the fruit of their labor
concept by David Clemons and Mia Hall;fabrication by Mia Hall
David Clemons is a metalsmithing instructor and Mia Hall is an applied arts professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Their 2013 collaborative sculpture is “The Fruit of Their Labor.”
Constructed primarily from found landscaping tools, “the piece serves as a comment on the services the immigrant labor force in many of the southern and western states perform. Some of these services, such as landscaping, are overwhelmingly performed by immigrant workers.
“The American seemingly insatiable desire for these services and inability to cope without, juxtaposed with immigration policies and the national debate that surrounds immigration highlight an absurd contradiction. It is within this contradiction the piece exists. By constructing this piece and displaying it in public, we wish to bring this contradiction into question and hopefully offer the viewer a contemplative moment.”
by Stephen Driver
Stephen Driver of Ozark has recently stepped back from teaching art at the university level to spend time as an independent studio artist. His 2013 sculpture for the Garden is “Fish Stela.”
The work is a “stela in which the fish are passing through from one side to the other. The fish are wanting to leave the world humans have created and pass through the wall of the stela to a world safe from results of our collective human stupidity.”
To convey this message, one side of the stela is faced with a mosaic of a broken blackboard with fish tails showing and the other with “ceramic tile made to suggest a waterfall with fish heads of varying sizes emerging from the waterfall.”
sealed with a wish
concept by Erika Droke; fabrication by John Van Horn
Erika Droke is an environmental scientist; her husband, John Van Horn, is a working artist specializing in steelworks. They got their inspiration for their 2013 collaboration, “Sealed with a Wish,” while visiting Europe in 2003, where they saw “brightly colored padlocks that were clustered in small bunches or individually fastened – in seemingly random fashion – to public gates and fences.”
In 2012, they learned those locks are part of a social art movement in the world and decided “in the spirit of the Garden, which is to encourage neighborhood and community interaction” to bring the idea to Arkansas. The wishing-well design turns the locks, personalized by members of the community, into “wish locks.”
Erika and John encourage the public to continue adding personalized locks to the sculpture, which they have donated to the garden. They see it as an ongoing communal art project.
by Danny Campbell
Danny Campbell is a working artist and art professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. His 2013 sculpture, “Garden Series,” is made of recycled tire treads and “other found roadside materials.”
Campbell was inspired to make art out of found and recycled materials from roads and highways in Arkansas after a near disaster when a blown-out tire landed on his windshield. Since then he has made roads safer by picking up and reusing “materials which are widely used in the recycle and manufacturer industry and that have provided jobs and revolutionized the market place for Arkansas.”
Repurposed into art, instead of dangerous eyesores, those materials now supply beauty to the beholder.
by Kerrick Hartman
Kerrick Hartman of Stuttgart worked many years as a scientist before following his passion to create art and to share his creative skill through teaching, gallery exhibitions, workshops and community art experiences. His 2013 sculpture for the Garden is “Burden Bearers.”
“The concept of ‘Burden Bearers’ is to serve as a visual dialogue about the roles and responsibilities of those who bear the burden for such things as the education, business, protection, health, spirituality, and governance and so on for our society. As our society struggles for balance and footing, nature bears a sizeable burden for our decisions, too (as represented by the branch-like portion of the supports when nearing the base).
“… Conceptually I am also interested in using stone in a nontraditional way, that is, to elevate it and have a heavy stone appear to be moving and capable of change – much like our society.”
home: the view from here
by David Carpenter
Sculptor David Carpenter teaches fulltime at Pulaski Technical College in North Little Rock. His 2013 sculpture is titled “Home: The View from Here.”
“Arkansas is my birthplace and will always be home. When I think about the nature of the natural state, I am reminded of the trees and bluffs surrounding the Buffalo River. When I think of home, it’s Arkansas’ landscape that has always stayed with me. It is the landscape that first shaped how I saw the world.
“As I have grown older and my understanding of the world continues to evolve and form and reform by places I’ve been and new experiences I’ve had, what I see first is the view from home. Those trees and bluffs shape, block, blur, and focus my point of view.”
His black and white biomorphic sculpture “asks the viewer to contemplate ideas of home, environment, the familiar, the forgotten and the unknown.”