Sunday, April 16, 2017

Events In Little Rock May 2017

Quapaw Quarter Spring Tour 
Skyline With Loop - John Kushmaul 

       The Quapaw Quarter Association’s 53rd Spring Tour will be held May 13 and 14. 
      This year, six beautifully restored historic homes on Arch, Gaines and State streets are featured.
    Tour hours are 12:30 - 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 - 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets may be purchased in
advance for $20 or on site the day of for $30.  Children ages 10 and younger will be admitted free. 
        The Association asks that no one wear high heels. 

        There will be a candlelight tour of homes from 4:30 - 6:30 p.m. with dinner at the Governor’s Mansion following on Saturday evening.  Tickets are $125 per person. John Kushmaul, one of the finest contemporary chroniclers of urban Little Rock has commissioned a piece for the silent auction.

                                                           Hemingway House 

       The Spring Tour has been held almost annually since 1963. This year, it is being held on Mother’s Day weekend, so tickets might be a great gift for mom. Other activities include a Mother’s Day brunch at Curran Hall 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The cost is $50 per person.  
        The houses featured on the Spring Tour are:
             Hemingway House at 1720 Arch Street (c. 1894-95);
             Xenophon Overton Pindall House at 2000 Arch Street (c.1910);
             Redding House at 1716 S. Gaines Street (c. 1902);
             Theo Sanders House at 1907 S. Gaines Street (c. 1920);
             Sam Scull House at 2300 S. State Street (c.1914).
             Martin-Tunnah-Fulk House at 1910 Arch Street (c. 1890, with alterations c. 1925);
        “The Spring Tour fits perfectly into our mission - preserving greater Little Rock’s historic places,” Chuck Cliett, Spring Tour chair, said. Mr. Cliett is also board president of the Association. In addition, the tour is partnering with students at the University of Central Arkansas and Pulaski Heights Elementary School to help educate tour goers about non-tour homes along the route, Patricia Blick, the Association’s executive director, said. For additional information, visit 

Little Rock Wind Symphony Sunday Concert 

     The Little Rock Wind Symphony will feature its small ensembles performing in an intimate setting 3 - 4:30 p.m. May 21 at St. Paul Methodist Church, 2223 Durwood Rd.

      Admission is $10, $8 for seniors and free to students. 

       Bollywood Nights, a beautiful cultural event benefiting Harmony Health Clinic, will be held 6 - 11 p.m. May 13 at the Statehouse Convention Center.
     Tickets are $75 for an individual and $100 per couple.  Seating is limited. The non-profit Harmony Health Clinic provides medical and dental services to needy people in Pulaski County who are not covered by Medicare or Medicaid. 

     The event will showcase Indian cuisine and includes hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, and a silent auction.   Attire is formal Indian or American for women and black tie optional for men. For information, call Justin Wise, executive director, at 375-4400 or visit

ZZ Top 

     ZZ Top will perform 8 p.m. May 26 at Robinson Center.

     Tickets for “The Tonnage Tour” are $126.75, $80.75, $70.75, and $60.75. Visit 

       Multi-platinum international music sensation Celtic Woman presents Voices of Angles
 7 p.m. May 17 at Robinson Center Performance Hall.  
       Tickets are $29, $69, and $99. It will include songs by Susan McFadden, Mairéad Carlin, Eabha McMahon and will introduce Celtic violinist Tara McNeill, accompanied by other musicians and dancers. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Potter Larry Witherspoon

     Unique, beautiful and functional.
     Larry Witherspoon, owner of El Dubya Pottery, makes pieces that look like museum art, but function like your everyday dishes.  This stoneware is microwavable, food safe and dishwasher safe.
     His work sells in The Museum Store at the Arkansas Arts Center and at The Freckled Frog downtown. 
      “I just went in and showed Sadie my stuff,” Mr. Witherspoon said of Sadie Nuffer, owner of The Frecked Frog.  “She said, ‘I need some rice bowls and some upside-down handle cups.’  And she started selling my pottery.”
    The Museum Store recently featured some of Larry’s pottery on the cover of its promotional magazine. His signature colanders, upside-down handle cups, rice bowls with chop sticks in them, and bowls with figures of koi have sold quite well. 
    “So I am really thankful and blessed.”
     But wait.  Upside-down handle cups?
     Well, you might say, when life gives you dyslexia, make art.
      Larry tells the story about throwing some odd shaped coffee cups at the Arts Center one time and bringing them home to show his wife, Desiree.  Desiree’s interest in pottery had helped get him back into it after years of absence from his “hobby.”  By trade, he is a barber.
     “I said, ‘I am really proud of them,’ and she said, ‘Your handles are upside down.’”
     Dismayed, he returned to the studio and made more cups and put the handles on “correctly.”  They didn’t work.  It turns out Larry’s dyslexia helped him create the perfect style to begin with.
     “The upside-down handles work better.  It balances better,” he said.
     Turns out people love them. 
      Larry had his first experience with making pottery when he was a youngster.  Not only did he have dyslexia, but he was hyper, and learning to create pieces on a pottery wheel helped him cope. 
     “When I was 10 or 11 years old, my mom got me involved in a little potter’s studio on Highway 10.”
      Larry said the highway was paved, but the area was pretty rustic.  He cannot remember the name of his first teacher, but he is thankful for the experience with her. 
     “She taught me how to throw on the wheel. I’d  
go twice a week after school. I was hyper and dyslexic.  As long as I was working with my hands, I seemed to calm down.”
     When Larry was an adult, he had several instances where he was able to work on a pottery wheel, but life and work (he’s been a barber for 34 years) always seemed to interfere with his hobby. Then he met Desiree at the Arkansas Arts Center.
     “She was at the Arts Center doing some pottery classes, independent study with Kelly Edwards.  I was visiting.  I threw a pot.  And then I enrolled in a class.”
        It was there that he made his first colander. 
        “I still have it.  We use it.”
     Now, Larry is known for his colanders. In fact, one of them was what got him his “in” at The Museum Store.  He gave one to a friend who was working in Canvas, the museum restaurant, and it ended up by the register as a candy bowl.  And that’s where the then manager of The Museum Store saw it and was quite impressed.
     “She said make two or three.  We can sell them. Then she bought rice bowls and coffee cups.  They sold so quick, I had to make a bunch more.”
       Nowadays, Larry spends part of his Fridays in independent study with Ms. Edwards at the Art Center. And he plans to stick with his education and his hobby.
     “The Arts Center is great. I’ve been selling my pottery at the gift shop.  I am able to pay for most of my hobby.  I am still surprised at this. 
      “I am very thankful.  There are a lot of pot-ters at the Arkansas Arts Center.  And they are kind enough to rank me up with them.”
     Larry likes to experiment with different gla-zes. His work gravitates toward light silvers and silvery gray mattes. He’ll make pottery on commission, but he warns that it’s not cookie cutter.  Each piece is one of a kind.  
       “When I can do something freely, it seems to me nice.  I play and experiment.  I am just having fun.  I want to have fun with them - and sell them.” 

