LANTERNS! 2016 Lights Up the Night

Lanterns2016SliderWildwood’s annual deep-winter festival celebrates the first full moon of the lunar new year. Held over three magical evenings – February 19 – 21, 2016 – guests are transported to far away lands and times as they stroll through the beautifully lit pathways of Wildwood’s gardens. Cultural vistas feature live entertainment, food, drink, games and more throughout the Park’s Butler Arboretum and inside the Lucy Lockett Cabe Festival Theatre. Find out more information about LANTERNS! here.

Shuttles run from the Kroger on Chenal Parkway beginning at 6 pm nightly until 30 minutes past the Festival’s closing. Limited parking is also available at Wildwood.

Tickets are $8 for adults online and $10 at the gate. For children ages 6-12 tickets are $4 online and $5 at the gate, and children 5 and under attend FREE! LANTERNS! Let’s get glowing! Click here and then on the time of your chosen night to PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS TODAY!

Click here if you are interested in becoming a WILDVolunteer for this exciting festival!

LANTERNS! is made possible by the support of these illuminating sponsors:

Father’s Day Fishing – Sunday, June 21

Wildwood’s Swan Lake will be open for catch and release fishing on Sunday, June 21 from noon until 5pm.

This is the only day the lake is open for fishing. Guests are invited to bring their own fishing poles and bait. Drinks, snacks, and bait will be available for purchase.

Wildwood Hosts Annual Quad-School Poetry Slam

Wildwood hosts its annual quad-shool poetry slam on May 15 at 10:30am. The slam is the culmination of four individual slams that were held at Baker, Chenal, Roberts and Robinson elementary schools. Poet Chris James has spent a week in residence at each school through Wildwood’s Arts in Education program. He mentored students as they wrote, edited, and performed their own poetry. 25 students will compete at the final event in Wildwood’s Cabe Festival Theatre.

The poems of all finalists have been collected into a book that can be downloaded via the link below.

Quad-School Poetry Slam Anthology


Wildwood Hosts a Public Performance of “The Bremen Town Musicians” on May 17

Wildwood’s touring production of The Bremen Town Musicians will have a public performance on May 17 at 2pm in Wildwood’s Cabe Festival Theatre.


The Bremen Town Musicians is a children’s musical theatre performance based on the Grimm folktale of the same name. The performance is ideal for children in Pre-K through 5th grade. It will visit elementary schools on a state-wide tour as a part of Wildwood’s Art to Go! program. Bremen_13

The May 17 performance is open to all members of the public with a suggested donation of $5.

You can learn more about the tour and the Art to Go! program here. Bremen_40

Art in the Park: An Interview with Sofia V. Gonzalez


See more of Sofia’s work at

How do you describe your subject matter or the content of your work?

The subject matter of my work always seems to return to exploring my sense of place and how others define and relate to their own sense of place. By using traditional textile techniques and mixed media, my practice creates a space of meditation and reflection for myself when I make.


What mediums do you work with?

I work primarily with textiles, using traditional processes like crochet, embroidery, and natural dyes. I have strong feelings about collecting my own plant and vegetable materials to be used in dye. I want to have an emotional connection with the colors and materials I use. The process is important to me: observatory walks around my neighborhood, collecting materials like hulls or leaves, and subsequently making the dye.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I spend my days at Wildwood Park for the Arts as our Educational Programs Coordinator. I also facilitate and curate our Art in the Park exhibition program. I have taught a few workshops in natural dye techniques, but would love to get more into teaching. I am passionate about creating community events and arts education opportunities for all ages that relate art to our environment.


What are you presently inspired by— are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work? 

Since moving to Little Rock from San Francisco last year, I have become completely enamored with the variety of birds and their differing songs. Recently I’ve used this obsession as a means for inspiration. I have started a new practice where I wake up early each morning and spend 30 minutes to an hour recording the bird sounds outside my house with quick markings in charcoal on watercolor paper. I am interested in how I can translate the songs and patterns into marks on a page. I’m calling these new sketches “soundscapes.” I am interested to see where they will go.

What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected?

My biggest hope for my work is that it will cause pause or reflection in the viewer. By using natural dyes to create the colors I use, I hope to encourage a more observant and respectful way to look at the environments we live in. It’s important to me that in my work the connection between the artist and the materials is able to tell a story.


How do you navigate the art world? Do you have a motto you live by?

I try to navigate the art world by creating genuine connections and conversations with other artists. I am always excited to hear about other artists’ processes, and I think collaborations and opportunities are born out of this mutual relationship.  Recently, I realized that if you build opportunities for others, opportunities will come back to you. I live by the words on the necklace I wear every day which was given to me by my grandmother before she passed away last year. It reads, “Dar mas y pedir menos,” or “Give more and ask for less.”


Art in the Park: An Interview with Barbara Cade

Meet Barbara Cade, exhibiting artist featured in Symbiotic: Art, Nature & Spirituality April 2 – May 10

Barbara Cade and the Blue Rock

Learn more about Barbara at

How do you describe the subject matter or the content of your work?

My landscapes celebrate Nature.  I define “landscape” as anything that exists in the natural world.  Sometimes I make traditional landscape scenes and sculpture, but also close-ups of ordinary things such as leaves, rocks and tree bark.

Birds in Flight AC

What mediums do you work with?

I make handmade felt to construct my artwork.  I also work with clay in a limited way to make rock/rattles.

Besides your art practice, are you involved in any other kind of work?

I am a full-time   studio artist.  However, a few weeks a year, I work in the schools under contract with the Arkansas Arts Council as an AIE artist.  

What are you presently inspired by – are there particular things you are reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?

Inspiration for the landscapes is Nature—natural forms are fascinating.  Nothing is ever the same. 

What do you hope your work will accomplish? How do you want people to be affected?

In this busy world, I hope viewers find some peace and serenity when viewing my work.  I hope viewers feel some of the mystery, beauty, drama and amazing variety of animal and plant forms.  Ultimately, I hope my landscapes inspire people to take care of the earth.

Rock Rattles

How do you navigate the art world? Do you have a motto you live by?

Goethe wrote:  “A master he who bridles his ambitions.”  The only way to navigate the art world is to persevere.

LANTERNS! Festival This Weekend

LANTERNS! will happen as scheduled this weekend. In light of recent weather, here are a few things to keep in mind:

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You may purchase tickets here.