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Collaborating Around The Corner: Art Ventures, TheatreSquared share art and drama

by Monica Hooper | February 11, 2022 at 7:00 a.m.

"This collaboration came about as we were brainstorming ways to celebrate Black History Month at TheatreSquared as well as ways to supplement the story of the show ['The Mountaintop'] since it opened right after MLK day and runs about halfway into Black History Month," Tara Carr Versey, director of Community Experience at TheatreSquared, begins the conversation.

"When we started talking about the upcoming productions, every production that was mentioned, I had an artist in mind," adds Lakeisha Edwards of Art Ventures. "We started out with 'The Mountaintop,' which is their current show, and we have an exhibition at [Art Ventures] right now called 'Frame of Mind: Critical Black Theory,' and we wanted to find other locations to do an extension of that exhibition, during Black History Month specifically. So TheatreSquared was very gracious and allowed us to create an exhibition there so that we could share some of that art."

Art Ventures and TheatreSquared both hope the pieces from "Frame of Mind," hanging at TheatreSquared through Feb. 27, will "provide another level of depth and interpretation to the performance, both enhancing its message, and broadening the conversation around it."

According to Art Ventures, "Frame of Mind" "is a treatise on the multifaceted and resilient spirit of the marginalized and features varied artistic approaches to creative expression by Black artists." The installation at TheatreSquared features works by Donovon Brutus, Markeith Woods, Oluwatobi Adewumi and Eric Andre.

"This Black art exhibit also falls directly in line with our mission and vision to create a welcoming, inclusive space and be an agent for social change in Northwest Arkansas," says Versey. "Highlighting local Black artists is a great way to supplement the show experience while celebrating Black History Month. We hope that our patrons enjoy the exhibit, whether you're just dropping in for a cup of coffee or a cocktail or attending the show. And we hope this encourages folks to check out more work at Art Ventures." "The Mountaintop" runs through Sunday at TheatreSquared.

Edwards adds that all of their exhibitions, including those included at TheatreSquared, are on the Art Ventures website, are available at artventures-nwa.org. "So all of the links to the artists to their statements and also to the exhibitions are on our website. We also post daily on our social media for Facebook and Instagram."

The full exhibition of "Frame of Mind: Critical Black Theory" will also be on display at Art Ventures, 20 S. Hill Ave. in Fayetteville, through Feb. 27. Edwards says that the next installation will feature two local Chinese artists in connection with an upcoming feature at TheatreSquared.

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FAQ

‘Frame of Mind 2022: Critical Black Theory’

WHAT — “Frame of Mind: Critical Black Theory” features “varied approaches to creative expression by Black artists. It serves to remind viewers that systems of repression and hate reflect on themselves and must be dismantled for the sake of humanity. This exhibition is a treatise on the multifaceted and resilient spirit of the marginalized, their passionate expression of pain, conflict and of joy.”

WHO — The exhibition features work from Candace Dolls, Charles Krampah, Delita Martin, DeShun Peoples, Donavon Brutus, Eric Andre, Joelle Storet, Markeith Woods, Morgan Bame, Najee Dorsey, Oluwatobi Adewumi, Tay Butler, Vincent Frimpong and Sharon Killian.

WHEN — Through Feb. 27

WHERE — Art Ventures and TheatreSquared, both in Fayetteville

COST — Free

INFO — artventures-nwa.org

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