Updated: Apr 25, 2022
Art Jam 2022 brought local visual and performing artists together in a day of festivities featuring lively music, exhibits, hands-on activities and demonstrations in beautiful Matthews Park. Art Jam was presented by First Security Bank and Crain Hyundai. Event organizer, Shellie O'Quinn shares, "The theme, “You Belong Here” reiterates the message of our new community mural that EVERYONE belongs on the planet first and foremost, and also in our community. In support of the mission to bring our community together for a fun day of celebrating the arts and expressing ourselves creatively, we wanted to showcase the arts and culture of our area."
This event is FREE to the public and plans to be in the future. Its purpose is to raise money to fund a scholarships for a students pursuing a degree in visual or performing arts. All proceeds benefit the Greenbrier Area Arts Council Scholarship Fund. “The arts are just as important as any other subject. Research shows that students who participate in art programs have improved concentration, memory, decision making and critical thinking skills. We are excited about the fine arts scholarship that Art Jam will provide,” says Ann Harrod, a teacher from the Greenbrier School District.
A variety of live performances graced the stage throughout the day, including Westside, Springhill, Eastside, elementary choirs, Greenbrier Dance Academy, GJHS Jazz Band, Rob Matson, Aaron and the Pickers, local musicians, and various groups from Greenbrier Schools.
Chris James, an award-winning poet, TED Talks speaker, playwright, educator, and author performed. He recently served as the keynote speaker at the United States Capitol for the 39th Annual Congressional Arts Competition. He also conducted a poetry workshop at the festival. Bookbinding, calligraphy and papermaking workshops were enjoyed as well.
The Faulkner County Museum Exhibit displayed the works of local artists from the past and present. “The museum was closed to visitors for many months. This is a wonderful opportunity to bring the museum to the people and further the museum’s mission of educating the public on the art and history of Greenbrier, building relationships, and celebrating our community,” says Lynita Langley-Ware, Director of the Faulkner County Museum.
The student exhibit featured works of art selected by the art teachers. “Our art department coordinates a district-wide art exhibit every spring, and this year, that exhibit will be available for the community to enjoy at Art Jam,” says Karen Hall, an art teacher at Greenbrier High School.
Everyone had an opportunity to participate in the community weaving project which utilized donated items, recycling them into a beautiful composition. “We want everyone to be a part of the process and contribute to the artwork. Public art is an avenue for community connection. Standing side-by-side with your neighbors, weaving together, really is a beautiful representation of the theme You Belong Here,” says Julie Isom, local artist and Art Jam planning committee member. The resulting art piece will be displayed in a public location soon.
The Children’s Clinic of Conway and Greenbrier Kidz Zone featured hands-on activities for kids, including a weaving project, coloring pages, painting, and more! It was a local favorite for many.
“We have several other partners and people working together to make this event possible. In addition to our Presenting Sponsors, First Security Bank and Crain Hyundai, we have received support from Cuerden Sign Company, Children’s Clinic of Conway and Greenbrier, Herschel Hall, Edward Jones, Salter Construction, First Service Bank, Billy’s Trophies and Awards, Sam’s Club, Halff and Associates, Ecological Design Group, Evelyn Dean Realtor, Silverlake Design Studio, Sam's Club of Conway, Creative Institute of Central Arkansas, Yennifer Lopez Photography, and Turner Parking Lot Maintenance," shares event organizer, Shellie O'Quinn.
For more information on Art Jam in the future, follow the City of Greenbrier on Facebook for updates and check out the hashtag on social media as well, #GBArtJam
For future sponsorship opportunities: GBArtJam@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org