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UA Little Rock to host two exhibits by 2020 Arkansas Living Treasure Michael Warrick

Michael Warrick UA Little Rock Art Department Sculpture Professor
Michael Warrick, UA Little Rock Art Department Sculpture Professor. Photo by Ben Krain.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock will host two exhibits by 2020 Arkansas Living Treasure Michael Warrick, a professor of art at UA Little Rock, from June 1 to July 20 in the Windgate Center of Art and Design. 

The first exhibit, “Michael Warrick: Clay, Metal, Stone, Wood,” highlights work created by Warrick over the past decade. The exhibit will be on display in the Brad Cushman Gallery on the second level of the Windgate Center.

The majority of work in this exhibit will be figurative and portrait sculpture from the last decade,” Warrick said. “The range of styles for that work are classic academic studies to rough, expressive, and very colorful. In addition to these, there are a few abstract seed-like forms in stone and a number of outdoor sculpture proposals that have been 3D printed.”

The second exhibit is a new site specific installation titled “Michael Warrick: Spirits.” The display will feature seven monumental meditation portraits cast in Hydrocal with fiberglass reinforcement. These portraits were inspired by the sculptural installation, “Astronomers’ Dream,” which Warrick created for a solo exhibit at the Arkansas Arts Center in 1996. 

The  new portraits will be suspended at eye level throughout the Maners/Pappas Gallery in a low light. These portraits represent mentors and spiritual guides. This represents Warrick’s first site-specific installation sculpture in 25 years. Boswell Mourot Fine Art in Little Rock represents the artist.  

“To produce a grouping of the cast portrait work has been an interest of mine for a year now,” Warrick said. “I could isolate and compose the suspended works in a unique space with unique lighting that would enhance them. Each person portrayed in the exhibit is photographed and then sculpted in an oil base clay on top of a sculpted styrofoam skull. Once the clay portrait is finished, I make a multi-piece rubber mold and plastic mother mold that allows me to cast various materials like water-based clay, cold cast bronze, paper, plaster, concrete, and sculptors wax that will be later translated in metal through the lost wax casting method.”

This piece by Michael Warrick will appear in a new exhibit, “Michael Warrick: Clay, Metal, Stone, Wood."
This piece by Michael Warrick will appear in a new exhibit, “Michael Warrick: Clay, Metal, Stone, Wood.”

Warrick is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship through the Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest, Illinois, a Visual Arts Grant/Fellowship from the Southeastern College Art Conference in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, an Arkansas Arts Council Visual Arts Fellowship, and Artist Grants from Art Matters, Inc., the Pollack-Krazner Foundation both located in New York City. In 2009, he received the Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement by the Southeastern College Art Conference. 

He has created sculptures for parks in Changchun, China, and Hanam, South Korea. In the Little Rock area, he has created sculptures at the National Park Services Central High Museum, the Central Arkansas Library System, the Statehouse Convention Center, The Vogel Swartz Sculpture Garden, the University of Arkansas Ottenheimer Library, The CARTI Cancer Center, The Ronald McDonald House, The Bernice Garden, the Maumelle Library, and the UAMS Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute. 

The exhibit can be viewed virtually through the UA Little Rock Art Gallery website

The UA Little Rock Art Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Patrons may call or email to confirm a visit to campus to view the exhibitions. For more information, contact the main office at 501-916-3182 or email Brad Cushman at