[January 10, 2020 | MENA, Ark.] A Mena native is returning home to display her unique art on the campus of UA Rich Mountain beginning January 20. Ms. Roberta (Bell) Ehrlich is the daughter of Mr. R.B. Bell who first built the KENA radio station and spent much of her childhood in Mena. She would later go on to graduate from Poteau High School before moving to New York City where her talent would birth an art company, Third Eye Inc.
Roberta candidly shared that they originally borrowed $600 during the early 60’s from friends in order to produce 200 ‘posters’ of her graphics that she would sell $1 each and the rest, as they say, is history. Roberta and her husband forged a new creative artistry in New York that had not previously been discovered. Her temporary art exhibit includes original designs by Roberta but also include Marvel comic heroes and other American artist/creators.
These works of art are color screens that are intricately hand cut by highly talented artists. Each are displayed under black-lights that reflect the vivid colors of the artistry. Sadly, just as the company was growing in popularity and distribution, they, like many others of the time, were a casualty of the recession and are no longer being produced.
Significantly appreciating in value, these vintage posters now sell ranging from $500-$1,000 each. The works have been featured in Poteau, Fort Smith, and according to Roberta, they are in negotiations to be displayed at the famed Crystal Bridges Museum in northwest Arkansas.
This unique exhibit will be on display beginning January 20 until February 7 in the Lecture Hall of the Spencer Building on the Mena campus of UA Rich Mountain. There is no charge. A reception for artist Roberta Ehrlich will be Monday, January 20 at 10 a.m. providing an opportunity to meet / reunite with Roberta and discuss this exquisite creative journey that came full circle, bringing her back to Mena.