Open Tues-Sat: 11am-6pm || Sun: 1pm-5pm | 1601 Rogers Ave, Fort Smith, AR

The John Bell, Jr. Legacy Project:


John Bell, Jr.

Coming Home

October 29, 2021 – February 20, 2022 

In the new Sandi and Sandy Sanders Gallery for the Permanent Collection

Sandi and Sandi Sanders

John Bell, Jr.A Special Treat

Entering RAM is a pleasant experience: it is spacious, clean, and well lit, and wonderful art fills the first- and second floor galleries. The lower floor features two more: The Student Gallery sponsored by Arvest Foundation, and the Dr. W.E. Knight Porcelain Gallery, in Memory of Dr. Henry Udouj, Jr.

Visitors are treated to national touring exhibitions and regional art exhibitions in the two main galleries. But behind closed doors is the making of multiple tremendous exhibitions stored in hundreds of narrow slots: RAM’s permanent collection of art, collected over seven decades. The art has been purchased at each year’s Invitational, given by artists and members of the community, and acquired by the RAM board of trustees.

Through a gift by former Mayor Sandy Sanders and his wife, Dr. Sandi Sanders, our hidden treasure is getting a gallery of its own! The Sanders’ gift, along with a matching grant from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is making possible the Sandi and Sandy Sanders Gallery for the Permanent Collection. RAM is so grateful for this cultural expansion and new attraction for our community. Mark your calendars for the grand opening exhibition: John Bell, Jr. Coming Home on October 29.

The current Marta Jones Gallery occupying RAM’s second floor will be divided in two spaces to form the new gallery. With “island” display walls, the existing gallery’s wall space will remain ample.

Thank you, Sandi and Sandy, for your generosity and your love for our community.

“We have been blessed in our careers in this community and want to give back in ways that benefit the entire region,” Sandy Sanders says. “The comprehensive availability of arts, including music, visual arts, theater, dance, etc., are important parts of a vibrant and growing community.

“The expanded exhibit space will enable RAM to display more of the permanent collection on a more frequent basis, providing more opportunities for people to enjoy the experience.” Sandy Sanders recently became president of RAM’s board of trustees, following outgoing president Lawson Hembree.

Sandy adds this important message:

We hope more and more residents will become members of RAM and come often to view exhibits and enrich their lives.”

We second that!