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  • Writer's pictureJuliet Flanagan

University of Arkansas– Fort Smith New Worlds: Arkansas Women to Watch 2023

Heidi Carlsen-Rogers' tapestry "Undone" displayed in the Windgate Gallery.

The University of Arkansas– Fort Smith is proudly housing the Arkansas Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts biennial exhibition, New Worlds: Women to Watch 2023, as the first stop on its state-wide tour. This exhibit celebrates underrepresented women in Arkansas, shedding light on the talent in Arkansas by presenting the work of these women to a larger audience.

Artists Aimée Papazian, Hannah McBroom, Heidi Carlsen-Rogers, and Anaïs Dassé feature their vastly unique work in this exhibition– from tapestry arrangements, charcoal drawings, to painted portraits, these women give us a glimpse into their world through a kaleidoscope of artistic mediums.

Heidi Carlsen-Rogers, one artist featured in this exhibit, contributed two of the most intricate large-scale pieces in the exhibition. Tapestries entitled “Gather” and “Undone” both represent her interpretation of humanity through hand-threaded tapestry gardens. She explains that “Gather” takes inspiration from the renaissance style of painting where her subject is the center of the work and the surrounding figures are dispersed in a wistful stance surrounding the subject.

She also describes that she creates human-size flowers in her tapestries to represent her view of humanity; certain flowers surround “children” flowers in a stance of “protection”. In “Undone”, Rogers leaves remnant pools of thread pouring from the bottom of the tapestry, which she explains represent “what we have left” from life.

When asked about her artistic process, she explains that she starts by taking photographs of plants from the gardens of her friends, paying special attention to not only flowers who are in magnificent bloom but also to those who are withering, faded, or have yet to bloom.

The New Worlds exhibit will be on display and open to the public in the Windgate Art and Design building at UAFS until March 3rd, 2023.


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