New gallery for artist Duane Hada open in Mountain Home
Duane Hada is known for painting the rural landscape of which he is a native son. His passion for the Ozarks, for fishing, and for the outdoors are reflected in his art. Because he has lived and breathed the beauty of the Ozarks since he was a child, his paintings of these treasured Arkansas landscapes are pure, soulful, and authentic representations. Scenes of unspoiled land and intimate places that he knows well stir up his creative side and demand to be captured on canvas.
Hada’s future was formed at a very early age by church and a rural life. He grew up in the Ozark Mountains in Boone and Newton counties of Arkansas. “These beautiful Ozarks are what I call home and I feel blessed to have been raised in such a neat area that has such natural beauty,” says Hada.
“My dad was an ol’ country preacher. I remember sitting in church trying to draw the little Christian fish symbol. I looked on my dad’s bible and I saw that and I remember him teaching me how to make the lines,” says Hada of the beginning of his self-taught artistry. “Then I started adding eyeballs and fins and that type of thing to it and pretty soon I was drawing fish.”
His grandmother soon began buying him paint sets, and he tried to paint what he saw. In college he took a basic drawing course and that added fuel to the artistic fire. It also bridged the gap he needed to fill regarding his frustration from lack of instruction, and confirmed for him that he did have a natural talent.
A common thread in his artwork is water, and he often paints outdoors. “One thing I do is usually use the water directly out of the stream,” he explains. “I do that out of convenience but also I think, secondarily, that something about that life blood of that stream gets captured in that painting. The sights, the sounds, the smells, out here just somehow translate, I hope, into the painting. The water is the life blood of the Ozarks. It’s what carved out all of these beautiful hills, and bluffs, and limestone.”
Hada just celebrated the grand opening of Rivertown Gallery at its new location, 3512 Ark. 62 W. in Mountain Home. The gallery carries artwork, pottery, jewelry, and apothecary products. Hada’s original works in watercolor and acrylic include not only paintings of landscapes, but also sporting art with fly fishing scenes and wildlife. He also creates carved, painted wooden fish. He enjoys painting commissioned works and teaching classes too.
“It’s just what I was born to do,” Hada adds. “It’s what I want to do and if I can share that with other people and they buy a piece of my art and identify with the same thing I did, then I feel pretty successful at that.”
Hada holds a BSE in Art from the University of Central Arkansas. He has also received certification from the Federation of Fly Fishers as an instructor. He has taught numerous courses and workshops at local colleges and universities in fly fishing and art. His various slide presentation programs are popular with fly fishing clubs and conservation organizations. You can reach the gallery at 870-425-3898. Follow Rivertown Gallery’s Facebook page to keep up-to-date on events.