Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


Sculpture Vulture: Easter Bunnys


For those who are around the River Market today, there are two “Easter” bunny sculptures they can visit.

In honor of that, today’s Sculpture Vulture features Tim Cherry’s Rabbit Reach.

The sculpture is located at the corner of Sherman Street and President Clinton Avenue across from the Museum of Discovery.

The sculpture is a gift from Whitlow Wyatt and the Carey Cox Wyatt Charitable Foundation. It was given in memory of George Wyatt and Frank Kumpuris.  Those two gentlemen were the fathers of Whitlow Wyatt and Dean & Drew Kumpuris.

Cherry’s sculpture was selected for this spot because of its proximity to children at the Museum and in the River Market district.  The design and size of the sculpture encourages children to climb on it and to play around the rabbit.  While some public art is situated so it cannot be touched, this one is situated to be touched as part of the appreciation experience.

IMG_3987Laurel Peterson Gregory’s Bunny Bump is featured in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.  Two stylized rabbits make for an interesting piece of artwork when they are not only dancing, but also doing the butt bump while dancing. The smooth surface and color of the bronze add to the illusion. This small piece has been placed on a pedestal to elevate more to eye level.

The sculpture was completed in 2009 and installed in 2010.  Gregory has been featured at the Sculpture at the River Market show.  (The photo was taken during a December snow. It may be cold now, but not enough for that amount of snow.)


Sculpture Vulture: Snow

Here are some Little Rock sculptures in Riverfront Park amidst the snow.

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Dan Glanz’s BORIS

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Laurel Peterson Gregory’s BUNNY BUMP

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Chapel’s THE CENTER

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Mark Leichliter’s TOGETHER

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Kathleen Caricof’s INFINITY

Darrell Davis' A CHANGE OF DIRECTION

Darrell Davis’ A CHANGE OF DIRECTION


Sculpture Vulture: Boris

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The Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale continues today. In keeping with that, today’s Sculpture Vulture features a sculpture of an attendee to each of the shows. Commissioned in 2010 and unveiled last year, Dan Glanz’s “Boris” is a likeness of Boris Kumpuris, the dog and companion of Mary and Dr. Dean Kumpuris.

Glanz captures the friendly and inquisitive nature of Boris in this work, which can be found in the Vogel Schwarz sculpture garden. Most weekends Boris can be seen with Dean as the two walk through Riverfront Park and the River Market. Boris explores and inspects the park along with Dean. Each year during the Sculpture at the River Market show, Boris visits with Dean and meets all the sculptors.

The sculpture was donated by longtime Kumpuris family friend Margaret Clark. She and her late husband Bill were two of the earliest supporters of sculpture along the Arkansas River. They donated another piece in honor of their grandchildren. A sculpture in memory of Bill was unveiled last year and stands in the wetlands park which bears his name.


Sculpture Vulture: Collen Nyanhongo’s “Resting Angel”

The Sculpture at the River Market show and sale starts this coming Friday evening and runs through next Sunday.  To mark this, the October Sculpture Vulture is highlighting sculptures from previous shows.

Today’s is Collen Nyanhongo’s Resting Angel.  Carved out of stone, this features both rough and polished surfaces of a variety of textures. On one side, it appears that an angel’s wing is emerging from a stone pillar.  The other side depicts a profile of the angel’s face in the same shape as the wing.

Collen Nyanhongo’s homeland is Zimbabwe, which means “large house of stone.” He is a member of the most significant family of artists in Zimbabwe and learned the craft of using simple hand tools to sculpt his stones from his father, Claude Nyanhongo, a first-generation artist who helped create the Zimbabwe Sculpture Movement fifty years ago. The Zimbabwe Sculpture Movement is heralded as the most prominent art form to emerge from Africa in the 20th century.

Forging his own vision from his powerful artistic roots, Collen Nyanhongo blends traditional figurative form into metaphorical abstract expression that transcends his past and establishes him as an eminent world artist whose work has been honored in Zimbabwe, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Australia, Holland, England, Switzerland, Germany, South Africa and the United States.

Collen sculpts in all sizes, from a 15 ton marble stone for a public art project in Fort Collins, Colorado to smaller pieces that demand to be held and caressed. He prefers working with hard stones like Springstone, Serpentine and Lopidolite and ships them in from Zimbabwe quarries to wherever he is living and working.


Sculpture Vulture: Jane DeDecker’s “Daphne”

The annual Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale takes place this month (October 19-21). In recognition of this, the October Sculpture Vulture will focus on more of the pieces in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden which were acquired from previous shows.

Today’s feature is Jane DeDecker’s Daphne which was installed in 2011.  Cast in bronze, it depicts a headless torso with arms upstretched.  At the terminus of the arms are tree branches.

Jane DeDecker has been making a major contribution to the world sculpture scene since 1986. Creating over 250 limited edition, original sculptures, 60 of those being life-size and four one of a kind monuments, with 50 sold out editions. She has been published in magazines reaching global circulations, from Art and Antiques to European Home and Gardens. She has been sought out for her artistic integrity by organizations ranging from the National Parks Service to the President of the United States.


Sculpture Vulture: Bryan Massey Sr.’s “The Jazz Player”

In recognition of the first annual Arkansas Sounds music festival taking place in Riverfront Park this weekend, today the Sculpture Vulture features Bryan Massey Sr.’s “The Jazz Player.”  It is located in the Vogelman-Schwarz Sculpture Garden.

The sculpture, cast in bronze, depicts a saxophone player jubilantly playing jazz.  It was donated to the Sculpture Garden by the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the 5th anniversary of the Clinton Presidential Center and Park.  Massey was inspired to create this piece because of President Clinton’s sax playing.

Bryan Winfred Massey, Sr. is currently a Professor of Art/Sculptor at the University of Central Arkansas, Conway. He is primarily a stone carver working with a variation of stone from alabaster, soapstone, limestone, marble and granite. He also casts in iron, bronze, and aluminum as well as fabrication of steel sculptures. He was selected for the Governor’s Award for the Individual Artist of the Year, 2006.


Sculpture Vulture: Forever Ready

Today’s Sculpture Vulture is once again in the Vogel-Schwartz Sculpture Garden. It is more fun to spend time in this garden where one can passively enjoy art with a nice cold bottle of water instead of having to labor in a vegetable or flower garden.

Ken Newman’s Forever Ready was donated in 2009 by the Sculpture at the River Market.  Mr. Newman is a member of the National Sculptors’ Guild.  One of Mr. Newman’s specialties is animals.  Cast in bronze, Forever Ready depicts a Labrador.  Here is Mr. Newman’s artist statement on the piece.

Forever Ready is based off my 30 years experiences with and my love of the Lab. The sculpture was created during the absence of a lab in my life, this was important, because I wanted to reflect on all the past labs, not a present companion. So, ‘Forever Ready’ is that reflection of the breed (hunter, companion and teacher)…Capturing its intense nature with discipline and loyalty, I have set the lab on edge so intense, that if not given the command to go, it will just fall off. But, it is able to maintain balance – wet and ready to go again. The lab’s shadow is cast in the water below, for a I cannot think of a lab without water.

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