Favorite

A tribute to whom? 

Sculpture in Riverfront Park misses mark.

click to enlarge NATIVE KNOWLEDGE? At La Petite Roche Plaza.
  • NATIVE KNOWLEDGE? At La Petite Roche Plaza.

Why can't Little Rock install a sculpture that, either in execution and subject or both, springs from an artist we call one of our own?

Riverfront Park, the airport, War Memorial Stadium, the Old Statehouse, the Convention Center are replete with sculpture by Western artists who have in common their affiliation with a Loveland, Colo., gallery and guild.

The latest example: The "Native Knowledge" sculpture installed at La Petite Roche plaza at the Junction Bridge, near what's left of the Little Rock. Donated to the city by the "Sculpture at the River Market" non-profit, which has set itself up as the arbiter of public art in Little Rock, Denny Haskew's sculpture features three Indian faces emerging from stone slabs, each with a title: "Give of Yourself," "Respect all that is Natural," and "Observe Nature."

A press release announcing the sculpture's installation in June said the sculpture was "a tribute to the Caddo, Osage, and Quapaw Native American Cultures of Arkansas."

That's funny, because the same sculpture was previously dedicated to the elders of the Barona Band of Mission Indians, a California tribe, when it was installed in front of the Barona Resort and Casino in San Diego. I don't know who it was dedicated to in Durango, Colo., where it stands at the entrance to the Fort Lewis College (and is named "The Greeters") — the Southern Ute, maybe? — or at the Marianne Butte Golf Course in Loveland. (An eagle theme would have been a good idea for a golf course, it seems to me.)

There are engravings on the backs of the stone said to symbolize the Caddo, Osage and Quapaw. The reliefs couldn't have been done in consultation with the tribes: The chief, who has what I guess is a Caddoan design on his back, is wearing a Plains Indian feather headdress. Wrong headgear. (Wonder what the Barona wore, now that I think of it?)

Haskew is Potawatomi, which shouldn't exclude him from crafting art about other tribes or indeed anything at all, but didn't it bother him to say these sculptures were erected in tribute to Arkansas's tribes? (He did consult with a couple of tribes on the symbols carved on the back of the reliefs, according to records at the Parks and Recreation Department.)

So, again, I ask. Is there no Arkansas sculptor or Caddo, Quapaw or Osage sculptor, or even a Tunican (depending on which archeologist you side with) who could have created a sculpture with an Arkansas identity here? For $50,000, a price quoted for the piece in one article, seems like you could have found someone.

Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Leslie Newell Peacock

  • Arkansas trauma system takes a hit

    Doctors worry about impact of canceled contract with educational arm, loss of funds.
    • Aug 25, 2016
  • Kay Odyssey comes to Maxine's

    Also, Dames, Dems and Drinks at Pavilion in the Park; Bi-Okoto Drum and Dance Theatre at the Faulkner County Library; 2nd Friday Art Night; Dolly Parton at Verizon; Cedell Davis at White Water; and "Do the Right Thing" at Riverdale 10.
    • Aug 11, 2016
  • County responses to flawed felon data suggests eligible voters have been removed from rolls

    Earlier this summer, Secretary of State Mark Martin’s office passed along flawed data on Arkansas felons to county clerks. We contacted all 75 counties to see how they had decided to handle it. Their responses varied dramatically. In at least 17 counties, clerks took a "shoot first" approach, which almost certainly means eligible voters have been stripped of their rights.
    • Aug 4, 2016
  • More »

Most Shared

Latest in Art Notes

Event Calendar

« »

August

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31  

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: The Beatles anew

    • place your order now only at http://kushorchard.com/ Buy Stutterlicious OG Sour Diesel,*Green Crack,*Jack Herer,Og kush…

    • on August 27, 2016
  • Re: Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers come to Arkansas

    • place your order now only at http://kushorchard.com/ Buy Stutterlicious OG Sour Diesel,*Green Crack,*Jack Herer,Og kush…

    • on August 27, 2016
 

© 2016 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation