OK, I know it seems ungrateful to whine about the public art that goes in Riverfront Park and the lack of public input in its selection. Too, community input into public art is itself problematic, because who can agree on what is fine art and what is not?
The city has put a lot of time and effort into the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden
behind the Marriott Hotel, building it and landscaping it so that it can receive the donations of art from the Sculpture in the River Market committee that buys bronzes and donates them to the city. The art comes from sales at the annual sculpture show in the River Market pavilions and that's all well and good.
The members of the committee, headed by Jane Rogers
, are fine people; they want to do something good for the city. Some of the sculpture that has come to Little Rock is lovely. So why am I bitching and moaning?
Because at some point, the city needs input into what goes into its parks from regular folks, not just the ones that can afford the $100 it will take to attend A Night in the Garden,
the party Saturday night where the swells will get together and vote on which of three sculptures should be the next to go in the park. The non-profit Sculpture at the River Market group has $60,000 to spend. The city might also want to get some advice from outside landscape architects and curators.
Here are the three contenders,all from Colorado:
Lori Alcott's "On the Shoulders of Giants"
has smaller work in the park, one of the bronzes that has been vandalized twice.
Mark Leichliter's " Through the Looking Glass"
also has sculpture in the park and at the Hillary and Bill Clinton Airport.
Ted Schaal's "Open Window"
Schaal also has art in the Vogel Schwartz garden.
The event starts at 6:30 p.m. Buy tickets at Sculpture at the River Market.