Featured Artists

 August 26, 2020 at 3:00pm: Suffrage Centennial Kickoff Event, College of Business Auditorium 107

August 26, 2020 evening: “Forward Into Light” initiative, Old Main will be illuminated in purple and gold light

Old Main lit in purple and gold for the “Forward Into Light” campaign

August 26-October 15, 2020:
Brian Young and Sue Bennett –
Threads Through Time Art Exhibit, Baum Gallery, McCastlain Hall
Threads Through Time is a companion exhibit to the on-site installation, titled “Shag Pools,” by artist Sharon Louden. It also addresses the Suffrage Centennial by tracing the evolution of textiles created by women from the 19th century to today. Artworks will range from 19th century samplers and protest quilts; to suffrage banners, posters, and sashes; to contemporary reinterpretations of traditional textiles, including Rena Detrixhe’s Red Dirt Rug and Jessie Hemmons’ yarn bombingTo view the exhibit virtually, please visit: https://uca.edu/art/threads-through-time-introduction/

Rena Detrixhe, Red Dirt Rug, 2016, loose red Oklahoma soil, imprinted with modified shoe soles

Jessie Hemmons (aka Ishknits), Your Need to Feel Powerful, 2016, yarn







September 16, 2020 at 7:30 pm: Linda Hsu – “American Women in Music and Prose” Suffrage Centennial Faculty Chamber Concert
UCA Violin Professor, Linda Hsu, presents a Faculty Chamber Concert on September 16th, 2020 at 7:30 pm at the Reynolds Performance Hall. With a poetry reading by Dr. Patricia Poulter, this concert features compositions by all females. All guests will be required to wear face masks and will be ushered into Reynolds Performance Hall following social distancing guidelines. For more information, please visit: https://uca.edu/news/uca-hosts-suffrage-centennial-concert/

To view the full concert program, please follow this link: American Women in Music and Prose Program

UCA Suffrage Centennial Project: American Women in Music and Prose. UCA Chamber Concert featuring UCA Music Faculty. Poetry Reading by Provost Patricia Poulter. September 16 at 7:30 pm. Reynolds Performance Hall, University of Central Arkansas. Free Admission. Social distancing and face coverings will be enforced.

Reynolds Performance Hall will abide by the directives for Large Indoor Venues set by the Arkansas Department of Health.

These directives include:
– Lobbies will only be open when the theatre is open and ready for use. People will not be allowed to stop or gather in the lobbies.  There will be rope and stanchions in place to assist the crowd with spatial distancing.
– Audience Members must wear masks at all times.
– Audience Members are required to sit at least 6ft away from other patrons.  Members of the same family unit are allowed to sit together.
– After the event has concluded the audience will be dismissed by ushers starting at the back of the theatre.  All others must remain in their seats until they are dismissed by ushers.
– On stage performers/speakers must wear a mask if they are less than 6ft from others on stage when speaking and 12ft from others if singing or dancing. Exception to this rule is if performers are deemed a family unit such as touring groups.
– No food or drink will be allowed in the building.

September 28-October 5, 2020, Alumni Circle: Sharon Louden – Suffrage Rugs and Video Projections
Artist in Residence Sharon Louden, in collaboration with six women students will create a temporary sculptural installation in Alumni Circle entitled, Suffrage Rugs: Amplifying Voices of Unheard Women. Louden’s Suffrage Rugs transcend the traditional role that women played in the domestic sphere and focus on the lesser-known women who contributed to this landmark moment in American history, such as Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terrell, Angelina Weld Grimke, Marsha P. Thompson, and Sarah Parker Remond, ton name only a few. Using a variety of recycled material sourced in Arkansas including colored rubber mulch and pristine white sand, the two squares will also incorporate polished recycled glass, black and white rock, and even dark volcanic pebbles from Iceland. Designed to be barrier-free and walked upon, Suffrage Rugs will be used as performance venues for multidisciplinary suffrage activities.

Louden’s installation will also include animated video projections of her abstract forms, allowing the work to have a nighttime function. The projection will be located on the center section of the façade of Old Main and run in a continuous loop during the evenings of the celebration week. The three-minute video will conclude with a QR code that links to a website containing information about the artwork and its relation to the suffrage celebration.

Sharon Louden, Shag Pools, Franconia Sculpture Park, Shafer, MN.

Sharon Louden, The Bridge outdoor façade projection, 2009, Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY


October 5, 2020, Alumni Circle: Liz Smith – Acorns Project Installation
Alumni Circle will also host a temporary ceramic floor mosaic made of various colors of natural clay. UCA ceramics professor Liz Smith, in collaboration with UCA ceramics students and community members, will create a large-scale representation of the U.S. flag using clay. Components for the mosaic will resemble seeds of native Arkansas species. Each seed will be handcrafted by members of the community: adult consumers with special needs at Independent Living Services (ILS), homeless adults and children served by Bethlehem House (BH), and older adults at College Square (CS). We chose the metaphor of the seed because it provides a way of looking to the future of voting rights, why they are important, and what we must do to preserve them and our democracy. 

Liz Smith, The Garden, 2011, porcelain, decals, acrylic paint

We will host ceramic workshops for consumers and residents of ILS, BH, and CS, which will be facilitated by UCA faculty and students. We chose to partner with communities that typically experience barriers to voting and about whom, because of popular media, we tend to make negative assumptions, envisioning the nightmarish world of the insane asylum, the cardboard box under the overpass, or the isolating rooms of the nursing home. We want students to understand that 1) such is not necessarily the case, and 2) that these groups want to be part of the larger community while they recognize this community often refuses to invite them to belong. The workshops will assist college students in becoming local and global citizens, recognizing similarities and differences between cultures and creating a connection with a different culture. We want our students to become interested in the lives of others who are different and to cultivate a disposition toward empathy. Empathy is not an inherent value. It has to be taught and the best way to teach it is to engage others through the arts in different contexts whether face to face, virtually, and through the stories and experiences of others.

