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Dustyn Bork Brings "Complex Shapes and Empty Space" to ASC

Lyon College Professor Dustyn Bork of Batesville brings his colorful, abstract and geometric work to the Arts & Science Center (ASC) for Southeast Arkansas with a solo exhibition, “Dustyn Bork: Complex Shapes and Empty Space.”

The ASC invites the public to a free reception 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. The exhibition is on display now in ASC’s William H. Kennedy Jr. Gallery through Saturday, April 13, 2019. Simmons Bank and the Arkansas Arts Council are the exhibition’s sponsors.

The 21 pieces in the exhibition — acrylic on shaped panels and framed seriographs — are inspired by architectural forms.

“The current series of paintings are reminiscent of building facades and remove the compositions from the more traditional rectangle and are cut into shaped pieces to more accurately reflect forms pulled from various sources,” Bork said. “I want viewers to make connections between the colors, lines, textures, and forms in my artwork and those to be found in their daily interactions with the constructed environment.”

“The dimensionality and vibrant colors of Dustyn Bork’s bold shapes catapult off the gallery walls and one cannot help but smile when entering the space,” ASC Curator Dr. Lenore Shoults said. “Bork’s exploration of the constructed environment, upon which this series is built, and Pine Bluff’s current moment of architectural decay and renewal is particularly poignant. Again, art guides us and, during this exhibition for sure, keeps us joyful and optimistic about the outcome.”

A native of Monroe, Mich., Bork is an associate professor of art at Lyon College in Batesville. He earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking in 2002 from Indiana University in Bloomington, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking in 1999 from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Before joining the Lyon faculty in 2010, Bork taught for seven years at the University of Toledo: Center for the Visual Arts, in Ohio.

His work has been included in a number of juried exhibitions, including the Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock, the Delta National Small Prints Exhibition in Jonesboro, Ark., the International Printmaking Biennial of Douro Alijó, Portugal, and the Print Exhibition at the Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, N.J. He has also had more than 20 solo and two-person exhibitions with his wife, artist Carly Dahl.

In 2016, Bork won the 2016 Arkansas Arts Council individual fellowship in Visual Arts painting, the largest individual artist fellowship the council awards.

Bork is active in the Batesville area art community; he volunteers for the Batesville Area Arts Council and serves on the board of the Ozark Foothills FilmFest. He and one of his Lyon College classes completed four murals in the city last fall.

The Arts & Science Center, located at 701 S. Main St. in Pine Bluff, is open Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed Sunday and Monday. Gallery admission is free. Support for ASC is provided in part by the Arkansas Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, and the National Endowment for the Arts. ASC is a member of the Discovery Network, a statewide program of the Museum of Discovery.

at Monday, January 21, 2019

Lyon College biology major named one of the top programs in Arkansas

Recently, Zippia ranked Lyon College’s biology major as number two out of seven programs in the state. According to Zippia, the rank was determined by career results and school performance. This rank follows Zippia’s study showing that Lyon College produces the highest earning graduates in Arkansas.

When asked about what makes the biology program at Lyon unique, biology faculty emphasized the College’s health coaching program and faculty mentoring.

“Our health coaching program provides our pre-professional students with intensive preparation and experience working directly with chronically ill patients,” said Assistant Professor of Biology Allyn Dodd, ‘07. “However, the characteristic that makes our biology program so special is the individualized attention we give our students.  We work diligently and collaboratively with one another to support each [student] on his or her unique path.”

“Our best asset is our faculty,” said W.D. Bryan Professor of Biology David Thomas. “Nothing can make up for quality teaching and mentoring.”

Another benefit Lyon’s biology program offers student is hands-on experience, from research opportunities to specialized projects.

“Our faculty members seize every opportunity to offer students research and laboratory experience that provides transferable skills that our students can utilize after Lyon, regardless of whether they pursue professional school, graduate school, or directly enter the workforce,” said Dodd.

“From basic lab methods in Principles of Biology to field work in Speleology to individual projects in Microbiology, my students learn real-world applications from the very start,” added Thomas.

As for career results, institutional research recently found that Lyon had an 87% medical school acceptance rate, which is more than double the national average for colleges. Also, 98% of Lyon graduates are employed or in graduate school within six months of graduation. 

For the full list of the seven schools in Arkansas that made the ranks, visit

at Friday, January 11, 2019

Where in the World is Dr. Beal? The Final Blog

Hello from Lyon College!

Our family returned to the States from our Fulbright adventure in Hong Kong just before Christmas. And many times since then, a colleague or student or friend has asked me, “So how was Hong Kong?” “Hong Kong,?” I’ll repeat absently. I tousle my beard and adopt the faraway look of a settler who’s returned from having lit out for the territories. “Now that was a borrowed place and a borrowed time.”

