Dexter Harding House in backgroundHere's an installation by professional artist Stephen Glassman. Find it along highway 65 at Pine Street right next door to the Dexter Harding house, which serves as a tourist information center.

Mr. Glassman usually constructs his art projects of lightweight bamboo; but pine utility poles are grown right here in southern Arkansas, and International Paper Company agreed to donate a bunch of them, so what the heck. The sculpture was dedicated in October of 2000, and plans are that it remain in place for three years.

If you want a detailed conceptual analysis of the piece, just walk across the street to Mae's Army Store and ask the lady behind the counter. I'm guessing that her name is Mae. She watched the whole construction process from her place of business and spoke daily with the artist.

One effect, perhaps unintended, of using utility poles as a medium is that the sculpture bleeds past the limits of the space in which it is placed. After all, there are preexisting utility poles at the curb and across the street and down the block. Look at the right edge of the sculpture in the lower photograph and spot the utility pole with the transformers on it. That pole blends right into the sculpture and extends it deep into the background, doesn't it? This might be the central nest which hatched all the utility poles that spread across the town.


A brochure on this installation is available from The Arts and Science Center, 701 Main Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71601. 870-536-3375. Ask for the brochure on Barraque Bridge Plaza.


Arkansas Travelogue home page