Little Rock Culture Vulture

Cultural events, places and people in the Little Rock area


An Easter Parade of Bronze Bunnies

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.

 

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#LRSculpture contest in conjunction with 10th Sculpture at the River Market

The Sculpture in the River Market Show will celebrate its 10th year in April. As part of that, they are rolling out a plan that encourages the public to explore, appreciate, and share public art offerings in Little Rock through social media.

The selfie with a sculpture contest will begin Saturday and continue through April 18. The concept is simple: A person finds their favorite sculpture in Little Rock, takes a photo with it, posts it using the hashtag #LRSculpture on either Instagram or Twitter. 

A person must be visible posing with the sculpture in the photo. Photos taken prior to April are eligible as long as they feature a person posing with a Little Rock sculpture and use the hashtag #LRSculpture. Only photos meeting those requirements which are posted between April 1 and April 18, 2017 will be eligible.

Photos showing misuse of the sculpture will not be considered.

Winners will be announced April 20. The grand prize includes tickets to the Sculpture Show Preview Party on April 21 at 6:30 p.m. Three additional prizes will be given.

Guests attending the Preview Party will get to view and vote on the seven semi-finalist proposals for the next public monument sculpture winner to help select the top three finalists.  The winner of that competition will be announced Sunday, April 23.


Happy 2017 from the Sculpture Vulture

Several of the sculptures in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden and Riverfront Park have figures which mimic a “1” and a “7.”

To celebrate the start of 2017, here is a look at Seventeen of them.  And stay tuned for the 10th Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale on April 21-23, 2017!  Who knows, there could be some sculptures in that show that also have the “1” and “7” features.

Jane DeDecker's THE TIES THAT BIND

Jane DeDecker’s THE TIES THAT BIND

Kevin Box's DANCING PONY

Kevin Box’s DANCING PONY

Dale Rogers' RETRO TREES

Dale Rogers’ RETRO TREES

Kevin Kresse's BREAKING THE CYCLE

Kevin Kresse’s BREAKING THE CYCLE

Bryan Massey's THE JAZZ PLAYER

Bryan Massey’s THE JAZZ PLAYER

Casey Horn's TRANQUILITY

Casey Horn’s TRANQUILITY

Denny Haskew's FIRST GLANCE

Denny Haskew’s FIRST GLANCE

Kathleen Caricof's LET THE MUSIC PLAY

Kathleen Caricof’s LET THE MUSIC PLAY

Bryan Massey's UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT

Bryan Massey’s UPTOWN SATURDAY NIGHT

ROTARY PLAZA

ROTARY PLAZA

Michael Warrick's GROWN

Michael Warrick’s GROWN

Mark Leichliter's MEME

Mark Leichliter’s MEME

2017-talking

Lorri Acott’s TALKING TO MYSELF

Wayne Salge's SIZZLING SISTERS

Wayne Salge’s SIZZLING SISTERS

Laurel Peterson Gregory's BUNNY BUMP

Laurel Peterson Gregory’s BUNNY BUMP

Merle Randolph's SPACE RACE

Merle Randolph’s SPACE RACE

Jane DeDecker & Alyson Kinkade's IN THE WINGS

Jane DeDecker & Alyson Kinkade’s IN THE WINGS


Arkansas Heritage Month – Dr. Dean Kumpuris

Arts Community Development recipient Dean Kumpuris

Arts Community Development recipient Dean Kumpuris

This week as part of Arkansas Heritage Month’s focus on the arts, we will be looking at seven recipients of the Governor’s Arts Awards from Little Rock.

2016 honoree in Arts Community Development, Dr. Dean Kumpuris has spent the last three decades working to improve the cultural and civic life of Little Rock. In particular, he has focused much of his work on the revitalization of downtown, the development of the River Market, and expansion of Riverfront Park.

