Alas, the Vortex
History dictates that Louis and Elsie Freund were responsible for starting the art movement here in Eureka Springs. The couple established the Summer Art School of the Ozarks in 1940, and to this day, artists and creative types continue to be drawn in to this little vortex of a town, smack-dab in the middle of the country.
As one of those artist /creative types who journeyed here, I often ask myself, “Why do I still call Eureka Springs home after more than 15 years?”
I fell in love with Eureka for its obvious charms, but it was the people, the artists and independent thinkers I met who were key in my decision to make the major move from that other creative vortex, Key West. And it’s friends, old and new, who have kept me here.
There’s safety in numbers and I’ve always felt a kinship for fellow beings brave enough to take paint to canvas, put pen to paper, pluck a banjo, sew a zigzag, get on point, belt out a song or start a newspaper and put it on display for everyone to see and judge.
So here I am, at a place I call home, unless or until I get caught up in another vortex.
Last week we sadly lost one of our community’s finest. Nancy Foggo was a lovely and charming woman who had a passion for art and who genuinely and unconditionally loved artists – not an easy task as many of you reading this know. Really, who else do you know who could put up so patiently with some of our talented, but difficult, local art divas (present company included)?
Nancy, with her husband Ken, ran Eurekan Art on North Main, a gallery that carries local artists’ work. Before Nancy became ill it was one of the rare galleries in town to regularly highlight individual artists with one or two person shows; a brave and challenging thing to do in this town – removing the necessary-to-survive brick-a-brac from shelves and walls to make room for the collective work of the artist.
Such memorable shows – Carol Peacock, Richard Harper and Julie Kahn Valentine come to mind – always accompanied by fine food, wine and conversation.
To many of us Nancy was a friend, patron, adviser, and sometimes just a good shoulder to cry on. She will be missed.
A memorial service for Nancy will be announced.
Photo by John Rankine