I absolutely loved Hot Springs! In a 3/4 mile strip on Central Avenue live 15-20 art galleries interspersed with antique shops, trendy restaurants and other eclectic offerings. Hot Springs is listed #4 in the top 100 small art towns in the USA. Indeed it is and with the most friendly and accommodating people.
The town is nestled at the base of forested mountains bordering Hot Springs National Park. Even though the day was overcast, I'd have to say the view is 50+ miles.
Bess Sanders, owner of Gallery Central, invited Michael and I to her box seats at Oaklawn Park. The dogwoods are in bloom as well as spectacular azaleas. The Hot Springs Mountain Tower looms in the background. The big event for the next week or so is the Racing Festival of the South which finishes up the meet with several graded stake races including the $1,000,000 Arkansas Derby, an important Kentucky Derby prep race.
But lest I digress from my real reason for being there. Bess runs the biggest and most beautiful gallery in the historic downtown area. This year she wanted to exhibit a couple of equine artists to coincide with the racing festivities at Oaklawn. I was most blessed to be included along with Jan Woods, who creates amazing bronze sculptures. Every first Friday of the month features a Gallery Art Walk in the evening, keeping the doors of the galleries and shops open and inviting.
L to R: Artist Jan Woods in front of one of her exquisite bronzes; Bess Sanders, gallery owner extraordinaire; Rae Johnson, gallery manager and former race tracker (my kinda woman!); and moi.
Of course everyone loves to congregate in Bess' gallery. This is Gallery Walk last Friday night and it's packed! Jan and I both sold well. I loved meeting and talking to so many gracious people to explain my work, the giclee process, etc.
Men seemed especially intrigued by my original oil "Blue Blinkers". It's a powerful depiction of a horse rearing in the starting gate. Horses behaving badly.
I think my paintings and Jan's sculpture compliment each other beautifully. Many, many heartfelt thanks to Bess Sanders for her most generous hospitality and Rae Johnson for all her help and support. A total positive, fun and enjoyable experience for Michael and I.