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A Day at the Museum

Browse artworks in the Ben J. Altheimer Gallery, one of three galleries in the Arts & Science Center.
Browse artworks in the Ben J. Altheimer Gallery, one of three galleries in the Arts & Science Center.

A Day at the Museum

Something pretty amazing is happening in historic downtown Pine Bluff. A new art movement is taking hold, and the evidence is everywhere, in murals and public installations, in new galleries and beautifully remodeled creative spaces. What’s behind the change? It’s called ARTx3 (“art times three”), and it’s the recent expansion of a longstanding Pine Bluff cultural institution—the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas.

Now part of the ARTx3 campus, the combined facilities make up a local art ecosystem that includes classroom instruction, creative work areas, retail gallery space, multiple performance stages and artful public spaces. In short, ARTx3 is its own self-contained world, with established artists inspiring, training and nurturing new artists. All good things for downtown Pine Bluff.

Tour the Loft Gallery in the ARTSpace on Main for rotating exhibitions in a stunning, light-filled space.
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Tour the Loft Gallery in the ARTSpace on Main for rotating exhibitions in a stunning, light-filled space.

What is ARTx3?

ARTx3 is a single mission—to engage, educate and entertain—divided into three parts—the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, ART WORKS on Main, and The ARTSpace on Main. All three parts, though different in their offerings, make up one unified campus in downtown Pine Bluff. ART WORKS and The ARTSpace share a building, a renovated fire station and auto shop with huge windows and bright red doors. The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas is its own structure, the larger, original building next door. Everything on campus is easily walkable in moments, so access is easy and family friendly.

Arts & Science Center of Southeast Arkansas

The facility that started it all, the Arts & Science Center was founded in 1968 and has been a pillar of art and performance ever since. Multiple galleries inside feature rotating exhibits. Classrooms and workspaces are open for both youth and adult classes. A mainstay of the community for decades, the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater is a 232-seat performing arts theater that is the largest on campus. See what’s coming up in the 2024 season and order tickets online here.

Art in all forms is celebrated on the ARTx3 campus, including performing arts in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater.
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Art in all forms is celebrated on the ARTx3 campus, including performing arts in the Catherine M. Bellamy Theater.

Community outreach and enrichment are the raison d’etre for this longstanding Delta cultural hub. Year-round STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) programming for kids and adults offer fun, hands-on education in the Creative Construction Zone, including summer camps. There’s even a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen for cooking classes. Second Saturday Family Funday is a free, monthly event for everyone. The sheer diversity of educational opportunities flowing through this place means there’s always something fun and relevant happening at the Arts & Science Center of Southeast Arkansas.

ART WORKS on Main

Live performance is at the heart of ART WORKS, both the art and science of theater. At its center is the Adam B. Robinson Jr. Black Box Theater, a more intimate 65-seat venue that puts performers and audience in close quarters, making for more engaging shows with lots of audience interaction. Behind the scenes, this place is fully state of the art, and ARTx3 is teaching the science of theater as well as the art, training locals to be technicians and stagehands, propmasters and lighting engineers.

At Art Works, visitors can interact with artists-in-residency programming like the screenprinting workshop led by Dustyn Bork, summer 2023 artist-in-residence
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At Art Works, visitors can interact with artists-in-residency programming like the screenprinting workshop led by Dustyn Bork, summer 2023 artist-in-residence.

ART WORKS is also where artists in residency live and work, and the interaction between visiting artists and the community is part of the formula driving excitement on the ARTx3 campus. There are private apartments and studio space for multiple artists, who sell their work in the retail gallery and are often featured in exhibits in the Arts & Science Center’s rotating exhibits.

The ARTSpace on Main

Where does art go when it’s ready to meet the world? To a gallery, and The ARTSpace on Main is home to several unique retail galleries and workshop spaces. The Windgate Community Gallery is one place local artists show and sell their work for the first time, and the large Kline Family Foundation Event Gallery next to it is used for exhibitions and events. Other rooms hide workshops with all the tools of the trade—potters wheels and kilns, canvases and paints, even computer labs and 3D printers.

Classes, workshops and educational programming are available to all ages at the ARTSpace on Main.
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Classes, workshops and educational programming are available to all ages at the ARTSpace on Main.

Make your way to the second floor for the stunning “Loft Gallery.” Preserving the original hardwood floors, the whole room is weathered, spacious and accented by natural light. It’s so zen that the space plays host to monthly Yoga workshops, held right on the gallery floor.

Public Space & Murals

Art is wild, and galleries will never contain it. That’s why ARTx3 has encouraged its artists to venture out, creating more memorable spaces as they go. The new mural outside ARTSpace starts on the walls and spills out into the alley, covering the whole area in a bright display of community creativity. Other spaces around campus are there just to chill and enjoy good company and vivid artwork.

Plan Your Trip

Feeling creative? You will. Take the leap and learn to express yourself in a new way. Sign up for a class at ARTx3. There are plenty of offerings both for locals and visitors, from single-day events to community theater productions to thought-provoking exhibitions. Follow ARTx3 on social media to keep up with offerings in real time. Browse productions and buy theater tickets at ARTx3.org. Or just come see for yourself what’s happening in Pine Bluff. Admission is free, and everyone is welcome.