One Tank Travels: Explore the Visual Arts of Little Rock and North Little Rock

Begin your day at the Arkansas Arts Center, the state’s largest arts facility, located in historic MacArthur Park in downtown Little Rock. Acclaimed for its outstanding collection of works on paper, the center also has a first-class selection of oils, watercolors, acrylics and sculpture. Nationally prominent traveling exhibits such as “World of The Pharaohs: Treasures of Egypt Revealed, “Andy Warhol: 15 Weeks of Fame,” the Gilbert Stuart portrait of George Washington, The Impressionists, and an exhibition by Dale Chihuly, appear regularly.  Coming attractions for 2013 include **Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London Exhibit, scheduled for June 7–September 8.

Then make your way to Best Impressions and enjoy a culinary delight. The one-of-a-kind menu features tempting salads, an eclectic array of sandwiches, plus enticing entrees and a daily special. A variety of teas, soft drinks, wines and beers make up the beverage list with unique desserts rounding out the meal.

After lunch, stop in at the Museum Shop and browse the variety of gifts offered for people of all ages. Then it’s onto the River Market District where the Cox Creative Center houses A Thousand Words gallery, Bookends café, and River Market Books and Gifts. Don’t miss the shops at the Historic Arkansas Museum and the Old State House. You’ll find even more Arkansas made items.

Hop aboard the River Rail Trolley and head across the Arkansas River to the Argenta Arts District in downtown North Little Rock.  If you prefer to walk, you can take either the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge or the Junction Bridge Pedestrian Walkway. Here you’ll find visual arts venues including Greg Thompson Fine Art, Ketz Gallery, and the THEA Foundation Center for the Arts Gallery. Dinner at one of the many restaurants downtown such as the Starving Artist Cafe rounds out the day.

Spend the day in the Hillcrest and Heights Historic Districts. Begin in Hillcrest which is located along the lower portion of Kavanaugh Boulevard in Little Rock. 

In the Hillcrest District you’ll find Gallery 26 which features emerging local and regional artists with galleries updated on a regular basis. At the Hillcrest Gallery Custom Framing and Fine Art you can find a piece of art then have it framed. A short block detour off Kavanaugh brings you to the nearby Shoppes on Woodlawn, you’ll find original art along with other gift and décor items.

If you’re ready for lunch, grab a bite to eat at any of the many fine restaurants in the district, ranging from U.S. Pizza, Canon Grill, Damgoode Pies (pizza), and Vieux Carre to Café Bossa Nova and Leo’s Greek Castle.

After lunch, continue west on Kavanaugh and you’ll come to The Heights. Here you can visit Chroma Gallery where you’ll find original contemporary art at Stephano’s Fine Art Gallery, and the Heights Gallery, a local favorite for over 20 years.

**Rembrandt van Rijn
Portrait of the Artist, ca. 1665
Oil on canvas
45 3/4 x 38 1/4 in.
Kenwood House, English Heritage, England (88028836)
Photo courtesy American Federation of Arts
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