     In addition to the Arts Center and The Freckled Frog, you may find Larry’s pottery at Stifft Station Gifts and Sundries and South Main Creative. You may contact him at 681-1097. This story was written by Bobbi Nesbitt. You may contact her at 221-7467.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Events in Little Rock March and April 2017

Pirates of Penzance 
     Pirates of Penzance will be performed 7:30 p.m. March 31 and 3 p.m. April 1 at Wildwood Park for the Arts.  This Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera has been a staple for audiences for decades, and it's just as funny today as it was at its debut in 1879.  For information, call Leslie Golden at 821-7275.

Jar the Floor
  Jar the Floor will be performed March 29 to April 16 at The Rep downtown.
       The ticket price is $30 to $65.  
    Four generations of black women gather to celebrate their beloved, outrageous matriarch’s 90th birthday. The trouble is, recently widowed MaDear would rather watch her soap operas and read her Bible than blow out the candles on her cake.

        Tempers flare and secrets are revealed, yet rollicking humor bites its way through the cycles of guilt and blame passed on from mothers to daughters. Fierce and funny, Jar the Floor is a heartfelt comedy that proves the ghosts of the past should not rob us of the moments we have together in the here and now.

    Springfest will be held 8:30 a.m. a.m. - 6 p.m. April 1 at Julius Breckling Riverfront Park in the River Market. This free festival includes activities for children, food trucks, a dog parade, races for short-legged dogs, special performances and fun with popular emcees Craig O’Neal and Roger Scott.
     This year’s theme for the Ruff on the River Pooch Parade is Saturday Night Fever with pups dressed in disco themes. There will be prizes for best costume, best stroller and best wagon. For $5, you can enter your pet into the fun. The Weenie Dog Derby will include races of  three size pooches - Beenie Weenies, Hot Dogs and Summer Sausage. 
     For more information, call Ashley Parker at 225-3378 or visit

Gladys Knight
      The Empress of Soul and seven-time Grammy Award winner will dazzle Little Rock 8 p.m. April 3 at Robinson Performance Hall. 
      Tickets are $43, $58 and $68.  Come and hear some of the songs that made the 1960s and ‘70s a great time for music lovers: Every Beat Of My Heart, Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, I Heard It Through the Grapevine, Midnight Train to Georgia, and more.

Curbside Couture 
     The sixth annual Curbside Couture, a delightful "green" fashion show, will be held 7 - 9 p.m.
April 2 at the Clinton Presidential Center.  It features wearable designs made of recycled materials
by youngsters grades 3 through 12.
     Before the event, students will have had the opportunity to attend mentoring sessions with
acclaimed fashion designers - including Little Rock fashion maven Connie Fails - and receive
feedback about their creations.  Cash awards will be given for the best designs in elementary,
middle and high school levels.  For more information, call Ms. Fails at 748-0405 or write her at

Jazz in the Park
         From 6 - 8 p.m. each Wednesday in April, music lovers can come together to enjoy live jazz and support Little Rock’s own musicians during Jazz in the Park in Riverfront Park. 
      For four years this free event has been held in the History Pavilion at the park. It is sponsored by the Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau.
       This year, the event will continue its partnership with Art Porter Music Education, Inc., which offers scholarships to talented Arkansas music students who wish to further their education while promoting community service and volunteering.  
         This is the lineup:
         April 5 - The Funkanites (New to Jazz in the Park)
         April 12 - Ramona (New to Jazz in the Park)
         April 19 - Tonya Leeks & Co.
         April 26 - Sounds So Good                    

       Coolers are not allowed at Jazz in the Park, but beer, wine, soft drinks and water will be available for sale, with a portion of the proceeds going to benefit the Art Porter Music Education’s scholarship fund. Lawn chairs and blankets are welcome, and there is some seating in the natural stone amphitheater at the History Pavilion.  In case of rain, the West Pavilion will be the alternate location.


