Since our founding, Mitchell, Williams, Selig, Gates & Woodyard, P.L.L.C. has been committed to service, a dedicated culture instilled by one of the firm’s founders Maurice Mitchell. Maurice believed it was the firm’s responsibility to support organizations that provide charitable, social, educational or cultural enrichment to the community.
In 1967, Maurice and fellow attorney Chris Barrier discussed how the firm could support the arts community in a unique way that would bring attention to the arts, support individual artists and promote local arts organizations. The idea was formed to build a corporate art collection. Because of his love, passion for and knowledge of art, Chris became the firm’s Art Partner and was responsible for selecting and purchasing the works of art for the collection.
Chris began with the concerted effort to build a collection primarily of works by Arkansas artists. He knew many of the artists personally and would purchase works directly from the artists. He also purchased art at fundraising events and charitable art auctions. His collection strategy helped build the collection with sophisticated, contemporary works of art while supporting local non-profit organizations.
The Mitchell Williams Corporate Art collection features over 90 works of contemporary art including drawings, paintings, etchings and lithographs. The collection focus is primarily works on paper by Arkansas artists, many of which were former UA Little Rock art faculty and students.