Nationally renowned artist, Kevin Cole, returns to his hometown of Pine Bluff with a retrospective of 25 years of art.
“Straight From the Soul” is a selection of 36 works from 1986 to 2012. Cole’s early works will be on exhibition at the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, 701 Main St., and his later sculptures, will be shown in the Leedell Moorehead-Graham Fine Arts Gallery at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Hathaway-Howard Fine Arts Center.
Cole will be signing his recently published book, “Kevin Cole: Straight From the Soul”, and giving a gallery talk during the opening reception at the Arts & Science Center from 5-7 p.m. Thursday.
The UAPB reception will be Oct. 25 from 6-7:30 p.m., and a book signing will be at 2 p.m. on Oct. 26. On Oct. 27, immediately following the UAPB Homecoming parade, a Meet-the-Artist will be held at the center.
Cole’s work is available for purchase at Hearne Fine Art in Little Rock and he will be signing his books there from 5-8 p.m. Friday. There will also be a Drink Mocha/Artist Talk at 10 a.m. Oct. 13.
The exhibition registers Cole’s creative union of message and form, color and design, and showcases his aptitude for drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculptural assemblage. In addition to his artistic mastery Cole agitates, commemorates, and harmonizes through and with art as exemplified in “Signs of the Times” (1986), “For the Sistas Who Carry the Burden for Other Sistas” (1997), and “Do Lord Remember Me” (2010). His work is in corporate and private collections as well as museum collections that include the Smithsonian Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Georgia Museum of Contemporary Art. The exhibition includes a piece from the latter’s permanent collection.
Also acclaimed as an art educator, Cole has received 27 fellowships and 39 teaching awards. He earned his bachelor of science in art education from UAPB, his master of art in art education and painting from the University of Illinois, and his master of fine arts in drawing from Northern Illinois University.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship provided by Larry Cooper, Ralph Robinson & Son Funeral Directors, and Thomas Groceries & Gifts Store, admission to the Cole exhibition at the Arts & Science Center is free. Their sponsorship will also provide arts education opportunities for youth in the region.
The center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday, and is closed on Sunday. Support for ASC is provided in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hands-on science exhibits are offered through the center’s partnership with Arkansas Discovery Network, a consortium of seven museums in Arkansas funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.