“Project Row Houses at 25” is focus of Architecture and Design Network June Freeman Lecture tonight

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Architecture and Design Network (ADN) continues its 2018/2019 June Freeman lecture series by welcoming Eureka Gilkey, Project Row Houses’ Executive Director. Project Row Houses is a nonprofit organization in Houston, Texas that is dedicated to empowering people and enriching the Third Ward community through engagement, art and direct action. PRH was founded 25 years ago with a mission to be the catalyst for the transformation of community through the celebration of art and African American history and culture.

PRH’s work with the Third Ward community began in 1993 when seven visionary African-American artists recognized real potential in a block and a half of derelict shotgun houses at the corner of Holman and Live Oak. Where others saw poverty, these artists saw a future site for positive, creative, and transformative experiences in the Third Ward. So, together they began to explore how they could be a resource to the community and how art might be an engine for social transformation. This is how the PRH story began.

With the founders engaged with a community of creative thinkers and the neighbors around them, Project Row Houses quickly began to shift the understanding of art from traditional studio practice to a more conceptual base of transforming the social environment. While they were artists, they were also advocates.
Over the next 25 years the organization brought together groups and pooled resources to materialize sustainable opportunities for artists, young mothers, small businesses, and Third Ward Residents helping to cultivate independent change agents by supporting people and their ideas so that they have tools and capacity to do the same for others.

PRH is, and has always been a unique experiment in activating the intersections between art, enrichment, and preservation. The lecture will cover PRH’s rich 25 year history and how the nonprofit became an international model for artists and communities to address their needs for historic preservation and community enrichment.

Architecture and Design Network lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are required. Supporters of ADN include the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, the Central Section of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and friends in the community.


“Taking the Time,”a lecture by Rick Joy, FAIA tonight

Amangiri Resort and Spa.

Architecture and Design Network (ADN) continues its 2018/2019 June Freeman lecture series by welcoming Rick Joy, FAIA, Principal of Studio Rick Joy, a 32 person architecture and planning firm established in 1993 in Tucson, Arizona.

The lecture starts at 6pm at the Arkansas Arts Center. A reception starts at 5:30pm.

From the beginning, each of Studio Rick Joy’s works has been exhibited and published extensively and have won numerous awards.  Joy received the 2002 American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture and in 2004 won the prestigious National Design Award from the Smithsonian Institute/Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  He periodically serves as a visiting professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Studio Rick Joy has realized architectural works throughout North America with extensive experience with lifestyle based projects from numerous single family residences to an ultra-lux resort and large scale master-plans.  The office has several active residential commissions in New York City, Long Island, Turks and Caicos.  Studio Rick Joy is currently completing the prestigious commission of the new Train Station and Campus Gateway Buildings to Princeton University, a luxury resort hotel with private compounds in Mexico, an apartment building in Mexico City and a new luxury boutique hotel in Austin Texas.

Architecture and Design Network lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are required.  Supporters of ADN include the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, the Central Section of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and friends in the community.

Landscape Architecture Now! Case Studies in Mexico and Latin America is topic of lecture tonight

Vistas Cerro Grande Linear Park in Chihuahua City: A Public Mile Designed with and for the Community. Photos by Delfoz.

Vistas Cerro Grande Linear Park in Chihuahua City: A Public Mile Designed with and for the Community. Photos by Delfoz.

Architecture and Design Network (ADN) continues its 2018/2019 June Freeman lecture series by diving into the discipline and profession of landscape architecture by analyzing a double context:  first, the larger context of the Latin American continent; and second, Mexico as a specific context.

The program will begin at 6:00pm tonight at the Arkansas Arts Center. A reception will precede it at 5:30pm.

Gabriel Diaz Montemayor, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin and Founder of Labor Studio, will present these findings in ADN’s second lecture of 2019 year, “Landscape Architecture Now!  Case Studies in Mexico and Latin America.”

The discipline and profession of Landscape Architecture is not the same in Latin America as in the United States. It should not be the same. A brief historic chronology will be traced to explain the different origins and meaning of public space in this continent while addressing the need to identify the unique national and regional differences, avoiding -often done- common generalizations. Recent project case studies will be synthesized to portray the current condition of the discipline in the Latin American context.