Through his vision and efforts to place public art downtown, in less than 10 years, nearly 100 sculptures have been installed in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, as well as in parks along the Arkansas River and throughout Little Rock. He created the annual fundraiser, Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale, which attracts thousands of visitors to Little Rock each year and features hundreds of sculptures from internationally recognized artists.

He is a gastroenterologist and has served on the Little Rock City Board of Directors since 1995.


International Jazz Day – Bryan Massey’s JAZZ PLAYER

Massey JazzApril 30 is International Jazz Day.

In commemoration of that, here is Bryan Massey, Sr.’s Jazz Player.  It is located in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden in Riverfront Park.

Massey, who is an artist and art professor at the University of Central Arkansas, created this piece in honor of Bill Clinton and his love of jazz.  It was sculpted in 2009 in honor of the fifth anniversary of the opening of the Clinton Presidential Center.

The sculpture is placed next to another piece of Massey’s called Uptown Saturday Night which depicts a couple dancing to music.  Together they present a celebration of music, dance, and having fun.


Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale this weekend

Wayne Salge Photo: Mel Shockner Benito & Amelia 35x16x16” Bronze

Wayne Salge
Photo: Mel Shockner
Benito & Amelia
35x16x16” Bronze

Little Rock residents and visitors alike will have the opportunity to see and purchase works by leading sculptors when the ninth Sculpture at the River Market Invitational Show and Sale takes place from April 22 to 24.

Over 800 sculptures will be on display in the River Market pavilions and in the adjacent area of Riverfront Park on those three days in April. The works featured will include all types of media, style, subject matter, and size.

Sculpture at the River Market will feature the works of over 50 sculptors.

The 2016 sculptors include: Lorri Acott, Lori Arnold, Terry & Maritza Bean, Hunter Brown, Craig Campbell, Kathleen Caricof, Tim Cherry, Leslie Daly, Darrell Davis, Jane DeDecker, John Deering, Clay Enoch, Kimber Fiebiger, Peter Grimord, Guilloume, Denny Haskew, Bob Heintzelman, Mark Hyde, Greg Johnson, James Keller, Kevin Kresse, Mark Leichliter, Harold Linke, Allison Luedtke, and Bryan Winfred Massey, Sr.

Tod Switch Language is Key 24"H x 46"W x 24"D Powder Coated Steel

Tod Switch
Language is Key
24″H x 46″W x 24″D
Powder Coated Steel

Other participating sculptors are: James G. Moore, Nnamdi Okonkwo, Steven Olszewski, Richard Pankratz, Nathan Pierce, Merle Randolph, Dale Roark, Kevin Robb, Timothy Roundy, Emelene Russell, Wayne Salge, Valerie Jean Schafer, Adam Schultz, Stephen Shachtman, Kim Shaklee, Stephanie & Scott Shangraw, Gene Sparling, Lawrence Starck, Charles Strain, Tod Switch, Michael Warrick, C.T. Whitehouse, Longhua XU, and Michelle Zorich & Katherine Martin.

Sculpture at the River Market will be open in the River Market pavilions from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Saturday, April 23, and from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Sunday, April 24.  In addition to the opportunity to view the sculptures and meet with the sculptors, there are a variety of activities planned throughout the two days.

Stephen Shachtman Helix 20x18x3” Glass/Steel

Stephen Shachtman
Helix
20x18x3” Glass/Steel

Docent led tours of the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden will be available at 2 p.m. Saturday, April 23 and Sunday, April 24.  Andina’s Café & Coffee Roastery will be set up at the sculpture show on Sunday beginning at 9:30 a.m.  From 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Sunday, Southern Salt and Southern Gourmasian food trucks will be set up at the River Market.

On Friday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m., a Preview Party will kick off the weekend.  With food provided by Copper Grill, beverages provided by Glazer’s and Stella Artois, frozen treats by Le Pops, and live jazz music, it will be a festive atmosphere offering guests the first chance to purchase sculptures as well as visit with the sculptors.  Also that night, guests to the Preview Party will be able to vote for their favorite sculpture in the 2016 Public Monument Competition.