Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Argenta’s Public Art Experience

I have this fascination with tourist brochures. At the local library I picked up a brochure about a section of North Little Rock, Arkansas, call the Argenta District. It is the old Main Street area that had been abandoned as more and more businesses and residents moved out of downtown and into the suburbs. In the past few years there has been an amazing effort to improve and reconstruct this area. It's now well developed and beautifully restored. There are several art galleries, a theatre, a library, restaurants and other businesses. Mary Beth Bowman, director of the North Little Rock’s community Development Agency, found a way to bring art to the area on a most unusual canvas…traffic control boxes at intersections. The artists donated their time to bring art to the community and to get their works on public display.

This weekend my sister and I went on an art walk along the Argenta Main Street. Since we were in the area and I had the brochure, we went looking for the traffic boxes. You have to understand that these boxes are at busy intersections and the day we found them it was sprinkling rain. So, the pictures are not always great, you may see cars or lamp poles or water streaks.  I had to be careful to avoid the cars, rain on the camera, and the mud puddles.  To save space, I made them into collages. Most of these include the front, back and sides. I've include a few words from the artists.

Artist ~ Philip L. Kirkpatrick
 “Using an impressionistic approach I hoped to brighten up a little corner of the city that has been my home.”
This scene is of the Old Mill, a restored grist mill which was used in the opening credits in the movie "Gone With The Wind."

 Artist ~ Abby Carman
 "I am inspired by my everyday life and my two children."

 Artist ~ Theresa Cates
“Expressions from within and past experiences inspire me to create and capture what I create. I listen to praise and worship music when I create.”

 Artist ~ Theresa Cates

Artist ~ Elizabeth Weber
“Each and every moment of life inspires creation of my art, and I paint how my heart experiences the world.”
 They were painted pretty much the same on both sides.

 Artist (left box) ~ Sherrie Shepherd
“I am a professions cartoonist. My art work is spontaneous and fun.”

The box on the right has been damaged and replaced. This one small door was all that is left of the original painting and no artist name was given.

Artist (left box) ~ V. L. Cox
 “Different events in my life inspire me."
Near the Dickey Stephens Ball Park this box features Delores "Dolly" Brumfield who played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1947 - 1953. She retired to Arkansas.

Artist (right box) ~ unknown

Artist ~ Ellen Hobgood
“Good colors and my children inspire my work.”
I saved my favorite for last!!  This box is also on a corner by the new Dickey Stephens Ball Park where the Arkansas Travelers play their home games. I just love this one. Those two kids peeking through the fence at the ball park and the two on the swing just made me smile.  They have such a vintage, nostalgic feeeling to them.  Makes me want to sing, "Take Me Out To The Ball Game!"

Isn't this just the coolest way for the ordinary person to see art. I'm so glad I picked up that brochure!!

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love these Cathy! Thank you for showing them all. What a great way to spruce up the community! They all make me smile.


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