Artists are the lifeblood of Eureka Springs. So it is appropriate that on Sunday, July 3, Eureka opens The Artery, a public art project made up of 29 4-by-8-foot concrete-board canvases covering an unsightly wall behind the Basin Park Hotel. A ribbon-cutting is set for 6:30 p.m. and music from the Eureka Strings and a showing of “The Aviator” at the Lucky 13 Starlight Outdoor Cinema will follow.
The Artery takes its name from a non-profit artists’ trust recently created with help from Community First Bank and the City of Eureka Springs and placed under the umbrella of the National Heritage Foundation.
The mural, which features the work of 28 Eureka artists and one guest artist, will remain in place for a year, but the canvases are for sale by bid. Proceeds will go to next year’s mural expenses, pay a percentage to the artists and underwrite other public art projects in Eureka.
Some of the contributing artists are Joanna Hanna (still life), David Hussey (sunflowers), Eleanor Lux (beaded fruit), John Rankine (pears), Jodi Stephenson (flowers) and Zeek Taylor (iris).
Sunday’s celebration marks the 1905 Basin Park Hotel’s 100th anniversary.
n Drawings by Arnold Bittleman, including works from the Arkansas Arts Center’s Foundation Collection, go on exhibit Friday, July 1, in the Jeannette Edris Rockefeller Gallery at the Arts Center. Curator Brian Young selected 40 works for the show to publicize the work of the late artist, who taught at Yale, the Parsons School of Design, Skidmore, the Minneapolis School of Art and Union College before his death in 1985. The drawings, which date from 1982, are the work of a 20th-century draftsman who early in his career drew inspiration from sketches of the old masters. Abstraction, nudes and landscapes are the focus of the show. “Arnold Bittleman: A Drawing Retrospective” runs through Aug. 21.
On July 15, the Arts Center will put on display 60 recently acquired works. Included in the exhibit will be works by 19th-century artists Christian Kobke and William Merritt Chase; modernists Arthur Dove, Joseph Stella and Rawlston Crawford; and contemporary artists Robert Cottingham, Russell Crotty, Enrique Chagoya, Robert Bechtle, Jun Kaneko and Paul Soldner.
n Amy Howard Richmond Fine Art at 201 E. Markham, which previously featured painting and sculpture by a number of Arkansas artists, will now show the work of one artist, Steve Griffith.
Griffith, who’s set up an easel in the gallery’s room that faces Markham, is a former psychotherapist in Conway. He works in a number of styles, from large abstracts to small impressionist oils, and also works on Plexiglas. His wife, Vivian Griffith, now manages the gallery for Richmond. The gallery will continue to carry glass pieces.
The gallery sold its West Little Rock space next to T. Lamarr several weeks ago.