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Arlene Wilson Art Reception Jan. 21

Arlene Wilson Art Reception Jan. 21 (Posted: January 2, 2014)

An award-winning artist will return to Fort Smith to show her work at the university she graduated from more than 20 years ago.

The reception for Arlene Wilson's art exhibit, titled "Mono Ki: The Kimono as Language," will take place from 5-6 p.m. Jan. 21 in the hallway of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center.

The exhibit, which will run through February and is sponsored by the Chancellor's Coalition for the Visual Arts, features one of the art department's most accomplished graduates. Don Lee of Fort Smith, head of the art department, said Wilson is "one of our art stars."

"Her passion, organization, acumen and an accomplished portfolio resulted in her acceptance to the Rhode Island School of Design, the premier art school in the country," he said. "She could have been in any art school anywhere and flourished. She's brilliant."

Wilson, who graduated from Westark College in 1988 after studying painting and printmaking, has worked in a variety of artistic mediums over her 20-plus years as an artist. Her exhibit at UAFS will feature her work with fine art textiles.

Wilson said the show is "a visual response to the country and people of Japan, consisting of a series of handmade kimonos."

"Each one is a tableau of my experiences in a country whose culture and people I enjoy and admire," she said. "These kimonos inspired 'AW Art to Wear' and 'Crinkle Couture,' my line of shiboried clothing which I sold in Providence, Boston, New York and beyond."

Wilson said she has created 12 kimonos but does not know how many will be shown at the exhibit.

"Some of them took months to construct while others took weeks, but the accumulated thoughts – from many visits to Japan, my Japanese friends and the collection of fabrics – took years."

With numerous awards won and over 50 combined solo and group exhibitions to date, Wilson has enjoyed an enormously successful career as an artist, a career which she credits UAFS for helping forge.

"My years of training in all aspects of painting, drawing and print-making at Westark with Don Lee and Pete Howard gave me a firm foundation for what followed: a career in fine art textiles," she said. "It will be exciting to return with what I feel is my best work in the medium to date."

For more information about the exhibit, contact the Campus and Community Events office at 479-788-7300.

Article by: John Post, Public Relations Assistant

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