Youth Home’s Eggshibition celebrates its 26th year April 7 at the Jack Stephens Center at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  Come on out and support the kids while enjoying live and silent auctions, original egg art, glass from James Hayes, live music by The Rodney Block Collective and delicious food and libations. 

     David Bazzel and Chris Kane are hosting, and Craig O’Neill is this year’s auctioneer. General admission is $50.  Patron access is $75.  Doors open for general admission at 7 p.m. A special VIP reception for patrons begins at p.m. For more information, visit

 Dead Poets Society

      Dead Poets Society will be shown 1 - 3 p.m.  April 8 at The Ron Robinson Theater downtown.  Admission is $5. Come enjoy the full movie theater experience complete with comfortable seating, wonderful picture and sound, and concessions, including wine and beer. For information, call Moriah Pedro at 320-5715.

Beethoven and Blue Jeans
   The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven and Blue Jeans will be held 7:30 p.m. April 8 and 3 p.m. April 9 at Robinson Center downtown.
   It will include Beethoven's Consecration of the House Overture, Sibelius's Symphony No. 2, and Bruch's Violin Concerto No. 1, featuring Andrew Irvin on violin. Philip Mann will conduct. For more information, visit

Downtown Dash 
     The Junior League of Little Rock’s Downtown Dash will be held 8:30 a.m. - noon April 8 starting at the Junior League Building, 401 Scott Street.  It will include a 10k, a 5k and a special 1k for kids that will begin at 8 a.m. The cost is $10 - $40. 

   The race will feature Downtown Little Rock landmarks, such as the River Market, the Clinton Library and the Arkansas Arts Center. The race is also handicap and stroller accessible. For more information visit

An Evening with David Sedaris
   An Evening with David Sedaris promises to be filled with his wickedly witty observations 8 p.m. April 21 at Robinson Center Performance Hall.
    Mr. Sedaris made his comic debut recounting his charmingly quirky experiences of being a Macy's elf, reading his "Santaland Diaries" on National Public Radio's Morning Edition in 1992. His sardonic humor and incisive social critique have made him one of NPR's most popular and humorous commentators. 

    In 2001, he was named Humorist of the Year by Time magazine and received the Thurber Prize for American Humor.  His new Theft By Finding will be released May 30. Tickets are $25, $33, $38, $43 and $50.   ticketmastercom.

Jewish Food Festival 
     The Jewish Food and Cultural Festival will be held 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. April 30 at War Memorial Stadium.  Admission and parking are free.
    The festival features traditional Jewish foods, booths on Jewish and Israeli culture, Judaica, jewelry and other gift items for sale, Jewish music, and kids activities. It will include traditional Jewish foods: corned beef sandwiches, kosher hot dogs, cabbage rolls, blintzes, kugel and more, as well as homemade Jewish treats including rugelach, babka, challah, and chocolate-covered matzo. Israeli dishes, such as falafel, hummus, and Israeli salad, will be available, too. 

      The  festival will also feature booths on Jewish and Israeli culture. At the ever-popular Ask-the-Rabbi booth, visitors can learn about Judaism itself, from Jewish holidays to life-cycle customs. For more information, call Marianne Tettlebaum at 663-3571 or visit 

       IndiaFest 2017 will be held 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. April 30 at the River Market Pavilion.

    Admission is free. IndiaFest attempts to bridge cultures, generations and communities through a one-day of togetherness. The event promises an environment that salutes history, embraces globalization and celebrates communities. There will be cultural activities, entertainment, merchandise for sale, and, of course, authentic Indian food.

Pioneer Day Camp 2017: Settling Arkansas
       Each summer, pioneer day campers have fun as they explore what life was like in Arkansas more than 150 years ago. This year campers will take on the role of being new settlers in Arkansas. They will learn the fascinating steps involved in setting up home, including haggling over the price of land with the owner of a local land agency and surveying their newly-purchased land. They'll visit the blacksmith in his shop and see him make the nails and hardware for building a house. And they'll have the opportunity to “build a house” and then cook on the open hearth in a pioneer kitchen.
     The campers will enjoy crafts, pioneer games, and dancing. On the last day of camp, parents will be invited to watch the children dance the Virginia Reel in celebration of building a house.
     The dates are: June 12–16 for rising 3rd and 4th graders; and June 19–23 for rising 5th and 6th graders. The hours are 8 a.m. to noon. The cost is $85 per camper ($65 for museum members).  You may register online now to reserve your spot. Join the museum now to get discounted tuition. For more information, visit 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Art Group Gallery in Pleasant Ridge Town Center

Art Group Gallery 

                                        Stained Glass Forest - Louise Harris 

      Don’t think you can afford original art?
     Yes you can - when you buy it directly from the artists at The Art Group Gallery in the Pleasant Ridge Town Center, a co-operative effort of 17 very talented local artists.
       Holly Tilley, general manager of the gallery, said it doesn’t fit any typical gallery mold.  The artists, who are all part-owners, run the gallery. 
      “One of the owners is there everyday,” Mrs. Tilley of west Little Rock, said.

