Stephen Shachtman’s proposed sculpture “A,” a 16-foot-high steel and bronze work, won the $60,000 commission awarded at the weekend’s Sculpture in the River Market event. (See full news release on jump.) Best in Show went to Ted Schaal for his work “Shard.”

Both Shachtman and Schall are associates of the National Sculptors’ Guild in Loveland, Colo., which has apparently cast a spell over the Sculpture in the River Market nonprofit that buys sculpture for then city. Schachtman has another sculpture in Little Rock, “Red Monolith,” in Riverfront Park, and Schall has two works in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, also in Riverfront Park.


Shachtman’s work was selected by a committee from among 29 submissions, a group that was narrowed down to seven semifinalists. Schall and Jack Hill, also a member of the National Sculpture Guild, were also in the running. Shachtman was also a merit winner, along with Virginia artist Matthew Leavell and Illinois artist Rick Larimore.

“A,” which lost out in 2015 to Michael Warrick‘s “Mockingbird Tree,” now on the Chenal Parkway, will be placed at the Southwest Community Center, 6401 West Baseline Road, in 2018.


LITTLE ROCK – Stephen Shachtman was named as the recipient of a $60,000 commission on Sunday at the conclusion of the 2017 Sculpture at the River Market. His sixteen foot sculpture composed of CorTen steel, bronze and slate is entitled “A.” It will be placed at the Southwest Community Center (6401 West Baseline Road) in 2018.

Shachtman’s sculpture captures the varied activities of the Southwest Community Center site. The convergence of these functions is represented by the central sphere which represents the community coming together. The layers of the sandstone in the sphere reflect the variety of people who make up the community. The steel and bronze portion of the “A” represents Arkansas.


It will be fabricated in CorTen steel with a bronze cap at the point of each pillar. The tallest form measures approximately sixteen (16) feet high. The overall footprint will be approximately ten (10) feet in diameter.

Sculptors who were juried in to participate in the 2016 Show and Sale were invited to submit proposals for the new commission. A committee reviewed the 29 submissions and narrowed them down to seven semi-finalists. The semi-finalist proposals were on display Friday, April 21, during the preview party. Guests at the party had the opportunity to review the proposals and then to vote. Following that, the three finalists were announced. In addition to Shachtman, the other finalists were Jack Hill and Ted Schaal. A panel of judges selected the winner from the three finalists.

City Director Dean Kumpuris, one of the founders of Sculpture at the River Market discussed the location selection. “Over the past few years we have started placing sculpture throughout Little Rock. When thinking about the location for the installation in 2018, the Southwest Community Center immediately came to mind.”

“Not only is there an active community center at that location,” he continued, “it is also home to the Police Department’s Southwest precinct. The Dee Brown branch of CALS is located there and just recently expanded. In addition to an office of the County Health Department, Arkansas Children’s Hospital is building a clinic out there. This collection of recreational, educational, safety, and health resources makes this location an important spot not only for Southwest Little Rock, but all Little Rock.”


Also during the show, Best in Show went to Ted Schaal. Merit winners were Matthew Leavell, Rick Larimore, and Stephen Shachtman.

Shacthman’s “A” will join six 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 installed at the corner of Chenal Parkway and Chenal Valley Drive.

*Clay Enoch’s United, which won in 2016, will be installed at Central High School in September 2017 as part of the activities to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the integration of that school.