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Delta Through the Decades Deux:

Selections from the Collection

August 7, 2018 – November 4, 2018

Organized by the Arkansas Arts Center

Even before there was an Arkansas Arts Center, there was the Delta. The Annual Delta Exhibition has grown to become the pre-eminent juried regional art exhibition and features the finest two- and three-dimensional artwork produced by artists in Arkansas and its surrounding states. Works admitted to every Delta Exhibition are carefully selected by jurors, who are leading figures in the contemporary art world. Past jurors have included artists like Will Barnet, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Gwathmey, and James Surls; directors and curators of such art museums as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Guggenheim Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and writers for such leading arts publications as Saturday Review, The New York Times, and New Criterion.

Throughout the years, many artworks from past Delta Exhibitions have entered the collection of the Arkansas Arts Center. Delta Through the Decades Deux reprises an earlier exhibition and contains a new selection of works from the collection, many of which have not been exhibited in some time. Nearly all these works were winners of various awards, such as Nancy Nooter’s Big Cat, and Walter Hollis Stevens’s Night River City, which won Best Graphic and Best Watercolor, respectively, in the 1st Annual Delta Exhibition in 1958. Equally important, many artists—David Bailin, Warren Criswell, George Dombek, and William Paul, Jr., among others—credit their acceptance into the Delta Exhibition as validation of their work and gave them the confidence to pursue a career in the arts. From the earliest work to the most recent, each uniquely illustrates the rich and diverse tapestry of the Mississippi Delta region and the artwork produced therein.

Featured Works from the Exhibition


Nancy Nooter, American (Jeffersonville, Indiana, 1927 - ), Big Cat, 1958, ink and charcoal on paper, 17 x 23 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, 1st Annual Delta Art Exhibition. 1958.002.005.

Robert Bailey, American (Hutchinson, Kansas, 1923 - ), Beach at Arrábida, 1958, oil on canvas, 42 x 73 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, 1st Annual Delta Art Exhibition. 1958.002.001.

Walter Hollis Stevens, American (Mineola, New York, 1927 - 1980, Deer Isle, Maine), Night River City, 1958, watercolor on paper, 17 x 22 3/4 inches, Arkansas Arts Center Foundation Collection: Purchase, 1st Annual Delta Art Exhibition. 1958.002.004

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