Eureka Springs’ May Fest builds artistic image

Eureka Springs’ May Fest builds artistic image

“We’re looking for fun people…”

In this particular case, Sandy Martin — president of Eureka Springs Arts Council, the organizer of the May Festival of the Arts — wants Eureka Springs residents to turn street-side trees in front of residences and businesses into “Treeple.”

“We’ll even give you a voucher for $25 redeemable at Echo Thrift Store to buy the clothes and props,” she says.

The “Treeple Tour” is one of a slate of new and returning events celebrating the arts this May in the quaint little mountain town of Eureka Springs. Also under construction is the “Smallest City Park – With Skyscrapers,” an art installation being created by Suzanne Reed.

“The small area at the intersection of Main Street and Spring Street will have panels created from metal and glass that create an impression of urban buildings,” Reed describes. “The vibrant colors set against the metal structure create a dynamic visual for locals and tourists alike.”

Reed’s artistic interaction with glass goes clear back to her childhood, she says.

“As a kid, I recall being at my grandmother’s home during my summer break from school, [and] I vividly remember her showing me a cut glass collection,” Reed says. “I was mesmerized by the glass and admired it every time I went to visit. She also had a Venetian blown glass clown which I still have to this day.

“That introduction to glass seems apropos to my long-standing work with glass,” she continues. “I originally began my work in stained glass and evolved towards fused glass, which I felt gave me more opportunities to create the types of work I wanted. The integration of metal into my designs made me very happy. I love the hard structure of steel with the seemingly delicate glass.”

Reed moved to Eureka Springs nine years ago, after a career in international development.

“We designed parks together, created space and opportunities for artists to collaborate, and provided support for civil society to honor their missions within the communities,” she says of her career. “Each experience helped shape my creativity and artistic footprint. I have come to value public art very much through the lens of community development. Communities need to have art available to them in an easy-going environment. That’s one of the things that has driven me to create more public works of art.”

Upon leaving her job, Reed first settled in Berlin, opening a studio there where she honed her skills in fused glass.

“Eventually, I landed in Eureka Springs, not anticipating staying forever, but it has become home, and I can’t see myself living anywhere else,” she says. “I will always travel and explore, but Eureka Springs welcomes me home.”

Reed calls her artistic style “architectural.”

“It’s quite geometric with bold lines and color,” she describes. “As I travel, near and far, I look at the structure of places. Buildings, nature – they show me a way to highlight structure and strength while integrating beauty and softness. I love looking for patterns and textures. I take photos of some of the strangest things! But if I see a pattern I like, I want to capture it.

“You never know what will inspire the next sculpture or collection.”



May Festival of the Arts


May 10-11 — Makers’ Market, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Main Stage Creative Center

May 10-11 — Music in Basin Park with King Cabbage, 5-7 p.m.

May 10-11 — Corny Vaudeville Show, 7 p.m., Center Stage

May 11 & 18 — Pop-Up Shakespeare, noon-2 p.m., Harmon Park

May 12 — Mother’s Day Concert with the Arkansas Music Works Brass Band, 2 p.m., City Auditorium

May 17 — White Street Studio Walk, 4-10 p.m.

May 18 — Music in Basin Park with Forte Quintet, 4-6 p.m.

May 18 — Writers’ Colony Screen Writer Showcase, 7:30 p.m., Main Stage

May 23 — ESSA Studio Stroll

May 24-27 — Bluegrass Weekend with Ron Landis & Mike Hopper, May 24; Caney Creek, May 25; Big Mill, May 26; and Front Porch, May 27, Basin Park

May 30-June 2 — Eureka Springs Blues Party

May 31 — Sonny Landreth & Seth Jones, 7:30 p.m., City Auditorium

Details at

Categories: Galleries