Voices of the Delta: Gene Sparling

Author: Arkansas Arts CenterFiled under: Delta 59, Exhibitions, Image, Museum, Quote, Voices of the Delta

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Gene Sparling, born in Little Rock, Arkansas, lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, Tempest, 2016, bleached holly, 9 x 9 x 9 inches


Much of my work draws upon the simple forms found in nature. It is fascinating how simple shapes resonate within us and create feelings and moods. The power of a simple vase or bowl to comfort or invigorate intrigues me. I enjoy trying to evoke and create these feelings. The process of making is near to meditation. My art is a means to connect to my intuitive self and to explore that part of myself and others.

The tree from which this piece was made grew in downtown Hot Springs, Arkansas, at the corner of Broadway Street and Malvern Road. Before the tree grew there, the site was occupied by the “National Humane Alliance Fountain”, a beautiful carved granite fountain and horse watering trough which had been donated to the city in 1909, for the comfort of the city’s horses. Later in the century, as a need for watering horses disappeared the fountain was removed and the area re-landscaped, including planting two Holly trees. In 2015, Regions built a new local headquarters on the site. The original fountain was found and replaced in the exact location it had been a hundred years before and where it can be seen today, and where the tree that gave rise to this piece grew.

– Gene Sparling

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