                                                    Cow Shoals - Bob Snider 

      The art is “wholesale,” Holly said, because there is no usual markup in price as found in typical art galleries, which she said can add 50 percent or more to the price of a canvas. (Although, the norm in Little Rock is 40 percent, according to some galleries contacted.) 
       “You are buying it directly from the artist,” Holly said.
      The art ranges from as little as $50 to $75 for small pieces up to the $500 to $750 range.  Many of the original works are priced at about $175 unframed.  Only a few very large canvases are priced above $1,000.

                                                Chimpanzee - Shirley Gentry 
                                               Lilies of the Nile - Patricia Wilkes      
     From the beginning, one of the goals of the group was to keep down the costs of running the gallery. “There’s no overhead, just rent and light, no personal cost,” Holly said. Her personal cell phone is the number for the gallery, so the group even saves on that expense.
       “We buy frames as a group. That way we are able to buy them more economically.  We have beautiful frames.”
       One of the great features of the gallery is that if you like a work of art, but do not like the frame, they will gladly swap it for one better suited to your taste. And all styles of frames are available.
       “We are starting our fourth year at Pleasant Ridge.  Fifteen years prior to that we started as an art studio in Maumelle.  One year we rented a ‘pop-up’ store here in Pleasant Ridge for a holiday art show. People received our art so well we just kept bringing more work.”
      Right after the very successful holiday show, the group decided to make Pleasant Ridge its permanent home and have a gallery instead of a studio. 
      “Everybody except one person came with us to start our new little business.
      “We’ve got a really great group of people.  We are a community.  We are constantly lifting one another up.”
      The shopping center has been a great location for the group. “We are really lucky to be there,” Holly said.
     By buying art from the group, you are help-ing the community, Holly said, because the gallery supports a number of different non-profits.  “All of us donate to every charity you can name.”
      It’s costly for the artists to do this, she said. “They have a lot of money invested on the front end. By buying the art, you are essentially helping us to continue to contribute to the community.”
       The gallery is unique in that it is a place that anyone in the community can come and paint.  “We have several stations in the back, and we actually teach lessons and host workshops and have workshops for us to take.”
      The gallery has also hosted a number of events for free.  It even had a wedding once. Events for non-profits are a way to give back to the community, and often people who attend will find art they must have.  So it’s win-win.  The gallery has hosted events for up to 200 people.  And many of the groups want an artist on hand to paint live for them, which turns out to be lots of fun all around. 
    Artists in the group work in oils, acrylics, water color and mixed media. Styles include impressionism, realism, and abstract.  
     The subjects are as varied as the artists, but there are lots of Arkansas-themed works, such as racing at Oaklawn, historic homes, farm scenes, and depictions of different lakes and rivers in the state. 
     The artists are a diverse group, but they have one thing in common.
     “We’d always rather be painting,” Holly said. “We love it that much.”
     The gallery is open 7 days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 - 6 p.m. on Sunday. It is also open by appointment.  690-2193.

Art Group Gallery Artists 
Patricia Wilkes was graduated from Washington School of Fine Art in 1973 with a bachelor’s in fine art and has worked as a freelance illustrator. She enjoys painting still lifes, large florals and landscapes of her travels in Italy.

Marie Weaver is a beaming grandmother whose grandchildren have inspired some of her best work.  She uses varied methods and styles for her inspiring nature scenes and visions of children and adults at work and play.

Holly Tilley loves being outdoors, and this is   reflected in her paintings of landscapes, including favorites such as Lake Ouachita, old barns, trucks and cows. Great cows! She has studied with Bill Garrison, Barry Thomas, and Dreama-Tolle Perry. 

Bob Snider is a signature member of Mid-Southern Watercolorists and has served as its president.  His vibrant horse racing paintings can be found in galleries in Palm Springs, Vail, and Seaside, Florida. You can see his demos at

Vonda Rainey paints predominantly impressionistic oils and acrylics.  After raising her family, she returned to her love of art and studied at the Arkansas Arts Center and with several noted local artists.  She is a member of the Arkansas League of Artists. 

Ann Presley is a full-time artist specializing in oils.  She paints scenes of the Ouachita and Ozark mountains in her native Arkansas and scenes of her travels in the southwest. She has had paintings in juried shows in Texas and Arkansas. 

Susan Plunkett works in watercolor, oil and acrylic.  She has studied at La Romita School of Art in Italy and recently completed a workshop in Arles, France.  Plein air painting gives her much joy and inspiration.  She’s on the Arkansas League of Artists board.

Ned Perme began art instruction at the Mansion Art and Framing in 2003, and when it closed the next year, he and some of the other students formed The Art Group in Maumelle. He paints vivid Arkansas landmarks and bold, colorful abstracts.

Michelle Moore studies painting, pottery and printmaking at the Arkansas Arts Center and has consistently been one of the top sellers at Museum School sales. She paints and does printmaking at her studio in The Pyramid Place Building.   

Terri Haugen is considered one of America’s foremost batik artists, and her work is collected worldwide. She has lived in Paris and Italy and exhibited in galleries in the States and overseas. The Art Group Gallery carries many of her paintings in oil and mixed media. 

Louise Harris has always had a creative nature and an appreciation for all styles of art. After raising her children, she returned to art and studied under a number of artists, including Susie Patton, Patrick Cunningham, Emily Wood, and Matt Coburn.

Shelly Gentry is a member of the Arkansas Pastel Society and has served on its board for the past three years.  Her paintings have been in a number of juried shows. She was graduated from Hendrix College  and from the Harrington Institute of Design in Chicago.

