New Visual Arts Exhibition Opens at Walton Arts Center’s Joy Pratt Markham Gallery

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, January 15, 2018 ― Walton Arts Center is proud to host the visual arts exhibition, The Grammar of Ornament, in the Joy Pratt Markham Gallery. Curated by Cynthia Nourse Thompson and David Charles Chioffi, the exhibitionexplores the work of three contemporary artists who sit at the intersection of art and design. 

The exhibition features artwork by Shepard Fairey, Ryan McGinness and Mary Judge, as well as a copy of Owen Jones's The Grammar of Ornament. The NWA Chapter of the Association of Illustrators and Graphic Artists has also loaned facsimile prints taken from Specimens of Chromatic Wood Type, Borders, &c. by the Wm. H. Page Wood Type Company that will also be included in the exhibition.Both books are considered seminal works in the field of design.

Fairey is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist and illustrator. He is the founder of OBEY Clothing who became widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential election for his Barak Obama “Hope” poster.

McGinness is an American artist known for creating paintings, sculptures and environments that use the visual language of public signage, corporate logos and contemporary iconography.

Judge is an American artist known for her complex and reductive works on paper, sculpture in cast concrete and painting in tempera acrylic.

The exhibition will be on display January 19 – March 17, 2018 in Walton Arts Center’s Joy Pratt Markham Gallery. Gallery admission is free, and gallery hours are noon to 2 pm Monday through Friday and one hour prior to most performances.

A reception celebrating the opening of The Grammar of Ornament will take place 5-7 pm on Friday, Jan. 19 in the gallery. The reception is free and open to the public.

The Joy Pratt Markham Gallery presents exhibitions of works by both emerging and internationally recognized artists. Private gallery tours may be scheduled in advance by calling 479.571.2766. Please arrange your tour at your earliest convenience. We request three business days’ notice to schedule tour guides.

Description of exhibition:

The interactions of art and design are ever expanding: technology and formation; artifact and narrative; arena and audience. This diverse union of physical expression and semiotic theory forms a foundation to [re]consider the manner to which ornament, in all of its iterations and diagramming, creates visual languages. The architect Owen Jones (1809–1874) in his 1854 tome The Grammar of Ornament states in Proposition Five: “That which is beautiful is true; that which is true is beautiful.” This exhibition fluidly imparts Jones’ philosophy of design to broadly explore interdisciplinary design practices.

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Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ largest and busiest performing arts presenter. Each year more than 195,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend more than 400 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, weddings and more. Approximately 45,000 students and teachers participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and almost 200 volunteers donate 21,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 45% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit