Artober – Sustainable Art. WASHED ASHORE exhibit at Clinton Presidential Library

Image result for shark clinton center

October is Arts and Humanities Month nationally and in Little Rock. Americans for the Arts has identified a different arts topic to be posted for each day in the month. Today’s focus is Sustainable Art.

For a few days more, visitors to the Clinton Presidential Center can experience Washed Ashore is a family-friendly exhibit that will feature more than 20 giant sea life sculptures – made entirely of trash and debris collected from beaches. This exhibit poignantly illustrates the toll trash takes on our oceans and waterways.

The incredible marine life sculptures will be accompanied by educational signage allowing visitors to learn about the fascinating species, environmental stewardship, responsible consumer habits, and how “every action counts” to help save our waterways.

Washed Ashore is a visual reminder of the disposable products that end up in our waters, and that each of us can take action to prevent further pollution. “Hope, creativity, [and] imagination will be required to meet the challenges that we face with our oceans,” said President Bill Clinton to the National Oceans Conference in June 1998. “But they are the traits that first enabled and inspired explorers to take to the sea. They are traits that allowed us to look at our inextricable ties to our environment and invent new ways to protect our natural wonders from harm in the last three decades. In the 21st century, these traits – hope, creativity, imagination – they must lead us to preserve our living oceans as a sacred legacy for all time to come.”

The Washed Ashore exhibit will be primarily displayed inside two of the Clinton Center’s
galleries. Visitors will see Eli the Eel, walk through the Reef at Risk, and be able to play the Styrofoam Drum Set. The exhibit opened to the public on April 27; a second phase featuring additional sculptures opened in June, when Priscilla the Parrot Fish, a 16-foot-long, 1,500-pound brightly-colored sculpture was installed to greet visitors from the water fountains located outside the front doors.

“The sculptures are beautiful, truly works of art, but they are a poignant reminder that our oceans and waterways are precious resources that need our attention now more than ever,” said Stephanie S. Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation.

“From the student visitor to the grand parent, we hope that everyone who has the opportunity to enjoy Washed Ashore walks away with a renewed sense of awe and responsibility.”

Washed Ashore presents an opportunity to reflect on the Clinton administration’s efforts to safeguard essential bodies of water and promote environmental stewardship. “President Bill Clinton’s administration took strong action to protect our coasts and waterways,” said Terri Garner, director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library. “He signed crucial legislation and issued key executive orders designed to improve water quality, protect wetlands and coasts, and reduce waste while increasing the use of recycled products.”

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The ASO River Rhapsodies series starts tonight with Beethoven and Milhaud

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra opens the 2019-2020 River Rhapsodies Chamber Music series with Beethoven and Milhaud, Tuesday, October 1st at 7:00 p.m. at the Clinton Presidential Center.

ASO’s Quapaw and Rockefeller String Quartets, along with other musicians are performing Milhaud’s Quartet No. 1, Roussel’s Serenade for Flute, String Trio, and Harp, and Beethoven’s String Quartet in A minor.

River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Concerts are held in the intimate setting of the Clinton Presidential Center’s Great Hall. A cash bar is open before the concert and at intermission, and patrons are invited to carry drinks into the concert. The Media Sponsor for the River Rhapsodies Chamber Music Series is UA Little Rock Public Radio.

General Admission tickets are $26; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org ; at the Clinton Center beginning 60 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 1.

Artists

Quapaw String Quartet

  • Meredith Maddox Hicks, violin
  • Charlotte Crosmer, violin
  • Timothy MacDuff, viola
  • David Gerstein, cello

Rockefeller String Quartet

  • Trisha McGovern Freeney, violin
  • Linnaea Brophy, violin
  • Katherine Reynolds, viola
  • David Gerstein, cello

Gabriel Vega, flute

Alisa Coffey, harp

Diana Norwood, violin

Rafael León, cello

Clinton Park Bridge and Bill Clark Wetlands dedicated on September 30, 2011

On a very warm Friday, September 30, 2011, the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge was dedicated.  This completed the eastern loop of the Arkansas River Trail as well as created another feature in Clinton Presidential Park.

