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Artists & Makers

Adrian Quintanar | Adrian is a former artist-in-residence at the Arkansas Arts Center. After completing his fine arts degree, he began his studio practice in ceramics. Adrian is active in the local art community; participating in community events and markets and working extensively with locally owned retail shops where you can find his artistic handcrafted pottery. His fine art pottery and photography has also been displayed in juried exhibitions throughout the state and country.

Arkansocks | Arkansocks was launched in Little Rock, Arkansas in 2015. Keeping a strong link with the Natural State of Arkansas, the design philosophy of Arkansocks seeks to create high quality products that pay tribute to the natural landscape and culture of Arkansas. A variety of sock designs and styles are available at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum Shop.

Blake Stone | A native of Southeast Arkansas, Blake Stone grew up in Pine Bluff reveling in all the perks that come with growing up such an area including hunting, fishing, boating, and skiing. Blake possesses a great love for everything outdoors, including all the wood he uses to craft his variety of custom pieces. The wood he uses in his work comes from a variety of sources including reclaimed wine barrels, barn wood, local Arkansas wood, and even exotic hardwoods from the rain forest.

Carey McClain | Carey is the owner and maker behind Sweet Home Candles. Based in Conway, Sweet Home candles have been in the business of making high-quality, soy-based candles that keep your home smelling great for hours.

El Dubya | Larry Witherspoon was born in 1953 in Little Rock, Arkansas. At the age of ten or eleven he was introduced to hand building and the wheel in a little pottery studio on Cantrell Road. He returned to pottery several times through the years but circumstances kept interrupting his studies. Years later, he met his now wife, who just happened to be in pottery classes at the Arkansas Arts Center. Kelly Edwards, the instructor, allowed Larry to throw some clay on the wheel. Larry enrolled into Kelly’s class for a couple of years. Once again, ‘things in life’ took him away from pottery. Almost eleven years later: Larry returned to pottery and continues to make beautiful creations to this day.

Gina Spinelli Brockington | After a 20 year career in corporate sales, Gina Brockinton left the corporate world to raise her two wonderful children, Blake and Ashlan.  Never losing her passion for sales and creating relationships, Gina started a small business in 2000 inspired by stretch bracelets she was seeing everywhere stacked high on the wrists of the most fashionable ladies in the South. Gina, along with a few of her creative friends, quickly started selling this unique line of handmade jewelry called G.Spinelli. Gina has always loved the Italian flare of her maiden name "Spinelli", thus making the hardest part of a business very easy. G.Spinelli prides itself on creating a workplace that complements busy lifestyles where family and children are just as important as the customers. There is never a dull moment at the G.Spinelli design studio because jokes are Gina's specialty!

Jake Lewis | Fayetteville artist Jake Lewis says of his work: “My passion for creating unique, functional art and furniture pieces using reclaimed materials, secondhand goods and found objects ignited after experimenting with a limitless supply of barn wood and other materials at a ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas. I moved from Austin to Fayetteville, Arkansas almost four years ago, and have continued evolving my craft under the name Woodworx Workshop and Hustlewood, LLC. The materials I use in my work are all repurposed in one way or another. I use pieces of walnut, pecan and oak, alongside scraps from roadside furniture finds and thrift store 'near giveaways.' If it's real wood, I will incorporate it into my work."

James Hayes | After receiving an Art degree from Hendrix College in 1988, James Hayes was searching for a new medium. He discovered glassblowing at the Arkansas Arts Center and immediately fell in love. In 1993 he bought his own equipment and formed the James Hayes Art Class Co. In 1996, he purchased a dairy farm and converted the milking parlor into a hot shop and showroom. James’s work is fondly known around Arkansas and is happy to create custom work for any customer.

Jane Hankins | Witty, whimsical, wonderful. These words and more describe the creative world of Little Rock, Arkansas artist Jane F. Hankins. Born in Jonesboro, Jane has enjoyed a strong presence in the community of Arkansas artists for over two decades. A visual artist, specializing in sculpture in porcelain and stoneware as well as drawing and painting, she is a designer for nationally-marketed sculpture reproductions. She is a serious artist, who doesn’t take herself too seriously. Her work shows us that art does not have to be serious to be important.

John Chapman | Little Rock artist John Chapman creates beautiful turned wood sculptures and functional pieces for the home and office. John says he’s never considered himself an artist. “I consider myself more of a technician in search of a project. My love for Mathematics naturally turned into a Computer Science degree. Some might think that has little to do with woodworking, but I find my time spent on segmented woodturning projects is equally divided between designing on the computer, cutting at the table saw, gluing on the bench, and turning at the lathe.”

