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Cycling Retreat Opens Doors — And Walls — For Arkansas Artists

by Becca Martin-Brown | February 19, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.

Natural State Rock & Republic is a cycling retreat — it’s a hub for locals and tourists alike to explore Arkansas by bike,” begins Scotti Lechuga, who owns the historic property at 500 N. Main St. in Springdale with her husband Ernie. “We hope to provide a rich landscape for exploring cycling at every level, from relaxing weekend get-aways to high adrenaline adventures.”

But with a 10-bedroom house, the Lechugas had plenty of room for something else — something they call the Arkansas Artists Gallery.

“As we were knee deep in peeling off old, antique wallpaper within the house, we were exposing beautiful walls underneath,” Lechuga continues. “Without the distraction of the busy wallpaper, suddenly the main structures of the house began to really shine — beautiful mahogany-colored wood trims were framing walls in a unique way that just begged for ART.

“I was fortunate enough to have shown some art through my college years and into my later 20s before my cycling career picked up, so art has a special place in my heart,” she adds. “My creative energy has funneled into other things, but I still love to support other artists who are showing their work to the world.”

Seeking a curator for the gallery space, Lechuga was introduced to Demara Titzer, who has been a curator for four businesses over the past four years.

“It has been my experience that those business owners have several things in common,” Titzer says. “They appreciate the arts and want to support local artists as a business mission. They also have a deep understanding of how original artwork transforms a space and engages their clientele through experiences that change with each exhibition.”

“Art and cycling are both incredible ways to open people’s eyes to the world,” adds Lechuga. “Both avenues stretch us as human beings to be more accepting, open, more generous, and more understanding of each other and ourselves. When it comes to sharing within the business platform, my hope is that guests take a piece of the experience home with them — something that’s truly memorable.”

— BECCA MARTIN-BROWN

[email protected]

FAQ

Arkansas Artists Gallery

WHEN — Open house 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; artists’ reception 1-5 p.m. March 14

WHERE — 500 N. Main St. in Springdale

COST — Admission is free; art is for sale

INFO — Email [email protected] staterockandrepublic.com

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