HER Arts

Arts & The Park cel­e­brates spec­trum of artis­tic dis­ci­plines

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Contents - By Lorien E. Dahl

O ften when peo­ple think of the arts, it’s the dis­ci­pline of vis­ual art that is fore­most in their minds — things like paint­ing, draw­ing and sculp­ture. Al­though those forms are in­deed in­te­gral to the up­com­ing Arts & The Park cel­e­bra­tion, or­ga­niz­ers are ex­cited to show­case such a va­ri­ety that even peo­ple who don’t con­sider them­selves typ­i­cal art lovers will be de­lighted to take part.

The 2017 fes­ti­val will run the 10 days of April 28 through May 7, be­gin­ning with a launch party held in the Moun­tain Valley Spring Wa­ter build­ing, this year’s pre­sent­ing spon­sor. At­ten­dees will be able to take in live mu­sic, min­gle with fea­tured guest artist Kevin Kresse, and sam­ple works of culi­nary art in ap­pe­tizer and bev­er­age form. In ad­di­tion, this year’s Arts Am­bas­sador Award will be pre­sented to Suzanne Tucker that evening, for her work to em­body the Hot Springs Area Cul­tural Al­liance’s mis­sion of cel­e­brat­ing, ad­vo­cat­ing and pro­mot­ing the arts and cul­ture that sur­round the city.

Dur­ing the first week­end, par­tic­i­pants will be able to join in stu­dio tours, held in the per­sonal cre­ative space of lo­cal artists. This ex­pe­ri­ence al­lows vis­i­tors to see for them­selves where the magic of vi- sual art comes to life, whether it be pot­tery, pho­tog­ra­phy, glass­blow­ing or can­vas work. There will be 22 lo­ca­tions, and ad­dress list­ings of all stu­dios can be ac­cessed at the Hot Springs Area Cul­tural Al­liance web­site.

Also that week­end, the mod­ern de­signer and mu­ral­ist Sike Style has been com­mis­sioned to paint a mu­ral on an out­door wall of Emer­gent Arts, and the public will be able to watch him work and ask ques­tions while he trans­forms the space, lo­cated at 341 Whit­ting­ton Ave.

A com­mu­nity meal in the form of a Farm-To-Ta­ble Taco Party will high­light the im­por­tance of lo­cally grown in­gre­di­ents dur­ing an event set for April 29. Gas­tron­omy wizards from Itz Gud Füd and Taco Mama will pre­pare the menu, while Jay and Valo­rie Lee, the 2016 Arkansas Farm Fam­ily of the Year, will be present to an­swer ques­tions about their ad­ven­tures in re­viv­ing sus­tain­able farm­ing prac­tices.

Ad­di­tional culi­nary arts of­fer­ings will in­clude demon­stra­tions and tast­ings of beer at both Su­pe­rior Brew­ery and the Craft Beer Cel­lar, cof­fee at Red Light Roastery, and tea va­ri­eties and tech­niques at Kol­lec­tive Cof­fee+Tea.

Even mov­ing pic­tures will get their due, with an out­door screen- ing of the highly in­flu­en­tial 1927 Fritz Lang sci-fi film “Me­trop­o­lis,” also on April 29. Tak­ing place on the former site of the Ma­jes­tic Ho­tel, the movie will have live mu­si­cal score ac­com­pa­ni­ment by The Shadow En­sem­ble.

On May 2, his­toric build­ings will be show­cased dur­ing the His­toric Down­town Ar­chi­tec­tural Tour, led by lo­cal ar­chi­tect and his­tor­i­cal preser­va­tion spe­cial­ist, An­thony Tay­lor. The era of World War I will be dis­cussed as it re­lates to ar­chi­tec­ture, and at the tour’s end, pi­anist Chuck Dod­son will play a con­cert of songs from that time pe­riod in the Ar­ling­ton Re­sort Ho­tel & Spa.

Along with en­ter­tain­ment, shar­ing knowl­edge is at the fore­front of Arts & The Park. Cul­tural Af­fairs Man­ager Mary Neil­son said, “This year, we’ve re­ally tried to fo­cus not only on bring­ing art lovers here, but artists, too, and hav­ing work­shops and lec­tures on all the artis­tic dis­ci­plines.”

Ac­claimed Arkansas out­door pho­tog­ra­pher Tim Ernst will lead a lec­ture on May 1, and ad­di­tional lec­tures will fo­cus on sub­jects like public art, still life cre­ation and jazz his­tory.

Work­shops run the ga­mut, from wa­ter­color to writ­ing. In part­ner­ship with the Spa City Blues So­ci­ety, a Blues in the Schools work­shop will be held on May 6, where chil­dren can make their own mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, then play along dur­ing a free con­cert by the Spa City Young­bloods that evening.

That con­cert will be one of count­less free ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the clos­ing week­end’s Art Springs fes­ti­val at Hill Wheat­ley Plaza. For that Satur­day and Sun­day, young peo­ple will be a ma­jor fo­cus.

Neil­son said, “We did sur­veys last

year, and peo­ple asked for more chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties at the out­door arts events,” so or­ga­niz­ers com­plied, and will host the Arkansas Arts Cen­ter Chil­dren’s Theatre for a live pro­duc­tion of “The Re­luc­tant Dragon,” sto­ry­telling duo Fred and Glo­ria Gard­ner of BaGar Pro­duc­tions, and the fes­ti­val’s first side­walk chalk art com­pe­ti­tion.

Through­out the 10 days, works by guest artist Kevin Kresse will be part of a pop-up gallery in­side the Moun­tain Valley Wa­ter build­ing, 150 Cen­tral Ave. He is best known for his life­like graphite pieces on pa­per and im­pos­ing sculp­tures. Kresse will also hold a small work­shop and art demon­stra­tion while he’s in Hot Springs, and an­swer ques­tions at a fo­rum slated for May 4.

This year’s fes­ti­val will in­volve more busi­nesses and ad­di­tional non­prof­its than ever be­fore. Neil- son said, “We’ve al­ways wanted to in­volve dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions and build part­ner­ships within the com­mu­nity.” Help will be pro­vided by such in­sti­tu­tions as the Gar­land County Li­brary, Muses Cre­ative Artistry Project, De­part­ment of Arkansas Her­itage and sev­eral gal­leries.

Cole McCaskill, vice pres­i­dent of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment for the Hot Springs Metro Part­ner­ship, spoke about the vi­tal role that the arts play in not only build­ing the com­mu­nity, but in­creas­ing the over­all eco­nomic health of the city, by ex­pand­ing tourism. He en­cour­aged peo­ple of all ages to stretch their cre­ative wings by com­ing out and en­joy­ing the lineup of some 60 ac­tiv­i­ties.

Tick­ets, reg­is­tra­tion and de­tailed event in­for­ma­tion is avail­able on­line at http://www.hot­springsart­s. org.

Amyjo Sa­van­nah and Ben Rob­bins per­form dur­ing Art Springs as part of the 2016 Arts C the Park Fes­ti­val.

Garbo Hearne, left, and Randy Tay­lor of Hearne Fine Art in Lit­tle Rock hang artist Bisa But­ler’s fiber art piece, “Dream­ing Dreams of Coretta Scott

Jim Larkin holds pot­tery at a stu­dio tour held dur­ing a pre­vi­ous Arts C the Park fes­ti­val.

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