The city of Conway, Conway Downtown Partnership and the Conway Public Art Board invites the public to celebrate the unveiling of “Whimsical Toad” at 2 p.m. Thursday at the southeast corner of Oak and Front streets.
The interactive sculpture was made possible through a $10,000 grant from Main Street Arkansas’ Public Art Grant in collaboration with the Conway Public Art Board and the Conway Downtown Partnership.
The Conway Downtown Partnership and the City of Conway Public Art Board applied for the Main Street Public Art Grant to curate an interactive public art piece highlighting Toad Suck Square. A call to artists was put out and the partnership received 10 proposals for the project.
The selected proposal was a work titled “Whimsical Toad” by area artist Calvin Springer.
“In honor of the proposed sculpture site being that of the historical ‘Toad Suck Square,’ my design is a depiction of a full person-sized Whimsical Toad relaxing on a bench which is in the shape of a large curled leaf supported by a smaller curled leaf underneath,” Springer said. “The toad sits with one leg resting over the other while an arm is draped over the back edge of the bench. His head turned to the side as if watching for someone. I designed it as such with the intent for visitors to interact with it by sitting next to him as his arm would be around them where it would invite them to have photos taken together.”
The finished Toad will be made of cast bronze and finished with a brown-green patina. Welded steel will be used in creating the outer edge frame, stems and rib of the leaves. The main body of the leaves will be made of shaped hardwood, Springer said. Dimensions of the finished sculpture will be approximately four feet high, five to six feet wide and four feet in depth.