          Fawn by Shelly Gentry, acrylic on gallery wrapped canvas, 20x20 $450.00.

Lori Deymaz enjoys creating abstracts in which  color, or its absence, speaks to the viewer. “The beauty of the world is enhanced through various colors.  I embrace all of them, from the brightest pink to the most subtle gray, and I always love metallics.”

Dawn Bearden is the newest member of The Art Group.  Abstract modern art and urban contemporary mixed media are just some of the styles she works in, and over the years, this self-taught artist has been widely collected inside and outside of Arkansas.

               Blue Man Series 2 by Dawn Bearden, ink/resin on wood, 36x24, $500.00

Loren Bartnicke received her bachelor’s of fine art from Mississippi State University and is working on a master’s in fine art at Syracuse University.  Some of her bright, heavily textured pieces are almost three-dimensional.  She is a painter at Syracuse Stage.

                            City by Loren Bartnicke, oil on canvas, 36x48 $2,400

Shirley Anderson has a passion for plein air painting. She works in acrylic, oil, charcoal and pastels. Her landscapes have been in juried exhibitions in several states. She is a charter member of the Arkansas Pastel Society and served as its president.
    DeSoto Spillway by Shirley Anderson, pastel on sanded paper, 17x14, $375.00.

Ron Almond began taking art lessons from Matt Coburn at The Art Group after retiring from the Arkansas National Guard.  An Arkansas native now living in Maumelle, Ron uses brilliant colors in his landscapes and abstracts.
                       Aspen Glory by Ron Almond, oil on canvas, 24x30, $1,575.00

Monday, October 31, 2016

Shop The Freckled Frog and Support Arkansas
Artisans - Everything in the Shop Is Made Here

    Start your holiday shopping at The Freckled Frog, the delightful downtown shop that sells handcrafted items made exclusively by Arkansans.
    Sadie Nuffer, owner of the shop, said she has lots of new handicrafts perfect for gift giving.
     The shop has beautiful flame-painted copper jewelry by Miriam Quagliato, owner of The Gypsy Phoenix.  She makes her colorful designs on copper with heat from a torch.
     “We have coin rings made out of coins from different countries,” Ms. Nuffer said.  “I’ve seen these done before, but not this nice.  These are made by Gary Higgins of Alexander.”
     Larry Witherspoon of El Dubya Pottery creates some amazing pieces that look like museum art but function like your everyday dishes; they are dishwasher and microwave safe.  If you have a very special person on your list, a piece of pottery from Mr. Witherspoon would make a unique and functional gift. 
     The Freckled Frog carries a wide variety of t-shirts, many with Arkansas themes.  One of the youngest entrepreneurs is Kate Walters, 17, a senior at Central High School.  Ms. Walters started out selling her cat collars and other designs at the shop when she was only 10.  Now, she designs and cuts her own screens and prints her own t-shirts. 
    The shop has shirts from Hillcrest Water Bugs, the original maker of the “y’all” tees, and clothing lines from Homegrown Arkansas and Nativ.  It offers shirts by Tiffany O’Brien’s The Eccentric Dose, which are Arkansas themed. 
    Sadie said the shop’s location at 419 President Clinton Avenue has worked out well.
     “It’s really good.  We get tons of foot traffic.  We get people from all over the world, and it’s really fun to show off a good part of Arkansas.  We have lots of creative people around here.”
    The shop carries the work of about 70 Arkansas artisans.  
     Among them is Sadie’s sister, Rose Nuffer, who makes very fine leather journals.  Rose also gives free herbal classes every other Sunday at the shop. 
     The Freckled Frog has a great line of soaps, lotions and candles.
     “We have the most amazing candles ever.  They are made just for us.  They burn absolutely clean, they have an extremely long burn time, and they smell the same all the way to the bottom,” Sadie said. 
     The shop specializes in jewelry, with many pieces as low as $3.  Sadie makes a lot of the jewelry, much of which incorporates Arkansas quartz crystals. The shop offers framed art prints, scarves, hats, fingerless gloves and all manner of inexpensive, clever stocking stuffers.
     Don’t forget to pick up a copy of “Goodnight Little Rock” by Emily Wyatt and featuring fantastic illustrations by Nathaniel Dailey.
    Gift wrap is free at the Frog.  514-2060.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

New Little Rock Brewery

The Buffalo Brewing Company 


Owner Nolen Buffalo, customer Claire Carothers of Sheridan, freelance brewer Andrew Teague, Buffalo Brewing manager and brewer Jack Higgins, customers Kimberly and Jerje Stoneman of Little Rock 

