New sculpture dedicated in MacArthur Park

BLOOMING, a new sculpture, was dedicated in MacArthur Park today (July 11).  It is a gift from Hanam, South Korea, one of Little Rock’s Sister Cities.

In 2017, Little Rock sculptor Michael Warrick traveled to Hanam and installed a sculpture in a park there in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Sister City relationship between the two cities.  This new sculpture, which represents a ginkgo tree, is a reciprocal gift.

At the dedication ceremony, in addition to remarks by Mayor Frank Scott Jr., and Hanam May Kim Sang Ho, comments were given by former Little Rock mayors Sharon Priest, Jim Dailey, and Mark Stodola.  In addition, Mrs. Sun Cha Lee, chair of ATA International spoke.  Mrs. Lee and her late husband, Eternal Grand Master H. U. Lee, first suggested to Sharon Priest the possibility of a Sister City relationship between Little Rock and Hanam.

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Independence Day Eagle sculpture

With today being Independence Day, it seems appropriate to feature Eagle of the Rockin the Sculpture Vulture.

This was one of the original six sculptures placed in the River Market, back in November 2004.  Sculpted by Sandy Scott, it depicts an eagle taking flight from atop a craggy rock.  The eagle and rock are cast in bronze which is then set upon a limestone base. It is situated on President Clinton Avenue to the west of the entrance to Clinton Presidential Park.

The sculpture was donated by the Jennings Osborne family.  The sculpture and the surrounding area is known as Osborne Plaza.

A Decade of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden

Wayne Salge’s SIZZLING SISTERS, one of the original sculptures installed in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden

On June 25, 2009, members of the Sculpture at the River Market committee and City leaders broke ground on the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park.

The groundbreaking followed an unveiling of the design plans for the new sculpture garden, which will be located east of the Peabody Hotel near the Forever a Rose garden and the Jack Fleischauer Garden.

“As part of the continuing improvements to Riverfront Park, we wanted to put more sculpture into the park to complement the new gardens, Peabody Park, and the upcoming La Petite Roche plaza,” said City Director Dean Kumpuris. “At the 2008 Sculpture at the River Market, six pieces were bought through proceeds from the show and sale to be placed in the park in 2009.”

According to Kumpuris, seven new pieces will join a dozen other sculptures in the park and along President Clinton Avenue that have been installed since 2004.

The sculpture garden features natural terraces and walkways. The design creates a space to host receptions, weddings or other events as well as to allow visitors to enjoy the sculptures in solitude.

The seven pieces which will be installed are “Full of Himself” by Jan Woods, “Cascade” by Chapel, “Bateleur Eagle” by Pete Zaluzec, “Sizzling Sister” by Wayne Salge, “Conversation with Myself” by Lorri Acott,  “First Glance” by Denny Haskew, and “Straight and Narrow” by Lisa Gordon.

“This is only the start,” said Sculpture at the River Market Chair Jane Rogers. “In addition to continuing to place sculpture in Riverfront Park, the committee is discussing ways to place public art throughout the city. In the months to come, we hope to be able to make some more announcements about sculpture and public art in Little Rock.”

The sculpture garden is made possible through the support of the Vogel Schwartz Foundation. Robert Vogel represented the family during the ground-breaking ceremony commending the city of Little Rock on their efforts to support the art community.

Happy Father’s Day (with a sculptural flair)

Today is Father’s Day.   Little Rock has at least five sculptures which reflect the theme of the day.

In Riverfront Park, Jane DeDecker’s THE TIES THAT BIND shows a father helping his son tie his shoes.  It was installed in tribute to longtime Little Rock KATV executive Dale Nicholson.  He had been an active supporter of Sculpture at the River Market.  It is placed near another sculpture by Jane DeDecker, which Nicholson had selected as a memorial to his wife.

Not far from THE TIES THAT BIND is Kevin Kresse’s BREAKING THE CYCLE.  Installed in 2013, it shows a son pushing his father in a wheelbarrow.  At the time of the dedication, Kresse commented the piece is meant to show a father and son who have decided to “switch things up” for a new perspective on life.  Kresse and his son were the models for the piece.

One of the first sculptures placed in Riverfront Park in 2004 was DeDecker’s ANGLERS. It shows a grandfather and granddaughter going off to fish.  This sculpture is located near the Witt Stephens Jr. Central Arkansas Nature Center.

The sculpture was dedicated in November 2004 a few days before the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center.  it was selected, in part, because it paid tribute to the natural habitat of the area.  Since the sculpture was installed, not only has the Nature Center opened, but the Bill Clark Presidential Park Wetlands were created.

Near the Marriott Hotel, in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, is C. T. Whitehouse’s HUDSON’S VOYAGE.  This sculpture is a tribute to his father.

Located near the Arkansas River, it reflects not only the boats and barges which travel by it daily, but is also symbolic of Whitehouse’s father’s service in the Navy and the possibilities that opened up for him.

Lastly, Tim Cherry’s RABBIT REACH is located near 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.

Winner of 2019 Sculpture at the River Market public monument competition is Theresa Dyer for LITTLE ROCK

­­­­­ Theresa Dyer was named as the recipient of a $60,000 commission on Sunday at the conclusion of the 2019 Sculpture at the River Market. The name of her sculpture is LITTLE ROCK.

