Resilient Together: The Artist’s Journey through Liminal Space

August 6 – September 25

 

In the winter of 2019, Cindy Arsaga, Laurie Foster, Danielle Hatch, Pat Hennon, Aimee Papazian and Martha Guirl-Phillips, six serious and committed artists from Northwest Arkansas, made the decision to become a working group. Inspired by the premise behind PART TO WHOLE: The Making of Art, the Artist and the Artist Group, a June 2019 exhibition at the Butler Center in Little Rock, they agreed to meet monthly to collectively strengthen one another in the practice of making work influenced by the respect they held for one another. In a bow of acknowledgment to the founding group, the six artists who exhibited in PART TO WHOLE were invited to join the Northwest Arkansas group in the new exhibition; Barbara Satterfield, Dolores Justus and Elizabeth Weber were able to participate.

Meeting monthly in each other’s unique studio spaces, the artists developed a deep understanding of their muses and influences. They shared the one piece of work they would not part with and the reasons why. Over time they developed a trust that allowed for a nudge in another direction, and often a much-needed affirmation. How would their work diverge from a place of comfort when ideas were meaningfully processed with a peer group? Could they create a single powerful voice, fusing together varied works, as a result of this deep connection they found within their group?

Looking back, it felt like providence when a few short months into this endeavor we all sheltered at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It seemed ironic that the artists in this group had consciously made the decision to move away from the isolation that is so common to how artists work. When the artists were able to reconvene in June, outside, distanced and masked, Martha Guirl-Phillips struck a nerve when she described our present existence: “We are living in liminal space, a transitory state of being. We stand on the edge of a threshold; we will be leaving one thing and someday will enter something entirely new,” she said. But at the time, the group was in the ambiguity of liminality; wondering what would be learned and how that would be expressed.

The post-vaccination gathering allowed for reflection, cast through the euphoria of resiliency, and a deep sense of gratitude for being a part of this group, which served as an anchor but with an unbound eye to the future. When the group came together to share the work, each artist felt a palpable sense of energy, a recognition that each had gone beyond her own part to that place of a harmonious whole.

The exhibition will run from August 6th -September 25th with an opening reception on Friday, August 6th for 5:00-8:00pm. Guest musician Ozark Daughter ( Traci Rae Manos) will provide entertainment and artist Danielle Hatch will offer a live performance. The artists will speak about the experience of engaging with peer artists in the creation of their work during a panel discussion to be announced at a later date.

Artist Talk

Resilient Together: The Artist Journey Through Liminal Space

Date: Friday, October 15th

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Fenix Arts, 150 Skyline Drive, Millar Lodge, Fayetteville

The event is free. Masks will be required.

In the winter of 2019, Cindy Arsaga, Laurie Foster, Danielle Hatch, Pat Hennon, Aimee Papazian and Martha Guirl-Phillips, six serious and committed artists from Northwest Arkansas, made the decision to become a working group.

Please join us for this panel discussion as each artist discusses her work and in particular the work featured in the exhibition. Share the journey these artists took together through a liminal space imposed by the pandemic; the ambiguity of their artistic lives and the solid anchor of being part of an artist group.