Indigenous Peoples Day Honored During Downtown Rogers Art on the Bricks Art Walk

Published Tuesday, October 8, 2019

An art exhibit by students from four Rogers middle schools takes place in advance of Indigenous Peoples Day as part of the October Art on the Bricks Art Walk in Downtown Rogers. Students studied the cultural origins of totems by North American Indigenous people and created their own cultural totems. The exhibit is open to the public at the Rogers Experimental House, (RXH) 121 W Walnut, 4:30 – 7:30 p.m. Thursday, October 10. Nearly two dozen pop-up art exhibits take place during the free, family friendly art experience the second Thursday of each month in shops, offices and restaurants throughout Downtown Rogers.

Totems, aka totem poles, are carved objects often depicting people or animals and serve as the emblem of a family or clan and are often a reminder of one’s ancestry. More than 100 art students from Elmwood, Kirksey, Oakdale and Lingle Middle Schools are exhibiting their own cultural totems readied with cardboard, paint and various found objects. Students were challenged to create a relief sculpture representing the three most important characteristics of their culture. 

“These are amazingly reflective cultural artworks,” reflected Cheri Gideon, Elmwood Middle School art teacher. “We are excited about the opportunity for students to show their art during Art on the Bricks,” Gideon continued. “The students are very proud of their work, especially when they know it will be displayed. Art on the Bricks is a wonderful way to introduce families to downtown Rogers and local artists,” she continued. “When students engage with the downtown community, they are making new connections and becoming a part of something greater than just their school and home communities. I hope that bringing them into the downtown community will lead to engagement, respect and care for their greater community.”

In addition to the works by Rogers middle school students, approximately 150 students from Rogers New Technology High School will exhibit 2-D works on paper and 3-D ceramics pieces during the exhibition. These works of art were created by students exploring themes of personal relevance furthering their skills with drawing methods and media. RNTHS art instructors are Rachel Colananni and Randi Curtis.

Additionally, artist Judi O. Harrison's work is on display at Fresh Harvest Tasting Room, 211 W Walnut Street. Her Osage Cross series of mixed media paintings are reflections her Osage heritage.

The public is invited to attend the pop-up art exhibits during the October Art on the Bricks Art Walk at the RXH and meet the artists. Pop-up galleries and artist receptions scheduled to take place in locally owned businesses and on sidewalks in the downtown Area. Following the art walk, patrons are encouraged to have dinner in one of the locally owned restaurants and stroll the historic streets of Downtown Rogers.

About Downtown Rogers Art on the Bricks--Art on the Bricks Art Walk showcases the art of regional artists while enhancing the artistic and cultural opportunities of Downtown Rogers. The 2nd Thursday of each month locally owned businesses host pop-up galleries and provide a free, family friendly experience. Presented by Go Downtown Rogers in partnership with business owners and area non-profit organizations, guest artists from across NW Arkansas are given the opportunity to exhibit, demonstrate and sell their work. Talented artists, craftsmen and musicians bring their products to the shops and restaurants and provide an exciting opportunity for the public to explore the businesses and meet the artists. Participating businesses are located on 1st, 2nd and 3rd Streets as well as Arkansas Street, Walnut Street and Elm Street in Downtown Rogers. The list of businesses and artists change from month to month, but the art experiences in Downtown Rogers will consistently provide new and interesting opportunities to connect with the arts community and support locally owned businesses. Art on the Bricks is honored to showcase Downtown Rogers as a destination location for nightlife and art experiences.

About the Rogers Experimental House: The Rogers Experimental House, (RXH) a 501c3 organization, is located in the historic district of Downtown Rogers at 121 W Walnut, Rogers, Arkansas. The organization provides a community space for a variety of activities to incubate and support contributions to the cultural fabric of Northwest Arkansas. Activities have included collaborating on services, material resources and providing learning opportunities for all ages including artists, designers, entrepreneurs, performers and all creative types in our community. The RXH is actively involved in providing gallery space during the Downtown Rogers Art on the Bricks Art Walk, including collaboration with Rogers Public Schools; Spectra Artists; The Artists of NW Arkansas, ArtVenturesNWA, Photographic Society of NWA, and others.

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