“It’s all about art,” said Gilda Meyers, an artist.

Meyers said she likes “sitter-arounders (and) bric-a-brac. It has nothing to do with cost. If it speaks to you, and it is beautiful, it is what it is.”

Anything “more decorative than functional” could be classified as dimensional art, Meyers said. Three-dimensional art is one of the four art categories that will be featured at Mena Art Gallery’s annual Ouachita Expressions Show, said Meyers, who is the volunteer coordinator for the upcoming event. Works on canvas, works on paper and photography are the other three categories to be featured.

The Ouachita Expressions Show has been the premier judged show for local competition at Mena Art Gallery, 607 Mena St. in Mena, for more than 25 years, according to MenaArtGallery.org. Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The gallery will be open regular hours during the run of the 2018 Ouachita Expressions Show, which is scheduled for Aug. 1–25.

Gallery admission is free for all, Meyers said. They do host a lot of demonstrations, and people come into the studio to do workshops.

Featured art at the event will include original artwork in any style — realistic, contemporary or abstract, notes the website. All selections must be in good taste and appropriate for a family-friendly gallery, Meyers said.

Gallery members are a diverse group of artists who represent a wide variety of artistic media, the gallery website notes.

Featured artists to date who are participating in the Ouachita Expressions Show will include various members of the gallery, including Ingrid Gipson, who is an internationally known sculptress, Meyers said. Gipson brings pieces and does workshops at the gallery.

Following an extensive career in the fashion design industry, the German-born Gipson retired to the southeastern Oklahoma Ouachita Mountains, the gallery’s website, MenaArtGallery.org notes. Gipson sculpts in clay, using psychology, anthropology, mythology and religion, as it relates to life experience.

Born and raised mostly in California, Patricia Trulock, a photographer, received her first Kodak Brownie camera about the age of 11, the website notes.

“It was a Christmas gift,” Trulock said. “It was expensive, (and) it was a surprise.” She said she began taking mostly snapshots of family at that time, and she has been snapping pictures ever since. As Trulock has gotten older, she has traveled a lot, she said. She now takes more pictures of landscapes and florals.

Today, Trulock said she can be found in her new studio editing her photos when she is not out taking pictures. Her contribution to the 2018 show will likely be a landscape, an animal and probably a flower.

Tiffany Lane, owner of the Century 21 Real Estate franchise in Mena, also is a fabulous and incredibly talented artist, Meyers said.

A pastel artist like her mother, the website notes that Lane showed both interest and ability in drawing from early childhood.

Also showing interest in art as well as nature from an early age, Loraine Timmerman was not particularly attracted to painting until she was introduced to botanical illustration, the gallery website reports.

She brings a bug with her to illustrate, Meyers said. Her work is “absolutely divine.”

Sharing Timmerman’s love of nature, Meyers’ interest was sparked by her early fishing trips with her "pappy," she said. Her mother and grandmother were “very talented, (and she) could always do things at home.”

Meyers, a retired principal from Dallas, is a pen and ink artist, she said. She is also a woodcarver, and she makes jewelry. She has visited places like Israel, Ecuador and Peru, and specifically, the Garden of Gethsemane, the Dead Sea and Machu Pichu. She journals and illustrates her trips while there, she said. She then makes jewelry, “my rocks of ages.”

When she retired in 2003, a friend introduced her to the Mena Art Gallery. She now has her own local private studio.

Every Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., the gallery hosts Art Day, Meyers said. The gallery is open for anyone at any level, whether a beginner wanting to learn to draw; someone wanting to experiment with a new medium, such as charcoal or an artist working on a project in progress. Some even bring adult coloring books.

Ouachita Expressions is an adult show, Meyers said. The works of youth, aged 18 and younger, are reserved for youth-specific shows.

Entry fee is $5 for members and $10 for non-members, Meyers said. Artists are asked to donate back 25 percent of all sales made at the gallery. All entries must be submitted at the Mena Art Gallery from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 31.

Artists interested in participating in the event can find exhibition rules and more on the gallery's Facebook page; on the gallery’s website; by contacting Whitney Espinoza, the gallery’s executive director, at (479) 394-3880; or by calling Meyers at (214) 536-3658.

Membership in the 501(c)3 nonprofit is $10 for students, $20 for individuals and $35 for families, the website notes. Founded in 1945, the group is known as SouthWest Artists, Inc.

For more information on the upcoming show, as well as other events and exhibitions, see the Mena Art Gallery Facebook page.