Downtown Argenta is the hub of it all with a popular monthly art walk, many artists-in-residence and more. Travel north into Park Hill and Lakewood to find more hidden gems.By Amy Gordy
Immerse yourself in art when you take one of the many classes from ceramics to vector art at the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, a nonprofit dedicated to community education. Get your literary fix and a dose of community as local and regional authors read their work at the monthly, free Argenta Reading Series at the Argenta United Methodist Church. Comedy doesn’t get better than with the Main Thing Friday and Saturday nights at The Joint coffeehouse and theater. Grab a coffee during the day and a cocktail or beer at night while enjoying stand-up comedy, improv, open mic night and more. Catch a show or film at the Argenta Community Theater, a nonprofit performance organization that leans on top-notch local and regional talent to perform in the intimate 300-seat theater. Look for a live performance of “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 13-23, and the Dogtown Film Series showing classics and contemporary films for $5 admission throughout the year.
Verizon Arena is the venue to see large-scale concert performances as well as kids’ shows and more. For a dose of history, take a tour of the USS Razorback submarine at the Arkansas Inland Maritime Museum perched on the north bank of the Arkansas River. Stop by the Mother Earth Fountain, designed by artist Kevin Kresse, at Fifth and Maple Streets in Argenta—the sculpture offers plenty of seating and a quiet place to relax and enjoy the beautiful downtown landscaping.
Enjoy an evening appreciating art with some of the best galleries in the state along Main Street at the Argenta Art Walk, held every third Friday of the month from 5 to 8 p.m. Galleries and venues including Greg Thompson Fine Art, Thea Foundation, Argenta Gallery, Barry Thomas Fine Art & Studio, The House of Art, Argenta Branch of Laman Library, Studio Main, Mugs Cafe and more open their doors to present innovative work to the public.
Head north toward Park Hill and find Red Door Gallery, a showroom and frame shop staple in the North Little Rock art community for more than 35 years. Look for paintings, sculpture, photography and more with a vast collection of holiday art. For a modern spin head to Lakewood, where you’ll find Good Weather Gallery, a home garage that’s been converted into one of the most interesting art spaces you’ll find in Central Arkansas. On Dec. 2, the gallery will host a reception for the exhibition by Mariel Capanna titled “Little Stone, Open Home.” This will be the gallery’s final show at the location on Edgemere Road, and they plan to reopen in a new gallery space this summer.
Galaxy Furniture is one of the best spots in the area to find vintage treasures, records or office furniture. On Saturdays April through August make a point to peruse the vendors at Dogtown Farmers Market in Argenta. You’ll find local produce and meat as well as locally made bath products, treats, treasures, and live music and chef demonstrations.
The brewery scene in North Little Rock is on-point, and you’ll find great brews at Diamond Bear Brewing Company (a longtime Arkansas brewer) along with great food, darts and a spacious patio. Folks are flocking to Flyway Brewing for innovative beers, a great list of sliders and housemade soft pretzels, an impressive collection of board games and more.
Core Public House offers a selection of labels made at their Springdale brewery along with a full menu and live music on the weekends. Get a caffeine fix with a cup of Westrock Coffee, which offers fair, direct trade with African farmers. The company delivers robust blends on par with any national brand from a top-of-the-line roasting and packaging facility based in North Little Rock.
Barry Thomas moved into his Argenta studio last December and has filled it with his signature vibrant impressionistic paintings. The artist lives and works in the renovated Koehler Bakery Company space, built in 1910, on Main Street. Barry Thomas Fine Art & Studio serves as a classroom and gallery for a community of artists and students.
Thomas is best known for his colorful (he avoids brown and black on his canvas) paintings with a focus on landscapes, portraits and wildlife. His work has been featured in galleries across the country, from Utah to Florida. He travels frequently to Colorado and Santa Fe, but loves to capture the beautiful scenes of the Delta.
“I like to strike out toward Keo and Scott to find these simple, beautiful landscapes. I’m working on these Delta sunrises and sunsets right now—with beautiful skies and waterfowl. You don’t see that out West,” Thomas said.
Barry Thomas Fine Art & Studio 711 Main St.