Tag Archives: Riverfront Park

Mother’s Day Sculpture: PATTY CAKE by Jane DeDecker

Happy Mother’s Day!

This sculpture is Jane DeDecker’s PATTY CAKE which is located in Riverfront Park. It was donated by the late Dale Nicholson in memory of his wife, Pat.

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2018 Lineup for MOVIES IN THE PARK Announced

Superheroes, teenagers, princesses, and a bunny are just some of the characters who will be visiting Little Rock’s FirstSecurity Amphitheatre in 2018 for Movies in the Park.

Movies in the Park is a free outdoor movie series in Little Rock’s River Market. The mission of Movies in the Park is help foster a sense of community and enjoyment in downtown Little Rock by bringing people together to enjoy a movie in a unique setting
along the scenic banks of the Arkansas River.

June 6 – Wonder Woman (PG-13) Sponsored by Clinton School of Public Service

June 13 –  Zootopia (PG) 

June 20 –  School of Rock (PG-13) 

June 27 – Sixteen Candles (PG)

July 11 – Star Wars the Force Awakens (PG-13) Sponsored by SCM Architects

July 18 – Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG) 

July 25 – Beauty and the Beast (PG) (2017) 

Movies in the Park is a free outdoor film series shown at First Security Amphitheatre in Riverfront Park. Movies start at dark. (This being summer that means sometime between 8pm and 8:30pm.)

Guests are welcome to bring picnics but please no glass containers and pick up afterwards. Alcohol is allowed during the movie, but guests remain subject to all local, state and federal laws and ordinances. Uniformed security is on site for everyone’s safety.

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.

Little Rock Look Back: La Harpe and La Petite Roche

On April 9, 1722, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe rounded the bend of the Arkansas River and saw La Petite Roche and Le Rocher Français.  He had entered the mouth of the Arkansas River on February 27 after traveling up the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

Though La Harpe and his expedition are the first Europeans documented to have seen La Petite Roche, the outcropping of rocks was well-known to the Quapaw Indians in the area.  The outcropping jutted out in the Arkansas River and created a natural harbor which provided a perfect place for boats to land.

The rock outcropping is the first one visible along the banks of the Arkansas River.  It marks the place where the Mississippi Delta meets the Ouachita Mountains.  Geologists now believe that the Little Rock is not the same type of rock as the Ouachita Mountains and more closely matches the composition and age of mountains in the western US.

In 1813, William Lewis became the first European settler to live near La Petite Roche but only stayed a few months.  Speculators and trappers continued to visit the area throughout the 1810s. During that time, the outcropping became known informally as the Little Rock.

La Petite Roche had become a well-known crossing when the Arkansas Territory was established in 1819. The permanent settlement of ‘The Rock’ began in the spring of 1820, and the first building has been described as a cabin, or shanty, and was built on the bank of the river near the ‘Rock.’ In March 1820, a Post Office was established at the ‘Rock’ with the name “Little Rock.”

Over the years, La Petite Roche was altered.  In 1872, Congress authorized the building of a railroad bridge. A pier for the bridge was built at the location of the La Petite Roche which caused the removal of several tons of rock.  The bridge was never built.  When the Junction Bridge was built in 1899, even more rock was removed in the process of erecting part of the bridge on top of the rock.  It was not viewed as being disrespectful of the City’s namesake at the time.  Indeed, it was viewed as a testament to the sturdiness of the rock.

In 2010, La Petite Roche plaza opened in Riverfront Park.  It celebrates the history of La Petite Roche and explores its importance to various aspects of Little Rock’s history and geography.

Little Rock Look Back: 199 Years of the Quapaw Line

Stones placed in Riverfront Park denote where there Quapaw Line started from La Petite Roche
Stones placed in Riverfront Park denote where there Quapaw Line started from La Petite Roche

On August 24, 1818, the Quapaw Line was drawn.  Starting at La Petite Roche and heading due south, this line formed the boundary between the Quapaw tribe lands and public lands available for settlement.  Though by 1824, the Quapaw were forced to give up all of their lands, the line continued serve as an important marker.  In the ensuing six years, the first permanent settlement of Little Rock took place and streets were planned.It is interesting to note that the 1818 treaty referred to La Petite Roche as the Little Rock.  Some have speculated that this is the first official use of “Little Rock” to designate the outcropping.  When the Post Office was established in March 1820, it was given the name Little Rock.

