Geta sandals, carved from pine at Rohwer.

  • Geta sandals, carved from pine at Rohwer.

2nd Friday Art night is upon us, and Concordia Hall in the Arkansas Studies Institute will be a super stop. I’ve written about “The Art of Living” exhibit on Eye Candy (here) and once in Art Notes in the paper but here’s another reminder to check out the exhibit of work by Japanese-Americans shipped to Arkansas prison camps during World War II. Tonight’s reception runs from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Seven years ago, nearly to the day, The Observer column in the Times quoted from a letter written by Mary Cazort in 1942 about her visit to Rohwer on behalf of the YWCA, shared with the Times by her daughter. The excerpt began:

The address of each person is designated by the block in which he lives and the number of the room in the house, rather than by street and number. For instance, you may live at 42-1-A. The block also serves as a unit of government and a Council is made of a representative from each block. Each house is a long narrow frame building, covered on the outside with dark green building or roofing paper. Each house is one room wide and I judge that to be about twenty feet. … The floors are bare, just as they were laid — no paint, no stain, no varnish. In fact, there is little or no paint in the whole place. … Each family has 1 room for a home. …

These are the conditions under which the people of Rohwer made their art. Something to think about tonight when you see the works in the exhibit, a collection donated to the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies by former McGehee Mayor Rosalie Gould.