     Nolen Buffalo, owner of The Water Buffalo, has opened The Buffalo
Brewing Company as a great new extension of his store at 106 South Rodney Parham.
     His brewing company will make small batch beers and focus on about 
four different ones to begin with, Mr. Buffalo said.
     Other breweries in town have been excited to join in this new effort, he said.
      “We will have a bunch of different varieties with 12 different breweries represented.  We will have 16 taps represented to start with.”
     Among Buffalo Brewing’s beers is a red ale, a signature beer, which will be on tap regularly.
    “When it  gets colder, we’ll have a chocolate stout, an oatmeal stout and a pineapple wheat. 
   “The beer I am most excited about is Raspberry Honey Cream Ale.
We serve that at festivals, and it is always very popular.”
     The honey that is used in the making of the beer is made by bees
who feed on raspberry flowers. 
    “Every time bees are making honey, they bring back a little bit of that flower taste, a hint.  As the beer is fermenting, the sugar ferments out, and the honey flavor is left over with a little bit of raspberry.
      “It has raspberry color, raspberry tartness.  We put real raspberries on top right before we are ready to carbonate the beer. It’s pretty to look at, easy to drink.”
 A Beer By the People, For the People   
  Then there is the pale ale Nolen and his crew are “building by popular opinion.”
     They are starting off with a 5 percent pale ale, relatively hoppy and a reddish color. Then they are going to let the public decide whether to use a different hop, for example, or to make it lighter or darker, or with more or less alcohol.
     “We are going to build that beer to specifications, let the people decide - a beer for the people, by the people.”
      Nolen has been making beer for about 20 years as a home brewer.  As a professional brewer, this is relatively new territory for him.
     The brewery is an extension of The Water Buffalo store, which carries a wide variety of beer and wine making supplies.  It has lot of malted barleys, a variety of hops, and yeasts. It offers beer making kits, all the utensils and gadgets needed to make beer, and teaches lots of classes to both budding and experienced home brewers. 
      “This is an opportunity for us to show how to improve the quality of their home brew. It can expand someone’s palette, compare what they already made or want to make with a known quality product, and help provide a direction for where they want to go.
      Buffalo Brewing will not distribute its beer.  It will be make in small batches that Nolen expects to sell quickly.
     Folks are welcome to bring their own food, stay and watch a game or socialize.  Later, Nolen plans to provide a few snacks.
     “We will sell samples, pints and growlers to go,” he said. (A growler is about a half gallon.)
      “I am expecting brisk Sunday sales.”
     Nolan has had a very positive reaction from other area brewers.
    “The brew community is a very tight community. Everybody is excited about it.”
     Nolan wants other brewers’ beers on tap.  In addition to the arrangement with the initial 12 brewers, others want their beers on tap in midtown too and are going to produce more than usual so they can. 
 It will be nice chance for folks in the community to find quality brews in midtown, he said.
    “I want their beer on tap.  We have a saying (in the brew community), ’No crap on tap.’ It’s all good beer, small batch, craft beer.” 
      Buffalo Brewing will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays (hours later to be extended), and most likely hours for Sunday are noon to 7 p.m.

     For more information, call 725-5296, email or visit 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Events in Little Rock October 2016

                                              C. J. Duvall, Jr. and Dr. Chad Rogers 

Friends of Children Luncheon 
   The 2016 Friends of Children Annual Luncheon will be held 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. October 31 at the Doubletree Hotel downtown.  
   Tickets are $50. Proceeds benefit Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families. The 2016 Friend of Children Awards will be presented to C. J. Duvall, Jr., and Dr. Chad Rodgers.  
  Mr. Duvall is a clergyman and a businessman who served as a senior pastor in the United Methodist Church and an executive officer in a Fortune 250 company. While Senior Pastor of Theressa Hoover United Methodist Church, he began a community gardening program for college students from Philander Smith College, and other local colleges participated. He supports a variety of schools and community focused organizations and is a full-time community volunteer supporting community gardening.
    Dr. Rodgers is a partner at Little Rock Pediatric Clinic and Chief Medical Officer for Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care.  Realizing that many of the issues that affect children’s health and well-being are not solvable in the exam room, he commits his time as an advocate for children and their parents through policy, social change, and the improvement of health care systems. He has served on the AACF board and twice as chair of Soup Sunday.
   Table and event sponsorships are available. To become an event sponsor, call Mallory Van Dover at 371-9678, ext. 107. For individual tickets, call Deanna Clark at 371-9678, ext. 103. Or visit

Arkansas Cornbread Festival
 The Arkansas Cornbread Festival will be held 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. October 29 on South Main Street.  Admission is $8. 
      The festival includes great food, live music, crafts, and vendors offering clothing, jewelry, home furnishings, and gifts. The cornbread competition will be judged by everyone attending who wishes to participate, as well as a panel of celebrity judges.  
      This year’s festival will benefit the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance, Our House, and studioMAIN. For information, contact Ann Owen at 960-0063 or ann.owen@sbcglobal. net.

Tales of the Crypt 
    The 21st Annual Tales of the Crypt will be held  at Mount Holly Cemetery, 1200 South Broadway, from 6 - 8 p.m. October 11. 
     Admission is free to the public, however donations to Mount Holly Cemetery are appreciated and aid in the maintenance of the cemetery.

     Held the second Tuesday of October, Tales of the Crypt is an annual Mount Holly Event.  Under the direction of Fred Boosey & Tamara Zinck, drama students from Parkview Arts & Science Magnet High School are each given a person buried in the cemetery to research. They then prepare short monologues or dialogues they perform in front of the person's grave.  Award-winning local costumer Debi Manire will once again provide the wonderful historical characters' costumes.  Audiences are led through the cemetery from grave to grave by guides with candles. 

