North Central Arkansas Artist League

Officers 2012-2014

President: Charlotte Rierson

Vice President: Joyce Hartmann

Treasurer: Bonnie Hookman

Secretary: Alecs Long

This organization meets each Monday to paint and create art together at Bayside Art Studio and Gallery, located in Fairfield Bay at the corner of Highway 330 and Greenwood Dr.  It's across from "Razorback Rock", Stringbeanz Restaurant, and the road to the Marina. The public is welcome to come and view their art work and watch artists work, or to paint and draw along.

This group also exhibits in Clinton at the hospital (Ozark Health Medical Center, Highway 65 S.); in Greers Ferry at the Public Library and Greers Ferry Florist, in the Fairfield Bay Library, and at the NCA Gallery in Fairfield Bay Conference and Visitor Center.  Some members also exhibit at Indian Rock Village, Greers Ferry Florist, and the Fairfield Bay Country Club. You CAN find original art if you just look...

Below is an article about this group published in the Little Rock Democrat Gazette in January, 2009, when I wrote free-lance features for them...


Art Group Has Been Been Painting Together for More than 30 Years


By Joyce Hartmann

Visitors to Fairfield Bay Old Town might notice a lot of parked cars near a house at the intersection of Highway 330 and Greenwood Road. If they looked inside, they would hear laughter and smell coffee and doughnuts. No, it’s not a coffee shop; it’s the new Bayside Art Studio and Gallery.


It’s where members of the North Central Arkansas Artist League paint together each Monday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Artists drive from Greer’s Ferry, Clinton, Quitman, Edgemont, Mountain View, Melbourne, Shirley, and Fairfield Bay to create paintings and support each other.  


The former doctor’s office, called the Greenwood Building, had been vacant except for occasional use by Area Boy Scouts and the Interfaith Dart Association. When artists first began painting there in May 2008, faucets leaked, temperatures were either too hot or too cold, and streams of rainwater poured through ceilings, filling strategically placed plastic wastebaskets.


Artist League members worked with the Fairfield Bay Community Club, which owns the house, to stop further deterioration.


The Community Club installed a new air conditioning, heating system, and a new roof. They plastered and painted the ceilings. Artists provided furnishings, bringing work tables, bookshelves, a couch, microwave, coffee pots, and new carpeting for the reception room.


“Everybody pitched in,” said NCA Artist League President Ellen Kelly of Fairfield Bay, impressed with the enthusiasm of the group.


As a result, the house is now a true community asset highlighting the arts. It features a large room where artists paint together, and a cozy gallery where visitors can view or purchase original local art. Other rooms provide storage or a place to eat lunch or hold meetings.


It looked so nice that it was featured as part of the Fairfield Bay Christmas Homes Tour. Every artist used their varied life experiences to help bring about that dream. A former professional florist decorated and retired gallery owners and professional artists set up the gallery. Everyone brought refreshments.


Kelly said “I had a vision that the Artist League members could support and encourage each other, and entice people outside the community to come see what we’re all about. I want to promote Fairfield Bay as something more than golf and fishing. Its people are amazing.”


Historically, area artists have painted together for more than 30 years. Charter members Jeanne Homuth and Melva King, both Fairfield Bay residents, reminisced.


Homuth said, “Melva and I are the last of the Mohicans.” She said early beginnings were informal but active. “A craft group met in a little house in 1978, and an art group formed from that. We got a retired architect to be our teacher, and painted together in an empty store front in the Mall. When the Community Club rented the store front, they’d move us to another empty spot.


“Once we had a room above the Bowling Alley; we even had a little gallery there, but we had to take the pictures down for a church who always met there, too.


“Then Joan Wargo, a retired beautician, moved into town. She was a motherly type who could figure out how to do things and helped us paint. One member, Vivien, always said ‘I can’t do it’. Joan made her put a quarter in a box every time she said she couldn’t. Years later Vivien painted well enough to win awards.”


King said, “Some things are the same. We always had enthusiastic painters and willing workers in our club, and the Community Club always supported us.”

Homuth agreed, “There was always a dedicated close-knit art group here. The club is a lot more organized now, though.”


Today’s 30 members have by-laws, dues, business meetings, workshops, and lots of exhibits. Art is displayed at Ozark Health Medical Center in Clinton, the Library and Bank in Greer’s Ferry, Fairfield Bay community buildings and Senior Center, Fairfield Bay Library, NCA Art Gallery at the Country Club, Community Gallery in First Service Bank in Clinton, Indian Rock Village at Fairfield Bay, and elsewhere.


Last year members held a paint-out on July Fourth at Leamon’s Park, and donated art to the Alzheimer’s Association. Some members also paint outdoors each week. They hold exceptional workshops; this year’s instructors will include Sheila Parsons, Richard Stephens, and western artist Don Dane.  


Visitors are encouraged to drop by any Monday, to browse, shop, or paint at Bayside. “We invite and encourage all levels of ability to come paint with us,” Kelly said.


For more information on the NCA Artist League call Ellen Kelly at 501-884-6476.