Conway League of Artists board meeting is the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30pm. Members are welcome to attend.
Don Byram, President
Raised in a string of small southern towns, Don is the child of a Circuit Riding preacher and a nature loving mother. Both his artistic eye and feeling for the moment is a tribute to the endless human stories he grew up seeing, hearing and living with these two sensitive people. His love affair of creating with the camera began in college and while interrupted with a couple of careers, has now been back in full force for over 20 years. The closest he has to a physical location he calls home is Conway, Arkansas which he has now returned to after 16 other stops in between.
“A good story, like good art, engulfs the reader and makes them feel. Through the combination of composition, color, and light, endless stories can be told that, hopefully, will make the viewer, simply feel. My goal is to take a photo, and turn it into a story the viewer can read and feel.”
He uses the camera lens to expose and embrace the beauty and rhythmic patterns we often overlook in our daily rush of life. With the composition of the raw image as the plot, he fleshes out the storyline with color, texture and tone to bring the emotional qualities he senses in the image. He always prints on canvas, because canvas has physical depth, and his use of a giclee matte finish enhances this effect. His images are archival and since he doesn’t need to use glass, hanging them in well lit areas is ideal because there isn’t any glare.
He prefers the use of vintage/antique and repurposed frames. Don owned a custom framed shop for 8 years and is a firm believer of matching the character of a one of kind frame with the essence of what he discovers in his images. Many times he will discover the frame first at a vintage or thrift store, and then spend considerable time making sure he has the perfect image for the frame. The end result is each piece having an exclusive feeling and telling its own unique story for the viewer.
Don embraces the Georgia O’Keeffe quote: “I have found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way-things I had no words for.”
Leslie Collier, Treasurer
Art has always been there for me and is an essential part of who I was, I am, and will be. I have drawn and painted for as long as I could remember and took art classesthroughout school. I attended Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, AR and graduated with a BA in art education. I have taught elementary art for eight years; four of those years were here in Conway.
Currently, I am working with watercolor and have been taking Shelia Parson’s watercolor class for the past three summers. I am drawn to this medium because it challenges me, and I have yet to discover all its possibilities. Although I do focus on realism within my work, I also want to capture the emotion and atmosphere of my subject matter and creatively convey that to others. Aside from watercolor, I have also worked with acrylics, printmaking, andcharcoal.
Robin Tipton, Secretary
Robin Roberts Tipton is a resident of Greenbrier Arkansas. She painted from an early age and her work was recognized during high school as it toured the state in various art exhibits. She commissioned artwork while in college pursuing a Master’s Degree in Special Education.
After graduating college and teaching school for 12 years, Robin took a hiatus from that career and instructed several art classes. Upon realizing how personally therapeutic that could be, she opted to partner with her mother, Martha Roberts in opening to the public Martha’s Art Studio in Greenbrier. She continued studying art under her mother, Joyce Burns, and the late Darlyne Paulsen.
Robin paints mainly with oils and acrylics, and her style varies from realism to abstract to idealism. Her passion is the lost art of murals and her artwork tends to be grand in scale. Her paintings lean toward impressionistic with substantial texture, bold colors and a unique genre that evokes happiness. Her paintings and murals are often inspired by Bible verses, which she explains as, “I believe everything in God’s world is a masterpiece and I want to capture a glimpse one painting at a time.”
Robin recalls her mother’s membership in the Conway League of Artists and her own excitement when she was allowed to attend meetings in her youth. She is now honored to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a member in addition to serving on the board.
Richard Talley, Membership
Richard Talley is married to artist Sheila Parsons. After spending over 15 years in the Information Technology field, he is semi-retired and the Executive Administrator for Sheila Parsons’ Art-Ventures LLC. He has travel with Sheila on many of her workshops in Europe, Mexico, and the United States.When he is not busy helping Sheila, he enjoys driving his Mazda Miata sportscar.
Susan Peterson, Communications
After retiring from teaching in higher education in 2004, Susan started doing artwork. She first took a watercolor class with Sheila Parsons and studied oil and acrylics with Steve Griffith. She now spends her time painting (acrylic is now the preferred medium) and creating pottery, hand built and wheel thrown. She is represented at Carmen’s Antiques in Conway. She is a former president of CLA.
Emily Hill, Member at Large
I think an artist sees the world through a unique and magnificent lens – light and shadow, texture, and of course color and mood. There is so much to inspire one to paint regardless of the medium. For me, it is watercolor. But recently I revisited pastel after many years. My painting was sporadic at best until the last four years when I finally got the time to invest in it. I took advantage of the classes given by Jacquie Kaucher, Sheila Parsons, and Dr. MaryAnn Stafford at Art on the Green.
My work is a quest to find the next level and get better after each plateau I reach. That is just a matter of how many strokes I put on my brush, how many times it takes to master a certain technique. But most of all it’s finding my own style to express what I want the painting to convey to the viewer, or more selfishly what it represents to me.
There are many reasons to create. I do it because it makes me happy.
Robin Parrish, Member at Large
Robin Martin Parrish has had a significant interest in art from an early age. She began taking art lessons while in elementary school. She chose a career, majoring in art at the University of Central Arkansas. She has taught art at the elementary and secondary levels for the past 28 years. Teaching art is only a part of her interest. Her real passion is creating artistic pieces in many media including floral design, mosaics, murals, pen and ink, calligraphy, pastels, acrylics and watercolors. Watercolor is her medium of choice and has created and sold many paintings. She has also painted murals in private homes and has been commissioned to do custom pieces for individuals. Exhibits at several shows, galleries and fairs have featured many of her works. She has received numerous awards including Best of Show in 2015 at the Conway League of Artists Spring Show, Best of Show at Conway County Fair in 2017 as well as having a painting published in the 1999-2000 Arkansas Game and Fish Calendar.
Robin paints a variety of subjects with special interest in nature, animals, music, cherished memories and old rustic buildings that have long been forgotten and are swiftly disappearing.
Pepper Henthorne-Adams, Historian
I received a Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art with an emphasis in drawing in 1996 from University of Central Arkansas. I enjoy drawing and photography.
Jeanetta Darly, Show Chair
As an artist I find inspiration in nature and nostalgia. My paintings and illustrations grow out of a love of my garden and the natural beauty around me combined with a compulsive habit of collecting old and abandoned items. I believe that some of our strongest feelings are stirred by the awe of nature and the connection to our past.