French Cultures Festival (2019)

French Culture Festival Website:
Cultural Services of the French Embassy Facebook Page:

3:00PM – 5PM, Thursday, March 28, 2019,
Reception and Art Talk – McCastlain Hall Fireplace Room
Sponsored by the College of Fine Arts & Communication


The University of Central Arkansas College of Fine Arts & Communication and the Division of International Engagement present:

IllumineDe la Côte d’Opale à la Côte d’Azur

March 4 – March 29, 2019, Monday thru Fridays only, 8:00AM – 5:00PM McCastlain Hall
An exhibit of works by internationally-recognized artist Gene Hatfield capturing the essence of postwar France, 1958-1998. This event is part of the French Cultures Festival coordinated by the Cultural Service of the French Embassy in Houston, TX.

In step with Victor Hugo, Paul Cézanne, and French President Macron, journey through quintessential French villages, seaside ports, and the streets of Paris, highlighted in select plein air works of award-winning, distinguished UCA professor emeritus, and decorated US Army veteran Gene Hatfield.

Gene Hatfield, 1925-2017, was a lifetime artist and distinguished professor emeritus of art at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Arkansas. He was married to Nicole Wable of Montreuil-sur-mer, France for 47 years, until her death in 2004. They had three children, and five grandchildren.

Hatfield was a recipient of the Arkansas Arts Council Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award, an Arkansas Senate Citation, a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. Among his many accomplishments, he received top prize in 1967 and 1969 in La Palette Française – Grand Prix de Peinture de la Cote d’Opale, Le Touquet, France, and his sculptures and paintings were featured in the Arkansas Art Center Annual Delta Exhibitions. Several of his pieces are registered with the Smithsonian Institution’s Save Outdoor Sculpture program.

In 2013, he was featured by AETN in their documentary series: Arkansas Men and Women of Distinction.

Hatfield earned a B.S. in education in speech and English from the Arkansas State Teachers College (now UCA) in 1948, followed by a master’s degree in art education from Colorado State College of Education (now University of Northern Colorado). That same year, he began teaching art at the Arkansas State Teachers College (UCA) until his retirement in 1985. During his tenure, Hatfield taught classes in drawing, painting, sculpture, crafts, design, art history, and art appreciation. He traveled frequently to Europe in the summer, where he worked on his art and studied with Henri Goetz and Leo Marchutz in France, and at the Fuller Art Studio in Saint Ives, England.

Hatfield worked primarily in watercolor, oil, acrylic, pottery, stage sets, and various types of sculpture. Hatfield incorporated aspects of surrealism and folk art into his unique sculptures while more traditional late-nineteenth-century artists such as Paul Cézanne influenced his paintings.

Visit to learn more about how Gene was extraordinary.