Tidwell Receives Governor’s Art Award

Arkansas Tech University alumnus Anthony Tidwell received a 2019 Arkansas Governor’s Arts Award during a luncheon and ceremony at the Arkansas Governor’s Mansion on Tuesday, March 12.

A 2007 graduate of Arkansas Tech, Tidwell developed the Cutwell 4 Kids after-school art program in Hot Springs to pay forward the difference that art education made in his life.

“This is what saved me,” said Tidwell in a 2014 interview shortly after he founded his non-profit program. “My mom put me in a private art lesson outside of my normal school in Atlanta during the Atlanta child killings spree. After seeing my classmates missing, I used to have bad dreams…but my art teacher used to make me draw what I felt. I would leave all my frustration and lack of understanding on my paper and go home relaxed.”

Tidwell is a full-time barber. His acumen in that field earned him the nickname Cutwell, and he applied that moniker to the name of his art program. The classes are taught in a renovated space that was once a barber shop and restaurant owned by his grandparents. An annual fund-raising event in Hot Springs helps make the continuation of the Cutwell 4 Kids program possible.

According to information provided by the Arkansas Arts Council, the Arkansas Governor’s Arts Awards program recognizes Arkansas artists, arts patrons, arts educators and corporations for their outstanding contributions to the arts community.

Learn more about the 2019 honorees.