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The Art Group was founded nearly two decades ago when several Little Rock artists came together to share an art studio. In 2013, the artists officially opened a gallery, The Art Group Gallery, in Pleasant Ridge Shopping Center. Follow along as At Home in Arkansas interviews each of the group’s artists to find out more about their inspirations and processes for creating.
At Home in Arkansas: Tell us a little about you. Are you an Arkansas native? Do you work full-time as an artist?
Vonda Rainey: I was born and raised in Little Rock. I am currently working as a full-time artist. However, I am a licensed and certified speech language pathologist, and it is a priority of mine to keep my continuing education certification current in that field.
AHIA: Is art an interest you’ve always had?
VR: One of my earliest memories of creating art was in kindergarten class. We were all asked to create a picture of our favorite zoo animal. I drew and colored a giraffe in Cray-Pas crayons. When it came to open house night, my giraffe wasn’t on the wall … apparently it had been sent off to be framed and hung in the district office! My mother was a big encourager for me when it came to art, but it’s also fair to say there are a lot of artists in my family gene pool.
AHIA: What mediums do you use?
VR: My primary medium is oil paint. I would consider watercolor to be my second medium—even though it’s a new one for me and actually the polar opposite of oils.
AHIA: Tell us about your style.
VR: I’m not sure exactly how to describe my style, but I’ve been told it falls somewhere between impressionism and expressionism. I typically paint loose but also can paint a little tighter when needed. I do like to use a pallet knife for impasto effects.
AHIA: What do you hope people gain from viewing or owning your art?
VR: I hope people get an overall feeling of happiness or joy when they view or purchase my art. Art is very personal, and it’s certainly not one size fits all. Art truly does speak to people; sometimes we just have to be listening. I love being a part of people’s lives when they commission a piece and tell me how their gift someone was received and what it meant to them. It really can bring tears to my eyes, and I get chills. I really love what I do!
AHIA: How can clients shop with The Art Group?
VR: The gallery is now open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m – 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1–5 p.m. You can also still shop by private appointment. Call 501-690-2193 to set up a time. And, of course, you can shop online.
Learn more about Vonda and The Art Group Gallery at artgrouparkansas.com.