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UCA welcomes artists-in-residence Russell Crotty, Morton Brown, Sean Ardoin

Conway Institute of Music

CONWAY—The University of Central Arkansas will welcome three artists-in-residence Russell Crotty, Morton Brown and Sean Ardoin as a nod to the 2024 total solar eclipse. The artists will have events from March 28 to April 6.

Crotty has made important contributions to contemporary drawing since the early 1990s. Apart from his contemporary art pieces, Crotty obsessively and enthusiastically documents the night sky and celestial phenomena. Crotty’s work has been extensively exhibited nationally and internationally and is owned by private collectors, museums and public collections.

Brown’s professional areas of interest and expertise include managing the conservation of outdoor works of art, space planning for the integration of works of art in the landscape and managing the creation and commission of public art and more. Brown is also a part-time faculty member of Robert Morris University, teaching the history of visual communications, foundation drawing and 2D and 3D design courses since 2020.

“When we started planning for the eclipse festival events almost two years ago, I knew we needed a hook, something larger than life, and that Morton Brown was the artist who could pull it off,” said Gayle Seymour, associate dean of the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (CAHSS). “Not only has he created and curated a large number of inflatables over his career, he is also a dream to work with. This has been a complex project, made possible by the Arkansas Space Grant Consortium and the Arkansas Arts Council, and Morton has handled it all with grace and skill.”

Ardoin has performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, MTV’s Road Rules, Real World, Fraternity Life, Sorority Life and BET’s Comic View. He has been featured on CBS Primetime’s NCIS New Orleans, Bravo TV’s Southern Charm New Orleans and “Queen Sugar” on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. Ardoin and his band, Kreole Rock and Soul, were nominated for a 2023 Grammy in the Best Regional Roots Music Album category for “Full Circle.”

“Descending from zydeco royalty, Sean has managed to keep his traditions but create the new Kreole Rock and Soul sound. His versatility has allowed him to work with everyone from rap artists to marching bands, and he’s even combined the two! His most recent Grammy-nominated album included the LSU marching band, which brought his collaboration efforts and unique sound to another level!” said Paige Rose, associate dean of CAHSS.

Crotty’s Events

  • March 28-April 26, 2024, On View: Russell Crotty, The Art and Science of Astronomy, Art Gallery, Windgate Center for Fine and Performing Arts
  • April 4, 3:30 p.m., Russell Crotty Gallery Talk, Windgate Gallery
  • March 5, 12 p.m., Russell Crotty Drawing Workshop, Windgate 115
  • April 6, 3 p.m., Russell Crotty Gallery Talk, Windgate Gallery

Morton Brown’s Events

  • April 1, 9-11 a.m., Eclipse-themed STEAM assembly and workshop with Morton Brown and UCA Art/Science Education faculty, Morrilton Intermediate School
  • April 2, 9-11 a.m., Eclipse-themed STEAM workshop with Morton Brown and UCA Art/Math Communication Sciences & Disorders/Science Education faculty, Carolyn Lewis Elementary School, Conway
  • April 3, 2:40-5:20 p.m., Class Visit: Contemporary Media, Windgate Center 3D Studio Building 105
  • April 3, 7-8 p.m., Public Lecture: “Inflatable Public Art, LUNA the Eclipse Superhero,” by Morton Brown, Lecture Hall 167, Windgate 167 Center for Fine and Performing Arts
  • April 4, 1:40-2:30 p.m., Eclipse Kick-off Event with Sean Ardoin and LUNA the Eclipse Superhero, designed by Morton Brown, Estes Stadium

Ardoin’s Events

  • April 2, 1:40-2:30 p.m., Public Presentation: Zydeco Music Speaks!, Concert Hall, Windgate Center
  • April 2, 2:40-3:30 p.m., Class Visit with FREN 3312 Students (French Civilization): Q & A with Sean Ardoin, Windgate Center 167
  • April 4, 1:40-2:30 p.m., Community Zydefit Extravaganza with Sean Ardoin, Estes Stadium (“Our Louisiana Heritage in Arkansas” series)
  • April 4, 7:30 p.m., Public Concert: Sean Ardoin and the Kreole Rock and Soul Band, Concert Hall, Windgate Center*

The artist-in-residence program is funded by the UCA Student Arts Fee, with additional funding through Engage Management. All events are located on the UCA campus unless otherwise specified. All events are free to UCA students and open to the public. No reservations or tickets are required unless otherwise specified.

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