There are many great creative communities within the capital city, each with their own art-centered celebrations and events.By Amy Gordy
Little Rock has some fantastic, diverse museums, any of which you’d be happy to devote an entire afternoon to. The ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER offers traveling exhibits and an expansive permanent collection, from American, Renaissance and European artists to modern works. Throughout the year, the Arts Center brings in special exhibits and its Museum School offers a variety of arts classes for all ages. Its Children’s Theatre is a professional theater company staging new takes on children’s classics. The MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting and celebrating African-American history, culture and community in Arkansas. The museum informs and educates the public about black achievements. At the CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER AND PARK, thousands of artifacts, photographs and interactive exhibits tell the story of the Clinton presidency, from the campaign trail to the end of his tenure. There is also a replica of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. The HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM delves into the state’s earlier frontier development. The site includes four major historic structures, including the oldest building in Little Rock. Enjoy the galleries filled with historic Arkansas-made fine and decorative art, or catch a living history performance depicting the lives of early settlers. Get a taste of Arkansas history at the OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM downtown. This historic structure was built in 1833 and was the site of Arkansas’s admission to the Union, the fatal Bowie knife fight between two legislators, the vote for Arkansas to secede from the United States and much more. Today it is filled with historic artifacts and changing themed exhibits that tout Arkansas’s extensive history.
ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER
501 E. Ninth St.
MOSAIC TEMPLARS CULTURAL CENTER
501 W. Ninth St.
CLINTON PRESIDENTIAL CENTER AND PARK
1200 President Clinton Ave.
HISTORIC ARKANSAS MUSEUM
200 E. Third St.
OLD STATE HOUSE MUSEUM
300 W. Markham St.
From large-scale production to community stages, there are so many fantastic theater choices in Little Rock. Visit the newly renovated ROBINSON CENTER, set to reopen in November with a fantastic lineup, including “Elf the Musical” and “Cinderella” as well as Ballet Arkansas and Arkansas Symphony Orchestra performances. The ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE also touts an impressive lineup of shows this season including “The Crucible,” “A Christmas Story” and “Sister Act.”
426 W. Markham St.
ARKANSAS REPERTORY THEATRE
601 Main St.
Head to Hillcrest on lower Kavanaugh Boulevard for its First Thursday Shop & Sip each first Thursday of the month. Don’t miss what’s new at GALLERY 26, it hosts everything from pottery to paintings, T-shirts and jewelry. BOX TURTLE welcomes shoppers to peruse clothes, jewelry, shoes and housewares. HAUS WERK is a great place to find home decor, accessories and more. The SHOPPES ON WOODLAWN always host a great event with great deals on kids clothes, home decor and more.
Just north of Hillcrest, enjoy art openings at galleries on the third Thursday of each month in The Heights. A few galleries to see include:
BOSWELL MOUROT FINE ART
5815 Kavanaugh Blvd.
8206 Cantrell Road
DRAWL SOUTHERN CONTEMPORARY ART
5208 Kavanaugh Blvd.
On the second Friday of each month, discover the new art shows at galleries throughout the River Market area in downtown Little Rock. A few gallery highlights include:
BUTLER CENTER GALLERIES
409 President Clinton Ave., butlercenter.org
221 W. Second St.
MATT MCLEOD FINE ART GALLERY
108 W. Sixth St.
ARKANSAS CAPITAL CORPORATION GROUP is dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs throughout the state. Since 2013, the company has supported local art entrepreneurs by hosting art openings in its offices in conjunction with 2nd Friday Art Night. 200 River Market Ave., Ste. 400, arcapital.com.
In SoMa, the party happens on the fourth Friday of the month. Shops and restaurants stay open late in this creative community to welcome shoppers and diners to see what’s being created just south of Interstate 630. THE GREEN CORNER STORE & SODA FOUNTAIN offers a vast variety of all-natural foods, bath products, handmade jewelry and eco-friendly children’s toys in its storefront. 1423 Main St., 501-374- 1111, thegreencornerstore.com. View decades of changing purse design at the ESSE PURSE MUSEUM & STORE, one of only three museums in the world dedicated to the art of women’s handbags. 1510 Main St., 501-916- 9022, essepursemuseum.com. SOUTH MAIN CREATIVE is a modern take on an antique mall with vendors showcasing anything from antiques to upcycled furniture and handmade art. 1600 Main St., 501-414- 8713, southmaincreative.com.
GRAB A BITE
Grab breakfast, lunch or weekend brunch with AT THE CORNER downtown. You’ll find a great, classic diner atmosphere with chefquality food prepared with locally grown, seasonally fresh ingredients. Don’t skip the house-made poutine! 201 E. Markham St., 501-400-8458, thecornerlr.com. For upscale Southern fare, excellent atmosphere and artisan cocktails, try SOUTH ON MAIN restaurant. The venue also hosts two craft shows each year, in December and February, and frequent concerts. 1304 Main St., 501-244-9660, southonmain.com. The ROOT CAFE serves up locally produced meats, grains and vegetables in a delicious menu in the heart of SoMa. Stop in for breakfast or lunch and grab a burger, omelette or salad. 1500 S. Main St., 501-414-0423, therootcafe.com. Belly up to the bar at LOBLOLLY, an old-fashioned soda fountain located within the Green Corner Store. This creamery dishes up classic flavors and some with unexpected twists. 1423 Main St., 501-374-1111, loblollycreamery.com.
Meet the Makers
This duo is the brains and creativity behind Electric Ghost Screen Printing. Brooks Tipton established the T-shirt printing business and joined forces with creative director Shannon Shrum to open their boutique retail and screen printing location on Main Street in the South Main neighborhood. Electric Ghost is responsible for tons of T-shirt branding, both local and national. You may recognize their work for Lost Forty, Loblolly, The Bernice Gardens and more. Stop in their store to check out their latest works or grab a few succulents from the Plant Lab to spruce up your home or office space.
Electric Ghost Screen Printing
1218 Main St.