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2017 Call to Artists


The new call is up on Online Juried shows! Deadline for entry is September 27th, 2017. Click here to view the prospectus or enter.


2016 Call to Artists


Michele Wells of Saint Louis, Best of Show winner of the 2015 event.

We are excited to once again be able to bring you the Illinois River Salon. The call for the 2016 event has been posted. Click here to see the prospectus and rules for entry. Please note that this year we will not have a separate membership application.

Looking forward to seeing all the great entries. Thank you for helping us promote the beauty of Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma.

Julie Hayes Named Executive Coordinator


We are excited to announce that Julie Hayes will become a part of the administration of Heart of America Artists’ Association. Julie is a natural fit with our organization, and she will add be able to help us take the mission of HOAAA much further.

She’s also an excellent artist, which makes her an even better partner. You might remember she was one of the winners of the 2015 Illinois River Salon. You can see her work at

Thanks Julie. We look forward to having you on board as we strive to elevate the arts here in the heart of America.

Winners of the 2015 Illinois River Salon

The third Illinois River Salon art exhibition got a great kickoff on Wednesday night with a dinner hosted by the Illinois River Watershed Partnership. The Salon was curated by Todd A. Williams and John P. Lasater IV, also founders of the Heart of America Artists’ Association.

Many of the participating artists were present to hear the judge, Chad Alligood, present the awards. Chad is Curator at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. Speaking from his experience with art and artists around the United States, he gave high compliments to the quality of the work at the Illinois River Salon.

The 2015 Illinois River Salon features nearly 75 works by 50 different artists. The participating artists came from all over the Midwest including Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Colorado and Wisconsin, all in an effort to record their artistic impression of the Illinois River Watershed. For those of us that call this region home, we are grateful because their efforts help us be proud and remind us of the beauty we have here. The exhibition is made possible thanks to a grant from the Windgate Foundation.

We are pleased to announce this year’s winners:

Best of Show and $2,500 went to Michele Wells of St. Louis, Missouri, for her painting “Day Break”. Michele also had the honor of winning the Artists’ Choice award, voted on by the artists on Wednesday evening.


“Day Break” by Michele Wells, Soft Pastel, 16×20, $960

Second Place and $1,500 went to Julie Gowing Hayes of Bella Vista, Arkansas, for her painting “Sager Creek Bubbly”.

“Sager Creek Bubbly” by Julie Gowing Hayes, Oil, 8×10, $425

Third Place and $1,000 went to Nancy Harkins of Tulsa, Oklahoma, for her painting “Sunlight on Cedar Creek”.


“Sunlight on Cedar Creek” by Nancy Harkins, Watercolor, 16×16, $975

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Opportunity for Regional Artists

Beyond the Frame: Experiencing Art in Downtown Siloam Springs is an exciting new series of art events that will feature a reveal of new pieces of public art, and Outdoor Art Market, and an Art Walk with indoor gallery exhibits. These events will be hosted on the second Saturdays of summer months from 4-7p.m. in historic downtown Siloam Springs. Dates are May 9th, June 13th, July 11th, and August 8th.

We would love for you to be involved! Main Street Siloam Springs is funding a series of smaller-scale public art projects to be revealed in June, July, and August of this year. I have attached information about these projects to this e-mail – we hope you consider applying! Also, you’ll receive more information from me soon about Beyond the Frame: Experiencing Art in Downtown Siloam Springs, which is coordinating a series of outdoor summer art events that will be hosted in historic Downtown Siloam Springs where you can showcase and sell your art – we’d love to have you participate!

2014 Illinois River Salon Book Available

Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 12.07.14 PMClick on the book cover above to view the 2014 Illinois River Salon Book which is available for purchase through, basically at cost!


“Day at The Museum” Coming Up


This is a members-only event. On February 28 from 1pm till 5pm, founders Todd and John will host “A Day at the Museum”, featuring a personal tour at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art with artistic insight on some of our favorite masterful paintings from the early Colonial 19th century to the late 20th century collections. It will wrap up with a visit to the Crystal Bridges art studios by Lori Lincks, the Public Programs Museum Educator, who will tell us about upcoming educational opportunities. We will meet in the lobby at 12:45pm. Please RSVP at