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story.lead_photo.caption Henry Thomas’ graphite on paper is titled "Mont." (Courtesy Gallery 26)

Few experiences in art are more thrilling than the emergence of new talent.

Gallery 26's current show includes a young artist in his first gallery show. Henry Thomas, a recent graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is an especially promising graphite artist. He began his art education at the University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College before moving to UALR where he studied with the gifted Aj Smith, whose sublime, magnetic graphite portraits radiate emotion and depth.

Thomas' more recent graphite portraits show the effects of Smith's instruction and influence. The most impressive piece is Mont, a side profile of a barber holding clippers. It is beautifully executed.

Subjects of the graphite works are mostly family members, with a compelling Mrs. White particularly engaging. Most of the graphites are not for sale. But there also are some charming acrylics of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and characters from animated TV series.

Jeff Waddle is diversifying his stencil and brush-work creations. Along with his often eye-popping designs on paper, skateboards and metal (including sculpture), he also gives T-shirts, jeans, jewelry, cards and more a distinctive presence. He has a keen eye for merchandising, bringing his work in to meet a wide variety of price points.

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Jeff Waddle’s spray paint on paper work, "Star Spirit," hangs at Gallery 26. (Courtesy Gallery 26)

His designs seem a fusion of multicultural symbols presented in a bold palette that evokes the spirit of the ancients, tribal cultures and more with a contemporary attitude. Among the works are the playful spraypaint on paper Star Spirit and the mysterious Max.

Henry Thomas and Jeff Waddle, through Sept. 14, Gallery 26, 2601 Kavanaugh Blvd., Suite 1, Little Rock. Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Info: (501) 664-8996, gallery26.com

CLOSING TIME

There's still time to catch the fine work of Kae Barron at Cantrell Gallery.

"Thin Line," which closes Saturday, is a show of beauty, sometimes with an edge. Message is, as Barron said in an interview, in the eye of the beholder. But her "Thin Line" series captures a sense of precarious balance in a global environment threatened by human activities. The thin line might be the ozone layer, a warning, a countdown of sorts.

The haunting egg tempera Thin Line: Day, the oils Thin Line: Night and Thin Line are skillfully crafted and invite a viewer's reflection.

Barron's versatility also shines in pastel, with the lovely Evening, and with her ink drawings of birds, such as Mockingbird in Sweetgum.

But don't be surprised if you laugh out loud when you see Arkansas Summer, in which a squirrel ducks for cover as a car passes over.

"Thin Line," new works by Kae Barron, through Saturday, Cantrell Gallery, 8206 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Info: (501) 224-1335, cantrellgallery.com

MUSEUM SCHOOL CLASSES

The Arkansas Arts Center will soon begin construction of its remodeled and expanded facility at Ninth and Commerce streets in Little Rock.

The center's Museum School classes will continue at the Arts Center's interim Riverdale location at 2510 Cantrell Road and a few other places in Little Rock. Some of the youth classes will start the week of Sept. 7; registration deadline is Sunday. Most of the adult classes will begin the week of Sept. 14; the registration deadline is Sept. 8. For information on classes and the schedule, visit arkansasartscenter.org/museumschool or call (501) 372-4000.

The new Riverdale facility has more than 15,000 square feet of studio space.

Select drawing classes will be held at the Central Arkansas Library System's Main Library, 100 Rock St. A weekend painting workshop will meet at the Old Mill, T.R. Pugh Memorial Park, at the corner of Fairway Avenue and Lakeshore Drive in North Little Rock. Bookbinding and letterpress printing classes will be at Yella Dog Press, 917 W. Markham St., Little Rock. Some of the youth studio art and theater classes will be at the Hillary Rodham Clinton Children's Library and Learning Center, 4800 W. 10th St., Little Rock, and several youth studio art classes will be held at the Maumelle Library, 10 Lake Pointe Drive, Maumelle, and the Adolphine Fletcher Terry Library, 2015 Napa Valley Drive, Little Rock.

The renovated Arkansas Arts Center facility at Ninth and Commerce streets in Little Rock is expected to reopen in early 2022.

Email:

ewidner@arkansasonline.com

Style on 08/25/2019

Print Headline: Emergent talent thrills at Gallery 26

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