18 Cultural Events of 2018 – Dedication of Margaret Clark Adventure Park with three sculptures

GLEE

In September, Little Rock’s Parks and Recreation Department dedicated its newest play area with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Margaret Clark Adventure Park.

This unique play experience is designed specifically for pre-school aged children. It is located in Riverfront Park just to the west of the Marriott Hotel Conference Center and is adjacent to the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden and the Jack Fleischauer Garden.

The Margaret Clark Adventure Park features areas for climbing, walking on balance beams, going through tunnels, exploring nature, and has a stage for children to put on shows. The area was designed and installed by Little Rock Parks and Recreation staff.

Visitors to the Margaret Clark Adventure Park will be greeted by the twin sheep Bliss and Glee, both sculptures by Giuseppe Palumbo atop stone pylons on either side of the entrance. In the center of the entrance is Tim Cherry’s Roundbottom Hippoptomus, an interactive sculpture which also serves as a bench.

The play area is named in honor of Margaret Clark in appreciation of her longtime commitment to children and her interest in Riverfront Park. The wetlands park adjacent to the eastern edge of Riverfront Park is named in memory of her late husband William E. Clark. The couple have donated sculptures that are placed in Riverfront Park and in front of nearby Robinson Center Performance Hall.

Isabel and John Ed Anthony contributed funds for the purchase of the Tim Cherry sculpture. Members of the Junior League of Little Rock and Friends of Riverfest, Inc., contributed funds for the two Giuseppe Palumbo sculptures.

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.