“Borrowed place, borrowed time,” is how the English referred to the 99-year lease of Hong Kong from China. I suspect there’s a yearning in that phrase for a permanent imperial stamp, but it also captures the transitory experience that we had in our short assignment there.

Our Hong Kong adventure was too ephemeral and multifaceted to allow for an easy, small talk description of it. We’re still trying to piece it all together. Teaching at H.K.U., watching my kids grow through cultural difference, the dim sum places and the izakayas, walking the city’s dynamic neighborhoods, by turns gritty and glimmering—it’s too much to relay in a compact anecdote or a tidy theme.

So instead sometimes I’ll talk about the initial experiences of being back in the U.S. as a way of indicating something about our time abroad. The loud volume in which people conduct business over the phone in an American airport. The vastness of the car lots along the highway in North Little Rock. The relief of hugging friends. The decadent refilling of drinks at restaurants. The lavish space of our home, where our kids can play—luxury of luxuries!—across the house from us.

I’m drafting this as Courtney reads a book about the mid-autumn moon festival to our daughter—a gem from the Independence County library recalling some of our first experiences after the family arrived to meet me. We are happy to be home. But we left a little bit of our hearts in Hong Kong.

Anyway. Here’s a picture of our family under a Chinese banyan tree. I’ve mentioned before that these trees often reach down terrace walls for nutrients, providing dramatic backdrops for city sidewalks. They seemed to me to be a little more common in the “Western” district of Hong Kong Island where we spent a great deal of our time—an image we’ll closely associate with our Fulbright adventure. This tree sits along the 58 minibus route, a fixture of our daily routines. Why my son is wearing that winter coat, I don’t know.

Wesley Beal is an associate professor of English at Lyon College. Last fall he served as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar at the University of Hong Kong, where he taught two courses in American literature and continued a study of the campus novel genre.

at Monday, January 7, 2019

Lyon College announces fall 2018 Dean’s List

The Lyon College Registrar recently announced 131 students made the Dean’s List for the fall 2018 semester. To be on the Dean’s List, a student must earn a 3.75 or higher GPA and take a minimum of 12 credit hours that semester.

This semester’s list includes students from nine states and eight countries, spanning five continents.

In-state students honored include: Kelsey Adams of Judsonia, Morgan Anderson of Sherwood, Devon Austin of Caraway, Sydney Bates of Batesville, Alice Bewley of Russellville, Lauryn Bocox of Texarkana, Katie Bork of Batesville, Wilson Borkowski of Little Rock, Karina Chavez of Batesville, Tacker Colbert of Brookland, Brittany Cook of  Monette, Nichole Cook of Searcy, Nick Czerwinski of Batesville, Jordan Dabdub of Fort Smith, Sabrina Denmon of Mena, Anna Doney of Imboden, Zoe Dye of Rogers, Olivia Echols of Springdale, Melissa Elliott of Benton, Ellie Embry of Hindsville, Jaylin Finley of North Little Rock, Taylor Fitterling of Pleasant Plains, Debbie Fletcher of Concord, Jonathan Followell of Jonesboro, Amanda Ford of Batesville, Linda Fowler of Sherwood, McKinley Fox of Batesville, Emma Gillaspy of Conway, Madison Cozort Grant of Batesville; Abby Grimes of Maumelle, Anna Beth Haney of West Memphis, Leah Hanson of Little Rock, Owen Hardin of Deer, Faith Hargis of Conway, Addie Harmon of Greenbrier, Tanner Harris of Brookland, Liz Henderson of Newark;

Morgun Henson of Batesville, Blake Huffman of Fort Smith, Michael Humphrey of Cave City, Christen Johnson of El Paso, Michael Jorgensen of Manila, Kendra Kelley of Batesville, Miranda Lamb of Clinton, Joann Le of Batesville, Madison Lewis of Cave City, Michelle Lewis of Star City, Kelsey Lorch of Batesville, Josie Love of Mount Pleasant, Tommy Maloney, Jr. of Jonesboro, Juliette Mantooth of Fort Smith, Tomas Mariscotti of Rogers, Whitney Marr of Vilonia, Zoya Miller of Little Rock, Hattie Milligan of Lake City, Natalie Milligan of Lake City, Cassidy Mitchell of Batesville, Lindsay Moore of Mountain View, Allison Mundy of Bryant, Emily Neeley of Cave City, Long Nguyen of Batesville, Benji Norton of Sage, Destiny Nunez of Beebe, Sean O’Leary of Fayetteville, Bryan Palmer of Pocahontas, Natalie Patterson of Batesville, Colin Phillips of Batesville, Holden Phillips of Batesville, Zach Poe of Lake City, Estiven Ramirez Garcia of Lockesburg, Carson Reed of Batesville, Haley Reed of Batesville, Lupe Reyes of Batesville, Madison Riley of Judsonia, Kyle Rose of Clarkridge, Luke Shackelford of Smithville;