The ceremony featured remarks by both President Bill Clinton and the incumbent Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.  Chelsea Clinton also took part in the ceremony.  Former US Senators (and Arkansas Governors) Dale Bumpers and David Pryor were in attendance as was Jim Guy Tucker who followed Clinton into the Arkansas Governor’s Office.  Current Governor Mike Beebe was also present and took part in the ceremony, which was emceed by Stephanie Streett, executive director of the Clinton Foundation.  Many other former and current elected officials were present.

In addition to dedicating the bridge, the ceremony officially dedicated the William E. “Bill” Clark Presidential Wetlands which are adjacent to the bridge.  City Director Dean Kumpuris joined Clark’s widow, Margaret, and son, William, in the dedication of the wetlands.

This Clinton Presidential Park Bridge is over 2,600 ft. long.  It was constructed in 1899 as the Rock Island Bridge.  After the Rock Island stopped using the bridge, the lift span was permanently raised.  It had to stay this was for the Clinton redevelopment.  Therefore a new surface was built that slopingly takes persons from park level up to the span level and back down.

The bridge’s “rusty” structure is complemented by a well-lit 12-18-foot walkway flanked on both sides by silver galvanized steel handrails.

The total investment for this area is over $13.5 million.

Later that weekend, the Clinton Foundation hosted an event to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Clinton’s announcement that he was seeking the Presidency.

Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields discuss The Long Southern Strategy at Clinton School and Clinton Foundation program tonight

44765473Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields will speak tonight about their book The Long Southern Strategy tonight (September 19) at 6pm.  The program, a joint presentation of the Clinton School and Clinton Foundation, will take place in the Great Hall of the Clinton Presidential Center.

The Southern Strategy is traditionally understood as a Goldwater and Nixon-era effort by the Republican Party to win over disaffected white voters in the Democratic stronghold of the American South. To realign these voters with the GOP, the party abandoned its past support for civil rights and used racially coded language to capitalize on southern white racial angst.

However, that decision was but one in a series of decisions the GOP made not just on race, but on feminism and religion as well, in what Angie Maxwell and Todd Shields call the “Long Southern Strategy.”

In the wake of Second-Wave Feminism, the GOP dropped the Equal Rights Amendment from its platform and promoted traditional gender roles in an effort to appeal to anti-feminist white southerners, particularly women. And when the leadership of the Southern Baptist Convention became increasingly fundamentalist and politically active, the GOP tied its fate to the Christian Right. With original, extensive data on national and regional opinions and voting behavior, Maxwell and Shields show why all three of those decisions were necessary for the South to turn from blue to red.

To make inroads in the South, however, GOP politicians not only had to take these positions, but they also had to sell them with a southern “accent.” Republicans embodied southern white culture by emphasizing an “us vs. them” outlook, preaching absolutes, accusing the media of bias, prioritizing identity over the economy, encouraging defensiveness, and championing a politics of retribution. In doing so, the GOP nationalized southern white identity, rebranded itself to the country at large, and fundamentally altered the vision and tone of American politics.

All Clinton School Speaker Series events are free and open to the public. Reserve your seats by emailing publicprograms@clintonschool.uasys.edu or by calling (501) 683-5239.

Exhibit celebrating the work of sculptor Jose Sacal opens at Clinton Center

José Sacal: A Universal MexicanA new exhibit is now open at the Clinton Presidential Center.  José Sacal: A Universal Mexican is presented in celebration of the CCIX Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico and National Hispanic Heritage Month

This exhibit is displayed in partnership with the Consulate of Mexico in Little Rock and the José Sacal Micha Foundation.

José Sacal is undoubtedly one of the most prominent representatives of contemporary sculptural art. Known for his experimentation and freedom, Sacal recognized no boundaries in his sources of inspiration and was not afraid to find new meaning in old forms.

