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Two nationally recognized artists to exhibit at the arts center

February 1, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

EL DORADO — The South Arkansas Arts Center has announced an exhibit, “Brotherhood: Jason Sacran and John P. Lasater IV,” that will be on display in the Price and Merkle Galleries beginning Thursday and continuing through March 29.

Jason Sacran and John P. Lasater IV, nationally known and respected oil painters, will open their show on Thursday with an artist’s reception from 5 until 7 p.m.. They will also be hosting a landscape workshop at SAAC on Thursday and Friday.

Wherever they go, their nickname “The Boys from Arkansas,” is worn proudly, according to a news release from the arts center. Both have made a home for their families in Arkansas – Sacran in Magazine and Lasater in Siloam Springs. Their works are represented throughout the country in galleries in California, Colorado, Texas, Maryland and Indiana.

Both Lasater and Sacran teach oil painting classes across the country and they spend much of their time in plein air competitions. They have both won major awards in plein air competitions and continue to take the highest prizes in many they enter. They competed in the 2016 Maui Plein Air Invitational where Sacran won Best of Show. Lasater was awarded the Artist’s Choice and Collector’s Choice awards.

Sacran has a bachelor’s in fine arts degree in painting from Tennessee Tech University and credits towards a master’s degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He was the curator for the Fort Smith Art Center for almost three years. In 2010, he became a full-time artist/painter and part-time instructor for the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. He is also the Arkansas state ambassador for the Portrait Society of America. He has had several exhibitions and been awarded many times for his works and achievements including a first place award in the Portrait Society of Americas 2011 Members Competition, Best of Show in the 2010 Wisconsin Plein Air Painter Association Annual Competition and Best of Show in the 2010 Winthrop Rockefeller Institution Invitational. Although known for his figurative and portrait work, Sacran is quickly rising as a top plein air painter and considers plein air one of, if not his favorite subjects.

“I am a contemporary representational painter, working primarily outdoors. I paint what catches my interest in the moment. This could be almost anything; an orchestration of shapes, color contrast, light and shadow patterns, a mood or atmosphere, a subject I have never tried, or a subject I enjoy, etc.,” Sacran said. “I am drawn to paint places and things that say something about the day and time I live in now.”

Lasater developed a love for art working as a designer and illustrator for a division of Hallmark Cards. Fine art was a natural transition after years of study and practice. He now paints full time, both from his studio in Siloam Springs and on the road painting “en plein air.” His honors include national plein air painting awards, artist-in-residency’s, feature articles in both Southwest Art and Plein Air Magazine, and mentions in art magazines including Art of the West, Southwest Art, International Artist and Plein Air Magazine.

Part of Lasater’s mission is to promote the arts in areas currently indifferent to it. He is accomplishing this through Heart of America Artists’ Association, an organization co-founded with artist and friend, Todd A. Williams. Lasater also created the “24 Paintings in 24 Hours” tour in which he partnered with galleries in small towns, showcasing his love of outdoor painting by creating 24 plein air paintings in 24 straight hours.

He studied under master artists Israel Hershberg, C.W. Mundy, Carolyn Anderson, John Budicin and Todd A. Williams. In October 2014, Lasater was invited by Bass Pro Shops to put on a private plein air demonstration and exhibit for President George W. Bush.

Lasater said, “I make simple visual statements with my artwork, regardless of the subject matter. Simplicity is peaceful, and reinforces the blessing of our existence. Through the medium of oil paint, I have a language for my gratitude.”

For more information about this exhibit and reception, call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474 or visit the website at www.saac-arts.org. SAAC is located at 110 East Fifth Street, El Dorado, Arkansas.

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