Arkansas Committee Scholars Exhibit

Arkansas Committee Scholars Exhibit: January 13, 2017 – February 10, 2017

Women Artists Recognized by State Chapter of the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Pine Bluff, AR– The Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) announces the exhibition of work by recipients of its Polly Wood Crews Scholar Award. Arkansas Committee Scholars will be on view at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies for two consecutive Second Friday Art Nights: Friday, January 13, through Friday, February 10, in the Downstairs Gallery. The exhibit is free and the public is invited to enjoy the Butler Center exhibit receptions on 2nd Friday Art Nights in January and February, from 5 – 8 pm in the Arkansas Artists Retail Gallery.

Artists featured in the Arkansas Committee Scholars exhibit include Beverly Buys (Hot Springs), Robin Miller-Bookhout (North Little Rock), and Maxine Payne (Greenbrier). Each artist was selected from a group of applicants to receive recent grant stipends of $2,000 to further artistic skills, pursue an artistic vision, or invest in equipment necessary to those ends. Details and an application are found online at Application for the 2017 award must be completed online on or before February 1, 2017.

The 2016 Scholar Award recipient Beverly Buys is a native of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Her medium is cyanotype photography. She earned her B.S.E in Art Education from Henderson State University in 1977 and taught art in public schools until she returned to earn an M.A. in Photography from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock in 1994, and an M.F.A. in Photography from the University of Memphis in 1996. She retired as a full professor from Henderson State University after twenty years of teaching.

Buys’ Scholar Award stipend helped her fulfill travel and photography necessary for plans associated with her Delta in Blue series, a photographic essay of the south central Arkansas Delta spanning the years 2011-2016. Buys writes: “For the last five years I have taken 3 or 4 extended road trips each year to Helena–West Helena, Arkansas, and the surrounding area searching for my subject. I find it in the remnants of homes, businesses, churches and cemeteries as well as the agricultural landscape which is a barometer for the rhythm of life as it wears the change of each season like an outer garment. The Delta’s legacy of cuisine, art, literature, music which is inextricably attached to its complicated racial past is an energy that pulses deep for those who slow down and learn the history.”

The 2015 Scholar Award recipient Robin Miller-Bookhout lives majorally in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Her medium is pastel drawing and painting. After earning her degree in Art Education, Miller-Bookhout moved to Little Rock. She studied with various artists, including Catherine Tharp Altwater (founder, American Watercolor Society) while pursuing her career as an educator, teaching over thirty years at an Arkansas arts magnet middle school. Her art career paralleled her classroom creativity by informing and contributing to her production in all media while introducing students to multiple ways of working.

Miller-Bookhout’s Scholar Award stipend contributed towards purchase of a camera that helped her record images and develop of a new series of paintings that compare and contrast the river and bayou habitats of Arkansas and Louisiana. She immersed herself in the flora and fauna surrounding her on the North Shore of Lake Pontchartrain and Bayou Faciane, recording the habitats at various times of day to interpret them on canvas and paper, primarily in watercolor. This new series is a counterpoint to Miller-Bookhout’s numerous paintings of similar scenes in Arkansas.

The 2013 Scholar Award recipient Maxine Payne grew up in rural Arkansas, and calls Greenbrier home. Her medium is digital photography. Payne earned her MA and MFA degrees at the University of Iowa, where she was also an Iowa Arts Fellow. She is a Fellow of the American Photography Institute at New York University and a fellow of the College Art Association. Currently a Professor in the Art Department at Hendrix College in Conway, Payne works to find ways to engage community in her work, and speaks to the idea of place.

Payne’s Scholar Award stipend assisted with her travel to complete the photographic series shown in this exhibit. Rural Women and Globalization is a collaboration between Payne and anthropologist Annie Goldberg. The project melded oral history and documentary photography to investigate commonalities among rural women’s lives at five sites, including Central America: San Luis, Costa Rica; Africa: Bagamoyo, Tanzania; Indochina: Vihnh Linh, Vietnam; Mexico: Agua Prieta; and the United States: Douglas, Arizona.

“The Arkansas Committee is delighted to initiate this exhibit with the Butler Center. We want to recognize these deserving recipients, share the amazing art work made possible by the Crews Scholar Award with the public. It is just one way we enjoy contributing to the rich cultural life in our state.” – Maribeth Frazer, President, ACNMWA

The Arkansas Committee established the Scholar Award in 1995. Among many former recipients are Arkansas women artists Mary Ann Stafford, Katherine Strauss, Laura Waters, Debbie Finley, Barbara Cade, Ilayali Alvarez-Hallmark, Maria Botti Villegas, Ramona Wood, Deborah Warren, and Kathleen Holder. The Arkansas State Committee of NMWA is an affiliate of the national museum, the world’s only major museum dedicated to celebrating the creative contributions and accomplishments of women in the arts. ACNMWA supports the museum’s mission to educate the public about women artists by collecting, exhibiting, and creating programs that advocate for equity and recognize excellence. ACNMWA is the only NMWA affiliate that sponsors statewide tours of work by its nominees for the national Women to Watch competitive exhibition program. The ACNMWA tour supports the state’s women artists and arts professionals, as does its paid scholarships and internships, and its informative web site featuring a juried artists’ registry. For more information about the Arkansas Committee NMWA, visit For more information about the National Museum of Women in the Arts, visit

Image List/Info:

Beverly Buys (2016)
Medium: Cyanotype Photography
Scholar Project: Delta in Blue
1.Shadden’s Bar-B-Q-Closed, 2016, Cyanotype print
2. Big Boy’s Place

Robin Miller-Bookhout (2015)
Medium: Drawing/Painting
Scholar Project: Habitats Series
1.Mardi Gras Morning on the Bayou, 2015, watercolor
2. Paradist on the Pontchartrain, 2015, oil paintings

Maxine Payne (2013)
Medium: Digital Photography
Scholar Project: Rural Women and Globalization
1.Blanca Leitón Villalobos: San Luis, Costa Rica (Central America), silver gelatin print
2. Maua Bakari Muhamedi and Mariam Bakari Muhamedi: Bagamoyo, Tanzania (Africa), silver gelatin print

For Additional Information:
Beverly Forga Buys (Hot Springs), (2016 Scholar)
Robin Miller-Bookhout (North Little Rock), (2015 Scholar)
Maxine Payne/Digital Photography (Greenbrier), (2013 Scholar)

Barbara Satterfield, Exhibit Project Manager, Arkansas State Committee of the National Museum of
Women in the Arts (ACNMWA), email:
Maribeth Frazer, President (ACNMWA), email:
Elgenia Ross, Chairman, Scholar Award (ACNMWA),