Color Theory | January Character: Artist Virmarie DePoyster PHOTOGRAPHER: Jason Masters Behind the Scenes: No clever Photoshop work here. DePoyster was such a good sport, she actually painted across her face with blue acrylic paint. The Puerto Rico native, artist in residency with the Arkansas Arts Council and teacher at the Arkansas Arts Center hasn’t put down her brush since. Most recently, she was chosen by the Tri-Mission Art Gallery at the U.S. Embassy in Rome as a featured artist for the month of September. She shared highlights from her once-in-a-lifetime trip to Rome in a blog post on LittleRockSoiree.com.

Since 1958, the Arkansas Arts Center has put together a showcase of some of the Mississippi Delta region’s finest artists every year. The tradition continues this summer with the 61st Annual Delta Exhibition.

"Every year, the Delta Exhibition provides a glimpse at some of the most important work being created in this part of the country now," says Brian Lang, AAC's chief curator and the Windgate Foundation's curator of contemporary craft. "We’re thrilled to be able to present this noteworthy and dynamic selection of works at the Arts Center this summer."

Encompassing works in all forms of media, the 50 featured pieces by 49 artists have officially been chosen from the more than 400 submitted artists who live or were born in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee or Texas, and whose work must have been completed during the last two years and not previously exhibited at the AAC.

Local artists to be featured in the 61st Annual Delta Exhibition include:

  • John Alhen
  • Joshua Asante
  • Carrie Ballinger Porter
  • Zachary Blair
  • Karen DeJarnette
  • Virmarie DePoyster (pictured above)
  • Bryan Frazier
  • John Green
  • Jason McCann
  • Keith Melton
  • Daniella Napolitano
  • Yelena Petroukhina
  • Jason Rankin
  • Ray Scott
  • Sandra Sell
  • Holly Tilley
  • Mabry Turner
  • Michael Warrick
  • Lauren Welshans
  • Nancy Wilson
  • Emily Wood

This exhibition will be the final major show before the AAC's big renovation and will pop up at locations across the state during construction as well. The winning pieces will receive either the $2,500 Grand Award or $750 Delta Awards, while the AAC auxiliary group The Contemporaries will select the winner of the $250 Contemporaries Delta Award. Winners will be announced on Thursday, May 2.

The Delta Exhibition opens May 3 and runs through June 30. For more information, click here.