Little Rock Look Back: Installation of Chapel’s THE CENTER

On October 19, 2012, the first winner of the Sculpture at the River Market public monument sculpture competition was dedicated.

Selected at the 2011 Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale, Chapel’s THE CENTER is located to the west of the Junction Bridge in Riverfront Park.  It stands fifteen feet and is composed of glass, stainless steel and bronze.

According to Chapel:

The theme of The Center is a coalescence around a strong core.  Historically the Arkansas River was one of the mainstays of Little Rock’s economy.  Recently, the River has taken on a new life as a cultural and arts center through the various sculpture parks and amphitheater along its banks.

 

All of the disparate themes of life here are represented by the complex structure of gathering arcs.  These highly finished arcs reflect all the colors of the surrounding environment while the transparent central glass column refracts the changing light.  The shape itself will cast a fascinating shadow providing a constantly changing and adapting sculpture.

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Little Rock Look Back: Dedication of Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden

The original seven sculptures. Clockwise from top left: Conversation with Myself; Straight and Narrow; Bateleur Eagle; First Glance; Sizzling Sisters; Cascade; and Full of Himself

After nearly a week of rain, the skies dried up and on Friday, October 16, 2009, the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was dedicated.

Designed and created by the staff of the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department, the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden started with seven sculptures. These were purchased at the 2007 and 2008 Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sales.

The original seven were: Full of Himself by Jan Woods, Cascade by Chapel, Bateleur Eagle by Pete Zaluzec, Sizzling Sister by Wayne Salge, Conversation With Myself by Lorri Acott, First Glance by Denny Haskew, and Straight and Narrow by Lisa Gordon.

The sculpture garden was named after the Vogel Schwartz Foundation in recognition of its contributions to the project. The garden was dedicated on the afternoon of the preview party for the 2009 Show and Sale.

The Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden did not have seven sculptures for long. New pieces have been added every few months since then.  In 2017, an expansion was dedicated which doubled the size and allowed for larger pieces to be installed.  Today there are over seventy sculptures in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden and more than twenty elsewhere in Riverfront Park.

The 2019 Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale is set for May 4 and 5 with a preview party on May 3.

Little Rock Look Back: First Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale in 2007

After a decade of over 100 sculptures being installed throughout the city, it is hard to believe that the first Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale was only eleven years ago. It took place October 5 through 7, with a preview party on October 4.

Approximately 400 sculptures were on display in the River Market pavilions and in the adjacent area of Riverfront Park. The works featured included all types of media, style, subject matter, and size.

Among the sculptors participating were Gary Alsum, Diana Ashley, Sutton Betti, Shelley Buonaito, Kevin Box, Kathleen Caricof, Chapel, Tim Cherry, Dee Clements, Jane Dedecker, Edward Fleming, Martin Gates, Daniel Glanz, Carol Gold, Bruce Gueswel, Linda Hall, Bre & David Harris, and Denny Haskew.

Other sculptors included Tony Hochstetler, Hank Kaminsky, Kevin Kresse, Mark Leichliter, Gloria Lewis, Jim Lewis, Philip Major, Bryan Massey, Anne Mitchell, Leo E. Osborne, Louise Peterson, Wayne Salge, Ryan Schmidt, Sandy Scott, Margaret Warren, Michael Warrick, CT Whitehouse, and Pete Zaluzec.

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.

Little Rock Look Back: Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden Expansion

Photo by Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau

On Sunday, October 1, 2017, the expansion of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was dedicated.

The expansion more than doubled the area of the garden.  It also allowed for larger sculptures to be installed.

The construction took nearly a year. The design for the garden and the landscaping have all been done by the Little Rock Parks and Recreation Department.

A dozen new sculptures were part of the expansion, which brought the total to 66 pieces by 48 different artists.  (More have been added in the past year.)

The Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden was originally dedicated in 2009 at Riverfront Park.

Two Centuries of the Quapaw Line

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 tribal lands and public lands available for settlement.  (In the 1810s and 1820s, the Quapaw alternated between Central Arkansas and Northwest Louisiana depending on preferences of the tribal leadership.)

Though by 1824, the Quapaw were forced to give up all of their lands in the area, 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.

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 and to name the area.  When the U.S. 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 few years ago, engineers from Garver retraced the line using modern technology. They found the original surveyors’ work to be extremely accurate.

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.

A Red, White and Blue sculptural experience in Little Rock

Thanks to Sculpture at the River Market, on this Independence Day holiday, one can see sculptures which are red, white and blue.

Some are featured below.

A red crane from Lorri Acott’s PEACE (2nd Street and Main Street)

A red bird from Dale Rogers’ RETRO TREES (Riverfront Park)

Kevin Box’s CRANE UNFOLDING (Riverfront Park)

Kathleen Caricof’s BEGINNING LIFE (Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park)

Tim Cotterill’s BIG BILL (Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park)

Kevin Box’s DANCING PONY (Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park)