Reception, gallery talk set May 23

A new series of work by David Bailin, an artist working in Little Rock, will be on exhibit for the first time at the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas beginning Thursday and will remain on display through August. An opening reception and gallery talk by Bailin will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The new series Dreams and Disaster combines charcoal, oil, and coffee representing a rare foray into color for David Bailin, who typically uses only charcoal in his drawings. Bailin’s previous series explored his time working as a bookkeeper in New York City; this series, however, delves in the dreams that crept into the monotony of days passed in the cubicle. Bailin’s evocative large-scale drawings with their uncertain marks and numerous revisions suggest a sense of ephemerality and anxiety. The size of the drawings, up to 7 x 8 feet, allows the viewer to enter the atmosphere created by Bailin and identify with the lone figure suspended in these disordered environments. Bailin takes the familiar, scenes from a Little Rock neighborhood, and makes these unfamiliar through an atmosphere of looming tension. Ordered suburban streets are dwarfed by swirling clouds, falling blocks, or streams that appear in the middle of roadways. The drawings mimic dreams in which details—exact faces and locations – are omitted, but atmosphere remains pervasive and stirring.

The exhibition and art education is generously sponsored by Pine Bluff National Bank.

Bailin received artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Arkansas Arts Council and the Mid-America/NEA Fellowship Program. His works can be seen in public and private collections throughout the country and have received critical reviews in Artnews, the Los Angeles Times, the Oxford American Magazine, the Arkansas Times, art Ltd and other prestigious periodicals. Bailin currently is a part-time art faculty member at the University of Central Arkansas. From 1986 to 1996, he was the Director of the Museum School at the Arkansas Arts Center.

The Center, located at 701 Main St. in Pine Bluff, is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday and is closed on Sunday. Support for the Center 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. For more information, contact the center at (870) 536-3375, or visit the website at