Rockefeller Institute launches public art program

Submitted by Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

PETIT JEAN MOUNTAIN, Ark. (Feb. 21, 2017) — The Winthrop Rockefeller Institute has launched a new arts program, the first of its kind in Arkansas.

“Art in its Natural State” will be a public art exhibit displayed at eight locations on the Institute’s campus atop Petit Jean Mountain and at two locations at Petit Jean State Park. Proposals from artists across the South will be accepted now through Monday, Sept. 4. Proposals will be considered by a panel of judges from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art; the Arkansas Arts Center; the Arkansas Arts Council; the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism; the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith; the University of Arkansas at Little Rock; Petit Jean State Park; and the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute.

Once the winning proposals are selected, artists will receive a $5,000 stipend to assist with the purchase of materials and other production and installation costs. The artwork will be installed in early March 2018, with an opening reception scheduled for Saturday, March 10, 2018.

“We are proud to launch this new program,” said Dr. Marta Loyd, executive director of the Institute. “Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller was a strong advocate for the arts and believed all people should have the opportunity to experience them, regardless of their position in life. We think Art in its Natural State is the kind of project he would like. In addition to providing a unique opportunity for artists across the South, we hope to elevate appreciation for and access to public art in Arkansas.”

After the opening reception next March, the artwork will be on display for five months at the Petit Jean State Park sites and for a full year at the Institute sites. The sites for the artwork will all be in public areas accessible during all normal operating hours for the Park and the Institute.

The competition draws its inspiration from the natural beauty of Petit Jean Mountain and challenges artists to design a custom outdoor artwork for one of the handpicked sites. The temporary nature of the installations and an encouragement to use recycled materials is in service of the competition having a neutral impact on the natural landscape and allowing future artists to design for the spaces as well.

““Petit Jean State Park has always had so much to offer it’s visitors, and this initial run of ‘Art in its Natural State’ will add to that,” said Joe Buckley, superintendent of the state park. “We are excited about it, and we hope our guests will be, too.”

More information, including application instructions, rules/regulations and 360-degree images of the potential sites where the artworks will be displayed, can be found at

About the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute

In 2005, the University of Arkansas System established the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute with a grant from the Winthrop Rockefeller Charitable Trust. By integrating the resources and expertise of the University of Arkansas System with the legacy and ideas of Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller, this educational institute and conference center creates an atmosphere where collaboration and change can thrive.

Program areas include Agriculture, Arts and Humanities, Civic Engagement, Economic Development, and Health. To learn more, call 501-727-5435, visit the website at, or stay connected through Twitter and Facebook.

CONTACT: Jeff LeMaster, Director of Communications and Marketing,, 501-727-6226 (office), 501-247-3651 (cell).

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