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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.