admin on Aug 14th 2008
Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is one of the most celebrated destinations in the central United States for the arts and cultural heritage traveler and is recognized by major organizations across the country. It has been designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one of America’s “Dozen Distinctive Destinations;” and selected as an America in Bloom national awards winner. American Style magazine has repeatedly named Eureka Springs as a “Top Twenty-five Arts Destination.” Eureka Springs, Arkansas, has been described in every edition of Jim Villani’s book, The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America. In addition to being a Preserve America community, Eureka Springs is listed as nationally significant on the National Register of Historic Places.
A destination of choice for artists since the 1800s, Eureka Springs is currently home to over two hundred working artists and over thirty art galleries. While in town, be sure to drop in at The Art Colony on North Main Street where you will find artists working in their studios and displaying their creations in a vibrant setting of outdoor sculpture and murals.
You will find that the galleries of Eureka Springs are a joy to shop for the creative outpourings from over 2,000 artists of local, national and international note. Iron masks to raku pottery, smoke drawings, oil paintings, fine crafts, etchings, marble and bronze sculptures, exotic fantasy art, Native American art, fine glass — the list goes on and on.
The Eureka Springs Historical Museum features an extensive collection of the work of previous generations of local artists of note as well as local history.
Not all of Eureka Springs’ fine art is in galleries or museums. A growing body of public art expresses the essence of our community. A parking lot wall adjacent to North Main Street has in previous years showcased the work of 27 regional painters as an evolving outdoor art gallery of architectural scale work…this project has been taken on by The Mayors Arts Council and will unveil as the Eureka Springs Art Park in May 2012. Nearby is the recently restored Centennial Mural — a wonderful expression of both the historical and artistic past of Eureka Springs.
Also of both historical and literary note, our Carnegie Public Library has been a community hub since 1912. The Library welcome visitors to browse through their collection of historic photos or check email on one of their computers or use their WiFi connection.
Eureka Springs celebrates a rich artistic heritage every spring during the May Festival of the Arts. The entire month is dedicated to all the arts. Theatre, performing arts, large and intimate art exhibitions, lively Yard Art contest, Sculptures in the Springs, indoor and outdoor concerts, poetry readings, Books in Bloom fair in a lovely garden setting, the always interesting ARTrageous Parade and the annual White Street Studio Walk — you are invited to join the locals in celebrating the art they love!
For those who wish to expand their own personal creative art expression, the Eureka Springs School of the Arts offers a variety of art workshops for adults and children throughout the year. Innumerable classes and workshops are offered in a variety of locations by individual artists and instructors throughout the year including flute-making, drumming, sacred dance, culinary classes, and more.
Other cultural experiences during the year include the Africa in the Ozarks and the annual Native American Pow-Wow at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The annual Eureka Springs Artists’ Studio Tour each September offers visitors near and far an invite into the homes and studios of local artists and fine crafts persons.
(this article excerpted from Collectors Guide 2008 – Artists & Galleries of Eureka Springs)