Courtesy Shabana Kauser

How does a London native born to Pakistani immigrants end up moving to Fayetteville, Arkansas, to create detailed portraits adorned in elaborate duptta scarves painted in tribute to her rich cultural history? Find out, in this conversation with painter Shabana Kauser. 

Caleb Cameron

Trained in trompe l'oeil realism, Jody Thompson decided to go back to school after 20 years between degrees to hone his paintings into abstraction, a form he was first drawn to when he rendered seismic geologic images into abstract paintings for a seismology company.

"That made me realize there was a whole new way to addressing realism that could appear as abstraction," he explains.

Skylar Petet

Abstract paintings brimming with kinetic brushstrokes represent "Filter Fuzz," a collection from Fayetteville artist Stephanie Petet now on display at Bastion Gallery in Fort Smith.

"I wanted the color to reflect that headspace of memory and of the intensity of having memories told to you--how they sometimes feel unreal or dreamlike," she explains on her choice of a synthetic color palatte.  "So I tried to select colors that are out of this world."

When obtrusive buildings encroached on Anne Reichardt's view outside her home in Fayetteville, the artist turned frustration into inspiration. 

The structures, she says, were just a strip along the sprawling green land and she immediately invisioned a piece of white paper along the horizon. Gradually she began to play with the idea of how she could make a privacy screen into a work of art. Then a spark. 

What does the era of social media, where the selfie has entered the lexicon as an endlessly reproducible format, mean for the figure in art? That's a central question explored in  "A New Subjectivity: Figurative Painting After 2000," a showcase of diverse and divergent ways the art world is interfacing with an image saturated culture.