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story.lead_photo.caption "The Process," a mixed media work by Markeith Woods, is one of the works on exhibit at the Regional Arts Center in downtown Texarkana. Photo by Hunt Mercier / Texarkana Gazette.

A wood carving demonstration and a walk-and-talk session with an up-and-coming artist are the key events for TRACH's African American Committee's (TAAC) Special Afternoon event this Saturday.

Woodcarver Ivory Henderson, one of TAAC's featured artists, will conduct demonstrations in the Regional Art Center's second-floor Cabe Hall on Saturday afternoon.

Meanwhile, mixed media artist Markeith Woods, TRAHC's featured artist, will lead a tour of his works on display in the Regional Arts Center's secured gallery. His show is titled "At the End of Time."

"He is a young artist and a Fayetteville graduate student who has the exhibit in the secured gallery," said Dr. Teretha Harper, co chairperson for the TAAC exhibit. " The format for his (Woods' presentation) is a walking and talking workshop. People like to talk to visiting artists and learn what was going on in their minds when they created their art. Those are the kinds of experiences."

The Saturday event, which is free to the public, is noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Regional Arts Center, located at Third Street and Texas Boulevard in downtown Texarkana.

Henderson and Woods will each conduct two 30- to 45-minute workshops on Saturday, which are free to the public.

"Those attending will have a chance to talk to the artists presenting " Harper said.

"The Special Saturday is an event in which our citizens have a chance to see the TRAHC exhibit as well as the TAAC exihbit," Harper said.

TRAHC's exhibit features Woods' work.

TAAC's 18th Annual Regional Celebration of African American Artists: The Designers features Henderson's works as well as a host of local and national artists.

Both exhibits opened late last month and are on display through March 14.

The TAAC exhibit takes up three floors and is inspired by many African Americans fusing their art and artistic skills in the design worlds of commerce and industry, Harper said.

"That is why we came up with our categories. In our exhibit, we have fashion, textiles, movie sets, costumes, automobiles, housewares, commercial and residential building, home interiors and leather goods."

This thinking about how design intersects with commerce and industry was inspired by an article Harper read.

"One of my friends sent me an article about a young man I didn't know about — Virgil Abloh," Harper said.

Abloh's accolades include being furniture designer for Swedish company IKEA and becoming the first African American to head the men's department for Louis Vuitton.

An Abloh quote in the article resonated with Harper: "I haven't made a distinction between the design world and the real world—I've just immersed myself in both. And because I came from outside the fashion industry, I don't have the luxury of creating collections in a traditional way."

After reading the article, Harper learned more about Abloh, who is the inspiration for this year's exhibit.

Adopting Abloh's talents and philosophies led to some wonderful discoveries, especially locally.

Featured works by local artists include:

a Google doodle created by a high school student in Hope that won a a state award.

a quilt called "Off the Beaten Path" that won the Four States Quilt show.

beautiful jewelry.

bird houses.

dresses made by two sisters for African girls through a Mount Pleasant CME Church project. The church is located in Mandeville, Ark.

A free little library fashioned out of a former Texarkana Gazette newspaper rack. Several of the little free library boxes can be found at neighborhood centers, Harper said.

National artists represented in the TAAC exhibit include the designer of a dress worn by Cicely Tyson and a man who worked as an designer for three automobile manufacturers.

Harper has worked with Lillie Young and Treva West, exhibit co-chair, to appoint the TAAC exhibit. Dr. Genia Bullock is TAAC chairperson.

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