A Sweet Escape: Local Art Gallery Encourages Student Work
Often UA art and architecture students’ work gets displayed in a gallery, but not necessarily the gallery on campus or even a gallery in Fayetteville. Some of the most successful art and architecture students’ work gets displayed in the sUgAR gallery.
The sUgAR gallery, located in downtown Bentonville, offers a unique opportunity for art and architecture students to display their designs in an exhibition-space setting. The studio is student-run, but the gallery has hosted several up-and-coming local artists’ works as well as UA student work.
“The head of downtown Bentonville proposed the idea,” said Cambry P.D. Newton, co-director of the sUgAR gallery.
“They wanted to bring some art to that area and it seemed like a great opportunity with the opening of Crystal Bridges,” she said.
Newton said they’d had an increase in traffic at the sUgAR gallery since Crystal Bridges opened in November.
The gallery is a cooperative effort between art and architecture students. Last semester the gallery saw an undergraduate art show, an architecture student furniture exhibit, national juried exhibitions, thesis defenses and other student programming.
Luke Knox, a senior art major, recently defended his thesis at the sUgAR gallery.
“Specific majors, like arts or music, where the academic content is less verbal, do a project or exhibition,” Knox said, describing what his thesis defense entailed.
Knox displayed several large-scale 3D installations and paintings in which he “[examined] animal mythologies through an artistic medium.”
Knox said it was difficult to transport his large-scale sculptures from Fayetteville to Bentonville. He said he had help from friends from five in the evening until 1 or 2 in the morning before the opening of his show.
It took Knox five days to set up his exhibition, and it was on display for four days.
Emily Jones, senior journalism major, said the gallery’s shape and small size lent itself perfectly to Knox’s exhibition.
She described the gallery as small and boxy, with no free-standing walls as are present in many studios.
“Luke showed a lot of giant installations that filled up the entire room,” she said. “It created a really nice atmosphere and an idea of a fantasy world. “
Jones said that it was worth the drive to Bentonville to see Knox’s show because of the quality of the exhibition and the gallery. She described the downtown Bentonville area as quaint and easily walkable with interesting shops and restaurants to check out before or after visiting the sUgAR gallery.
The sUgAR gallery is located at 114 Central Ave. in Bentonville and is open Thursday through Saturday.