Category Archives: Public Art

A Red, White and Blue sculptural experience in Little Rock

Thanks to Sculpture at the River Market, on this Independence Day holiday, one can see sculptures which are red, white and blue.

Some are featured below.

A red crane from Lorri Acott’s PEACE (2nd Street and Main Street)
A red bird from Dale Rogers’ RETRO TREES (Riverfront Park)
Kevin Box’s CRANE UNFOLDING (Riverfront Park)
Kathleen Caricof’s BEGINNING LIFE (Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park)
Tim Cotterill’s BIG BILL (Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park)
Kevin Box’s DANCING PONY (Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park)

 

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Independence Day with the Eagle of the Rock

With today being Independence Day, it seems appropriate to feature Eagle of the Rock in 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.

Little Rock Look Back: Groundbreaking of 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.

A Sculptural Father’s Day

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.

Carol Gold’s INFINITE DANCE wins 2018 Public Monument Sculpture Competition

­­­­­Carol Gold was named as the recipient of a $60,000 commission on Thursday at the conclusion of the 2018 A Night in the Garden – Where Sculpture Grows. The commission was sponsored by Sculpture at the River Market.

Sculpture at the River Market invited sculptors to submit a proposal for its $60,000 Public Monument Competition. This is the eighth such competition.

Forty-one artists submitted a proposal. After a review by the Sculpture at River Market Committee and voting by ballot, the three finalists were selected. Guests at the Night in the Garden party voted to choose the winner.  The other two finalists were Giuseppe Palumbo and Stephen Shachtman.

The piece will be located in a new plaza in the western end of Riverfront Park near the elevated bike and pedestrian ramp which goes from the park up to the Broadway Bridge.  It will be installed in April 2019.

Infinite Dance depicts a female figure dancing atop a large ring.  The joyfully dancing figure represents the vibrant cultural scene of Riverfront Park.  The sculpture’s ring shape ties into the curving bridges surrounding the site.  The shape of a circle holds deep symbolism, referring to concepts such as inclusion, unity, wholeness, and infinity.

The cast bronze figure measures 7 feet high, 4.5 feet wide, and 2.5 feet deep. It is securely attached to a stainless steel ring that is 7 feet in diameter. This gives the sculpture an overall height of 14 feet.  The stainless steel will be anchored to a concrete footing at, or below, grade. This will allow the viewer to walk through the circle and interact with the sculpture.

Gold’s work has been exhibited throughout the US and Canada. Among numerous awards are those she has received from the National Sculpture Society and the North American Sculpture Exhibition. Gold’s FIESTA was one of the original sculptures installed in Little Rock in November 2004.

Carol Gold’s Infinite Dance will join seven other sculptures that 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’s Nautilus. This was installed to the north of the Marriott Hotel near the new 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 located at the corner of Chenal Parkway and Chenal Valley Drive.

*        Clay Enoch’s United, which won in 2016, was installed at Central High School in September 2017.

*        Stephen Shachtman’s Arkansas A, won in 2017.  It was installed earlier this week at the entrance to the Southwest Community Center complex on Baseline Road.

Sculpture Vulture: Michael Warrick’s MOCKINGBIRD TREE installed in 2016

Mockingbird Tree install LRCVB
Photo by LRCVB

On April 21, 2016, Michael Warrick’s Mockingbird Tree sculpture was installed at the corner of Chenal Parkway and Chenal Valley Drive.

The piece was commissioned by Sculpture at the River Market after winning the 2015 Public Monument Sculpture competition.

The eighteen (18) foot tall sculpture is made out of stainless steel. It presents a fanciful version of a tree with cloud-like foliage.  Nestled in the tree are bronze mockingbirds (Arkansas’ state bird).

Warrick is a professor in the Department of Art at the University of Arkansas Little Rock and has been an artist and educator for 30 years. His work has resulted in more than 150 solo and group exhibitions and has been represented in 29 private collections and 34 public venues.