There is a marker commemorating the beginning of the Quapaw Line located at La Petite Roche in Riverfront Park.  The first segment of the line is also noted in the park.  There are also sunken markers place along the line at various points.  In MacArthur Park, at the corner of 9th and Commerce Streets, there is a marker noting that the line passed through at that location.

A good account of walking the Quapaw Line through downtown Little Rock can be found on this website.

Most of what is now called the Quapaw Quarter was located to the west of the Quapaw Line.  However, it did take its name from the fact that the tribe had once lived in that area and was later sequestered to lands near it.  The name for the area was chosen by a committee composed of David D. Terry, Peg Newton Smith, Mrs. Walter Riddick Sr., Dr. John L. Ferguson, and James Hatcher. They had been appointed to a Significant Structures Technical Advisory Committee to advocate for preservation of important structures as a component of the City of Little Rock’s urban renewal efforts.

Sculpture, Bridge dedicated today in memory of Cindy Miller

This afternoon at 4pm, a ceremony will take place for the dedication of the Cindy Coates Miller Bridge and an accompanying angel sculpture in the Clinton Presidential Park on the river trail immediately east of the pedestrian bridge.

Miller, who was the Arkansas representative of the Roy and Christine Sturgis Charitable and Educational Trust for over 20 years, died in 2013.

During her Sturgis career, she played a significant role in awarding grants totaling over $60 million including Sturgis Fellowships at the University of Arkansas, her alma mater; Arkansas Children’s Hospital; UA-Little Rock; Hendrix College; Our House; Heifer International and many other organizations. At the time of her death, she was working on a proposal for the bridge that is now completed and bears her name thanks to a gift from the Sturgis Trust in her memory.

The bridge makes it possible for people to visit and explore an island in the Arkansas River in its untouched state. This island will offer a unique natural experience in the heart of an urban setting.  Walking trails and a fishing pier are planned on the eastern part of the island.

The sculpture, entitled Angel, was designed by Clay Enoch of Loveland, Colorado and paid for by friends of Miller.  This three-quarter, life-sized bronze of a seated angel measures three feet from the bottom of its carnation wreath to the top of its wings with an arrow pointing upward. It is placed on a column of pink granite making the base and angel together 6 1/2 feet tall.

Miller’s husband, Pat; Little Rock City Director Dean Kumpuris; Rev. Danny Schieffler, Rector of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church; and Clinton School Dean Skip Rutherford will participate in the brief dedication ceremony.

Little Rock Look Back: LaHarpe and The Rock

On April 9, 1722, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe rounded the bend of the Arkansas River and saw La Petite Roche and Le Rocher Français.  He had entered the mouth of the Arkansas River on February 27 after traveling up the Mississippi River from New Orleans.

Though La Harpe and his expedition are the first Europeans documented to have seen La Petite Roche, the outcropping of rocks was well-known to the Quapaw Indians in the area.  The outcropping jutted out in the Arkansas River and created a natural harbor which provided a perfect place for boats to land.

The rock outcropping is the first one visible along the banks of the Arkansas River.  It marks the place where the Mississippi Delta meets the Ouachita Mountains.  Geologists now believe that the Little Rock is not the same type of rock as the Ouachita Mountains and more closely matches the composition and age of mountains in the western US.

In 1813, William Lewis became the first European settler to live near La Petite Roche but only stayed a few months.  Speculators and trappers continued to visit the area throughout the 1810s. During that time, the outcropping became known informally as the Little Rock.

La Petite Roche had become a well-known crossing when the Arkansas Territory was established in 1819. The permanent settlement of ‘The Rock’ began in the spring of 1820, and the first building has been described as a cabin, or shanty, and was built on the bank of the river near the ‘Rock.’ In March 1820, a Post Office was established at the ‘Rock’ with the name “Little Rock.”

Over the years, La Petite Roche was altered.  In 1872, Congress authorized the building of a railroad bridge. A pier for the bridge was built at the location of the La Petite Roche which caused the removal of several tons of rock.  The bridge was never built.  When the Junction Bridge was built in 1899, even more rock was removed in the process of erecting part of the bridge on top of the rock.  It was not viewed as being disrespectful of the City’s namesake at the time.  Indeed, it was viewed as a testament to the sturdiness of the rock.

In 2010, La Petite Roche plaza opened in Riverfront Park.  It celebrates the history of La Petite Roche and explores its importance to various aspects of Little Rock’s history and geography.