Audiences are invited to experience the Arkansas Summer Show at the reception from 6 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 30 followed by an artist presentation at 7. The reception will be a sensory experience with visual artwork, summer sounds and refreshments to include watermelon, lemonade, ice tea and other "southern summer" treats. Twenty percent of art sales will benefit the Friends of the Library. The reception and artist presentation are free and open to the public. The Arkansas Summer Show will highlight the multi-media works of Sarah Mattingly-Benson. The pieces selected for the exhibition emanate the mood of south, from a luminescent summer night to the heat of an afternoon in an old farmhouse.

Sarah Mattingly-Benson creates homage to her heritage as a southerner from a rural family. She is driven by a desire for closeness to the countryside, woods, and natural beauty of Arkansas. The essence of an Arkansas Summer will be portrayed in drawings of moths, robins, grasses and woods. The drawings are carefully collaged onto found objects as well as traditional canvas. These pieces glow with rich layering, attention to color, design and texture of materials. Mixed media works also convey figures derived from old family photographs; the fleeting nature of mortality is depicted on personal and found objects such as whiskey boxes, dressers, and music sheets. The momentary existence of my southern family occurs against the setting of personal and essential everyday objects, now abandoned and often trivialized as "junk."

Mattingly-Benson has a BFA in painting from UCA. In 2008, Mattingly had a work selected for the Delta Exhibition: one of the longest running juried contemporary art exhibitions outside of New York. In 2010, Women’s Inc. Magazine honored Mattingly-Benson as one of the Top 10 Women to Watch in central Arkansas. Her works are also in galleries and collections throughout Arkansas including the Faulkner County History Museum. Mattingly-Benson was recently featured in AY Magazine’s Art Scene. She lives and works in North Little Rock.

All library events are free and open to the public. The exhibit runs now through Saturday, Sept. 15, during regular library hours. For more information, call the library at 501-327-7482 or email Nancy@fcl.org, Facebook and Twitter.