State Fair
    The Arkansas State Fair will be held October 14 - 23.  It opens at 11 a.m. daily.  Admission is 10 for adults, $5 for kids ages 6 - 12, $5 for seniors, and free to kids ages 5 and younger.  Parking is $10.
     The fair includes beauty pageants, a rodeo queen competition, talent contests and competitions in wine, food, animals and crafts.  
     All concerts are outdoors and free with paid gate admission.  Premium concert seating is available for $15 and $25 in advance by October 13. This is the music lineup: Bret Michaels, 8 p.m. October 14; Trapt and Saliva, 6:30 p.m. the 15th; Mystical, 7 p.m. the 16th; Rick Springfield, 8 p.m. the 18th; Al B. Sure, 8 p.m. the 19th; Clint Black, 8 p.m. the 20th; Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 8 p.m. the 21st; Collin Raye, 6 p.m. the 22nd; and After 7, 6 p.m. the 23rd.

The Wiz 

    The Wiz will be presented On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays October 21 - November 13 at The Weekend Theater, 1001 West Seventh St.
    The price is $20 or $16 for seniors and students. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. 
    This popular Broadway musical sets Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz to a dazzling, lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul music. It is directed by Danette Scott Perry with musical direction by Leah Thomas.  The cast includes: Sydney Williams as Dorothy, Zachary Hickman as the Scarecrow, Frederick Webb as the Tin Man, Braxton O. Johnson as the Cowardly Lion, and Chris Watkins as The Wiz. 

  For more information call James Norris at 374-3761 or visit 

Cupcakes for Goodness Sake
     Cupcakes for Goodness Sake will be held 2 - 4 p.m. October 23 at Bespoke-Southern Light Pictures Studio, 2207 Cantrell Road. 
     Admission is $25.  The event benefits CareLink.  It includes a baking competition, cocktails, hor d’oeuvres, and cupcakes.  Visit 

Pride Fest 
     The Little Rock Pride Fest will be held 1 - 6 p.m. October 16 at the Clinton Presidential Center.
     It includes live music, a beer garden, and entertainment by national and local performers.  The event benefits scholarships for LGBT youth.  For information, call Zack Baker at 404-8498.

 Light the Night
    The Light the Night Walk will be held 6 - 10 p.m. October 29 at River Market Pavilions. The walk is a fundraising campaign benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and its funding of research to find blood cancer cures.
    Walkers can raise money by participating as individuals or on a team with friends, family and co-workers. For more information or to sign up, visit

Winnie the Pooh
     Winnie the Pooh will be performed 7 p.m. on Fridays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays October 28 - November 13 at the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre.
   Tickets are $12.50, $10 for Arts Center members, $10 per person for groups of 10 or more, and free for children under age 2.  For information, visit

The Pumpkin Patch at Asbury UMC
    Come and get your pumpkins for fall at Asbury United Methodist Church and help support 
youth activities.  The patch will be open from October 7 to October 31 and features all
size pumpkins for carving, decorating or eating.  It will be open Monday - Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday noon to 6 p.m.  For more information, visit or
call Amy Bennet at 225-9231.

Arkansas Chamber Singers 
     The Arkansas Chamber Singers will present “in paradisum” 7:30 p.m. October 7 at St. Marks Church and 3 p.m. October 9 at First United Methodist Church.
     The program will include the timeless Allegri "Miserere," the exhilarating "Across the Vast Eternal Sky" by the Norwegian Ola Gjeilo with string quartet and solo piano, and the amazing "in paradisum" by the young Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds. John Erwin is artistic director and conductor.

     The cost is $15.  Two different subscription packages for the three-concert 2016-2017 season entitled “For Heaven’s Sake!” are available at 


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Animal Options: Dr. Karen Hooks

