Year of the Zeek
2012 will be remembered as the Year of the Zeek.
Our local, talented and prolific artist was everywhere last year – easily snatching the Media Whore Crown with stories, photos and articles in every major Arkansas publication. Accolades were endless, from the Chamber’s Man of the Year to his Pigshibition pig, a prestigious TED Talk, to the cherry on the cake – his Arkansas Arts Council Governor’s Award for Life-time Achievement in the Arts. No one deserved it more.
Photographer Jeremy Mason McGraw lit up Basin Park in May with his popular Creative Energy Project and was responsible for the creepy but very fun Zombie Art Show at The Space in November. I’m giving myself a self-congratulatory pat on the back for the successful Finding Nature – Art in the Landscape exhibit co-curated with Chris Fischer, also at The Space.
Classical music remains a hard sell in Eureka Springs. Sadly the CICA Summer Music Festival will transplant to Dallas where there is more support and definitely more money. I plead guilty, attending only two of the many wonderful performances at The AUD.
Alice Walton and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art continued making news – bringing in the Hudson River School Exhibit and acquiring a major Rothko for its permanent collection.
Kudos to ES Arts Council chair Sandy Martin who scored funding for the proposed musical sculpture park on North Main that will be designed by local artist Ranaga Farbiarz.
Other notable art news – Another successful opera season – Peggy Kjelgaard is back at ESSA, – Beth Withey whips the Ozarks Chorale into shape – Bob Norman continues the Drink and Draw at Chelsea’s – the First Saturday Drum Circle in Basin Park gets bigger – May Festival of the Arts budget grows thanks to CAPC director Mike Maloney – the Art Wall remains shabby – we are still on American Style magazine’s Top 25 Arts Destination list – jewelry is banned for sale in Basin Park – artists continue to flock to our little burg, and of course, the arrival of the fun and informative Eureka Springs Independent.
The year’s biggest story was the loss of the Great Passion Play. I don’t consider lip-syncing an art unless you are Lypsinka. (Definitely worth a Google search) but they did have a pretty eclectic collection of religious art. It’s been a while since my last visit to the Sacred Arts Exhibit but I recollect a work signed Titian, or Tintoretto – one of those Italian masters. My uneducated eye wondered at the time if it could possibly be an original and now wonders if the bank is now proud owner of a multi-million dollar masterpiece? Is this the Christmas Miracle that could save the Passion Play and thus save our town? Whether real or fake, I’m copywriting the whole idea and selling the plotline to the LifeTime Channel.
On the bright side, we didn’t have a motorcycle-themed art show in 2012 and with any luck that idea will remain on the burn pile of bad ideas.