In honor of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s death, the Rogers Photo Archives and Argenta Images will present “JFK 50 Years Later,” an archival photography exhibition that captures the life and times of the 35th U.S. President.
Gov. Mike Beebe will serve as honorary chairman of the exhibition, set for March 25-30 in North Little Rock’s Argenta District.
The exhibition, which includes photos that have never or rarely been seen, focuses on various aspects of the President’s life, including family, early years in politics, critical issues and images of the times, and his Presidency. The exclusive photos will be on display in the Argenta Arts District galleries and exhibition space in downtown North Little Rock, home of Rogers Photo Archive and Argenta Images. Eight North Little Rock galleries and restaurants will serve as hosts of the approximately 120 images.
“This is truly going to be a great event,” said John Gaudin chairman of the Board of Directors for the Argenta Arts Foundation.
The exhibit will be free, while special ticketed events will raise money for the Argenta Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a mission to provide arts and cultural experiences for the people of Arkansas, as well as the North Little Rock Moonshot Project, a community initiative to increase college attainment levels through the arts, education and economic development.
“We are thrilled that John Rogers, a North Little Rock resident and owner of the Rogers Photo Archive, partnered with us to make this exhibit happen. These never or rarely seen photos tell the story of an amazing man and his family. Putting them on display for everyone to see in our beautiful Argenta galleries is very exciting,” said Gaudin.
The Rogers Photo Archive is the largest privately owned collection of photographic images. Although John Rogers is a lifelong baseball and sports fan, he is a true connoisseur of photographic art. The organization has partnered with many of the world’s greatest newspapers, magazines and photographers to restore, digitize and lease unique collections of historical photography. He has amassed a photo collection with historic images that touch upon every aspect of American culture. There are more than 140 million images in the Rogers Archive that include all photographic formats such as original vintage studio and cabinet photographs, wire and news service photos, glass plate negatives, and high quality digitals. As the Rogers Photo Archive has continued to grow, it has become Roger’s mission to help educate the public about the history and significance of photographic imagery by capturing the spirit of our nation in a visually unique way.
Argenta Images, the leasing arm of Rogers Photo Archive, is a leading visual image provider, representing a vast collection that includes the world’s most comprehensive historical photography archive. Clients include ESPN, HBO and the BBC. Through partnerships with publications, broadcast journalists and private photographers, its sister companies — Rogers Photo Archive and JR Partners — have amassed the world’s largest digital library of vintage and historic imagery — more than 180 million photographs and thousands of hours of film.
— The exhibit Argenta Arts District location and themes are as follows:
— The Joint, 301 Main St., #102 — Moon Shot: The Space Race;
— Thea Foundation, 401 Main St., #100 — JFK: His Family;
— Starving Artist Café, 411 Main St. — JFK: The Kennedy Clan;
— Art Connection, 204 East 4th St. — JFK: The Arts and the Challenge for Public Service;
— Argenta Community Theater, 405 Main St. — JFK: 1000 Days of Camelot;
— Pennington Studios, 417 Main St. — JFK: A Nation Mourns;
— Greg Thompson Fine Art, 429 Main St. — JFK: From Campaigns to Cold War;
— Paint Box Gallery, 705 Main St. — Jacqueline Kennedy;
Craig Renaud, award-winning executive director of Little Rock Film Festival, has created an exhibition film about JFK, which will be introduced at the opening night kick-off at 7 p.m. Monday, March 25. His productions have been featured on ESPN, PBS, Discovery Times Channel, HBO, NBC’s “Dateline” and The New York Times.
Gov. Mike Beebe, honorary chair of the exhibition, will read JFK’s inaugural speech at noon Tuesday, March 26 on the steps of the Argenta Post Office, 420 Main St.
On March 26 at 5:30 p.m., “Tales from the South,” the award-winning NPR radio program that regularly broadcasts from the Argenta District, will feature writers discussing “Where Were You?” on the show’s highly acclaimed Tin Roof Project, which is distributed to 130 million listeners worldwide.
On Wednesday, March 27, a program will be presented known as Shooting JFK: A Conversation with Photographer Willie Allen, a photographer for the Dallas Times Herald. This event is set for 6 p.m. at Argenta Community Theater.
The Argenta Film Series will screen Oliver Stone’s “JFK” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Argenta Community Theater.
The Exhibition Finale will be at the Argenta Community Theater at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, featuring an auction of the works of acclaimed Arkansas-based artists. Sculptor Kevin Kresse is creating a bust of the President, while Matt McCleod and Doug Norton are painting the President’s image,. Stephano Sutherlin is painting Jackie Kennedy’s image, and Emily Wood is painting the First Family. Jeff Baskin, executive director of the William F. Laman Public Library in North Little Rock, will be honored with the Argenta Arts District Community Contributors Award as part of the evening’s festivities.
In addition, Rogers Photo Archives is compiling 30 of the most iconic and rare images into a limited-edition portfolio available for purchase. All proceeds will benefit the Argenta Arts Foundation and the NLR Moonshot Project.
A variety of sponsorships for “JFK 50 Years Later” are available. Sponsorship levels include: $25,000 Arkansas Presenting Partner, $15,000 Arkansas Platinum Sponsor, $10,000 Arkansas Gold Sponsor, $5,000 Arkansas Bronze Sponsor and $2,500 Arkansas Friends of the Arts Sponsor. Each sponsorship provides a variety of marketing and recognition donor benefits designed to complement the organization’s strategic objectives and philanthropic priorities. For more information on sponsorships, contact Gaudin at (501) 225-5600.