A new exhibit – Como Square – Then & Now –  opens Friday, September 7, at the Landmark Building located at 201 Market Street, Hot Springs. Como Square —the intersections of Central Ave., Ouachita Ave., Market St., and Olive St.— was were Hotel Como resided and is now the home of the Landmark Building and Confederate Monument. It has served as a public gathering place with a fountain, downtown parking, parades, and numerous historic events.

Como Square – Then & Now is a photographic journey through the early 1900’s to the present. More than 40 photographs obtained from the Garland County Historical Society will be on display. The exhibit also showcases artwork of historic structures and venues visited by tourists staying at the Hotel Como or other hotels around Como Square

The artwork was curated from local artists, Hot Springs National Park’s Artist in Residence permanent collection, and the estate of Catherine Thornton. Paintings from local artists include Hugh Dunnahoe’s plein air oils of historic downtown, Jeri Hillis’s oil painting of Maxine’s window, and, Hildegard Honold, Gary Simmons, and Chuck Smith’s paintings and drawings of the bathhouses.

Catherine Thornton was a local artist who painted many scenes of Hot Springs that resulted in a coffee-table book – The Art of History: Catherine Thornton’s Hot Springs published by Garland County Historic Society. Her estate has loaned eight paintings to be included in the exhibit. History of Hot Springs Gambling Museum has loaned Thornton’s Como Square oil painting for the exhibit.

The Hot Springs National Park has an extensive collection of artworks created by their Artist in Residence programs. Twelve of these artworks are included in the exhibit. Represented artists are: Susan Crum-Cox, Julie Denesha, Ann Ehringhaus, Catherine Hillis, Carla Johannesmeyer, Karen Michno, Alison W. Parsons, Jennifer Perren, Diane Rubacha, Helen Stannard, Richard Stephens, and Steve Whitfield.

The opening reception for the exhibit will be on Friday, September 7., 5-8 pm. The Hot Springs Village String Quartet will perform 5:30-7 pm and a guided tour of the exhibit will be given at 7:15 pm.

COMO Square - Then & Now is sponsored by Henderson State University–Hot Springs Academic Initiatives, Garland County Historical Society, Hot Springs National Park, the Morris Foundation, the Munro Foundation, and Hot Springs Village Lifelong Learning Institute.

For more information, call (501) 625-3837 or visit the Facebook page: HSU-Hot Springs Academic Initiatives.

September 7 – November 30, 2018

Monday - Friday, 9 am - 4 pm, 1st Fridays Gallery Walk, 5- 8 pm