Art in the Park
Riverfront Park is home to more than 100 works of art across its 30+ acre campus. The highest density is found in the Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden. It features landscaped, outdoor “rooms” formed by massive, curved steel plates. Each room houses numerous sculptures giving guests the feeling of walking through a traditional art gallery. Visitors can wander from sculpture to sculpture without losing the park’s signature view of the Arkansas River. The Little Rock Sculpture Tour offers a complete listing of the park’s sculptures.
La Petite Roche
How did Little Rock get its name? Just over 300 years ago, French explorer Jean Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe became the first European to travel up the Arkansas River. He and his men anchored in a small natural rock harbor which they named “la petite roche,” or “the little rock.” The name stuck, and you can now view what’s left of the original rocky outcropping at Sturgis Plaza in Riverfront Park. You’ll find it at the water’s edge near the base of the Junction Bridge.
Five bridges cross over Riverfront Park. From west to east, they are War Memorial Bridge (locally known as the Broadway Bridge, pedestrian and cycling friendly), the Main Street Bridge, the Junction Bridge (pedestrian only), the Interstate 30 Bridge, and the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge (pedestrian and cycling only). They connect downtown Little Rock to North Little Rock and create beautiful vantage points to take in both cities at sunset. In the evenings, the Main Street, Junction, and Clinton Presidential Park bridges are lit with tens of thousands of LED bulbs as a part of the River Lights in the Rock art installation. These lights create shimmering patterns in a kaleidoscope of colors across the bridges’ superstructures.