Hard Lessons: An art exhibit by Neal Harrington, Professor of Art at Arkansas Tech

Story and Photos by Pete Tubbs, Editor in Chief

“Hard Lessons,” an art exhibit in the RFA Art Exhibition Room, is a collection of carvings by Neal Harrington. Harrington is a Professor of Art at Arkansas Tech in Russelville who got permission from Professor Aaron Calvert to hold his exhibit at Henderson.

Harrington says it takes about two to three weeks to work on a carving, even longer to generate the concept and composition.

The concept of the title “Hard Lessons,” the idea come from “I am a visual artist and an amateur musician…better visual artist. My interest in American Roots music influences me.

Many of those songs tell stories, stories often impart a lesson. I thought it made sense.” says Harrington. This artist does not believe in an idea, and that he much rather go after it, and

“Sometimes it takes the form of a word, or sentence, sometimes a situation or some classic folk tale or mythology that I am playing around with. Sometimes ideas are easy and quick, most often I day dream…I’m a dreamer with difficulty concentrating on one thing.”

Harrington’s pieces have a strong feeling and strong black and white aesthetic look. “I make art that I want to see. If I am not making something I feel like I am failing or letting myself down so I am usually working on an actual piece or sketching ideas for the next. This show made me pause and smell the roses and appreciate all that I have accomplished for the past few years.”

Photo by Larry Massey, Photo Chief.
“Boozy Beard” is one of the works by Neal Harrington.