Notes, News, and Musings. 

The South's Best


 One of the highlights of Greg Thompson Fine Art’s season is the “Best of the South” exhibition, which opened Thursday at the North Little Rock gallery. 

    The show features more than 20 artists from around the region and pays homage to some of its historic giants — Thomas Hart Benton, Clementine Hunter and Carroll Cloar. Gallery patrons will see other familiar names represented, including photorealist Glennray Tutor and photographer Millie West, both of Oxford, Miss.; magical realist painter Sheila Cotton and sculptor Robyn Horn, both of Little Rock; Memphis-born photographer William Eggleston; and Edward Rice of Augusta, Ga., known for paintings of Southern architecture. 

    Rice’s Icon may be the show-stopper. A brightly painted piggy bank in a yellow dress with high white collar, sporting huge red lips, fills a 60-by-48-inch canvas. It is laugh-out-loud funny, but after the chuckles subside, a wry commentary on wealth and greed emerges. 

    Three oil paintings by Arkansas State University associate professor of art John Harlan Norris from his “Occupants” series are eye-catching, colorful works of people beneath headgear made of objects that are keys to their self-identity. The works provide a pointed commentary on materialism’s impact. 

    Also memorable are a gorgeous oil cotton field landscape by Cotton, Pinkney Herbert’s abstract pastels and Thompson’s lovely impressionist works with a fauvist color sense. 

    “The Best of the South,” through Nov. 15, Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 N. Main St., North Little Rock. Hours: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday., or (501) 664-2787.