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Benefits With Friends: Museum sets auction, exhibition

by Carin Schoppmeyer | February 18, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.

The Fort Smith Museum of History has set two events for the coming weeks. An online benefit auction is planned for March 13-14, and "Close to Home," a series of watercolor and pen and ink drawings by local artist Galen Hunter, will open April 1 in the museum's Boyd Gallery.

The Fort Smith Retro Market will host an online charity auction to benefit the museum at 7 p.m. March 12 and 13. Organizers are seeking donations for the auction. Deadline to drop off donated items is March 6 at the market. No clothing will be accepted.

Organizers say the "Close to Home" series "captures the mundane structures and landmark architecture that comprise the built environment in and around Fort Smith. The paintings present a snapshot in time and examine how utilitarian and repurposed structures can be viewed in the same way as formal architecture through the patterns of light and shadows cast by the buildings." There will also be an online component for those who cannot attend in person.

"The Fort Smith Museum of History was founded in 1910 as a private, nonprofit, 501 (c) 3 organization," says Caroline Speir, executive director. "[And] 110 years later, we still are. We are the oldest functioning museum in the state, located right here in Fort Smith, with a mission of collecting, sharing and preserving the history of Fort Smith and the region.

"Through education, exhibitions, programs and outreach, we educate the region on the history of the area. We serve five counties, Sebastian, Crawford and Franklin counties in Arkansas, and Sequoyah and Leflore counties in Oklahoma. As we recover from the financial impact of covid-19, we look forward to the continuing exchange of the history of Fort Smith and the region with our visitors through education, exhibitions and programs, both virtual, online, in person and through YouTube and social media, and we are excited to continue to share, collect and preserve our regional artifacts."

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


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Fort Smith Museum of History

Live Streaming Charity Auction

What: The benefit auction will be hosted by Fort Smith Retro Market

When: 7 p.m. March 12 and 13


“Close to Home”

What: Exhibition featuring a series of watercolor and pen and ink drawings by local artist Galen Hunter

When: Opens Feb. 25

Where: Fort Smith Museum of History

Information: (479) 783-7841 or


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