The Caddo River Art Guild (CRAG) was founded in 2006 by five local artists who painted together for many years and saw a need to promote the art and artists in the area. With that goal in mind, they organized the first Round About Artist Studio Tour in the fall of 2007. This was the genesis of the Caddo River Art Guild which was officially incorporated and received non-profit status, 501(c)3 in 2007. This status allowed the guild to seek and receive funds and grants from several sources. These were used to provide advertising for the studio tour bringing in hundreds of visitors from Arkansas and beyond. The Round About Artist Studio Tour has continued to grow each year, thanks in large part to this initial funding.
The guild members are very active in the community. In June of 2018 the guild held it’s first Youth Art Workshop at the Arkadelphia Arts Center and hope to make this a yearly event. It has participated in the annual Christmas parade with a float all about art. Lots of snow topped wooden trees decorated the façade of the Arkadelphia Arts Center during the downtown holiday Celebration of Lights thanks to the work of CRAG members, which won the best outdoor display! Another huge success was the second annual CRAG sponsored Pop-up Benefit for the Clark County Humane Society. The 2017 effort raised supplies and funds valued at $1400 and this year’s effort topped that at $1500!
Each monthly CRAG meeting features a program that highlights a facet of the art world and is led by members or visiting artists. Some past programs include framing, interior design, flower arrangement, art in the state capitals, paint pour, image transfer to fabric, beginning steps to drawing, pen and ink, bookplates, printmaking, photography, collage, portraiture, art with children, fabric art, and color exploration. Twice a year the program is Show and Tell. Members bring something they have been working on, or anything relating to art, then show and tell about it, always a fun program.
Members range from the casual art admirer to the professional artist and include public school art teachers and professors of art in higher education. Membership is open to anyone who wishes to join.