White Street Walk May 19 just one of May Fest events in Eureka Springs

White Street Walk May 19 just one of May Fest events in Eureka Springs

“In a way,” says Eureka Springs artist Zeek Taylor, “the White Street Walk is like a yearly family reunion. It’s one of the earliest events of the spring season, and a time for locals to reconnect following the isolation of winter. And attending has become an annual tradition for many tourists.”

The White Street Walk, taking place this year from 4 to 10 p.m. May 19, is just three years newer than the Eureka Springs May Festival of the Arts — turning 33 this year, while the festival turns 36. It is also arguably the centerpiece of an entire month of art-centered events.

“I believe visitors like White Street because it lets them experience a real neighborhood that is different from the downtown area, and it is a chance to mingle with the locals,” Taylor muses. “And of course, there is the art for them to see and purchase.”

Taylor says about 40 artists will show their work along White Street, having secured a plot of porch or sidewalk from a property owner.

“Unfortunately, spaces are limited, and only a certain number of artists can show,” Taylor says. “Most of the artists are from Eureka Springs, and many have been showing in the same location for years. Eureka Springs has a diverse arts community, and work on display will include designer fashion, jewelry and more.”

It takes Taylor all year to prepare for the event, making not only art but cookies and snacks for his guests.

“[But] when folks buy my art that evening and take it home, it’s as if a part of me is going with them. And that’s a good feeling.”


Gallery Strolls

Gallery strolls used to be a summer staple in Eureka Springs, says Hilka Irvin, proprietor of Curated Gallery & Gifts. Then interest fell off. Plus there was a pandemic. But now, the Minnesota-born artist has created the Eureka Springs Gallery Guild to bring back that “opportunity to see new works, visit with familiar friends and meet new people who share a love for the arts and community.”

“We have more and more galleries participating in the Gallery Strolls this year and businesses that are choosing to stay open in solidarity, which is encouraging and really exciting,” says Irvin, who shares the credit for the effort with artist Robert Norman. “It’s our hope to bring the art scene back to the forefront of the Eureka landscape.”

Gallery Strolls are scheduled for 5-8 p.m. every Saturday in May in celebration of the May Festival of the Arts and will continue on the second Saturday of every month from June through October.

Art aficionados can also find the Eureka Springs Art Galleries Hub on Facebook, which Irvin hopes will “make the experience of visiting the over 20 art galleries and venues easy.”

“I hope those that visit Eureka Springs for the first time or for the 97th … take a bit of the magic that Eureka Springs has to offer, because we have enough to send home with everyone.”


‘Color Our World’

“From the very beginning, I wanted to have art on the walls of Brews,” says John Rankine, who owns the coffee shop and brew pub and curates the art shown there. “There are so many artists in Eureka that didn’t have a place to show, and Brews is really the only place in Eureka that does rotating exhibitions on a regular basis. There are lots of galleries in town, but they are limited in space to really focus on large group exhibitions.”

“Color My World,” on show throughout May, features more than 50 local artists, some of them showing for the first time, he adds.

“I really wanted to just fill the walls of Brews with vibrant color for spring,” he says. “Stella Ipswitch’s moth in acrylic is so bold and meticulous; Hilka Irvin’s painting of the yarn-bombed trees is perfect; and Brews’ own Leon Willis hit it out of the park again with his large acrylic.

“It’s a perfect theme for a colorful month of art.”

Rankine says Brews, located at 2 Pine St., will participate in the month of gallery strolls with artists on site Saturday evenings.


‘Recreating The Eureka Baby’

“In October of 1880, a young man was digging a well in Eureka Springs when his pick ax struck something odd — a 26-inch figure of a child, carved from solid stone,” Jeff Danos of the Eureka Springs Historical Museum begins the story. “Weighing 85 pounds, locals speculated that it was a petrified human child, and it quickly earned the nickname ‘The Eureka Baby.’”

It wasn’t until 1948 that “a Clarksville man named T.J. Rowbotham revealed to the Arkansas Democrat that the baby was in fact a hoax — a marble infant carved by a local stone sculptor and secretly buried at the well-digging site,” Danos says.

“Nobody knows what became of the Eureka Baby,” he adds. “It has been suggested that it ended up in a museum in Chicago, but our efforts at locating it have been unsuccessful thus far.”

Danos says he “wondered what it would take to create a replica, and what Eureka’s current artists would think about this quirky tale.” The result is “Recreating the Eureka Baby,” which opens with a 5 p.m. reception May 17.

“Ten local artists — Rigdon Irvin, Janalee Robison, Robin Bray, Christopher Fischer, Samuel Asmus, Kelli Ladwig, Larry Jones, Hilka West-Irvin, Jeff Danos and Edward C. Robison III — have been invited to share their own vision of what the Eureka Baby statue would look like to them,” Danos says. The exhibit will remain open until July 29, then a fundraiser auction will sell the replicas, with proceeds split between the artists and the museum.

The museum is open daily (except Sunday and Wednesday) from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 95 S. Main St. Admission is $5.



May Festival of the Arts

For more, www.visiteurekasprings.com.

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