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 Blurb.com, basically at cost!



Winners of the 2014 Illinois River Salon

For the past two years, artists have found a welcome retreat here in Northwest Arkansas and Northeast Oklahoma as word spreads about the prestigious Illinois River Salon art exhibition, an event resulting from a partnership between Illinois River Watershed Partnership and Heart of America Artists’ Association. These participating artists come from all over Arkansas and neighboring states like Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Illinois, 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.

The night of October 2nd was the opening reception at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art for the 2014 Illinois River Salon, featuring 28 selections from the larger show of over 75 artworks (viewable digitally here). Judge and Curator of Crystal Bridges, Manuela Well-Off-Man, spent considerable time evaluating the artworks for a total of 11 awards. We are pleased to announce this year’s winners:

Best of Show and $2,500 went to Jason Sacran of Magazine, Arkansas, for his painting “Fog, Mist & Rain”.

Jason Sacran, “Fog, Mist and Rain”, 20×24, Oil, $3,600

Read the rest of this entry »

Art in Progress for the 2014 Salon


Ken Chapin of Kansas City, painting along the Illinois River, North of Tahlequah


Michele Wells of St. Louis, pastel-ing the sunset.

The 2014 Illinois River Salon is still three months away, but many artists are gathering reference from the swelling waters, lush landscapes, and amazing cloud shows. Don’t let the deadline of September 2nd catch you off guard! Remember, this show is not a plein air show necessarily. The organizers of the show want work “inspired” by the Illinois River Watershed, and it is assumed that you as the artist are gathering reference from the watershed. Many of the pieces last year were done or completed in the studio. To read more about the show, go to the prospectus here.

Founders Will Conduct the First Heart of America Art Workshop


We’re calling it the “Experimental Painting Workshop”. There will be dual instruction by both Todd A. Williams and John P. Lasater IV. This is a different kind of workshop…a chance to try things you maybe never have, in addition to some very important basics. If you come with an open mind and spirit, it should be a freeing environment to discover what excites you as an artist. All levels of skill are invited.

It will be held August 8-9, 2014 at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, in their beautiful new studios. Workshop cost is $225 for 2014 members of Heart of America Artists’ Association and $250 for non members. Lodging and meals at John Brown University can be provided at a VERY reasonable rate (Last year it was something like $18/night for lodging). Ask about it when you sign up. Contact Bob Martin at bmartin@jbu.edu for more information.

[This workshop is part of the John Brown University Art Workshop Series, sponsored by the JBU Department of Visual Arts.]

“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 info@heartofamericaartists.com

2013 Illinois River Salon Book Available

Click the link on the sidebar to get your own copy of the 2013 Illinois River Salon Art Exhibition Catalog in book form. It’s a beautiful hardbound book, 8×10, with matte coated pages, proudly displaying the 50 outstanding artworks created for the exhibit.

Founder, Lasater, Accomplishes 24 Plein Air Paintings in 24 Hours

Photo by Brad Hampton

Photo by Brad Hampton

In a 24-hour period, from 5pm, November 2, 2013 through 4pm, November 3, 2013, John completed 24 paintings of Siloam Springs, his hometown. Read the rest of this entry »