The Sculpture in the River Market preview party is tonight, and people who paid the $100 to attend will get to vote on which artist they think should win the commission for a sculpture to be placed at the northwest corner of the intersection of Chenal Parkway and Chenal Valley Drive.
Here’s how I would vote if were one of tonight’s partiers: For UALR sculpture professor Michael Warrick’s “Mockingbird Tree.” (That’s the “Mockingbird” mock-up above.) Warrick writes, “This is a celebration of Arkansas’ state bird and one of its most prominent natural resources. My concept is playfully illustrated in a childlike fashion with bubble forms for foliage plus a pair of Arkansas’ state birds.” It would be 18 feet tall and stainless steel with bronze mockingbirds.
It’s not that the sculptor is from Arkansas, though I have written many times that I would like to see Arkansas artists’ work in Arkansas’s public spaces. I just think it is the best. You be the judge: See the other mock-ups at the bottom of this post.
All who have submitted drawings will be exhibiting their work in the pavilions of the River Market Saturday and Sunday. This year, more than 60 artists have signed up to participate.
The Sculpture at the River Market Committee will choose the winner from the three top vote-getters. The winning artist will receive a commission for up to $60,000, money raised from last year’s River Market preview and commissions from sales at previous Sculpture at the River Market events.
Other entries: “Ancient Wings” by Tim Cherry (not to be confused with his earlier “Ancient Wings” sculpture on his website), “Embrace” by Kathleen Caricof, “Standing Together” by Adam Schultz, “Cotton and Clementine” by Sandy Graves and “A” by Stephen Schactman.