Artist Clay Enoch was on hand today as City Director Dean Kumpuris "unveiled" Enoch's bronze of William "Bill" Clark and his dog, Chloe, at the Bill Clark Wetlands.
The sculpture, "Steady," is significant for several reasons: It pays tribute to the co-founder of CDI contractors, which built the Clinton Presidential Library, a man Kumpuris described as "one of the most altruistic" men in Little Rock. It is fine piece of public art, commissioned by and created in consultation with Clark's widow, Margaret Clark. And it is the first sculpture in Riverfront Park to refer to one of our own, a crucial relationship that Eye Candy has harped on previously and which the workmen who helped create the rock and pond setting said they were happy to see.
Enoch is a member of the National Sculptors Guild Loveland, Colo., and a native of Memphis (and therefore no stranger to the subject, a man in waders, duck call in hand, Labrador at his side).
Kumpuris gave a tour of the wetlands as well, pointing out the trap that has been installed at the drainage into the Arkansas River backwater that will capture, as an environmental lesson, the trash that people toss onto the streets in East Little Rock and which eventually ends up in the river. An upper pond area that is fed by the river and has a spillway into the backwater serves as a wetland demonstration area, planted with overcup oak, aquatic tupelo, native iris and other wetland-loving species. A large white bat house has been installed across the backwater.
Kumpuris, whose idea it was to honor Clark with the wetlands project, is rightly proud of the project, a great stop on the River Trail, which with the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge will be celebrated at an 11 a.m. dedication in the morning with the President and Mrs. Clinton — and Clark and Chloe — present.