18 Cultural Events of 2018 – Dedication of Margaret Clark Adventure Park with three sculptures

GLEE

In September, Little Rock’s Parks and Recreation Department dedicated its newest play area with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Margaret Clark Adventure Park.

This unique play experience is designed specifically for pre-school aged children. It is located in Riverfront Park just to the west of the Marriott Hotel Conference Center and is adjacent to the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden and the Jack Fleischauer Garden.

The Margaret Clark Adventure Park features areas for climbing, walking on balance beams, going through tunnels, exploring nature, and has a stage for children to put on shows. The area was designed and installed by Little Rock Parks and Recreation staff.

Visitors to the Margaret Clark Adventure Park will be greeted by the twin sheep Bliss and Glee, both sculptures by Giuseppe Palumbo atop stone pylons on either side of the entrance. In the center of the entrance is Tim Cherry’s Roundbottom Hippoptomus, an interactive sculpture which also serves as a bench.

The play area is named in honor of Margaret Clark in appreciation of her longtime commitment to children and her interest in Riverfront Park. The wetlands park adjacent to the eastern edge of Riverfront Park is named in memory of her late husband William E. Clark. The couple have donated sculptures that are placed in Riverfront Park and in front of nearby Robinson Center Performance Hall.

Isabel and John Ed Anthony contributed funds for the purchase of the Tim Cherry sculpture. Members of the Junior League of Little Rock and Friends of Riverfest, Inc., contributed funds for the two Giuseppe Palumbo sculptures.

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Little Rock Culture Vulture Blog Hits a Milestone

Founded in October 2011, the Little Rock Culture Vulture blog passed a milestone today. It has had over 300,000 views during that 7 years and one month.  Considering that it averaged about 10 views a day during the first three months, this accomplishment is a moment to brag.

When it was started, I was unsure if anyone would care. This entry is the 3,874th post on the blog.  Over 10,400 organizations, people, events, pieces of art and works of literature, or historical facts have been featured.

To all the readers and those who post about it on social media, let me say “Thank you!”

Little Rock Look Back: Installation of Chapel’s THE CENTER

On October 19, 2012, the first winner of the Sculpture at the River Market public monument sculpture competition was dedicated.

Selected at the 2011 Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale, Chapel’s THE CENTER is located to the west of the Junction Bridge in Riverfront Park.  It stands fifteen feet and is composed of glass, stainless steel and bronze.

According to Chapel:

The theme of The Center is a coalescence around a strong core.  Historically the Arkansas River was one of the mainstays of Little Rock’s economy.  Recently, the River has taken on a new life as a cultural and arts center through the various sculpture parks and amphitheater along its banks.

 

All of the disparate themes of life here are represented by the complex structure of gathering arcs.  These highly finished arcs reflect all the colors of the surrounding environment while the transparent central glass column refracts the changing light.  The shape itself will cast a fascinating shadow providing a constantly changing and adapting sculpture.

Little Rock Look Back: Dedication of Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden

The original seven sculptures. Clockwise from top left: Conversation with Myself; Straight and Narrow; Bateleur Eagle; First Glance; Sizzling Sisters; Cascade; and Full of Himself

After nearly a week of rain, the skies dried up and on Friday, October 16, 2009, the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was dedicated.

Designed and created by the staff of the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department, the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden started with seven sculptures. These were purchased at the 2007 and 2008 Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sales.

The original seven were: 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.

The sculpture garden was named after the Vogel Schwartz Foundation in recognition of its contributions to the project. The garden was dedicated on the afternoon of the preview party for the 2009 Show and Sale.

The Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden did not have seven sculptures for long. New pieces have been added every few months since then.  In 2017, an expansion was dedicated which doubled the size and allowed for larger pieces to be installed.  Today there are over seventy sculptures in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden and more than twenty elsewhere in Riverfront Park.

The 2019 Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale is set for May 4 and 5 with a preview party on May 3.

Little Rock Look Back: First Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale in 2007

After a decade of over 100 sculptures being installed throughout the city, it is hard to believe that the first Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale was only eleven years ago. It took place October 5 through 7, with a preview party on October 4.

Approximately 400 sculptures were on display in the River Market pavilions and in the adjacent area of Riverfront Park. The works featured included all types of media, style, subject matter, and size.

Among the sculptors participating were Gary Alsum, Diana Ashley, Sutton Betti, Shelley Buonaito, Kevin Box, Kathleen Caricof, Chapel, Tim Cherry, Dee Clements, Jane Dedecker, Edward Fleming, Martin Gates, Daniel Glanz, Carol Gold, Bruce Gueswel, Linda Hall, Bre & David Harris, and Denny Haskew.

Other sculptors included Tony Hochstetler, Hank Kaminsky, Kevin Kresse, Mark Leichliter, Gloria Lewis, Jim Lewis, Philip Major, Bryan Massey, Anne Mitchell, Leo E. Osborne, Louise Peterson, Wayne Salge, Ryan Schmidt, Sandy Scott, Margaret Warren, Michael Warrick, CT Whitehouse, and Pete Zaluzec.

LR Culture Vulture turns 7

The Little Rock Culture Vulture debuted on Saturday, October 1, 2011, to kick off Arts & Humanities Month.

The first feature was on the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, which was kicking off its 2011-2012 season that evening.  The program consisted of Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 in A, Op. 90, Rossini’s, Overture to The Italian Girl in Algiers, Puccini’s Chrysanthemums and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.  In addition to the orchestra musicians, there was an organ on stage for this concert.

Since then, there have been 10,107 persons/places/things “tagged” in the blog.  This is the 3,773rd entry. (The symmetry to the number is purely coincidental–or is it?)  It has been viewed over 288,600 times, and over 400 readers have made comments.  It is apparently also a reference on Wikipedia.

The most popular pieces have been about Little Rock history and about people in Little Rock.

Little Rock Look Back: Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden Expansion

Photo by Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the expansion of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was dedicated.

The expansion more than doubled the area of the garden.  It also allowed for larger sculptures to be installed.

The construction took nearly a year. The design for the garden and the landscaping have all been done by the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department.

A dozen new sculptures were part of the expansion, which brought the total to 66 pieces by 48 different artists.  (More have been added in the past year.)

The Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was originally dedicated in 2009 at Riverfront Park.