Dr. Karen Hooks Veterinary Practice Focused On Acupuncture and Chiropractic Services
     “Empathetic.” “Gets results.” “A great eye.”  “Honest.” “Loves animals.” “Ethical.”
“Genuine.” “Love her.” “Fortunate to have her.” Those are some of the things folks who
have used Dr. Karen Hooks to care for their animals said about her.   
    The veterinary medicine practice of Dr. Hooks of Little Rock is focused on acupuncture and chiropractic services for animals of all species.  Karen has been practicing veterinary medicine for 28 years.  She has provided acupuncture and chiropractic services for 20 years and also provides physical therapy and rehabilitation.
     Her degrees and education are extensive, extending beyond veterinary, acupuncture and chiropractic studies.
       “I am the only veterinarian in Arkansas trained and certified to practice veterinary acupuncture and chiropractic.  I use these other modalities as extra tools to help diagnose and treat problems in animals,” she said.  
     “I very much enjoy what I do. My job is to make animals feel better.  I use a low stress approach to my practice to gain the patient’s trust.  I like making animals more comfortable and help them life.”have the ability to live a full life.” 
     Linda Bly of west Little Rock said Karen had been taking care of her animals for about 15 years.
     “She’s good.  She’s effective.  She’s empathetic.  And I have recommended her to other people over the years, because she gets results,” Ms. Bly said.
      Linda’s corgi, Trevor, and her basset, Roger, have been treated for the back problems endemic to such long-backed, short-legged dogs, as well as for a torn ligament and routine problems over the years.   
     “She treated both successfully. And she’s treated my horses.  They’ve had a variety of things wrong.”
    Linda has a mare named Doll that she trail rides with, and she does dressage with Bert, a gelding.
     “She’s done chiropractic and acupuncture on both of them.  There is no question that what she does is beneficial.”
     Linda, 65, has had horses since she was 13 and is attuned to their moods and problems.  She said Karen works well with them.
    “She has a great eye.  She can just watch a horse move and see where the problem is.
    “She is very honest and very ethical in her dealings.  If she doesn’t think she can help somebody, she says so up front.  There have been times when she’s come to the barn and looked at horses, mine and others, and determined that chiropractic or acupuncture wouldn’t be appropriate.  She’d say to get another vet to look at them or else say they were fine.  And she doesn’t charge.”
    Jennifer Bevans, owner of J & J Stables in West Little Rock, said Karen has been taking care of her horses for about 14 years.  Ms. Bevans once raised American paint horses and quarter halter horses for competitions.  “I have several retired world champions,” she said.
     “I’ve been raising horses for over 20 years.  Pretty much every horse I have had her work with, she’s totally helped them.  Most of the time, she can help a horse with one or two treatments.”
    One of her show mares that was exhibiting some lameness took a bit longer.  “Nobody could figure out what was wrong,” even after extensive  exams and an ultrasound.  However, after Karen was called in to look at the mare, she discovered an injured radial nerve in the mare’s neck that had affected the movement of her legs. Karen, working with Dee Dee Cravens, who provided physical therapy, healed the horse. 
    “Between the two of them, they fixed her.”
     Jennifer said she knows the acupuncture and chiropractic treatments have helped her horses time and again.  “Knowing your horses is kind of like knowing your kids.  I can read their faces.”
     Jennifer has another mare that is permanently crippled, and Karen provides her care for free.
     “She’s called Baby Doll, and Dr. Hooks always checks on her and never charges for her.  She is a super, super lady,  I count her as a friend. She loves the animals and has a genuine desire to help them, and if she can’t, she’s genuine enough to tell you she can’t.  She’s aboveboard in her standards of treatment.  She puts all of that first.”  
     Carol Sitlington of Kingwood said, “I love Dr. Hooks.”
     Ms. Sitlington said Karen had been taking care of her dogs for at least 12 years.  Right now, Carol has four Cardigan corgis, Ashes, Cairo, Gordy and Cricket, who get monthly chiropractic and acupuncture treatments.
    “They call these dogs ‘yard long” dogs, because their backs are so long.  It is important to keep their backs strong.  Dr. Hooks just has these hands that can feel the injuries on their
backs.  It’s incredible.
     “It keeps from having to give them pain medications that can cause so many side effects.  She keeps them healthy and noble and active.  She’s just wonderful, and I highly recommend anyone go to her.”
     Carol has another vet she takes her corgis to for medical problems.  For example, when Ashes got into rat poison, the regular vet treated her for that, and he gives them blood tests when needed.
    “Any orthopedic problem, I call Dr. Hooks first. She keeps them healthy and moving.  The acupuncture relaxes them.  They know it’s going to be a good experience.  My oldest, Cairo, has been known to doze while she’s doing it.  She usually does the chiropractic first, examines them, feels them.  It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for each dog.
     “I think it’s just wonderful, and we are so fortunate to have her.”
     Dr. Hooks, a resident of Leawood, has several animals of her own: Sailor, a 14-year-old mixed breed dog who rules the household; two horses, Fendi, 10, and Scottie, 24;  and a pet deer, Rosie, who is 15 years old. Over the years, she has had many other pets, including cats, a goat and Vizsla show dogs. Many of the dogs she works with today are performance animals. 
     Melissa Snell of West Little Rock has used Karen’s services for about five years for her champion show dogs, JoJo, a Coton de Turear, and Zap, a miniature poodle. 
     “They are performance dogs.  They do agility, obedience compliance and free style.  They are like little athletes. 
     “She does chiropractic and acupuncture.  I take them in before a really big competition to make sure everything is okay.  She really helps to keep them in top shape. She’s always great to work with.“
     Dr. Hooks sees pets, as well as working and show animals.
     “I see a lot of athletic dogs that participate in agility, Schutzhund, obedience, hunting etc., as well as dogs and other animals whose main job is as a pet or companion,” she said. 
     “I also see a lot of geriatric animals with subtle lameness and discomfort.  The horses I see are mostly athletic jumpers, dressage, racing, reining, and roping. 
     And, it’s not all horses and dogs.
    “I have treated everything from an elephant to a barred owl that was brought to me by a wildlife rehabilitation facility.” 
     Mary Jane Calhoun of the Heights said Karen had been taking care of her animals for
at least 20 years.
    “She’s very professional and knowledgeable,” Mrs. Calhoun said. 
     “I have a border collie, Sasha Belle, between 15 and 16 years old, and Chloe, a 
basset hound who is 14 years old. Because of Karen, I think my dogs are blissfully enjoying life in their senior years.  The border collie is elderly, but she plays and enjoys her life.”
     Regular acupuncture treatments have helped keep her dogs active and helped with pain issues.  “It helps.  I can see that it does.
    “And my husband has a few race horses with two or three other men.  He has not hesitated to recommend Karen Hooks to other horse owners.
    “Karen is direct and kind. And she’s honest with you.  I think that’s real important.  We are just lucky to have her.  We really are.”
    Karen is a licensed practicing veterinarian with a bachelor’s degree in  Animal Science from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville.  She earned a master’s in Public Health Epidemiology in 2013 from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.  She earned her doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Tuskegee University in 1988.  
     She was certified to practice Veterinary Acupuncture in 1996 and was a charter member of the American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncturists.  She was certified to practice Animal Chiropractic in 1998 and is a lifetime founding member of the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association. She is a member of the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Arkansas Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Association of Equine Practitioners.

    You can find her on Facebook, on the web at animal, or by calling 223-5400.