From two dimensions to three.
George Dombek, the Goshen (and New York) artist known for his crisp paintings of rocks, flowers and trees, will create a bronze sculpture based on his bicycle-tree paintings for Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Alice Walton’s project in Bentonville.
The museum announced commission this morning for Dombek and Pat Musick, formerly of Arkansas, who will create “A Place Where They Cried,” a sculpture to commemorate the forced migration of the Cherokee, Muscogee Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminoles in 1837-39. Musick, formerly of Huntsville, who now lives in Vermont, created an earlier piece commemorating the Trail of Tears’ Benge route through North Arkansas, “Yokes on the Trail of Tears,” now on the grounds of the Tyson Foods headquarters.
The commissions are a big deal for the Arkansas artists: The Crystal Bridges collection, which Walton and family have invested half a billion dollars in so far, concentrates on important works of art by national figures.
Other sculpture on the grounds: Bigshot sculptors James Turrell and Mark diSuvero were also commissioned by the museum. Turrell has already installed a “skyspace” on the grounds, a round structure with an oculus trained on the sky. DiSuvero’s “Lowell’s Ocean” is coming. The Arkansas folks’ work, already in fabrication, should be installed next year. When the $50-million-plus museum, under construction on 100 acres owned by the Walton family in Bentonville, will actually open is anyone’s guess.
—Leslie Newell Peacock