Visual Arts

Entries - Entry Category: Visual Arts - Starting with C

Caldwell, John Paul

John Paul “Pete” Caldwell of Parkdale (Ashley County) was a well-known banker and community leader. During the early 1960s, Caldwell’s lifelong interest in art began to flourish, and he became a widely recognized, award-winning wood engraver and woodblock print artist. John Paul Caldwell was born on December 10, 1908, to John Henry Caldwell and Sadie Caldwell. He completed school in Parkdale. In 1927, he attended the Marion Military Institute (MMI) in Marion, Alabama. In 1928, Caldwell transferred to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County), where he lettered on the university track team and for two years served on the Razorback yearbook staff. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha and Phi Nu Beta. In 1931, grappling …

Christ of the Ozarks

Christ of the Ozarks is a statue located in Eureka Springs (Carroll County) on top of Magnetic Mountain. The white mortar figure of Jesus Christ is seven stories tall and weighs almost two million pounds (about 540 tons). The statue is one of five giant statues of Christ in the world and one of only two in North America. It was sculpted by Emmet A. Sullivan and funded by the Elna M. Smith Foundation. The Elna M. Smith Foundation was founded in 1965 as a non-profit organization named for, and headed by, the wife of Gerald L. K. Smith, who gained prominence as an anti-Semitic minister and political agitator in the 1930s. At a reported cost of $5,000, the foundation …

Christensen, Les

aka: Leslie Ann Christensen
Leslie Ann (Les) Christensen is director of the Bradbury Art Museum at Arkansas State University (ASU) in Jonesboro (Craighead County), but she is best known as a sculptor who works in mixed media using everyday objects to offer a vision of universal experience and common responsibility. Her artwork has been exhibited in solo and group shows throughout the United States and in Europe. Les Christensen was born on July 3, 1960, in Omaha, Nebraska, as the second of four children (and the only daughter) of Dean and Carol Christensen. She attended the University of Iowa, where she received a BFA in sculpture in 1982. She spent a year of graduate school at the Rijksuniversiteit te Utrecht in the Netherlands and …

Cloar, Carroll James

Carroll James Cloar was a painter who earned national acclaim as a realist and surrealist. The majority of his works had conceptual ideas based on his memories from his childhood in east Arkansas. His paintings are characterized by flattened figures in landscapes formed of decorative patterning. One of his paintings was chosen to be among six paintings by American artists commemorating President Bill Clinton’s inauguration in 1993. Carroll Cloar was born on January 18, 1913, on a farm approximately ten miles north of Earle (Crittenden County). The son of Charles Wesley Cloar and Julia Eva Cloar, he had three brothers and one sister. He spent his childhood on his parents’ cotton farm. At the age of seventeen, Cloar moved to …

Cole, Kevin Earlee

Kevin Earlee Cole, a Pine Bluff (Jefferson County) native, is one of the most renowned mid-career artists in Atlanta, Georgia; his works are widely collected, with Bill Cosby and Michael Jordan being notable collectors. Cole’s combinations of pastels mixed with primary, vibrant acrylics applied to twisting and curling canvases are a divergence in contemporary visual arts. His well-known “necktie” pieces are thematically linked to the history of African Americans in Pine Bluff, Tarry (Lincoln County), and Star City (Lincoln County)—areas that saw much racial violence during the early and middle 1900s. In 2018, he was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame. Kevin Cole was born on January 19, 1960, to Jessie Mae (McGlounce), a cafeteria manager for Pine …

Curtis, Dorris Lafferty

Dorris Lafferty Curtis was a nationally recognized folk art painter, author, and songwriter. Compared to folk art painter Grandma Moses (who started painting at age seventy-five) by herself and others, Curtis began painting at age sixty-five just before she retired from teaching. She produced hundreds of paintings, many of which are on display at the Torreyson Library at the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) in Conway (Faulkner County). Dorris Lafferty was born on March 4, 1908, in Rogers County, Oklahoma, near Foyil, to Roy Lafferty, a farmer, and Nan Lafferty. She was the third of four children. She grew up on the family farm, and much of her folk art is based on memories of her early years. Her mother …