"Running in Circles," an original welded sculpture by Glenwood artists John Mark and Nikki Baker of Baker’s Fabrication & Welding, Inc., is the latest artwork purchased for the city's outdoor art collection by the Hot Springs Arts Advisory Committee. Made from recycled materials, it was one of the entries in the first Upcycle Sculpture Festival held April 23 at the Farmers & Artisans Market, 121 Orange Street. It will be displayed along the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail.
The festival included 46 registered entries with approximately 100 pieces of art. The sculptures were exhibited along the sidewalk and greenway so that visitors to the market could enjoy them.
Awards for Outstanding Art in adult and adult group categories went to Kurtis Jensen for "Morning After" and Stacy Smith for "Skeletons.” In the student category, three groups of students from Hot Springs Intermediate School won for "Pigs," "Flowers," and "Octopus." Best of Show was given to John Mark and Nikki Baker for "Guitar."
"This first show far exceeded our expectations,” said Jean Wallace, Hot Springs Parks & Trails Director. “Besides exhibiting a lot of great artwork, we were able to show that many discarded materials can be put to good use. We wanted to demonstrate that recycling involves more than just throwing things in a bin. We look forward to even greater participation next year."
Major event sponsors included The Giving Circle, The Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs, Historic Downtown Farmers & Artisans Market, Itz Gud Fud, Michael's, June Simmons and Shun Ying Chen.
"We especially want to thank Natalie Mitchell, the teacher who encouraged so many students from Hot Springs Intermediate School to create works of art for this event,” noted Wallace. “A total of 350 young people participated in our art competition. Two others who made the show possible were Parks & Trails Landscape Superintendent Brian Fisher and Donna Dunnahoe, Executive Director of The Fine Arts Center of Hot Springs.”