for pictures with the crowd, and making sure everybody behaves. Maggie Malloy, one of Art on the Border’s organizers, says Rooster is the spitting image of John Wayne, who played the role in the 1969 film. (The movie was remade in 2010, with Jeff Bridges taking the role.)

So mark your calendars, plan to attend, and support these talented artists who make the world better by bringing so much beauty into it.

Art on the Border
May 28, 10am-5pm
Old Frisco Depot
100 Garrison Avenue, Fort Smith, Arkansas
Free Admission
Find Art on the Border on Facebook

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