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Gene Sparling's wood turnings at exhibit in Hot Springs.

February 11 through May 2023, see artful wooden vessels at the Mid-America Science Museum's Hall of Wonder.

From their website:

Turned Wood by Gene Sparling

With his affinity to nature, it is no wonder that when Sparling began his career as an artist, this medium would be tied to the natural world. He began learning to work with wood as a child, from his father, and has continued learning and working with wood, throughout his life. Through his work, Sparling seeks to highlight the unique beauty of each piece while creating vessels, sculptures, and furniture that complement their natural roots. Sparling’s work has been exhibited at the Arkansas Craft Gallery in Mountain View, Arkansas, as well as galleries in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Hot Springs, Bentonville, and Denton, TX.

Gene Sparling was born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and spent his childhood in Springfield, Missouri. As a young man, he established a home in the Ouachita Mountains, just south of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Throughout his life, he has sought out wilderness, traveling, backpacking, horse packing, and kayaking through wild landscapes, always returning to the woods of his home in the Ouachitas. With great concern for remaining wild places, Sparling has served as a voice for wildlife and habitat conservation throughout the country.

About the Cover - from The Springs Magazine Facebook post. ... Tree/Cycle of Life

(Hot Springs Magazine, "Your guide to the Arts, Entertainment & Wellness" cover and article) “Tree/Cycle of Life” is a collaborative art exhibit at Mid-America Science Museum featuring work by woodturning sculptor Gene Sparling and colored pencil artist, Linda Williams Palmer. When he is not in his workshop/studio, Sparling will likely be found hiking the Ozark Highland and Ouachita Trails. He has miles of trails with mountains, springs, creeks, meadows, and abundant wildlife, right outside his back door, providing the raw material for bowls like the one featured on the cover. He highlights the unique beauty of each piece while creating vessels, sculptures, and furniture that complement their natural roots. Each piece is individually handcrafted to draw out the intricate grain and color of the wood. Graceful, flowing lines, unusual textures, earthy colors, and a beautifully smoothed finish are the hallmarks of his work. If you’re fortunate to meet Sparling, be sure to ask him about two things; spalted wood and his new grand baby. Palmer’s colored pencil work is the result of thousands of miles traveled and hours of research into Arkansas’s Champion Trees – the largest trees of each tree species in Arkansas, many of which Palmer has photographed and drawn. Champions are unique from one another in size, width, and even color, as they represent entirely different species from one tree to the next. If you have a tree you believe is the largest of its species, use the contact form at www.agriculture.arkansas.gov/forestry/champion-trees/ to contact the Forestry Division, call your local Forestry Division office, or send a nomination form to Harold Fisher, 20 Industrial Boulevard, Greenbrier, AR 72058. Send questions to harold.fisher@agriculture.arkansas.gov. Special thanks to Dolores Justus for providing the hi-res photos we used and to Richard Stephens for his beautiful cover design that captures the uniqueness of these talented artists.


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