“Mother Nature,” the iconic sculpture fountain gracing the intersection of Central Avenue and Fountain Street in the downtown historic and arts district, will be rededicated in a brief ceremony beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, May 1. The public is welcome to attend the event, which is a part of the opening ceremony of the Hot Springs Area Cultural Alliance’s 10-day inaugural Arts & the Park Festival, occurring in multiple venues throughout Hot Springs.
The 22-year-old statue of Mother Nature, a child and two deer, created by Hot Springs artist Longhua Xu and restored late last year by Xu in partnership with local art restoration specialist Fred Von Tobel, is regarded by residents and visitors alike as one of downtown’s most significant public artworks. The sculpture is catalogued by the Smithsonian Museum. Event speakers will include Xu, District 1 City Director Suzanne Davidson, City Manager David Watkins and Parks & Trails Director Jean Wallace.
On Friday, May 2, guided tours of the Hot Springs Creek Greenway Trail Sculpture Garden will be held at 9:30, 10 and 10:30 a.m. in the Transportation Plaza. Those taking the 30-minute tour will meet at the Downtown Historic Farmers & Artisans Market Pavilion, 121 Orange Street. Ample free parking is available in the Transportation Plaza.
On Friday, May 9, a guided tour of the sculptures inside the Hot Springs Convention Center, 133 Convention Boulevard, will be held at 4:30 p.m. The tour will begin with a special musical performance in the Grand Lobby by a flute quartet featuring Kristin Grant, Jackie Flowers, Donna Toler and Sarah Marie Linneman. The sculpture tours, presented by members of the city’s Arts Advisory Committee, are free to the public. Donations will be accepted for the future maintenance of the city’s public art collection. For information, call 321-6871.