The contemporary condition of Public Space in Mexico will be explained as one of the unique conditions assembling the Latin American mosaic. The country has recently gone through dramatic changes in public life, society, culture, and politics. A set of case studies in Landscape Architecture and Public Space, where Montemayor has been involved in different capacities, will be employed to explain the challenges and opportunities for Landscape Architecture in Mexico.

The Mexican projects include applied academic studios trying to fill the void between the planning and the implementation of public infrastructure projects needing landscape architectural methods and matter. These will also include professional public space commissions based on community reconstruction, engagement, and participation. Both applied studios and professional projects operate in a third context, northern Mexico. This will lead to a final proposition reflecting on a potential future for the border region between the United States and Mexico, one where societies are reconciled with their common ground.

Gabriel Diaz Montemayor, ASLA, is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the School of Architecture at The University of Texas at Austin. Through Spring 2019, he will hold the Garvan Chair and Visiting Professorship in Landscape Architecture at the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.

Montemayoris an architect educated at the School of the Desert:  The Superior Institute of Architecture and Design (ISAD) at Chihuahua, Mexico, from where he graduated in 1998. He holds an architect degree from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua, Mexico, and received his Master of Landscape Architecture from Auburn University in 2007.  Montemayoris a founder of LABOR Studio, an architecture, urban design and landscape architecture practice based in Chihuahua, Mexico, since 2002. The studio has engaged in a variety of private and public commissions.

Architecture and Design Network lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are required.  Supporters of ADN include the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, the Central Section of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and friends in the community.

Arkansas Preservation Awards tonight

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The Arkansas Preservation Awards will honor outstanding achievements in historic preservation from all over the state, including this year’s recipients of the Parker Westbrook Award for Lifetime Achievement, Hot Springs architects Anthony Taylor and Bob Kempkes.

The awards are presented by Preserve Arkansas. Rex Nelson will be the emcee for the awards. The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30pm at the Albert Pike Masonic Center.

Anthony Taylor and Bob Kempkes founded Taylor/Kempkes Architects, P.A. in Hot Springs in 1986. Over the years, Taylor and Kempkes have demonstrated a strong commitment to the preservation of our state’s built environment and the revitalization of downtown Hot Springs. Their notable Hot Springs projects include the restoration and/or rehabilitation of the Mountain Valley Spring Company Building, Old Post Office, Quapaw Bathhouse, and the Thompson Building.

Other award recipients are:

Excellence in Heritage Preservation – Ginger Sandy – “Cedar Grove/Mobley Historical Preservation” Facebook page

Excellence in Preservation through Rehabilitation
– Des Arc Public Library (Historic First Presbyterian Church), Des Arc
– Griffin Auto Company Building, El Dorado
– ScholarMade Achievement Place, Ivy Hill Academy of Scholarship (Historic James Mitchell School), Little Rock

Excellence in Preservation through Restoration
– Brunson House, Historic Washington State Park
– Methodist Manse, Cane Hill
– Shiloh Meeting Hall, Springdale

Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Education – University of Arkansas Fay Jones School of Architecture + Design, Department of Landscape Architecture for “Rising Above – Rohwer Reconstructed: Interpreting Place through Experience” website

Outstanding Achievement in Preservation Advocacy – U.S. Congressman Bruce Westerman, Representing Arkansas’s 4th District, for his efforts to save the Federal Historic Tax Credit during tax reform

Ned Shank Award for Outstanding Preservation Publication – University of Arkansas Press for “It’s All Done Gone”: Arkansas Photographs from the Farm Security Administration Collection, 1935-1943 by Patsy G. Watkins

Excellence in Personal Projects

  • Commercial: Mary Ann Lee, Indigo Blue Coffeehouse, Pine Bluff
  • Residential: Greg Gallagher, 1919 Beech Street, Texarkana
  • Honorable Mention: Cecil and Denise Ennett, Kleinschmidt House, Little Rock


Mid-Century Modern work of Frank Doughty topic of architecture lecture

Tonight (January 8), the Architecture and Design Network (ADN) continues its 2018/2019 June Freeman lecture series by taking a look at the Mid-Century Modern work of architect Frank Doughty (1930-present), a lecture by Mason Toms, architectural historian and preservation designer at the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program.  The program is entitled “The Unexpected Modernism of Frank Doughty.”

