Downtown Little Rock has at least three different sculptures of rabbits. Since today is Easter Sunday and the Easter Bunny is making his rounds, it seems a good day to highlight these sculptures.
In the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, Laurel Peterson Gregory’s Bunny Bump has been providing whimsy since 2010.
After she sculpts an animal in wax or oil-based clay, traditional lost-wax casting processes immortalize the design in bronze. One aspect of particular interest to me, and one for which I plan early in the sculpting phase, is the complex and rich patinas that constitute another hallmark of my limited-edition sculptures. Multiple layers of chemicals and oxides are applied to the heated bronze to achieve a range of unique effects, both translucent and opaque, that complement each design.
Two stylized rabbits make for an interesting piece of artwork when they are not only dancing, but also doing the butt bump while dancing. The smooth surface and color of the bronze add to the illusion. This small piece has been placed on a pedestal to elevate more to eye level.
A few yards from the bumping bunnies, James Paulsen’s Lopsided presents a much more laconic rabbit.
Paulsen is a self-taught artist. Alternately studying the wilds of the northern forest, and the open beauty of the American Southwest, he concentrates his work on natural subjects he has grown up with, and is heavily influenced by his family’s artistic background, being raised by an artist-illustrator and an author. In his work, he explores merging the beauty he sees in the natural world with the expressiveness of clay and bronze.
While having most of his work in galleries or private collections across the country, he has recently completed two public commissions
And at the corner of President Clinton Avenue and Sherman Street, Tim Cherry’s Rabbit Reach welcomes visitors to the River Market.
The sculpture is located at the corner of Sherman Street and President Clinton Avenue across from 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.
Cherry’s sculpture was selected for this spot because of its proximity to children at the Museum and in the River Market district. The design and size of the sculpture encourages children to climb on it and to play around the rabbit. While some public art is situated so it cannot be touched, this one is situated to be touched as part of the appreciation experience.
There will probably be more bunnies on display this weekend when the 10th Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale takes place on April 22 & 23. On April 21, there will be a preview party at 6:30pm.
For more information on the show & sale, visit the the show’s website.