José Sacal: A Universal MexicanJosé Sacal: A Universal Mexican includes two groups of the artist’s work: sculptures inspired by other works of art and portraits of historical figures. In his works, Sacal finds the essence of each character or work. It can be a detail or an object, but the rest is something deeper. By recreating them, Sacal gives them a new meaning and establishes an artistic dialogue at a higher level. In his intelligent observation of art and history, Sacal reveals himself as a universal Mexican.

José Sacal: A Universal Mexican is sponsored locally by Arvest Bank, Arkansas Tech University, Centennial Bank, Hope Credit Union, ISTI Plant Services, Morelos Supermercados, Bank of America, First Community Bank, First Security Bank, and The Ramirez Law Firm, PLLC.

Looking at five canine sculptures in Little Rock

August 26 is National Dog Day!  To mark this occasion, here are five sculptures found in Little Rock which feature dogs.  Two are in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, one is in the Bill Clark Wetlands, one is at the Little Rock Animal Village, and the newest one is in the Heights roundabout.

Ken Newman’s FOREVER READY was donated in 2009 by the Sculpture at the River Market.   It is sited in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden.  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.

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.

A few yards from Forever Ready, another dog stands inquisitively.  Commissioned in 2010 and unveiled in 2011, 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 stands in the wetlands park which bears his name.

The Bill Clark Wetlands is actually the location of the third dog.  It is Chloe, Bill Clark’s faithful hunting dog.  She stands next to Bill in Clay Enoch’s sculpture STEADY.  Dedicated in 2011, it was a tribute to the man who helped build the Clinton Presidential Library.

This tribute to Clark shows Bill and Chloe in an early morning duck hunt scanning the horizon.  It is also positioned so that Bill is also gazing at the Clinton Presidential Center. His firm was the contractor on that building, and he spent thousands of hours walking in the area looking at the building during the construction.

A portion of the ground he trod during construction has been set aside as the Bill Clark Wetlands, and STEADY is placed in the wetlands as a memorial to Bill.

In 2015, the Little Rock Animal Village unveiled Lorri Acott’s WHO RESCUED WHO.  Located at the entrance to the Little Rock Animal Village, it depicts a person and dog looking at each other. They are sharing a bond of respect, admiration and love.

The human figure has Acott’s trademark extended length legs. These represent the ability to overcome obstacles and rise above adversity.  This is even more apt when considering the role that pets can play in our lives, as well as the role humans play in “adopting” rescued pets.

The sculpture is dedicated to the memory of Jack Adcock. It is given by his family, which includes longtime City Director Joan Adcock, their two children, eleven grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

Little Rock’s newest canine sculpture is Ken Newman’s Taking Attendance. It is installed in the new roundabout at Kavanaugh and McKinley.

In discussing the sculpture, Newman says:

The forms, shapes and gestures of my sculptures are expressions of external and internal influences, and influences not necessarily from models or photographs. This sculpture signifies the moments when I have encouraged my dog to walk in front of me unleashed, as it fosters confidence in our relationship.

FREE admission at Clinton Center today in honor of President Clinton’s Birthday

President Clinton’s birthday is next week.  But the Clinton Presidential Center is offering visitors the present.  Today from 9am to 5pm, the Clinton Presidential Center admission fees will be waived.

This is a chance to tour the permanent exhibits, including replicas of the Oval Office and the White House Cabinet Room, as well as the current temporary exhibit, Washed Ashore, at no charge!

Washed Ashore is a family-friendly exhibit that will eature more than 20 giant sea life sculptures – made entirely of trash and debris collected from beaches. This exhibit poignantly illustrates the toll trash takes on our oceans and waterways.

The incredible marine life sculptures will be accompanied by educational signage allowing visitors to learn about the fascinating species, environmental stewardship, responsible consumer habits, and how “every action counts” to help save our waterways.

Washed Ashore is a visual reminder of the disposable products that end up in our waters, and that each of us can take action to prevent further pollution.