Artists Horn and Sell share wood sculptures and paintings in latest exhibit at Joy Pratt Markham Gallery

Artists Horn and Sell share wood sculptures and paintings in latest exhibit at Joy Pratt Markham Gallery

Sculptures by Little Rock-based artist Robyn Horn are included in the White House Collection of American Crafts, the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. Now the artist brings her sculptures and paintings to the Walton Arts Center’s Joy Pratt Markham Gallery in Fayetteville for an exhibit with her mentee, turned friend, turned artist on equal footing, Sandra Sell. The artists did a quick email interview with What’s Up! ahead of the opening reception for the show from 6-8 p.m. Feb. 1.

Q. How did each of you get started as artists?

Horn: My career began with my fascination with wood. I started working on the lathe making things round. Soon after that I started carving the wood and gravitated more toward sculpture. My mother and my sister are painters, so being creative was encouraged in my family. I feel very lucky to have been able to make work for so long. It’s a very satisfying thing to be able to create things that have never existed before, things that I have designed and developed throughout my long career.

Sell: At an early age I felt the desire to be an artist. Knowing I needed a way to support myself, I joined the Army. Upon completing a career in the military, I relocated to Arkansas where I earned an M.A. in Art from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Q. How did the two of you start working together?

Horn: Sandi saw a video that I had made that showed my process of carving a large redwood sculpture. She was getting toward the end of finishing her degree at UALR, and she asked if she could come and visit me at my studio. We hit it off immediately, and we began working together. At first she was helping me with some of the larger carving, but soon she was making her own work, and now we complement each other with ideas and concepts that we are both interested in, but which develop differently, each with our own style.

Q. How will the paintings and sculptures relate in this exhibit?

Sell: All my pieces begin as a sketch. These sketches are not locked into being 2D or 3D, though they may have initially started as one or the other. A single sketch can become the base design for multiple pieces. Graphite for drawing, oil for painting and carving for sculpture, it all comes down to mark making.

Horn: I started making sculpture in the late ’80s. I didn’t begin to paint until about 2006. After painting for a few years, I looked back on my work and was surprised how much my paintings related to my sculptures. Both had a geometric look to them, both had layers with texture, so much so that the paintings almost looked three-dimensional. I had been working so long making wood sculpture that I had developed an artistic aesthetic that had transferred from my 3-D work to my 2-D work. I think they are related to each other.

Q. What do you hope viewers take away from this exhibit?

Horn: There are so many good artists in the region that we are honored to be asked to show our work at the Walton Arts Center. Ideally the viewers who come to the exhibition will see something inspirational they have never seen before, and hopefully it will be something that interests them long enough for them to spend some time with some of the work.

Q. What is one thing you want people to know about this exhibit?

Sell: That it is an honor to show with Robyn. I have the utmost respect for her willingness to introduce the subtractive carving process to me. Having another artist [with whom] to discuss thoughts and techniques aids in continued progress; sometimes it is as simple as “are you in the shop today?” I truly hope our passion for the process shows through the work.

Horn: … We have grown from mentor and mentee to artists on an equal level, and this exhibit shows the results of that over the past 13 years. It also shows that artists can work in more than one medium (carved wood and painting) and develop work that is successful.

edited for space.



‘Robyn Horn And Sandra Sell’

WHEN — On display through April 21; opening reception is 6-8 p.m. Feb. 1 6-8 p.m. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday and one hour prior to performances.

WHERE — Joy Pratt Markham Gallery inside the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville

COST — Free

INFO —, and

BONUS — An Artist Walk-Through with Horn and Sell starts 1 p.m., and a Creative Conversation in Walker Atrium with the artists is at 7 p.m. April 4. Another Artist Walk-Through is set for 1 p.m. April 5. The artists welcome questions about the exhibit.

Categories: Galleries