Arts Roundup: 'Co-Creating with Alcohol Ink,' First Friday Art Walk, Southern Light anniversary show, watercolor workshop
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Robert Hirsch's "The Architecture of Landscape" will open soon.
Courtesy Robert Hirsch

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

In this roundup of the latest from Amarillo's arts scene, get details on two new exhibitions, First Friday and a watercolor workshop.


The Architecture of Landscape

The founder of the Southern Light Gallery will bring a new exhibition to celebrate the gallery's 40th anniversary.

Robert Hirsh, now a New York-based photographer and author, taught at Amarillo College from 1976 to 1991 and founded the gallery to expand "visual cultural offerings to AC and the public," he said in a news release.

To commemorate the anniversary, the gallery will display a portion of Hirsch's The Architecture of Landscape series, featuring images he made in the Texas Panhandle in the 1970s and '80s. The exhibition will be on view Oct. 2 to Nov. 16, and Hirsh will attend an Oct. 26 anniversary event. He'll be guest of honor at a 6 p.m. Oct. 26 reception at the gallery, now located on the first floor of the Ware Student Commons on the Washington Street campus, then deliver a 7 p.m. Oct. 26 lecture in the Oak Room at the College Union Building.

“Robert today is a prominent photographer and well-known writer; the founding of the Southern Light Gallery and his time at AC mark the beginning of his prestigious career," said René West, assistant professor of photography and gallery curator, in the release. “We are delighted by his continued enthusiasm for Southern Light Gallery, where so many illustrious artists have exhibited their work these four decades past, all because of Robert’s lasting vision.”

Architecture of Landscape encourages “viewers to contemplate the dynamic relationship between nature and the humanly constructed landscape ... (b)y presenting dichotomies, myths, and symbols," Hirsch said in the release.

Hirsch also will speak to AC photography students at 1 p.m. Oct. 27 in Parcells Hall, room 314.

Gallery hours are 7:30 a.m. to 8:50 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 4:50 p.m. Fridays and 2 to 5:50 p.m. Sundays.

Call 806-345-5654.


First Friday Art Walk

Artists will celebrate the arrival of fall at the next First Friday Art Walk.

Gallery artists and Amarillo Art Institute students and instructors will carve, paint and decorate pumpkins for a competition. Pumpkins will be on display in the institute and in participating galleries.

Attendees at the monthly walk can vote on favorites.

"I have one who is adding junk pieces to it, one is doing a combination with clay," said Rachel Flores, AAI director. "Most are painting, but I think the carved ones will be really impressive. I haven’t seen the finished products yet, but I think they will be cool."

The walk runs 5 to 9 p.m. Oct. 6 at The Galleries at Sunset Center, 3701 Plains Blvd. The event is free.


Co-Creating with Alcohol Ink

Art lover and novice painter Nina Stein will show works in her first exhibition, opening Friday at Chalice Abbey Center for Spirituality and the Arts.

Stein's Co-Creating with Alcohol Ink will open with a 6 to 9 p.m. Friday reception at the center, 2717 Stanley St. It will hang through Nov. 14.

Alcohol ink, according to a news release, is a dye medium in which the pigment is carried by an alcohol solution. The colors are transparent and intense. Techniques of application include dropping the ink on the paper and manipulating it by moving the paper, spraying with additional clear medium, and using stamp pads or some brush techniques.

"I watch what happens when the ink moves and how the colors blend. I decide what colors I want to use and have some idea of where I might go with the painting — but have to be flexible to allow for whatever happens in the process," Stein said in the release. "Often the images turn out much better than I imagined… and I am willing to change course completely when they don't go as planned.” 

Stein, a retired counselor, has collected art for most of her adult life and bought her first set of pastels shortly before retiring. She took an acrylics workshop at Amarillo Art Institute, then discovered alcohol ink.

Call 806-576-2480.


Jon Birdsong workshop

Enrollment is now open to beginners and experienced students for a workshop by acclaimed watercolor artist Jon Birdsong.

Birdsong's workshop will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 13 and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 14 at Amarillo Art Institute at The Galleries at Sunset Center, 3701 Plains Blvd.

Cost, which includes supplies, is $90 for AAI members and $105 for nonmembers.

Birdsong graduated from the then-West Texas State University in 1967, teaching on and off for 32 years in public schools while working as a professional artist. One of his paintings hung in the White House during President Gerald Ford's administration.

Call 806-354-8802.



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.