The University of Arkansas at Little Rock is now home to a sculpture by late artistMac Hornecker.
Marie Hornecker of Arkadelphia donated the sculpture to UA Little Rock last year to honor her husband’s creative efforts. Mac Hornecker, who passed away in 2011, created “El Niño” in 1998. It is a non-objective sculpture that was an early piece in his waved linear steel and concrete stone work.
“El Niño was built in 1998 at a time when our oldest daughter was in college at OU in Oklahoma majoring in meteorology and also had a position at NOAA’s (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Severe Storm Center and as a storm chaser,” Marie Hornecker said. “It gave Mac a new awareness of the weather and patterns. The land and natural elements were always the inspirations of Mac’s work.”
Marie Hornecker and UA Little Rock installation crew members Michael Warrick, Kerrick Hartman, John Bruhl, Ricky Sikes, and Ruijie Zheng dismantled, packed, and reinstalled the sculpture at the UA Little Rock campus on Oct. 19. Marie Hornecker and Warrick gave the sculpture a fresh coat of paint on Oct. 20 to give it a “final finish,” according to Warrick, a longtime friend of the Horneckers. The sculpture now stands east of the Donaghey Student Center near Coleman Creek.
“Thanks for everyone at UA Little Rock for placing ‘El Niño’ on your campus,” Marie Hornecker said. “It is a wonderful setting, and I know Mac would have been very pleased. I also want to thank Michael Warrick and those in the art faculty that helped with the instillation and UA Little Rock for accepting this piece and putting it in a beautiful location.”
Mac Hornecker was best known for sculptures of environmental scale built from a variety of materials. He designed for a particular site, which determines scale and material. Images within his work deal with land and manmade forms. He was interested in the topography, rocks, trees, architecture, and anything interesting about the environment of the site.
He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1968 and a Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from the University of Oklahoma in 1970. He received his first commission from the Oklahoma City Arts Council in 1971 for a 12-ton cast concrete sculpture. His work was represented in more than 30 public collections, 25 solo shows, 50 group shows, 25 invitationals, and 30 competitive shows. He was a professor of sculpture for 40 years and served as a guest artist and conducted workshops at many colleges, universities, and art centers.
In the upper right photo, members of the installation crew install Mac Hornecker’s sculpture on campus. Pictured (L to R) include John Bruhl, Kerrick Hartman, Marie Hornecker, and Michael Warrick.