The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will open "Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey" on Thursday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

The Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas will open "Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey" on Thursday with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m.

"Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey" features drawings and documentation of champion trees from around the state by Hot Springs artist, Linda Williams Palmer. The exhibition combines artwork with short anecdotes and stories to encourage multi-generational conversations and inspire visitors to independently learn more about Arkansas forests, history, art and science.

A gallery talk with Palmer, as well as, remarks by state Forester Joe Fox and Exhibition Project Manager Barbara Satterfield will begin at 5:15 p.m. At 6 p.m. there will be a showing of the AETN documentary, "Champion Trees," which highlights the artist’s research and artwork.

Satterfield, a member of the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, emphasizes the exhibition’s appeal for children, families, students, teachers and artists. "Our goal is to bring everybody together to enjoy Arkansas’ greatest natural resources — its land and its people," she said.

The exhibition, organized by the Arkansas Committee of NMWA, will remain on display at ASC through May 21 and will continue its statewide tour through December 2014.

Palmer developed the champion trees series over a period of five years, driving approximately 5,000 miles to document her selections. Each champion is interpreted according to a season, time of day, specific location, and historic or cultural significance. Palmer’s colored-pencil drawings demonstrate the best of the medium, one that is widely used in Arkansas schools. The Colored Pencil Society of America awarded Palmer "Signature Status" in 2006, and her drawings have been selected for numerous juried exhibitions and collections across the United States and in Europe.

ASC’s exhibition of "Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey" is sponsored by Mary Ross Taylor, member of the National Advisory Board for NMWA, in honor of her father "Pinchback" Taylor Jr.

The tour is made possible with a Collaborative Project Support grant from the Arkansas Arts Council with generous matching contributions by Champion Sponsors Plum Creek Timber Company, Domtar and the Williams-Palmer Family; Medalist Sponsors Robyn and John Horn; and individual donations from those who appreciate the arts, education and Arkansas’ champion trees.

Admission is free.

Family FunDay

ASC’s second Saturday Family FunDay will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. April 12 and will feature a free, colored-pencil, tree drawing lesson and a showing of the AETN documentary "Champion Trees" in conjunction with the exhibition.

The ASC, located at 701 S. Main St., is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m., and closed on Sunday and Monday. Gallery admission is free.

Support for the center is provided in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Hands-on science exhibitions are offered through ASC’s partnership with Arkansas Discovery Network, a consortium of museums in Arkansas funded by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation. For more information, call 870-536-3375 or email