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Our Founders

Since 1971, a nationally known juror has been chosen each year to select the paintings and awards for the annual juried exhibition. Until the mid-1990s, members brought or shipped their art to the Arkansas Arts Center for the juror to select the paintings to hang in the exhibit and to determine awards. Townsend Wolfe was still the AAC director when he suggested that MSW change to slide entry since that’s what museum and organizations were doing.

MSW provided educational programs so members could learn how to shoot good slides and MSW provided a list of local professional photographers.

Currently, MSW uses that coordinates the entry process and notification among artists, juror and exhibition chairpersons.

First Exhibition


Click on the picture to read more about MSW's 50 year journey.

Cherries Jubilee Doris Mapes

Cherries Jubilee by Doris Williamson Mapes (above)  ·  Video by Amy Reinhold (below)

Doris Williamson Mapes

At age eight, Doris Williamson submitted a pen-and-ink drawing to the Denver Post’s newspaper's “Artist of the Month” contest in the children’s section and won the first place prize of ten dollars. She continued to study art throughout her youth and adulthood.

Catherine Tharp Altvater
(1907 - 1984)

Her work was exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Academy of Fine Arts, National Arts Club, Audubon Artists Royal Watercolor Society (London), and the Mexico City Museum

of Art.


Bruce R. Anderson
(1907 - 1985)

In 1946 he and a

good friend, H. Ray Burks, formed the Burks and Anderson architectural firm. Their firm obtained the commission to design War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock.


Josephine Hutson Graham
(1915 - 1999)

She created more than 100 “suggin” paintings depicting folk history of rural Depression-era scenes. Many of her paintings were signed “Josus,” a childhood nickname given to her by her grandmother, Josephine Phillips.


Edwin Cook Brewer
(1927 - 2002)

In 1969, he was one of fifty artists chosen by the U.S. Marines to serve as a combat artist in Vietnam. The paintings and lithographs recording his impressions of the Vietnamese people and landscape have been circulated by the Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition service and artworks documented

in the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.