Justin Sharpe | Justin is the owner and creator behind AR-T’s, a Little Rock screen-printing business which designs and creates locally-minded apparel. Justin’s passion for art and fashion are apparent in his custom designs he creates for the Arkansas Arts Center.

Kelly Edwards | Interested in art from a young age, Kelly is inspired by painters and creates three-dimensional wall hangings. Kelly is a Raku specialist, a technique that requires more tenacity than luck. Kelly is currently an instructor at the Museum School and has been teaching since 1999.

KelMari Designs | Dallas artist Kelli Salas creates handcrafted jewelry inspired by her Salvadoran culture. Kelli designs and creates high-quality pieces that celebrate her family’s motherland’s nature, history, and people. From the colorful art of the great Fernando Llort to grandparents’ remote home village; she gathers inspiration from her traditions, heritage, and experiences. With every KelMari piece you purchase you are helping raise awareness and shine a positive light on the country of El Salvador that reflect the values of Amor, Alegria, and Cultura (Love, Happiness, Culture).

Marcus Lewis | Marcus Lewis is the owner and artist behind MLew Clothing. Marcus is a native of Little Rock. He attended Parkview Arts/Science Magnet High School and graduated with a degree in Business from Philander Smith College in 2001. Marcus says of his work: “I have always loved art and fashion. Years ago I decided to add my artwork to my fashion and have been doing it every since! My line of ties are fun and unique. They add a touch of individuality to a casual or formal ensemble. Each tie is hand painted and can never be duplicated. Art and fashion are timeless. Hopefully my line of ties will express ones individuality for the art and fashion world.”

Melissa Orsini | As a child, Melissa began her creative journey by putting rocks and sticks together in patterns. She started sewing doll clothes and knitting in grade school and graduated to making her own clothes. Later she started strings beads, beginning her love affair with jewels that carried over to the art she creates today. Many of her jewelry pieces have precious and semi-precious stones set and woven into the pieces. Influenced heavily by the East, her pieces have an old world feel Outside her home studio, she can be found at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School where she has is an instructor in the Jewelry and small Metals department, specializing in metal clay and fiber arts. In her words, Metal Clay can seem like magic with a pliable raw state then transformed in the kiln to a solid metal. To create her original jewelry pieces, she uses Bronze, sterling and fine silver and gold including black oxidation and the art of Keum-Boo. Her pieces are sold at the gift shop at the Arkansas Arts Center and other retail outlets. She shares her Heights Little Rock home with her husband David, their rescue Dog Annie and their 2 studio cats, Daisy and Rosie

Merri Chandler | Merri is a Little Rock native who has spent her life admiring and collecting art in various mediums. She was particularly fascinated by the delicate nature and reflective beauty of glass. What began as admiration, became a passion after her first class in glass fusion at the Arkansas Art Center. It was through these classes she embraced her chosen artistic medium of glass fusion. To create dimensional pieces from sheets of glass requires the intense heat of a kiln and perfect chemistry, yet due to the capricious nature of glass, there is always an element of surprise in the finished work. “I don’t work in glass, I work with it, because it always has the final say.”

Rae Ann Bayless | Rae Ann Bayless is the owner, designer and artisan behind Rae Ann Creations. For more than 20 years, she has dedicated her craft to the idea of jewelry as wearable art. A native of Arkansas, now Rae Ann calls Venice, FL home. All her designs are individually hand crafted in her Florida studio, a space laden with the anticipation of ideas waiting to be fulfilled.

Riley Brothers | Riley Art Glass Studio is a partnership of two brothers, Charles and Michael, who came together to focus their artistic talents on the art of glass blowing in Hot Springs, Arkansas. After experiencing various art forms, the brothers found a passion for glass blowing to express their creativity. Specializing in art glass creations using age old glass blowing techniques, all glass products are hand blown and sculpted. 

Yang Luo-Branch | Illustrator Yang Luo-Branch has a passion for people and places. Originally from China, she immigrated to the US at the age of 24 after finishing a 5-year undergraduate program in architecture in China. She obtained a master’s degree in sociology and PhD in urban planning from Texas Tech University. Yang has taught Architectural Freehand Drawing and Design Studios at Texas Tech University College of Architecture for 4.5 years and practiced in architectural design, planning and GIS analysis in China and United States. Previously practiced as an urban planner as part of a community redevelopment team, Yang currently is the Senior GIS Analyst at Arkansas Economic Development Commission. Her talent, passion, education and professional experiences enable her to understand and deliver art with a great depth and bright spirit.