Arts-adelphia: Arkadelphia Festival of the Arts


Kaela McKim

HSU Spanish Professor Margarita Peraza-Rugeley shows off a painting she just sold at the Arkadelphia Festival of the Arts.

What better way to spend the sunny weekend than with local art, food trucks, live music, and astonishing rope dancing?
Previously named the Caddo River Art Guild, 29 artists joined in the downtown area for the first annual Arkadelphia Festival of the Arts to display their creations. The art that was made ranged from clay sculptures to metal and wood work, and acrylic paintings.
One artist in particular, Chris McHenry, based in Hot Springs, has a history as a pictorial billboard artist, mural painter, scenic painter, and even a digital computer artist. Another artist named Margarita Peraza-Rugeley, who is also a Henderson State Spanish professor, has a specialty in colonial Latin America art painted with acrylics. These two artists alone are just a small slice of what the festival had to offer.
“My art is bright and bold, and my creations depict a world stripped of decoration.” said Peraza-Rugeley.
The culinary arts also showed out with food offerings such as pizzas, sandwiches, cajun, wings, and pastries. Located in Little Rock, Arkansas, Braggs Big Bites made and sold dishes of catfish and wings with their slogan “Something to Bragg about!” holding true. Say Cheese, from Austin, Arkansas, uses fresh and local ingredients for their handcrafted sandwiches. ShoBo’s Kitchen, another business from Little Rock, provided cajun pasta, philly cheesesteaks, and a cheeseburger fit for their famous “Bangin burger sauce.”
Music that was performed was all live from artists based in Arkansas. Country, blues, rock, hip-hop, and other genres were represented from all corners of the state. One of the artists, Rodney Block Kollective, blended jazz, hip-hop, and country for a captivating performance while Lil Skinny Band is a country and southern rock singer. Other artists include Dazz and Brie who front with a blend of rock and soul music.
Though this was the first year of this festival, it will not be the last. As an annual event, more artists of the culinary, music, and painting world will come together in Arkadelphia to show what Arkansas has to offer.
For more information on the painters, musicians, and food truck vendors, Arkadelphia Festival of the Arts has a facebook page as well as their own website.