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Statuesque sculpted steel joins RAM

Suzie Meluso
Fort Smith Regional Art Museum
"Untitled, 2020" can be viewed in RAM's Sparks Sculpture Garden, created by local artist Greer Farris.

It is with celebration that the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum installs a new sculpture, “Untitled, 2020” by local artist Greer Farris in RAM’s Sparks Sculpture Garden. This imposing sculpture of polished, welded steel stands a commanding eight feet tall.

“I’ve seen this piece on display several times and am always in awe of its magnificence,” said the RAM gallery manager, Ms. Casey Seamans. “I’ve so adored this sculpture, I just had to reach out to the artist, regarding its availability. Thanks to the rapid response of our board, we were able to seize the opportunity, to display this powerful piece of sculpture art.”

Farris holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Southern Illinois University and thanks to his love for teaching, also obtained his Master of Education degree from Northeastern State University. He currently teaches grade school art in Alma and 3-D design at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.

“I have fun teaching students because they are fresh and exciting,” said Farris. “I wouldn’t trade places with anyone.”

Teaching helps fund his passion for creative sculpture. Upon his artistic path, Farris has worked with a wide array of materials. His abstract piece “Crossroads” was created from recycled car bumpers and was selected for The Poydras Corridor Sculpture Exhibition in New Orleans.

In the John L. McClellan Memorial Veterans Hospital in Little Rock stands “Patronus,” created from five pieces of painted steel. Farris is also the creator of “Broken Promises,” where he used bolted wood in disarray that’s reminiscent of a broken fence. “Broken Promise” is on display in Huntsville.

“I make sculpture through a process-oriented approach,” Farris wrote in his artist’s statement. “Ordinarily I work without detailed sketches. The piece begins with the spark of an idea, then I continue intuitively, based on what I see, feel and judge to be right as I proceed. This journey lends definition and meaning to the resulting composition.”

As soon as he completes one piece, he knows another will soon follow, creating a never-ending quest. “I don’t always think about what art means or the message it attempts to convey,” said Greer, “but I know it’s part of who I am and something I must do.” For Farris, art is a way of life that chose him.

Be sure to stop by the Fort Smith Regional Art Museum, view the exhibitions and explore the outdoor Sparks Sculpture Garden.

This column is produced by the River Valley Art Coalition. Our mission is to inform citizens and visitors of fine art exhibitions and educational opportunities in Fort Smith and the surrounding region. We also highlight people who make the local art scene such a vibrant and important part of our community. To send comments or for more information on the River Valley Arts Coalition contact suzie@fsram.org.

Fort Smith Regional Art Museum

1601 Rogers Ave., Fort Smith

(479) 784-2787

linktr.ee/fsram

• Mural Proposal Contest: Themes are “Where the Spirit of Art Unites Us” and “1948,” the year RAM was founded. Submissions due Oct. 5.

• “A Family Affair: Three Artists, Three Visions, One Family”: On view through Oct. 11; featuring works by Dede Hutcheson and her daughters, Karen Hutcheson and Robyn Horn; visit website for a video tour.

• “Billie Holiday at Sugar Hill: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic”: On view through Dec. 27; this exhibit is organized by Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibits and made possible through a grant from the Anna Cohn Community Fund.

• “Behind the Scenes: Billie Holiday Performing at Sugar Hill, Photographs by Jerry Dantzic”: Free lecture by the photographer’s son, Grayson Dantzic; Oct. 22 at 7 p.m., registration required.

• RAM Annual Invitational “Exploring Mindscapes: An Artist’s Reflection”: Submissions due Nov. 14, visit website for details.

• Youth Programs: Toddler Tuesday and RAM Saturday projects posted to RAM’s YouTube Channel, registration required.

• “RAM Homeschool“: Registration required. Music as an Art Prompt for ages 6-11; Studio Art for ages 12-18.

• “Curator Corner”: Monthly curatorial interview by assistant curator Samantha Rhodes about a different piece in RAM’s permanent collection.

• “COLOR for Creatives”: Zoom class, every Thursday at 6 p.m. through May 18 , registration required.

• Lecture Live Thursdays: Monthly online lectures, registration required.

• Visit RAM’s website to see video tours and listen to podcast interviews by various artists.

Windgate Art & Design at UAFS

5210 Kinkead Ave., Fort Smith

(479) 788-7290

art-ed.org

• Temporarily closed.

Center for Art & Education

104 North 13th Street, Van Buren

(479) 474-7767

art-ed.org

• “Lions Club International PEACE Poster Contest“: Artwork will be accepted Oct. 1-15; visit CAE website for contest rules.

• Homeschool Art Classes: Mondays from Oct. 5 - Nov. 9, 1-3:30 p.m., registration required.

• After School Art Classes: Mondays from Oct. 5 - Nov. 9, 4-5:30 p.m., registration required.

• Visit CAE’s website to see virtual tours, artist demonstrations, community events and projects created in the “At Home Summer Art Camp” album.