Courtesy: Jafe T. Parsons, John Kinkade
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Harriet Tubman

Little Rock, Arkansas

Jane DeDecker (http://www.nationalsculptorsguild.com/artist_dedecker.html)

Exterior placement located along the Arkansas River Trail pedestrian walkway leading to the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library, 764 President Clinton Ave, Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
Owner:  City of Little Rock, AR
Date:  2004, 2004
Placement:  parks (grounds)
Collection:  City of Little Rock, AR
Artwork Type:  sculpture (visual work)
Material:  bronze (metal)
Description:  One of 6 pieces in a site design by John Kinkade placing a sculpture every 200 feet to draw pedestrians from Little Rock’s downtown to the center. Kinkade chose to pull key elements from President Clinton’s speech “Bridge to the 21st Century” to organize the progression to the library. The “Harriet Tubman” sculpture was originally located in Riverfront Park near the site of the current Game and Fish Nature Center. It was relocated during the construction of that facility and now anchors the entrance to Clinton Presidential Park.

Harriet Tubman is the third sculpture in the park created by artist Jane DeDecker. The sculpture is a symbol of the state's dedication to equality and respect for diversity. Depicts Miss Tubman grasping the hand of a young boy and leading him on a walk. DeDecker captures both compassion and a steely determination in the features of Miss Tubman’s face. The folds of their clothes indicate that they are on a journey. Whether their walk is a part of the Underground Railroad or simply a walk along the path in post-war times is immaterial. Miss Tubman understood that there is always some form of oppression one must struggle against.

One of six sculptures placed by the National Sculptors’ Guild as a portion of the Formal Pedestrian Walk from the River Market Shops to the Presidential Center. The artwork speaks to Arkansas’ quality of life and thematic subject matter derived from President Clinton’s speech to include diversity, the environment, education and the connectedness of the individual, the nation and the world. “Harriet Tubman” was selected for its ability to fit the surrounding themes and landscape of the downtown area as well as complement the new Library and President Clinton's ideals of family, cultural diversity and looking to the future.. Three of the six sculptures placed were by DeDecker.

An additional sculpture preceded the Clinton Entry artworks, installed at the National Airport in September, 2004. All sculptures are by National Sculptors’ Guild Members and were presented by the NSG Executive Director, John W. Kinkade to a panel. Since the dedication, the City of Little Rock immediately began discussions of future placements from the Colorado-based organization which specializes in placing monumental sculpture across the nation.

The artworks were selected from the proposal presented by NSG Executive Director, John W. Kinkade. Kinkade chose to pull key elements from President Clinton’s speech “Bridge to the 21st Century” to organize the progression to the library. He proposed numerous individual concepts by 14 national sculptors reflecting each theme. The Little Rock committee chose the final artworks.

The artwork speaks to Arkansas’ quality of life and thematic subject matter derived from President Clinton’s speech “Bridge to the 21st Century”. Sandy Scott’s “Eagle of the Rock” will be placed on Clinton Avenue and “River Market Pig” will be placed at the Farmer’s Market to provide the start of a pedestrian transition from River Market to the Clinton Presidential Center, subsequently, a sculpture will be placed every 200 yards, Jane DeDecker’s “Touch the Sky”, “Anglers” & “Harriet Tubman” and Carol Gold’s “Fiesta”.

Sculptor Jane DeDecker is one of the nation’s most successful figurative sculptors. Her figures “are spontaneous and full of vitality. Her loose stylized sculpture never fails to touch a human emotion. “She tells a story simply and honestly, putting the viewer in touch with the basic emotions of life.“My work is a cumulative process made of my life experiences and my desire to sculpt the human form.Each piece tells a story of how it was created—every stroke supporting the narrative.I can see in each of my pieces the evolution of learning and the discovery that takes place when I develop the soul and likeness of my subject. I try to retain in the sculpture the beginning strokes and gestures, because for me they contain the truth of the spirit. The finished piece hopefully reveals my thoughtful study of the subject and the energy of the creative process."

Part of Jane's artistic genius is her ability to select a moment with which all of us can relate to in our lives. These recognizable moments skip over generations, each generation finding recognition with it. The scene is timeless in the human experience and each takes us to that moment causing us to reflect and evaluate the importance of love, relationship and achievement. Her surfaces bespeak her passion, integrity and honesty. Her practiced and studied craftsmanship coupled with her dedicated respect for others achieves the balance, which makes a hard metal com alive with spirit and soul. This is why her collectors never tire of her work. These are the reasons her peers recognize her as being at the forefront of this century's contemporary sculptors.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCULPTORS' GUILD: Representing some of the most renowned sculpture artists in the nation, the Guild artists work as a team under the leadership of executive director John W. Kinkade. Our organization works closely with cities, municipalities, corporations and private institutions across the country to successfully enhance both indoor and outdoor venues with creative design and innovative artwork.. The National Sculptors' Guild is an association of its design team (JK Designs) and nationally recognized sculptors chosen for their outstanding artistic abilities and varied style with the primary objective to conceive and seek out monumental placements for members' work. Columbine Galleries serves as headquarters and home to the NSG and its’ sculpture garden, featuring some of the nation's finest monumental sculptures. Gallery locations are 2683 N. Taft Ave., Loveland, Colorado 80538.
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