[September 23, 2019 | MENA, Ark.] Duane Hada’s ’Scenes of the Arkansas Ozarks’ collection lined the walls of a gallery in the Arkansas’ Governor’s Mansion in July and will now be on exhibit in the Ouachita Center on the campus of UA Rich Mountain.
Hada is no stranger to Mena. He was an art instructor at Mena High School from 1985-1989 but now owns his own fly-fishing guide service and art studio, Rivertown Gallery, in Mountain Home.
“We’re thrilled to be able to feature Duane’s work in the Ouachita Center. With all of the outdoor enthusiasts that we have in this area, we know his art will have a captive audience who will have a deep appreciation for his talent and even deeper appreciation for what inspires his work. His landscapes are exquisite representations of the beauty of Arkansas’ outdoors,” said LeAnn Dilbeck, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for UA Rich Mountain. “Credit goes to Dr. Wilson’s wife, Kristi, who saw his work featured at the Governor’s Mansion. Knowing his connection to Mena, she recognized what an opportunity it would be for us to host this collection.”
Duane’s passion for Arkansas’ mountain, for fishing, and for the outdoors are reflected in his magnificent art. He grew up in the Ozarks but has a deep appreciation for the Ouachitas as well. The natural beauty of Arkansas’ outdoors stirs his creative side and translates to brush strokes on canvas that reel the viewer in upon first glance.
And speaking of reeling, a common thread in his artwork is water. “One thing I do is usually use the water directly out of the stream,” he explains. “I do that out of convenience but also… I think that there is something about the lifeblood of that stream that gets captured in that painting. The sights, the sounds, the smells, out here just somehow translate… I hope… into the painting.”
The exhibit will be featured in the Stephenson Gallery of the Ouachita Center on the campus of UA Rich Mountain. A reception and opportunity to meet the artist himself will be held from 10 a.m. until Noon on Wednesday, October 9. The event is free and open to the public.