Don’t you just love it when an Arkansan makes their mark in the world in positive fashion? It does us all proud. Photographer Art Meripol, an Arkansas native, has done just that. No one shoots the South and all her intricacies and nuances like Art does. For the past 24 years, Art’s work graced the pages of Southern Living Magazine. He’s also been published in The New York Times, Time and Life Magazines, Coastal Living, Sports Illustrated along with other world-wide newspapers. No matter where in the country he was shooting, Art’s way of looking at things made you want to go visit that particular place — especially his home state of Arkansas.
One of my particular favorites is a shot he did of the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum in Tyronza. There’s a beautiful mural on the side of the building depicting what all is represented in the exhibits. The top photo on the right shows how most people see it and it’s gorgeous. The photo underneath is how Art sees it. There’s a special “art” (no pun intended) to seeing the different or unusual slant to a photo and Mr. Meripol has it.
I first met Art when he worked for the Arkansas Gazette from February 1983 to August 1989. Most people can spot an Ansel Adams without seeing the byline. I could always tell an Art Meripol photo on the front page of the Gazette even without looking at the photo credit. There was a certain panache to the finished product that only Art could capture. And he still has that touch.
People in the Arkansas Tourism industry have the special opportunity to see Art’s work first-hand and listen to his tips on how to take better photographs. He’s doing two “Show and Tell” presentations at the 39th annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Tourism, March 3-5 in Hot Springs.
In January on this year, Art became a full-time freelance photographer. Below are just a select few of the Arkansas photos Art has taken over the years for Southern Living. Our thanks to Southern Living for allowing us to showcase these photos of Eureka Springs, Craig’s Bar-B-Que in DeVall’s Bluff, and Sunshine Sonny Payne, legendary Helena host of King Biscuit Time radio show.