Menu
Art in its Natural State Logo

Arkansas is the “Natural State,” and Petit Jean Mountain makes it easy to see why. From towering pines to open fields to sparkling lakes, Petit Jean offers stunning vistas at every turn. The Art in its Natural State competition is a regional competition for the creation of 10 temporary, outdoor artworks to be displayed among that natural beauty here at the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute and Petit Jean State Park. Artists compete by submitting a design mock-up, build plan and artist statement created specifically for one of the sites below. The best fit for the competition will likely be structural, sculptural or landscape art, but all outdoor works will be considered and judged by a panel of representatives from the Arkansas Arts Center, Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, University of Arkansas Fayetteville, University of Arkansas Fort Smith, University of Arkansas Little Rock and representatives from the Institute and the Park.

Whatever work is conceptualized, we challenge the artists to work in harmony with the chosen sites, either through complementing the natural landscape of the mountain or highlighting the environment’s beauty with aesthetically pleasing contrasts. Both approaches will require careful thought and consideration for each of the unique worksites.

The 360-degree photos and still images below are captured from the center of each site to give an idea of the landscape in which the art will be featured. There is also a download link for each site with an image from the viewing audience’s perspective. This link will not only provide context for where the art will be placed, it is also the template over which we will ask the artists to provide a mock-up preview of their design to be judged.

 

Full contest rules can be found here, and official entry to the contest is handled through CallforEntry.org after creating a free profile. There is a $25 entry fee for the first design submitted to the contest and a $5 entry fee for up to two additional designs. A coupon code is available in the official rules to discount the second and third entries.

Download official rules here (PDF)

PJSP – CCC Field (35.126737, -92.924707)

The Civilian Conservation Corps worked on Petit Jean Mountain from 1933-1938, adding many structures and trails that are still enjoyed at Arkansas’ first state park. Among their projects, CCC workers built Mather Lodge, a native stone dam for the formation of Lake Bailey, public pavilions and the Davies Bridge over Cedar Creek. This field features remnants of some of those constructions as well as modern recreation areas enjoyed by Park guests year round.

This site is in a mostly open field, centered between two trees and adjacent to old stone foundation work from the time of the CCC camp. This site is hosted by Petit Jean State Park, and designs for it must match the Park’s aesthetic.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

PJSP – Red Bluff Overlook Wildflower Area (35.120594, -92.955484)

This overlook offers a stunning view of the Arkansas River Valley from a prominent Petit Jean Mountain bluff. This site hosts many visitors every year, from hikers to artists to families on day trips. Near the bluff, there is also a wildflower area where patches of wildflowers grow and flourish every year.

This site is centered in an open clearing in the wildflower area, near to parking and the overlook itself. This site is hosted by Petit Jean State Park, and designs for it must match the Park’s aesthetic.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

PJSP – Lake Bailey (35.130224, -92.920619)

Formed by a rock dam constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, Lake Bailey is a popular fishing and recreation spot on Petit Jean Mountain. Featuring a fishing pier, plenty of accessible banks and a CCC-era boathouse, Lake Bailey is a historic site that has never wavered in popularity.  

This site is on the lake itself, located between the fishing pier and the historic boathouse. This site is hosted by Petit Jean State Park, and designs for it must match the Park’s aesthetic.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

PJSP – Lakeside Grove (35.129811, -92.921222)

This grove of trees beside historic Lake Baily provides shade to anglers, campers and daily visitors. It is a great place to explore, play a game of catch or just relax, leaned against a tree.

This site is centered in a small clearing in the trees near Lake Bailey, near public parking and the historic boathouse. This site is hosted by Petit Jean State Park, and designs for it must match the Park’s aesthetic.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute – Boathouse on Lake Abby (35.141455, -92.942722)

Named after Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller’s mother, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Lake Abby represents the governor’s legacy of welcoming the surrounding community. During his time on the mountain, the governor made the lake, boathouse and pavilions available to civic, church and school groups six days a week, free of charge. On Sundays, the lake was reserved for Rockefeller family and friends and frequently saw Gov. Rockefeller water ski on the small lake. Lake Abby remains a fixture of the Institute, stocked with bream and catfish by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and frequently used as the backdrop to community events like school tours and Boy Scout events.

