NLR Chamber luncheon set for Friday

The North Little Rock Chamber of Commerce has set a luncheon for Friday from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the chamber’s Bank of the Ozarks Conference Room, 100 Main St., North Little Rock. The program will be presented by Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines about the new Broadway Bridge.

Thea hosts John Sykes Jr. Photography by exhibition Jan. 7-18

Thea Center will host a photography exhibition by Little Rock photojournalist John Sykes, Jr., on display from Jan. 7 to 18. Sykes’s nature-inspired, Ansel Adams-esque collection of photographs range from scenic landscapes to digital collages rife with relevant content and context.

Sykes’s photography exhibition will culminate with a final showing, accompanied by an Arkansas Symphony Orchestra string quartet, during the Argenta ArtWalk scheduled for Friday, Jan. 18, from 5-8 p.m..

Sykes, originally from Heber Springs, drew from the Ozark Mountains as a photography muse in the

artist’s adolescence. "The natural beauty sparked my interest in photography, and I’ve been attempting to copy the work of Ansel Adams and Edward Weston ever since," admits a largely self-taught Sykes. After studying journalism at ASU in Jonesboro and then UALR, Sykes joined the photography staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and is now the newspaper’s chief photographer.

Past exhibitions include three one-man shows at the Cleburne County Arts Council, Cantrell Gallery and the Arts Center of the Ozarks all in 2004. His resume also includes group exhibitions at Cantrell Gallery and Gallery 26. For more information on the artist, visit

The Thea Foundation is located at 401 Main Street, Suite 100, North Little Rock. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to noon and from 1-5 p.m.

Admission is free and open to the public. For more information on Thea and its programs, visit

NLR NAACP encourages churches to observe Emancipation Proclamation Sunday on Jan. 6

The North Little Rock NAACP, of which Eartha Dobbins is President, is encouraging churches to observe the first Sunday, Jan. 6, as "Emancipation Proclamation Sunday." "As we approach a new year, 2013, the North Little Rock NAACP wishes to focus on the importance of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863, 150 years ago, as the nation approached its third year of bloody civil war," said Dobbins.

The proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves" within the rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free." Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war.

After Jan. 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom. Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.

The observance can be acknowledged through songs, praise and worship, she said.

For information, Dobbins may be contacted at 501-517-7418.

CALS Celebrates 2013 with New Year, New Reads

The public is encouraged to ‘read in’ the new year with the Central Arkansas Library System’s (CALS) adult winter reading program entitled "New Year, New Reads." From Jan. 7 through March 2 patrons may read or listen to any book they choose and then submit reviews one of three ways: at the branch, via email to, or on Twitter using the hashtag #NewYearNewReads.

Each branch will display the reviews submitted at their branch, and most branches will have drawings for door prizes from the reviews received. Each branch will determine the rules and prizes for their contest.

A prize of a Kindle Fire will be awarded for the Most Creative Book Review of all entries submitted online. Reviewers tweeting or emailing reviews of no more than 140 characters will be entered into the contest.

Readers can pick up reading suggestion bookmarks and review cards at the circulation desk of any CALS branch. The program is free and open to the public.