Bella Vista Arts Council to recognize area artists


Werner chosen as May’s featured artist

There is no shortage of creativity in the residents of Bella Vista, and a group is working to recognize that one artist at a time.

The Bella Vista Arts Council, an advisory board to the City Council, was created by the City Council in February 2016 to help promote the arts in Bella Vista. The board has established an Artist of the Month program, in which selected artists and their work will be showcased with a public reception.

The first artist to be honored in this program is Jill Rumoshosky Werner, the artist featured for May 2018. An award presentation and reception will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 5 at the Bella Vista Historical Museum, 1885 Bella Vista Way.

A native of the New York City area, Werner lived for many years in Wichita, Kan. and currently resides in Bella Vista, Ark. She has exhibited her artwork in museums, art centers and galleries around the U.S. and abroad, and has won national and international awards.

Werner received a Mid-Career Fellowship in Fine Arts from the Kansas Arts Commission and previously served on their Mini-Fellowship selection panel. She has curated two traveling exhibitions, one a national invitational exhibit and the other an international exhibit that was the signature exhibition for an international art organization. She was published in American Craft magazine, the Material Matters book from the Columbus Museum of Art and the Quilt Visions book from the Oceanside Museum of Art. Werner holds an MA degree in audiology and is a teacher, speaker and writer.

Werner’s art is conceptual and represents a visual dictionary. Each piece defines a word, communicating concepts with imagery rather than words. Bold bright colors provide energy to the pieces, which are sculptural installations or wall-hung art.  Unusually proportioned quilts are used for the lines and surfaces, but other materials such as wood, foam and metal are also used. Her ideas come from a wide range of influences, including scientific imagery and the works of artists such as Eva Hesse and Robert Rauschenberg.

“To assist with this endeavor, the Arts Council chose three talented volunteers to serve on our selection committee. They are Sara Parnell of the Artist Retreat Center, Pearl Williamson, president of Wishing Springs Gallery, and Demara Titzer, curator of several galleries in Bentonville and well known in the local art community,” said Arts Council member Terry Wilson.

The committee will choose each month from qualified artists, who must be residents of Bella Vista and have their work displayed somewhere in the city. Showcased artists will have their work displayed at the Artist Retreat Center, and during the month they are recognized the work will be on display in a location around the city, such as the Bella Vista Library or Historical Museum.

To submit your name or other nominations for consideration, contact Parnell at the Artist Retreat Center, 479-268-6463, or email