The site chosen for Lake Abby is on the water, near the boat ramp and boathouse pavilion.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute – Butterfly Field (35.139445, -92.943741)

This open field on the Institute campus houses our butterfly garden. The garden was conceived and built by summer interns from the University of Arkansas System in 2005. Built for attracting and harboring butterflies at all stages of development in mind, the garden features nectar plants and “puddling” rocks for developed and migrating butterflies, as well as host plants for butterfly eggs and larva. Our garden is certified as a Monarch Waystation through the Monarch Watch program of the University of Kansas as it supplies the specific needs of migrating Monarch butterflies.

This site is in an open area adjacent to the butterfly garden with enough space for large installations with an appropriate buffer between the work and the garden itself.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute - Doc Ferguson Field (35.137772, -92.942524)

One of the first things visitors to the Institute see, this field is directly beside the main road to the Institute. After driving between pastures where cattle are raised to this day, guests follow a curving path toward the Institute’s iconic silos. This field is directly to the left of that road and in the sightline of the silos and main building.

This site is in an open expanse of field in line with the Institute silos.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute – Farmstead (35.139577, -92.940911)

When Gov. Rockefeller came to Petit Jean Mountain In 1953, many of the mountain’s residents lived on self-sufficient farmsteads much like our model farmstead. Featuring many of the same buildings and amenities that the governor would have encountered on his first visit to the mountain; such as an orchard, row crops, a smoke house and other farm buildings; our farmstead is also home to an Arkansas Archeological Survey Station. Housed in the model barn, the Survey Station works on many projects, including ongoing site excavation just north of Petit Jean Mountain and educational programming for area schools.

This site is in an open area with the Teaching Barn and other farm buildings in the background.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute – Pine Grove (35.136809, -92.945759)

Much of Petit Jean Mountain is covered with pine trees. The Institute grounds are no exception. This grove of trees is directly outside one of our lodging facilities and features towering pine trees. Gov. Rockefeller had to clear many such trees to create grazing land for his cattle farm, but he did so under the guidance of expert foresters. This allowed him to clear only the necessary trees and save groves like this one across the property.

This site is centered in a small clearing in a thick grove of pine trees and located next to a lodging facility and within walking distance from parking and the main Institute building.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute – Front Lawn (35.137737, -92.944281)

The front lawn of the Institute has been a gathering place for many events going all the way back to the days when it was Gov. Rockefeller’s cattle farm. Every spring the governor would welcome thousands of people to his farm to hold his annual cattle auction. Today the front lawn of the Institute is host to a yearly outdoor performance of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre, a replica of Gov. Rockefeller’s auction stand and countless outdoor activities enjoyed by Institute guests.

This site is near the main drive to the Institute, replica auction stand and performance area of the Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute - Lake Abby Field (35.140452, -92.941606)

Located beside the retaining walls of Lake Abby, this field is open and flat, outlined by rows of tall pine trees. A common recreation area at the Institute, there is also a small disc golf course flanking the field. The field is also adjacent to the Institute’s Native Plant Walkway, a raised walking platform flanked by plants that are native to Petit Jean Mountain and Arkansas.

This site is a large open area near main Institute roads and a parking area.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute – Stables Tree Cluster (35.139347, -92.944622)

Just behind our main building, this site features a mix of pine trees and open field. It is also beside one of our main lodging facilities, outdoor fire pits and lawn bocce court. Behind the site is a fenced-off field where cattle were grazed during Gov. Rockefeller’s time here.

This site is centered between three pine trees that are equidistant to each other and near our main parking area.

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute - Studio Overlook (35.138529, -92.948717)

A favorite spot of Gov. Rockefeller’s wife, Jeanette, this overlook provides a stunning view of the Arkansas River Valley. Currently a lodging and meeting space, the Studio was once Jeanette’s ceramics studio and art classroom and served as a guest house to the governor’s many visitors. Notable guests rumored to have stayed at the Studio include Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and the king and queen of Sweden.

This site is circled by the driveway to the Studio, within the sightline of the overlook and opposite an entwined pair of “lover’s trees.”

Download a high-resolution, audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here

Institute – Orchard (35.138349, -92.946130)

Small orchards with a variety of fruit trees were common on the farmsteads of Petit Jean Mountain. Peaches, pears, apples, cherries and plums were all grown. This small orchard features plum trees and is located next to one of our lodging facilities and within sight of some of our largest meeting spaces. Fruit grown in this and other orchards on the Institute grounds are frequently used in our culinary program during demonstrations on how to make jams and jellies.

This site is in the corner of the orchard, nestled among some of the fruit trees and a short walk from our conference facilities and main parking area.

Download a high-resolution audience-view image here.

Submit Application Here