From the tidy victorian cottages to the trippy mountain psychedelia, something special waits around every twist and turn of this Ozark hideaway.By Dwain Hebda
Art galleries in Eureka Springs are open year-round, but for a special treat, get out on the second Saturday of the month from April through November for extended hours and special openings. You’ll find an eclectic range of work in this art town. Here are a few galleries that are not to be missed:
85 Spring Street Gallery
85 Spring St., 479-244-7190
Eureka Fine Art Gallery
2 Pine St., Ste. Y, 479-363-6000
Fantasy & Stone
81 Spring St., 479-253-5891, fantasyandstone.com
84 Spring St.
Serendipity at the Crescent Hotel
75 Prospect Ave. 479-253-2769
1 Basin Spring Ave., 479-633-1406
The Green Gourd
12 Center St., 479-244-0987
The Jewel Box
40 Spring St.
Zark's Fine Design Gallery
67 Spring St.
Limited edition people, animal and machines built from found objects by Arkansas sculptor James K. Sawyer.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR
No matter your art of choice, you’ll find it at the Eureka Springs Festival of the Arts, which encompasses the entire month of May. Each day brings a new workshop, lecture or concert from local and visiting artists alike. Visit one of the town’s many galleries for special exhibits and to watch the artists at work, or grab a beverage on one of the many sky-high decks and listen to the sounds of blues, folk or jazz waft through the evening air. And don’t miss the White Street Walk, a party thrown by local artists that stands out even in a town known for throwing a good party.
TELLING THE STORY
Eureka Springs Historical Museum
95 S. Main St.
The Eureka Springs Historical Museum is located in the heart of the historic district at 95 S. Main in Calif House. Built in 1889, the building houses a large collection of permanent and rotating exhibits chart- ing the founding of the town as a haven of “healthy waters” right through to the present day. In addition to the many pho- tographs, documents and artifacts from the city’s past, view an extensive collec- tion of art donated or purchased through the years. The collection pays homage to the hundreds of artists who have lived and worked in Eureka Springs. Among these are Louis and Elsie Freund who established Art School of the Ozarks in 1941 and launched an arts renaissance in the community that survives to this day.
The museum is supported through admissions, donations, research fees, gift shop sales and memberships as well as special events held throughout the year. Open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., closed Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and $2.50 for students with ID.
Devito's of Eureka Springs
5 Center St.
Profiled in the New York Times, Southern Living and Bon Appetit, DeVito’s is arguably the best Italian food in the state. The specialty of the house is the trout, raised on the family’s Bear Creek Springs trout farm in Harrison, a farm-to-table tradition there that goes back to 1956. DeVito’s offers relaxed street-side dining or a table on the new “Sky Dining” deck four stories up and with breathtaking views of East Mountain. Lunch is generally served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner begins at 5 p.m., although the schedule varies, so it’s wise to call ahead. Closed on Wednesday.
THINK YOU’VE SEEN IT ALL? Check out April’s Carving in the Ozarks, the city’s chainsaw carving festival now in its 13th year. Watch tree stumps transformed into works of art, and bid on the finished projects. eurekasprings.org.
Meet the Artist
Toronto-born multimedia artist John Rankine has called Eureka Springs home for two decades, and in that time established himself as one of the area’s most prolific entrepreneurs and promoters of the town’s artistic com- munity.
Drawn to Eureka Springs’ sense of place and natural beauty Rankine’s work was soon heavily influenced by the natural world he found there. His “Smile Series,” shown at the Rococo Gallery in Eureka Springs, utilized the barn-wood, scrap-wood and bones found on his land. In 1998 Rankine created “Headlites,” an installation involving 25 individual found-object sculptures at Mud Street Cafe’s gallery space.
A frequent exhibitor at The Space, a large event hall he co-owns, he also produces art events at another local spot, Brews, at 2 Pine Street. His work can also be seen at Eureka Fine Art Gallery, a business he co-owns.
He took up photography in ear- nest after founding the Lovely County Citizen community newspaper in 1999. Since then, his art through the lens garnered him a 2011 Individual Artist Fellowship for outstanding achieve- ment in the arts from the Arkansas Arts Council for his multimedia, pho- tographic installation, “A Community At Peace.” Last year, he unveiled his latest photographic collection, “On My Morning Walk.”
The photo-diary collection contains up-close-and-personal photos of the natural beauty of the place, as seen from the one-mile stretch of rural Ozark road on morning strolls with his three dogs. His year’s worth of photos, shared via social media, reflect the changing seasons on both the macro and micro levels.
2 Pine St., 479-363-6000