Artists create fish in any medium to go with APT’s ‘Tuna Christmas’

Artists create fish in any medium to go with APT’s ‘Tuna Christmas’

Kim Seaberg of Fayetteville has always made art — “my dad was very artistic, his friends were artists, my older brother was an artist” — and she’s “always loved fish, always had aquariums — at one point, several aquariums.”

Those passions have come together in her fused glass artworks, some of which are currently on show in the Zephyr Blevins Gallery at Arkansas Public Theatre in Rogers.

While the “tuna” in “A Tuna Christmas” “comes from the Spanish word for the prickly pear fruit on top of a cactus plant,” the curators of the Zephyr Blevins Gallery “thought it would be funny to go with the more on-the-nose theme” of “Fish In Any Medium” to accompany the comedy on stage this month, says APT Communications Manager Sarah Oakley. The collection of two- and three-dimensional artworks by 12 artists will remain on show through Jan. 20.

Showing their work along with Seaberg are Melissa Milton, Zeek Taylor, Susan Jackson, Annie Edmondson, Susan Idlet, Jim Treadway, Randy French, Caity Church, Joey Cathcart, Kinya Christian and Art by Rajani. There’s everything from an original fish on wood by Taylor to one-of-a-kind fabric art by Jackson. And most of it, says Oakley, is for sale.

Seaberg says she started working in stained glass after moving to Northwest Arkansas in 1980, but it wasn’t until she quit working full time and had access to a kiln that she “wondered what it would be like to fuse glass.” What she creates is flat, she explains, because it is built up in layers of glass stacked on top of one another, then heated in her 18-by-18 inch kiln. What happens then is a combination of her skill in design and the luck of the firing process, which alters shapes within the sculptures based on temperature. It also sometimes creates bubbles, which are “just fun,” Seaberg says, if you happen to be making fish.

“There’s something about the glass and the shine and the translucency that lends itself to water things,” Seaberg says, “because you can see down into it; everything is not on the same surface.”

Taylor, a Eureka Springs artist best known for his human-like chimps, titled his acrylic-on-wood submission to the show “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.”

“When requested to do a colorful fish, I thought, ‘This is a chance to go a little wild with this project,’” he laughs. “As a person who loves color, this was indeed a fun painting for me to do, and it is a subject matter I’ve only done a few times. I thought the little round mirrors I included were a good representation of bubbles.”

Melissa Milton’s work is a combination of high tech and traditional art. She sketches her designs on a tablet and mixes the colors there, then paints them digitally and prints them on canvas. A Fayetteville attorney forced into early retirement by health issues, she says art has “ended up opening new doors for me,” and her improved health has allowed her to start creating in polymer clay and acrylic paint.

“I still use the tablet to sketch what I’m about to work in clay or what I’m about to work in paint and sometimes mix the paints on the tablet,” she says.

Susan Idlet, another Fayetteville artist, works with Prismacolor pencils.

“I can’t really explain why I drew these images — fish(es) out of water,” she muses. Her submissions include a fish in a dress — “Pretty in Pink”; birthday cake fishes — “May all your fishes come true”; “and just plain ‘Banana Fish.’”

“Fish are fun to draw,” she says simply.

The gallery is open for viewing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and before performances of “A Tuna Christmas” at 2 p.m. Dec. 11; 8 p.m. Dec. 15-17; and 2 p.m. Dec. 18. It will also be open for the January art walk.

“Since our next show is ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ our next theme is botanical art, with an emphasis on carnivorous or exotic plants if possible,” says Oakley. Interested artists can email

Categories: Galleries