Claire Shirley of Bradford, Ben Smith of Higden, Hannah Smithee of Paragould, Shanae Snow of Cave City, McKinley Streett of Little Rock, Clark Thornton of Sherwood, Kristen Towery of Bay, Vinny Van of Batesville, Madison VanGinhoven of Mammoth Spring, Nick Vasquez of North Little Rock, Zach Ward of Russellville, Joe Weatherford of Batesville, Kayli Womack of Lake City, Hannah Wu of Austin, Savannah Youngblood of Melbourne, and Chavé Zackery of Morrilton.

Out-of-state students honored include: Kylan Barnett of West Palm Beach, FL; Cheyenne Black of Crosby, TX; Kendra Davidson of West Plains, MO; Elissa Douglass of League City, TX; Eudocia Dunlap of Alton, MO; Omar Gasmann of Little Elm, TX; Roger Gasmann of Little Elm, TX; Hailey Gonzales of Wylie, TX; Derek Hendricks of Banning, CA; Ayden Henry of Thayer, MO; Zach Hodge of Olive Branch, MS; David Knight of Sarasota, FL; Nicole Matthews of Eagle, CO; Dustin Miller of Escondido, CA; Melanie Mooney of St. Louis, MO; Adrienne Moran of Pittsburgh, PA; Alex Nagle of Goliad, TX; Jordan Olivera of The Colony, TX; Shyanne Pedroza of San Bernardino, CA; Kacy Perkins of Napa, CA; John Pruden of Allen, TX; Kristyn Skelton of Kennett, MO; Madison Smith of Sikeston, MO; Ashtyn Stevens of Plano, TX; Shelby Straight of Tulsa, OK; Tionne Stubblefield of McKinney, TX; Jordan Trant of McKinney, TX; Ali Tucker of Sikeston, MO; and Hannah Zang of McKinney, TX.  

International students honored include Brandon Giribaldie of Louis van Gasterenstraat, Netherlands; Antanas Krimelis of Kaunas, Lithuania; Ignacio Milla of Santiago, Chile; Debjanee Nandy of Chittagong, Bangladesh; Iva Popovic of Novi Sad, Serbia; Keli Romas of Donvale, Australia; Gianni Santin of Sainte Clotilde, France; Menthe Steensma of Bussum, Netherlands; and Ignacio Zuniga of Valparaiso, Chile.

at Friday, January 4, 2019

Where in the World is Dr. Beal? Final December Update

Hello from Hong Kong!

Teaching has been my primary means of fulfilling the Fulbright mission of cultural exchange. My courses—a seminar on the campus novel and a survey I call “the margins of the canon”—have facilitated discussions about American culture, some of which were more instructive for me than for my students.

There are plenty of differences here, and it’s hard to pinpoint which are due to broadly Asian values, which to the Hong Kong education system, and which to H.K.U.’s research environment. I found the students to be respectful, sometimes to the point of extreme deference. They have the reputation of being shy about class discussion, but I found that some patience and creativity could open them up. Classes here don’t start too punctually, and students require very specific directions for assignments—more specificity than I thought I had in me to provide. And while class instruction is in English, students often use Cantonese in their small group work, making it impossible for me to eavesdrop on their progress.

And in crucial ways my H.K.U. students are similar to the students I’ve taught at Lyon and elsewhere in the U.S.: hardworking, ambitious, and highly anxious about the future—the uncertainties of their job prospects, and certainties such as the dire wealth gap and insane real estate market in Hong Kong, not to mention the terminal point of 2047.

It’s hard to talk about my students without digressions–anecdotes about this issue or that, patterns I’m still trying to fit together, sweeping hemispheric generalizations. The Fulbright program’s opportunity to think and teach in a new context has been too rich to put into words. And likewise, I’ve begun to dread pressure to package this experience into smalltalk form when we’re back home. It feels too big to narrate it. So please forgive me if I see you around and you ask about Hong Kong and I can’t muster anything more than a bewildered shrug.

Anyway. Here’s a picture of me and one of my classes—a good group, willing to take some risks in discussion, interdisciplinary in their studies, ambitious in their writing, and patient with me as I continued to screw up with the course website.

Until next time (in the U.S.).

Wesley Beal is an associate professor of English at Lyon College. This fall he is serving as a Fulbright U.S. Scholar at the University of Hong Kong, where he teaches two courses in American literature and continues a study of the campus novel genre. Please reach out to him at if you have Hong Kong- or Fulbright-related questions for him to investigate. He’ll do his best to oblige in subsequent blog posts.

at Thursday, December 20, 2018