The John and Robyn Horn Foundation awarded the architecture and design group $25,000 to commission the works through a statewide call for artists, and the Quapaw Central Business Improvement District No. 5 and Anita Davis, owner of Esse Purse Museum and the Bernice Garden, matched the Horns’ award. Cogbill has a BFA from the University of Arkansas and teaches art in from Fayetteville; Loucks, a SoMa resident whose huge moving sculpture hung in the lobby of Arkansas Children’s Hospital for many years, and Warrick, professor of sculpture at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, are from Little Rock.
As you can see in the images at right, Warrick’s sculpture will be figurative, Cogbill’s origami-like and Loucks’ an abstract linear piece that is sort of a bottoms-up mobile.
The public art, which should be fabricated and installed by September, is part of studioMAIN’s Public Arts Master Plan to “refine current fixtures and infrastructure, invigorate the streetscape with public arts projects, and connect South Main Street with the greater downtown district,” the group said in a press release.
Here are the artist’s statements:
Alex Cogbill: “Soul of a Woman, Soul of a Man” is about the eternal dance between the sexes. In this sculpture, the “man” is dipping the “woman,” who appears red with passion, separating her from the male. However, they are attached. So, while separate, they are also connected and interwoven. She allows the “man” to bow her into a seemingly helpless pose but her strength rather than her submissiveness is what she radiates. She exudes grace, balancing and grounding the “man.” He grasps tightly to her, dipping, not dropping his partner. Here they are captured in that climactic moment, a pirouetting duet into infinity.
Harry Loucks: “Celebrating Up” is part of Harry’s Supported Disc Series, which is derived from childhood fascination and memories of thin reed-like stems of plants waving in the breeze on neighborhood fields. The series began as small two to three-inch wire stems with hand-hammered copper discs on angled bases. Some were silver and gold-plated. The series grew to range from several feet to 16 feet in height, with single stems to
multiple stems. Sculptures were designed to wave in a breeze,
indoors with a fan or outdoors with the wind.
Michael Warrick: “Serenity” portrays a woman on a rocky outcropping in a celebratory pose with four birds. It represents a positive, serene icon for the South Main district. It incorporates birds that represent economy, history, community and culture.