Discover galleries filled with innovative local and regional talent, the film and festival scenes and more in Hot Springs.By Dwain Hebda
Discover these galleries and many more during the Hot Springs gallery walk every first friday of the month.
Artists' Workshop Gallery
610A Central Ave.
“The artists are the gallery” is an apt description of the Artists’ Workshop Gallery. For nearly 30 years, it’s been the city’s go-to outlet for original art created by local artisans. Now owned and operated by more than 30 local artists, the cooperative deals in watercolor, acrylic, oil, pastel, collage, photography and more.
Forest Path Gallery
107 Stillmeadow Lane
Wood never had it so good as in the hands of Gene Sparling, owner of Forest Path Gallery. Creating mesmerizing shapes and forms, Sparling’s vessels, sculpture and furniture reimagine the woodworker’s art. Call first to make an appointment.
Fox Pass Pottery
379 Fox Pass Road
This quaint wooden cottage serves as a gallery and studio for potters Jim and Barbara Larkin. Watch them work in the studio, meet other potters, shop the showroom and check out the two- chambered wood-fired salt kiln in action.
Gallery Central Fine Art
800 Central Ave.
This prominent Hot Springs gallery opened in 1999, and is recently under new ownership. The gallery represents more than 35 artists with an impressive collection of diverse styles and mediums from both Arkansas and internationally known artists.
Justus Fine Art Gallery
827A Central Ave.
This gallery was founded in 2004, and represents the work of established and emerging artists who work in a wide range of styles and mediums.
Legacy Fine Art
804 Central Ave.
This newly renovated, 4,000-square-foot space hosts a variety of regional and internationally known artists, including Fidel Garcia, Carole Katchen, Vangelis, Eva, Americo and AB Makk, Robert Lyn Nelson and Jim Pescott.
Riley Art Glass Studio
366 Quarry Mountain Road
Brothers Charles and Michael Riley offer live demonstrations of their work and a gallery filled with beautiful glass sculptures. They specialize in art glass creations using age-old glassblowing techniques.
TAKE A CLASS!
Grow your passion for art at this community arts education program. Emergent Art is made up of teachers, volunteers, artists and students. They provide gallery and studio spaces, and an arts education program that touches on writing, journal making, painting, dancing, Tai-Chi and more. 501-655-0836, emergentarts.org.
CHECK IT OUT!
THE HOT SPRINGS DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL, the oldest nonfiction festival in North America and an Academy-qualifying festival in the category of Documentary Short Subject, is held annually in October. The festival presents about 100 documentaries every year from a total submission of more than 1,000 hopefuls. Panels, forums and special events lend context to the screenings and their subject matter. 501-321-4747, hsdfi.org.
SHOP ON CENTRAL AVENUE
Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium
366 Central Ave.
A craft bath and body company that hand-makes just about everything found in its downtown Hot Springs boutique, Bathhouse Soapery produces bars, crystals and scrubs that turn routine bath times into luxurious spa experiences.
Mountain Valley Spring Co.
150 Central Ave.
The ultimate in artisanal water, Mountain Valley Spring Co. has been bottled straight from a natural spring for more than 145 years. Stop in its headquarters to see artifacts from the company’s history, buy merchandise or grab a bottle of the mineral-rich, refreshing water.
407 Park Ave.
Brooklyn-born Anthony Valino- ti brings the art of authentic Neapolitan pizza to the Spa City using fresh vegetables and the finest meats, cheeses and olive oil. But order early; Valinoti hand-makes a limited amount of dough every morning and when it’s gone, it’s gone.
Craft Brew Superior Bathhouse
329 Central Ave.
This craft brewery in the historic Superior Bath- house is the world’s first brewery to utilize thermal spring water as the main ingredient. Sample beer in the tasting room open seven days a week.
Meet a Local Maker
Carole Katchen’s career in art already touches on five decades and she’s still reinventing herself. The internationally known painter, who has called Hot Springs home for more than 20 years, is still an active member of the local arts scene and operates a gallery in the Spa City.
Katchen started as a writer and was a working freelancer by the time she was 21. Her first book, I Was a Lonely Teenager, was published in 1965 and went on to sell 700,000 copies. Four years later, she committed to art and attended West Valley College in northern California.
In what was to become a hallmark of her career, Katchen indulged her sense of adventure as an incubator for her art. She hitchhiked across Africa with
a photographer in tow, the basis for her first solo exhibit at a professional gallery in 1971. She followed that up with a hitchhike along the Pan- American Highway from Mexico to Peru, painting as she went. In 1980, an investor funded a trip to Nigeria for six weeks where she completed sketches for a series of etchings.
The decade was also marked by the first of large corporate art commissions, which helped to grow her exposure. In between such projects, she found time to publish numerous books on art instruction and technique.
By the time she got to Hot Springs, she was well-known in entertainment, writing and art circles, so much so that President Bill Clinton attended one of her painting demonstrations in 1997; the resultant piece is now in the Clintons’ private collection. More recently, she produced a series of iconic paintings of chefs that Art in Motion licensed for products now sold in 32 countries worldwide.
624 Prospect St.