BY MELANIE BUCK –
Arkansas Champion Trees: An Artist’s Journey by Linda Palmer will be on display at Rich Mountain Community College from September 6th through October 26th in the Ouachita Center. Palmer’s website says her “love of the Ozark woodlands makes itself apparent in her delicate renderings…” And indeed, her tribute to the Champion Trees of Arkansas brings to life the uniqueness of each tree.
Palmer’s series, Arkansas Champion Trees: an Artist’s Journey, began in 2007 when she viewed the online list of the largest and oldest examples of each species of tree determined by Arkansas foresters. The Champion series has entailed over 5,000 miles of travel across the state, accompanying documentary photography, and research into the history and science of the trees. Part of her journey has been to share her knowledge and artistic expertise with arts groups and institutions, and via educational programs sponsored by the Arkansas Forestry Commission.
The series was debuted at RMCC in 2015, along with her rendition of Polk County’s own Champion Tree. The tree is the largest water oak in the state of Arkansas and is located on the old Myrick homestead, which now belongs to Dr. Robert Manis and wife, Suzanne. Dr. Manis said, “This tree is named the T. Texas Tyler Memorial Tree. The land was originally owned by the Myrick family. Tyler’s real name was David Luke Myrick. This was his grandparents’ farm and Luke spent a lot of time here.” Since this was the only land in Arkansas that Tyler owned and he was the first country western star to play Carnegie Hall, the tree was named in honor of him.
An artist meet and greet with a reception will be held on September 13th from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. at the Ouachita Center. For more information on the event, call 479-394-7622.