The Culturalist

A month’s worth of porters, presidents and guitar pluckin’

Schueler---Weathering-Skies

JON SCHUELER AT THE ARKANSAS ARTS CENTER | Aug. 5 – Oct. 23

LITTLE ROCK | There is something about the sky. Something mysterious about the endless blue, something lofty about the opaque, voluptuous clouds and something menacing about the fiery patches of red upon sunrise. And in the swirls and dabs of color in abstract-expressionist painter Jon Schueler’s work, you’ll see it—the mystery, the wistfulness, the chaos. Perhaps that’s because it was during World Ward II—specifically, when he was working as a navigator on a B-17 bomber—that he turned his eyes skyward and became instantly preoccupied with the celestial sphere. Two decades later, confined to the space of a tiny shack on the Scotland’s Isle of Skye, he began to render the Scottish sky on canvas, ultimately producing the paintings that will adorn the walls of the Arkansas Arts Center this month. (arkarts.com)


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FAYETTEVILLE ROOTS FESTIVAL | Aug. 25-28

FAYETTEVILLE | Normally, we’d tell you how deeply rooted the Roots Festival is. How the founders, back when this was all just a pipe dream, brought the idea from something discussed in terms of what ifs? and why don’t we’s?, and eventually made it what it is today, seven years later: the four-day-spanning, Fayetteville-venue-ranging, big-name-act-drawing festival that it is (think: Old Crow Medicine Show, Shovels & Rope and Hayes Carll). But. There’s more to it. Because that whole rooted thing? It goes beyond the scope of the grassroots history and Americana-tinged jams. It’s something that’s taken shape in things like the “Farmers of the Festival,” aka the 15 farmers from across the region who are the sole proprietors of organic food and produce for the festival menus. (We say that’s just another reason to root for the home team.) (fayettevilleroots.com)


THEATRESQUARED PRESENTS ALL THE WAY Aug. 24 – Sept. 18

FAYETTEVILLE | Historical figures? Political intrigue? Onstage? Look. We know. When you read about a theatrical production described in those terms, it’s nigh impossible to avoid thinking about that other political story adapted for the stage. However. When you consider the makeup of this Tony award-winning story—spanning LBJ’s ascendancy to the presidency in the wake of JFK’s assassination and the embattled passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that followed soon thereafter—there’s little doubting the remarkable narrative quality built into the story. (It’s not for nothing, after all, that biographer Robert Caro has focused his life’s work on the nation’s 36th president—or that the work was recently adapted for the screen on HBO). It might not be Hamilton. But it’s downright presidential. (theatre2.org)


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GREAT ARKANSAS BEER FESTIVAL | Aug. 6

LITTLE ROCK | When the Great Arkansas Beer Festival set up more than a dozen tents at the Statehouse Convention Center last year, close to 2,000 thirsty beer-a-philes swarmed to get a taste of the featured breweries’ wares. This year, the fest’s back at it again, and word is, it’s even bigger. (And by that, we mean: More beer!) The GARBF will boast libations from over 100 breweries, including hometown favorites, as well as lesser-known, out-of-state breweries. The most exciting part? Every once in a while, local breweries showcase specialty, small-batch beers—exclusively for the event. And no, you won’t have to sip your brews under the hot August sun: The GARBF will take the fun indoors over at the Statehouse. (Cue forehead wipe.) (garbf.com)


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DWIGHT YOAKAM AT ASU CONVOCATION CENTER | Aug. 26

JONESBORO | Two lines of finger-style guitar. A rural croon. A tone vaguely reminiscent of Elvis’ baritone, with the control and finesse of Buck Owens. Listening to what is arguably Dwight’s most popular anthem, “Honky Tonk Man,” conjures the atmosphere of a bygone era— the cigarette smoke of a honky-tonk, the desolation of a dusty road, the egg-crate grille and pointy fins of a low-slung Cadillac. And even though his songs are somewhat of a time machine—his latest album, Second Hand Heart, induces a stick-with-you kind of nostalgia—his performance this month at ASU’s Convocation Center is sure to be proof that Dwight’s music is still alive and kickin’. (astateconvo.com)