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Standing up for the park 

COMING TO SHOW AND SALE: Sculpture by Margaret Warren of Shirley.
  • COMING TO SHOW AND SALE: Sculpture by Margaret Warren of Shirley.

City Director Dean Kumpuris virtually haunts Riverfront Park every day, painting the Belvedere, planting trees, and, with landscape architects and $750,000 in private contributions, building a playground. The playground — Peabody Adventure Park, which the city hopes will be complete in the next couple of months — and the other improvements, made with another $120,000 from the 2004 bond issue and an estimated $1 million in manpower, are going to take more private dollars to keep up.

Enter the first annual Sculpture at the River Market Show and Sale, kicking off at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, with a preview party of the 400 works in the River Market Pavilions. Tickets are $100 to the party; the show and sale are free Friday through Sunday. Jane Rogers is event chair.

Kumpuris, a sculpture fanatic who has taken some ribbing in this column for steering all the Riverfront Park sculpture purchases to the National Sculptors Guild, noted that Arkansas artists will be among the 38 exhibitors. They are Diane Ashley, Shelley Buoniauto, Linda Hall, Bre and David Harris, Hank Kaminsky, Kevin Kresse, Gloria Lewis, Jim Lewis, Bryan Massey, Anne Mitchell, Ryan Schmidt, Margaret Warren and Michael Warrick.

A quick glance at the work at www.sculptureattherivermarket.com indicates that the pieces will range from tabletop-sized up to nearly 4 feet tall. Mark Webre, assistant parks director, said prices will range widely as well, from $100 (student work will be included in the exhibit) to $30,000. Work by several of the participating sculptors can be seen in the River Market district and at the Little Rock Airport.

The pavilions will be open noon to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 7. Tickets may be bought on line; proceeds will go to the non-profit Riverfront Park Conservancy, which will also collect a commission from artists.

n New murals will debut this Saturday at The Artery, the outdoor exhibit space at One North Main parking lot in Eureka Springs. Each 4-by-8 foot panel is painted by a Eureka artist and serves as public art until purchase, when another panel will go in. The unveiling and a reception for the 27 new artists participating in The Artery's themed exhibit, “ICONS — From Soup to Saints,” is at 5 p.m. Holly and Bongo Girls will perform.

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