The Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, at 701 S. Main St., will premiere the 2019 state tour exhibit 2019 Arkansas Women to Watch: Heavy Metal.


A free reception celebrating the exhibit will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, April 25. The public is invited to the reception to meet the featured artists and view a variety of media, according to a news release.


The exhibit will be open through Saturday, June 22. The state tour is organized by the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts (ACNMWA), an affiliate of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.


The Women to Watch exhibit series follows the international biennial project of the same name initiated in 2008 by the national museum to increase the visibility of and critical response to promising women artists, according to the release.


“The 2018 national exhibit focused on the use of metal as an artistic medium. Long considered to be the work of men, metalsmithing was historically seen by many to be too physically grueling for women. But in modern and contemporary eras, women artists have used metal to create a broad range of objects ranging from functional furniture to minimalist jewelry to purely aesthetic abstractions and large sculptural works,” according to the release.


Holly Laws’ mixed media installations — Three Eastern Bluebirds and Placeholder — were on exhibit at the national museum June through September 2018. A third Laws installation joins the 2019 Arkansas state tour which will be exhibited with works by selected artists Michele Cottler-Fox, Amanda Heinbockel and Robyn Horn of Little Rock.


“We are excited to provide this exhibit of varied, elegant and intriguing art works to venues across the state,” said Barbara Satterfield, president of the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. “Visitors will also get to see photographs of the artists in their studios and read their artist statements — clues to how techniques and ideas connect in the process of making art.”


“The Arkansas Committee is the only affiliate of the national museum to organize statewide tours of work by its nominees to the national competitive,” according to the release.


“Heavy Metal is the fifth in the biennial series that is seen by an average of 5,000 Arkansans across the state. ACNMWA also sponsors annual Collegiate Internships that encourage research and scholarship in the arts, and annual Artist Awards that recognize excellence and support professional development. To financially support the ACNMWA Program Endowment Fund or become an ACNMWA Advocate member, visit the organization’s website at www.acnmwa.org or find ‘The Arkansas State Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ on Facebook.”


The exhibit will travel to eight community and educational institutions January through November 2019. It will visit Fayetteville at the ArtVentures Gallery from Aug. 3-31.


The Arts & Science Center is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Details: asc701.org/.