101 Town Center, P.O. Box 5655, Bella Vista, AR 72714 (479)876-1255

Bella Vista Arts Council recognizes October Artist of the Month


The Bella Vista Arts Council is pleased to honor Ron Pennington as the October Artist of the Month.

Pennington will be honored at a live performance at 6:30 p.m. October 13 at the Artist Retreat Center in Bella Vista.

Pennington is a Northwest Arkansas native. His dad taught him a few chords and tunes on the Mandolin at age 9, he played the drums for a couple of years, started on the guitar at age 12 and began experimenting with the bass at age 16. He won first place in a Mandolin contest in Disney, Okla. in 1976.

Since then, he has traveled all over the country and Canada playing in various bands. In 1999 he played the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. Also that year, his bluegrass band Lonesome Road, which he helped form two years before, won first place at the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music international bluegrass competition. He remains a part of this band today.

Pennington started playing with guitarist Roby Pantall at church in 2000, and they started playing jazz in 2003. The two are a very popular local jazz duo and play several times a month at various venues in the area, including regular appearances at the Eleven restaurant inside Crystal Bridges Museum.

Pennington has performed on more than 30 CDs and has a one of his own titled Brentwood. He also taught mandolin, guitar and bass for 25 years. You can hear Ron every Sunday playing electric guitar in the praise and worship team at New Life Church in Bella Vista.

Contact the ARC for reservation information at (479)268-6463 or online at www.artistretreatcenter.com.


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 established an Artist of the Month program, in which selected artists and their work will be showcased to the public. Three volunteers serve on our selection committee — Sara Parnell of the Artist Retreat Center, Pearl Williamson, president of Wishing Springs Gallery, and Demara Titzer, curator of several galleries in Bentonville.

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 artscouncil@bellavistaar.gov.