Opening Reception, Alumni Circle, October 6 or 8, 2020 at 1:30 pm. Please check back here for updates.


October 17, 2020: Kristen Spickard and Dr. Lesley Graybeal – CitiZINE Project Workshops

CitiZINE Workshops. Zines are small, eight-page, self-published booklets, typically reproduced inexpensively by photocopier. Zines can contain stories, drawings, poetry, or just phrases that shed light on important issues or whatever is on the mind of the participant. According to Asian American Studies professor Tom Honma, “Because of their do-it-yourself ethos, zines are often embraced by those from marginalized backgrounds because of their freedom to experiment with different modes of writing, expression, and presentation.” Graphic designer Kristen Spickard and community outreach coordinator Dr. Lesley Graybeal will host zine-making workshops on campus and in the community (with our project partners at ILS, BH, CS and with the community at the Faulkner County Library; at Torreyson Library, Student Center Amphitheater, and various classrooms) that explore what it means, within the context of the suffrage centennial, to be a citizen and how citizens can come together to develop empathy for each other.

CitiZINE Exhibit. Spickard and Graybeal, along with members of the RSO Students for the Arts, will also curate an exhibit of the zines, along with poster-sized enlargements of selected zine pages, that will be on public view at UCA Downtown during the month of September.

Community Reception. We will host a community reception for all workshop participants at UCA during the week of Suffrage Centennial events. The reception will coincide with the Suffrage Sing-Along in Alumni Circle. ASL interpretation will be provided.

CitiZine Q&A. October 17th, 2020 at 10:30 am via Zoom. Please check back here for the Zoom link and information.


October 20, 2020 at 6:30 and 7:30 pm: Jaimee Jensen-McDaniel – Community Suffrage Centennial Sing-Along & Persona Poetry
Alumni Circle will also host a giant karaoke-style communal sing-along devoted to suffrage protest songs, a nod to the fact that when suffragists were not allowed to speak in public, they sang about their oppression. Based on the Giant Sing-Along at the Minnesota State Fair, we propose to transform Alumni Circle by setting up a field of 30 microphone stands that face Old Main where we will project the words to each song.

Singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian Dolly Parton will be invited to participate in the sing-along either in person, via video recording, or by granting UCA the rights to sing her new song “The 19th Amendment,” from 27: The Most Perfect Album, created by Jad Abumrad, host of the podcasts Radiolab and More Perfect.

Persona Poems by UCA Students – Voices of Suffrage
In Spring of 2020, in anticipation of the Suffrage Centennial, students in Professor Sandy Longhorn’s Persona Poetry class at UCA, drafted poems in the voices of various suffragettes. Persona poetry, sometimes called dramatic monologue, features speakers as characters, speakers who are not the poet. In this case, students first researched the Suffrage Movement, then selected an individual suffragette to embody and did more research on her life, specifically. Finally, students drafted poems that attempted to capture each woman’s lived experience, and to give each woman’s voice an opportunity to be heard again, in the century-shadow of the passage of the 19th Amendment.

Giant Sing-Along, Minnesota State Fair, MinneapolisGiant Sing-Along, Minnesota State Fair, Minneapolis


October 22, 2020 at 7:00 and 8:30 pm, Alumni Circle: Core Dance – Site-Specific Suffrage Dance Performance
Shag Pools will also become the performance venue for a site-specific dance presentation by Atlanta-based Core Dance. In the week prior to the performance, Core will host enquiry conversations in the community to summon movement sequences that approximate the emotions associated with the struggle for universal suffrage and that will invite the public to become participants. Their two performances, both entitled “Nevertheless She Persisted” will have spoken word performances provided by The Writeous Poets, and transparent fashions by Jillian Gregory.

Core Dance, Life Interrupted, 2015, Reynolds Performance Hall, UCA (Inspired by the 70th anniversary of the closing of the Japanese American internment camps in Arkansas)

Lillie Wren – Suffrage Swag
Participants at select events at UCA and Crystal Bridges will be given Suffrage Centennial mementoes handcrafted by UCA graphic design student Lillie Wren. Funded by a prestigious SURF grant, awarded by the Arkansas Department of Education, this project will incorporate graphic design elements of the suffrage era—fonts, styles, motifs taken from posters, banners, handbills, buttons, sashes, etc.—combined with the artist’s own style and contemporary outlook. Utilizing her skills in package design, Wren will create mini ballot boxes (approx. 3 x 3 x 2 in.) made of recycled cardboard and transparent paper so that viewers can see both inside and outside the box; outside, there are images of women of 1920 and, inside, inclusive images of women today.

Lillie Wren, All Inclusive, 2019

The Writeous Poets – Spoken Word Suffrage Speeches
Shag Pools will be the venue for spoken-word reenactments of historically important suffrage speeches from the era—including those of Sojourner Truth, Fredrick Douglass, and Mary Church Terrell. To make this history resonate with young audiences, Little Rock Central High School’s “Writeous Poets” will transform selected speeches into spoken-word performances.

Writeous Poets, Civil Twilight, Little Rock Central High School Commemorative Garden, 2017


October 26, 2020 from 2:00-2:50 pm: Q&A with Sharon Louden via Zoom. Please check back here for updates.

October 29, 2020 from 7:00-8:00 pm: Public Lecture by Sharon Louden
Lecture by Louden titled, “Living and Sustaining a Creative Life During a Pandemic,” via Zoom with live streaming to Facebook.

Please check back here for updates on links to the Zoom and Facebook streams.