Home To Eureka

Home To Eureka

Almost no one is “from” Eureka Springs. But many people come home to Eureka for the May Festival of the Arts, part family reunion, part rite of spring, a time of year when locals and visitors — some so regular they have earned “local” status — get together after a long, isolated winter.

Like the people, events come and go, with new ones added every year. But the granddaddy of them all is the White Street Walk, celebrating its 28th anniversary on May 18. Eleanor Lux, Mary Springer and Zeek Taylor are the founders of the walk, all of them having lived in Memphis for art school and moved to Eureka over a span of several years. Taylor is best known for his paintings of chimps, stylishly dressed and set in various situations — on a train, on a swing, in a garden. Lux is a longtime weaver, and Springer paints and makes jewelry.

Lux remembers how it all started.

“I was sitting around, looking at all these studios on White Street. I knew Mary and Zeek from Memphis, so I called them and said, ‘What would you think if we just open up the street for one night?’”

This year, more than 40 guest artists will join those who live and work on White Street, including Karin Boudet Ford, who will set up in Taylor’s driveway. She is the perfect example of how Eureka grabs people by their hearts and pulls them back.

“I am searching for a home when I come for White Street Art Walk,” says Ford, who now lives in Ocean Springs, Miss. Having traveled and worked many places — “I grew up in Texas, New Mexico, England (eight years), born in in Louisiana, lived many years in Mississippi,” she says — Ford was displaced by Hurricane Katrina and came to the Ozarks. Grandbabies lured her back to Mississippi in 2013, but “home is Eureka Springs.”

She’s been an artist since she and her dad found a piece of Indian pottery when she was in third grade.

“From there it was a passion, making pottery from mud and creating design,” she remembers. “When my dad passed away in 1997, I quit work for six months, and I taught myself to wheel throw. But I have always gone back to hand building. A wheel goes round and round, but the hands can do so much more as an extension of one’s life, joy, sadness, revelations. … Creativity flows from your fingers. So finding that piece of Indian pottery channeled my entire career.”

Ford says her work has been collected by Bill and Hillary Clinton, and she has done a commission piece for Al Gore. But she’s just as proud of having nominated Taylor for the Arkansas Arts Council Governor’s Art Award for Lifetime Achievement.

“I’m sooooooo proud of him and what he has done for so many artists,” she says.

“Karin has a special place in my heart for many reasons,” Taylor responds, “and one of the reasons is her dedication to her art. Karin’s work is beautiful, whimsical, and most important, it is distinctive. The pottery is easily identified as a Karin Boudet Ford. One of my favorite pieces in my art collection is a ceramic monkey by Karin.”

Asked if she could go shopping during the White Street Walk instead of working, Ford enthuses about the “fabulous, wondrous treasures from so many talented artists.”

“When I lived there, I made sure I collected a little piece of art from all of the talented artists, my friends. White Street Art Walk is a ‘show’ of a group of artists so full of love and talent that must be presented to the world. If you come here, you will be loved!”

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FAQ

White Street Walk

WHEN — 4-10 p.m. May 18

WHERE — White Street in Eureka Springs

COST — Free; art will be for sale

INFO — Email zeek.taylor@cox.net

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FYI

May Festival of the Arts

Highlights

Bridge of Love

WHAT — Hang flowers from the bridge in honor of love

WHEN — 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 11-12

WHERE — Basin Bath House Bridge

COST — Donations to ESSA scholarship fund

INFO — director@essa-art.org

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Juggling Festival

WHAT — Competition and workshops with jugglers from all over the U.S.

WHEN — 1-8 p.m. May 11-12

WHERE — Van Buren & Benton streets

COST — Free

INFO – director@eurekasprings.org

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North Main Music Park Crochet Tree Bombing

WHAT— Tree crochet bombing with Gina Gallina plus music festival and fair

WHEN — 9 a.m.-4 p.m. May 12

WHERE — North Main Music Park

COST — Free

INFO — artscouncileureka@gmail.com

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Ozarks Chorale Spring Concert

WHAT— Musical tribute to spring in Eureka Springs

WHEN — 7 p.m. May 12

WHERE — Eureka Springs City Auditorium

COST — $10

INFO — artscouncileureka@gmail.com

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U.S. Air Force Band ‘Starlifter’

WHAT — The 7-piece Starlifter band features the best in popular music from the 1970s to the top of today’s charts

WHEN — 7 p.m. May 12

WHERE — Eureka Springs City Auditorium

COST — Free

INFO – 253-7788

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Chalk Street Art Fest

WHAT — Chalk art featuring national artist Craig Thomas

WHEN — 9 a.m.-5 p.m. May 17-19; free workshop, noon & 6 p.m. May 17

WHERE — Courthouse parking lot

COST — Free & public invited to do chalk art

INFO — artscouncileureka@gmail.com

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Eureka Springs ‘Then & Now’

WHAT —Interactive, 3D/360 art wall installation

WHEN — Unveiling 5 p.m. May 18

WHERE — First Street

COST — Free

INFO — artscouncileureka@gmail.com

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Music in the Park

WHAT— Jonathan Byrd & the Pickup Cowboys

WHEN — 5-7 p.m. May 19

WHERE —Basin Spring Park

COST — Free

INFO – director@eurekasprings.org

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Harmon Park Mural Project

WHAT— Watch muralist Doug Myerscough paint and carve a large building mural

WHEN — 2-4 p.m May 19 (public invited to watch progress starting now)

WHERE — Harmon Park

COST — Free & public invited to paint a piece of the mural

INFO — artscouncileureka@gmail.com

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Eureka Springs Plein Air Festival

WHAT— Plein air painters working all over town

WHEN — All day, every day, May 21-24; two-hour “paint out” in Basin Park, noon May 24

WHERE —All over town & Basin Park

COST — Free

INFO — director@essa-art.org

Full schedule at eurekaspringsfestivalofthearts.com. Featured events at eurekaspringsartwall.com.

Categories: Cover Story

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