"Ladies Hour at Corn Springs," 1870, stereoscopic photograph by J.F. Kennedy. If they'd had eggnog to drink while soaking their feet, they would have been very happy.

Eggnog and art are a great combination, one offered up tonight (Dec. 12) by the Historic Arkansas Museum, which is holding its 10th Ever Nog-Off competition, opening new exhibitions and hosting Kemistri, featuring Nicki Parrish, from 5-8 p.m.

First, the booze: Giving the Peay eggnog (entered by descendants Bill Worthen and Rachel Worthen) a run for its money are recipes by Cache Restaurant, Capital Bar and Grill, Copper Grill, The Empress, Loblolly Creamery,  Bridget Fennell Farris, John Selig and family and Stone’s Throw Brewing. Sip a bit of each and you will be one happy 2nd Friday Art Nighter. Watch the judges — Mayor Mark Stodola, lawyer Joel DiPippa and food writer Emily Van Zandt — do their research and be entertained. 


Lubricated with whiskey and cream, head off to the galleries to see Allan Gates’ collection of stereoscopic photographs from the 19th century (“Capturing Early Arkansas in Depth”) and paintings by Rachel Trusty (whose Arkansas Arts Center “Toy Show” entry was,  you will remember, “The Flock”: stuffed, wailing heads on duck feet). Her show is called “this is the garden: colors come and go,” which is the first line in a poem by e.e. cummings. So, naturally, you want to know the rest of the poem, right? Here it is:

This is the garden: colors come and go,
frail azures fluttering from night’s outer wing,
strong silent greens serenely lingering,
absolute lights like baths of golden snow.


This is the garden: pursed lips do blow
upon cool flutes within wide glooms, and sing
of harps celestial to the quivering string,
invisible faces hauntingly and slow.

This is the garden. Time shall surely reap
and on Death’s blade lie many a flower curled,
in other lands where other songs be sung;
yet stand They here enraptured, as among
the slow deep trees perpetual of sleep
some silver-fingered fountain steals the world.