It will be installed in spring 2020 adjacent to Little Rock City Hall, at the northwest corner of Markham Street and Broadway Street.

Dyer’s piece will stand ten feet high, be twelve feet wide, four feet deep, and sit on a concrete base which is eight feet in diameter. It will be made of silicon bronze, stainless steel, and cold-rolled steel.

In submitting the proposal, Dyer said,

“I see this sculpture as a testament to the future of Little Rock. Two children looking up in openness, wonder and hope. They are positioned back to back looking up at the same star. This will provide interest at all viewing angles. One of them points upwards with his arm at an angle of 23.5 degrees, this exact angle being the tilt of the earth. The earth is represented by an arch of stainless steel and an arch of cold rolled steel. They are supported by the 8’ dia. base of poured concrete.

“Along the edge of the base will be inscribed the coordinates of the City of Little Rock. At the top of the circumference is a stainless steel pin fixture that will become illuminated at night adding interest from dusk until dawn. The shaft of light points in two directions, one toward the sky and the other, down on the boys faces. The children are positioned in the center of the implied circle and the boys arm continues the line of the earths tilt. The piece is orientated toward the bridge and provide views from both Broadway and Markham Street. The two figures acknowledge the existing sculpture of the two figures across Broadway in front of Robinson Auditorium, creating a gateway toward Broadway Bridge.

Sculptors who were juried in to participate in the 2019 Show and Sale were invited to submit proposals for the new commission. A committee reviewed the 37 submissions and narrowed them down to seven semi-finalists. The semi-finalist proposals were on display Friday, May 3, during Sculptacular, the preview party. Guests at the party had the opportunity to review the proposals and then to vote. Following that, the three finalists were announced. A panel of judges selected the winner from the three finalists. The other two finalists were Nnamdi Okonkwo and Charles Strain.

Dyer will join eight other sculptors who have been recognized previously with the commissions through the Sculpture at the River Market’s Public Art Monument Sculpture Competition.

  • The 2011 winner was Chapel, whose work The Center was installed near the Junction Bridge.
  • In 2012 the recipient was Bryan Massey, Sr.’s Nautilus. This was installed to the north of the Marriott Hotel near the younger children’s spray fountain.
  • The 2013 winner was Ted Schaal for his piece Open Window which was placed near the La Petite Roche plaza and First Security Amphitheatre.
  • Lorri Acott’s Peace was the 2014 commission winner; it is sited at the southeast corner of Main and 2nd Streets.
  • Michael Warrick’s Mockingbird Tree, the 2015 winner, is installed at the corner of Chenal Parkway and Chenal Valley Drive.
  • Clay Enoch’s United, which won in 2016, was installed at Central High School.
  • Stephen Shachtman’s Arkansas ‘A’, the 2017 winner, sits at the entrance to the Southwest Community Center
  • Carol Gold’s Infinite Dance, was recently installed in Riverfront Park where the Broadway Bridge pedestrian ramp meets the Arkansas River Trail.

3 Finalists for 2019 Sculpture at the River Market public monument competition; winner to be announced this afternoon

The winner of a $60,000 commission to place a sculpture at Little Rock City Hall in 2020 will be announced on Sunday, May 5, 2019, as the 11th Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale concludes.

The three semifinalists for the 2019 Sculpture at the River Market Public Monument Competition were announced Friday night at the conclusion of Sculptacular, the preview party for the 2019 Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale. The three finalists are, alphabetical order:

  • Theresa Dyer – LITTLE ROCK
  • Nnamdi Okonkwo – UNITY
  • Charles Strain – THE GATHERING

Sculpture at the River Market invited all artists participating in the 2019 Show & Sale to submit a proposal for its $60,000 Public Monument Competition. This is the ninth such competition.

The proposals of the seven semifinalists were displayed during Sculptacular, the event’s preview party on the evening of May 3, and Preview Party guests voted for their 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice.  All votes were tallied and the top three finalists were announced at the end of the evening.

The top three proposals will be juried on May 4 and 5, and the 2019 winner will be announced at 3PM on Sunday, May 5.  The winning sculpture will be installed at the northwest corner of Markham Street and Broadway Street adjacent to Little Rock City Hall in the spring of 2020.

The other semifinalists were: Clay Enoch, Joe Norman, Ryan T. Schmidt, and Basil Barrington Watson.

Previous Public Monument Competition winners have been:

  • 2011 – Chapel, THE CENTER installed in Riverfront Park near the Junction Bridge
  • 2012 – Bryan Massey, Sr.,  NAUTILUS installed in Riverfront Park next to the Arkansas River near the Margaret Clark Adventure Park.
  • 2013 – Ted Schaal, OPEN WINDOW installed in Riverfront Park between the First Security Amphitheatre and La Petite Roche Plaza.
  • 2014 – Lorri Acott, PEACE installed at 2nd Street and Main Street
  • 2015 – Michael Warrick, MOCKINGBIRD TREE installed at Chenal Parkway and Chenal Valley Drive
  • 2016 – Clay Enoch, UNITED installed at Central High School
  • 2017 – Stephen Shachtman, ARKANSAS “A” installed at the Southwest Community Center
  • 2018 – Carol Gold, INFINITE DANCE installed in Riverfront Park near the Broadway Bridge

More information is available on the web at http://sculptureattherivermarket.com/.