There is a reception starting at 5:30pm followed by the lecture at 6pm. It is in the lecture hall of the Arkansas Arts Center.

Frank L. Doughty was born and raised near Tunica, Mississippi at the dawn of the 1930s. After high school and military service during the Korean Conflict, Doughty attended the University of Arkansas architecture program. After graduating from the program, he went to work for internationally renowned architect and Arkansas native, Edward Durell Stone, in his New York office. This was followed by work in the Fayetteville office of equally renowned architect, E. Fay Jones. Eventually he moved to Boca Rotan, Florida, where he operated his own practice before returning to Arkansas to teach at the University of Arkansas School of Architecture.

Though primarily remembered for his 23 years as an architecture professor at the University of Arkansas, Doughty also created a small but meaningful body of work that injected Modernist architecture into the most unlikely of places in a profound and elegant way. Located mainly in the Arkansas Delta region, Doughty’s work drew inspiration from the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Edward Durell Stone as well as the surrounding rural landscape. He uniquely designed his buildings in such a way that they simultaneously stood out and blended into their individual settings.  The excellence of construction and high level of architectural skill present in each of the structures has made them hidden gems of Modernist design in predominantly traditional areas.

Mason Toms is an architectural historian and preservation designer at the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program. In college, Mason developed a passion for Mid-Century Modern architecture, but was disappointed to learn that there was little research being done on Mid-Century Modern architects in Arkansas. This led him to work closely with the National Register and Survey staff to find, research, and document Mid-Century Modern architecture around the state.

In an effort to raise awareness of the many remarkable Modernist structures in Arkansas, Mason created and continues to administer the Facebook group Mid-Century Modern Arkansas. The group page features a different Modernist building in the state almost every Friday. Additionally, Mason collaborates with local preservation organizations to create tours and present lectures that center on the significance of Mid-Century Modern architecture in general and the unique examples found here in Arkansas.

Architecture and Design Network lectures are free and open to the public. No reservations are required. Supporters of ADN include the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design, the Central Section of the Arkansas Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and friends in the community.

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.

LR Women Making History – June Freeman

June Biber Freeman, born and reared in New Jersey, came to Pine Bluff from the University of Chicago, where she had met and married her husband, Edmond Freeman, a Pine Bluff native.

Long interested in the arts, she was instrumental in establishing the Little Firehouse Community Arts Center. Serving as its unpaid director until, with her continued vision and help, it morphed into the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas (ASC).  In 1973, she conceived and organized the  Women and the Arts: A Conference on Creativity,  the first of its kind in the region. Governor Dale Bumpers appointed her to the Governor’s Commission on the Status of Women.  In 1975,  Freeman was  hired by  Townsend Wolfe as the Arkansas Arts Center’s Director of State Services, a job  she held for the next five years.

In 1982, she was instrumental in establishing Pine Bluff Sister Cities.   She has served on the Little Rock Arts+Culture Commission as well as the boards of the Arkansas Arts Center, the Mid-American Arts Alliance and the Arkansas Arts Council. (In view of her background in psychology, she has served as a longstanding member of the UAMS Advisory Board of the Psychiatric Research Institute.)

Freeman is the founding director of the non-profit Architecture and Design Network (ADN) which got underway in 2003. Securing the support of the Arkansas Arts Center, the UA Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design (FJSAD) and the central section of the Arkansas chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Freeman launched a series of free public lectures by distinguished architects.  Retiring as director at the end of 2016, she continues to serve as a board member. She was named an honorary member of the FJSAD Dean’s Circle and, in 2013, was given an Award of Merit by the state Chapter of the AIA at its annual meeting. In 2016 the ADN board named the lecture series for her.

In 2017, she was inducted into the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame.  In 1995, she received the Governor’s Arts Award for Outstanding Patron.  In 2018, she became a rare two-time award recipient of a Governor’s Arts Award as she received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Freeman and her husband, who retired as publisher of the Pine Bluff Commercial, moved to Little Rock in 1995. The couple has four children and six grandchildren.