Art Garden, a community-built art installation at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA), invites all Arkansans to take part in the creation of an inaugural event. Made through a collaboration with schools, universities, and partner organizations across the state, Art Garden is a celebration of the community as it comes together to participate in AMFA’s April 22, 2023, reopening. With an estimated participation of over 11,000 Arkansans and MacArthur Park as its canvas, Art Garden honors the museum’s legacy of community engagement and education with an installation comprised of thousands of origami lotuses on the museum grounds.
AMFA’s Director of Community Engagement Chris Revelle stated, “Art Garden is an exciting community project to undertake for the museum’s grand opening, but my favorite moment is a quieter one — seeing people of all ages from all over our community connecting with their creativity through this art project. Art Garden is bringing the museum to the community and making the community a part of the museum.”
Through professional development and community outreach initiatives, AMFA has invited 67 schools and community partners across the state to take part in activities for Art Garden: participants create photograms — or photographic prints — on light-sensitive cyanotype paper, which is then folded into a unique origami lotus that will be included in the Art Garden installation.
Amy Schleicher, art educator at Dunbar Middle School and Arkansas Art Educators council member, shared, “AMFA has provided an unprecedented opportunity for my public school students. Not only were we invited to participate in the largest art installation in Little Rock’s history, we were also encouraged to explore the cyanotype process and origami technique to create our flowers. This community-oriented and artistic experience would not have been possible without AMFA’s vision and dedication to Little Rock and the state of Arkansas.”
Every community member is invited to get involved by following along with the tutorial videos on AMFA’s website to create their own origami lotus for display in the spring 2023 Art Garden exhibition; participants are encouraged to fold as many flowers as they wish out of any available paper.
Drop-off locations for completed origami lotuses include the Argenta Public Library, CALS Main Library, Dee Brown Library, Maumelle Library, and Thompson Library; lotuses may be dropped off through March 24, 2023.
AMFA invites everyone to be a part of Art Garden! Find more information on supplies and instructional materials on AMFA’s website.
Access promotional images for Art Garden in AMFA's virtual press kit.